The Death Of Jeremy F. Gilmer

Once again I have a transcription of another document in the Sarah Alexander Cunningham collection of family papers, MS194, in the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah.  Once again I must apologize for not photographing the entire article, even though I thought I had, and I, as usual, have a perfectly good excuse.  The GHS is open very limited hours.  When I’m there looking through stuff that cannot be photocopied, only digitally photographed, I’m in a panic.  What is important enough to photograph?  All of it?  I’d never get finished if I photographed all of it.  So what part of it?  Do you get the mental picture of my panic?  I’m the crazy person at the massive library table flipping through the documents in a restrained break-down, trying to look respectful while listening to the clock on the wall behind me tick.  Tick.  TICK.  You can’t use a flash and the lighting is less than great for photography, and my images are shadowy.  If I hadn’t signed off on a policy that agreed that I would not post any images on the internet or transmit them digitally, I could show you how poor the images are.

But since I haven’t had anyone use the search term “Jeremy F. Gilmer” to lead them to this blog, I’m not too worried about it.  This is the very same J. F. Gilmer that made the map of Amelia County.  He was a good guy and loved by all.  At least if anyone didn’t love him, they didn’t step up.  It appears by all his good works that he was a good citizen.


Death of Gen. Jeremy F. Gilmer.

The community was moved with pro-

found sorrow last evening by the unexpect-

ed demise of Gen. Jeremy F. Gilmer, which

sad event occurred at his residence,

corner of Bull and State streets,

at 7:30 o’clock.  Gen. Gilmer

had been a sufferer for many years

from a complication of diseases, to which

was added a fall from his horse several

years ago, which accident fractured his

thigh.  His extraordinary energy, how-

ever, would not permit him to be an in-

valid.  Only a few weeks since he re-

turned to the city from his summer

residence at Clarksville, which his

natural good taste, as well as his skill as

an engineer, made one of the handsomest

in the State.  About a week ago he was

compelled to succumb to an attack of his

complaints, and remain at home, but his

well known vitality forbade any thought

of his being dangerously ill, until just be-

fore his death, when he passed away, it is

supposed, from heart disease.

Gen. Gilmer was born in Greensboro,

N. C., in 1813, and was a brother of Hon.

Jno. A. Gilmer, of that State, a distin-

guished member of the United States and

Confederate States Congresses.  He was a

graduate of West Point, a cadet in 1835;

*I didn’t get all of the article in the photograph*

At that period there were no railroads across

the continent, and Gen. Gilmer came East

by sea.  Landing in New York when the

North was in a great state of excitement,

and sectional feeling intense, he made

his way South through Ohio, and

reported his arrival to the

authorities at Richmond.  He

was made a Colonel of Engineers and

assigned to the Army of Gen. Albert

Sidney Johnston.  He was Chief of

Engineers on the staff of that la-

mented officer at the Battle of Shiloh.

Soon after that battle he was promoted to

chief of the Engineer Corps of the Confed-

erate States, with the rank of Ma-

jor General.  In 1963 he was or-

dered to the Department of Georgia

and South Carolina, as the order read, as

“second in command” to General Beaure-

gard, and made Savannah his headquat-

ers.  The necessities of the Engineer

Bureau requiring his presence in Rich-

mond, he returned thither, where he

remained until that city was evacuated,

The war having closed, Gen. Gilmer lo-

cated in Savannah, which he ever after

made his home.  In 1863 he was

elected President of the Savannah

Gas Light Company, and about

the same time a director of the Central

Railroad and Banking Company.  He was

There is also a bulletin-style paper with a tribute to him.  I *did* get all of it transcribed.







At the opening of the SUPERIOR COURT OF CHATHAM

COUNTY, on Monday, December 3d, 1883, Gen’l HENRY

R. JACKSON moved an adjournment for the day, address-

ing the Court as follows:

May it please your Honor—

I rise to call attention to the fact that the funeral of

General Gimer is announced for eleven o’clock this morning,

and to move an adjournment of this Court for the day:–first, to

pay honor to the memory of the distinguished dead; secondly, to

give to those of its members who may desire to do so an opportu-

nity of attending the funeral services.  Of course, I am aware that,

as a general rule, Courts thus manifest respect only for the

memory of those who during life were personally connected with

the public administration of justice; but to all general ruls there

must be exceptions, and I submit to your Honor that the present

occasion suggests an exception.  It rarely occurs that the death of

an individual can so generally agitate the bosom of a community.

Needless for me to refer to the high positions which, during a

long career of public service, Gen’l GILMER filled so ably!—they

are familiar to us all.  But we are yet more intimate with the his-

tory of his later years;–with his life as a citizen—full, as he ever

was, and to the last, of public spirit; devoted to the practical inter-

ests of this community, in whose zealous and efficient service he

suffered so grievously; as modest and retiring in all things which

concerned only himself, as he was singularly tenacious of his own

convictions of public duty, and unshakable in his resolve to main-

tain, under all circumstances, what he believed to be the right.

These characteristics naturally gave to his private the same features

which had distinguished his  military career,–making him, what he

was, the incorruptible and invaluable citizen, the courteous and

consummate gentleman, leaving behind him a memory which may

be fairly assimilated to that of the Chevalier Bayard—the man

“sans peur et sans reproche.”

It is but natural that all of us should wish to pay to such a

memory every possible honor.  Nay! this is required of us all by

a decent regard for the community in which we live—the commu-

nity he so signally served, and in serving so highly adorned.

I am authorized to say that the leaders of the military have not

failed o indicate their earnest wish to pay him amplest military

honors.  But these it has been found painfully necessary to decline;

not because a soldier’s burial would not befit the gallant dead,

but because a scenic display might tend to agonize, to a dangerous

degree, hearts which are now appallingly desolate.

The more proper, therefore, that this Court should pay to his

memory the tribute I suggest;–a noiseless tribute, but none the

less indicative of the general appreciation of his noble life; none

the less expressive of the general grief over his death.

The presiding Judge responded in a feeling manner,

and adjourned the Court for the day. 

“Sans peur et sans reproche”.  Without fear and without reproach.



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One Response to “The Death Of Jeremy F. Gilmer”

  1. Off to the Graveyard, Part 2 | Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] This finds us where we left off at Laurel Grove Cemetery. Right about here, we arrived at the Gilmer-Minis plot. I’ve written about J. F. Gilmer before regarding his map of Amelia County, Virginia, and his obituary. […]


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