"EDDIE," as he was familiarly called in the family circle, was born in New Haven, Conn., in May, 1836. His childhood and youth were marked by the same attractive traits of character that distinguished his maturer years. He was always a favorite in every circle with which he was in any way connected. His parents cannot recollect a single instance when, by any misconduct of his, they felt a pang of self-sacrificing spirit; and in this spirit; when the peril of the nation called upon the people to rally for its salvation, it may truly be said of him as of thousands of others,
Thy country's life to save. .
To treasure up therefore in a permanent form, some suitable memorials of his "useful life and heroic death," these papers have been arranged and published. Unavoidable circumstances have occasioned protracted delay, but it is believed, nevertheless, that what should have been done at an earlier period may be wisely, appropriately and profitably done now. May we not hope that many of the young men of our day may find in these pages another incentive, to a higher and purer life.
AT THE FUNERAL OF CAPT. E. C. D. LINES
WE commemorate to-day, in sorrow yet with grateful pride and joy, another of the costly sacrifices laid upon the altar of patriotism, humanity and religion--a husband, a father; a son, a brother, in the flow of early manhood, freely offered, from a sense of duty to country, to righteousness and to God.
Such sacrifices are not in vain. They who offer them do more, perhaps, by their heroic death than they could do by their continued life. Though dead they speak, and all the more impressively and effectually because of their death. Yet in order to this influence of their example, it is necessary that their heroic service and sacrifice should be known. It is eminently proper, therefore, that on this occasion there should be given a brief account of the youthful patriot martyr, whose body, recovered from a distant battle field, we are now to deposit in the cemetery of his native city.
The patriotism of Mr. Lines began to be signally manifested five years before the commencement of this' present war, and was called out by the aggressions of that iniquity which, long the chief cause of our national troubles, at length broke out in open rebellion. When the territory, pledged forever to
freedom by the faith of the nation, in the "Missouri Compromise," as it was called, was open to slavery by the repeal of that compromise in what was named the "Kansas Nebraska Bill," it was seen that the only way to preserve that vast and fertile region to freedom, was to occupy it with such a number of freedom-loving citizens as would constitute a majority in the Territory, and so control the character of its institutions. Accordingly, patriotic men, in various parts of the country, and especially in New England, inspired by their own zeal for the interests of our country and humanity, and also by the zeal and aid of others, emigrated to that part of the country; and, after a severe, protracted and sacrificing struggle with the unscrupulous and ruffianly bands, who from various parts of the slaveholding region, and especially from the neighboring counties of Missouri, invaded the Territory, and trampled on the rights of its real citizens, and assumed its civil control, they succeeded at length in rescuing Kansas from slavery, and making it a State more devoted, probably, to the interests of freedom than any other State in the Union. A noble work of righteousness and humanity--causing the first turning of the tide in favor of freedom; a tide which has sweep on till slavery is banished from the whole country.
In that movement, as is well known by those who hear me, the father of our departed friend, Mr. Charles B. Lines, who had occupied a prominent place of influence in this community, and especially in the Church and congregation worshipping in this Sanctuary, participated, being the leader in the formation of a company, which went out to Kansas and settled the town
of Wabaunsee. At that time, Edward, his second son, then twenty years of age, though having a good position and fair prospects here, expressed his earnest desire to be permitted to take part in the enterprise. He joined the company, which left us the hearty approbation and Christian benediction of a multitude here. Hardly had the colony become settled, when the territory was invaded by armed hands of "Border Ruffians," as they were appropriately termed, who murdered men in their houses and fields, burnt the new city of Lawrence, and were determined to lay waste the towns and cities of the Free State citizens, and to control the elections and civil affairs of the Territory in the interest of Slavery-extension. At that time, a military company was organized in Wabaunsee and vicinity, which marched at once to Lawrence. One of the most active and influential in raising this company was Edward Lines, who was chosen Lieutenant, and on the subsequent illness of its Captain was much of the time its actual commander. This company, being armed in the most effectual manner with Sharpe's rifles, (which, by the way, were raised for them by subscription at a meeting in this very church, quite unexpectedly indeed, in response to an incidental statement during the progress of the meeting, that they had been disappointed in receiving, from another source, the necessary weapons for their self-defence,) this company, thus constituted and armed, was among the most efficient and self-sacrificing in defending the Territory against the savage invasions of that period, and in maintaining the rights of the Free-State majority.
In that campaign, young Lines suffered severely from exposures and hardships, contracting a disease which disabled him for months, and nearly cost him his life. But it was a school of training for the future. In it he developed, in a remarkable degree, the qualities of a thorough and able military character--courage, coolness, sagacity, firmness, enterprise, and high appreciation of strict military principle and order, and determination both to regard and secure it.
When the war of the rebellion began, by the assault upon Fort Sumpter, in the Spring of 1861, and the President of the United States called, by Proclamation, for 75,000 troops for a service of three months, our young friend warn the first man m the county in which he resided to volunteer. He enlisted in a company which was made up from citizens of three contiguous, sparsely settled counties He entered the service as a private, but upon the occurrence of a vacancy a few days after the company was organized, he was unanimously chosen lieutenant, the company having become a part of the 2d Regiment of Kansas Infantry, under command of Col. Robert B. Mitchell.
Here I will digress for a moment to refer to an event that occurred about three months before this, the remembrance of which is an unspeakable consolation to sorrowing hearts to-day--the public profession by Mr. Lines, of his faith in Christ and his devotion to His service. In January, 1861, he united himself to the Church in Wabaunsee, together with his wife. He had been trained, from childhood, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and had always been correct in his principles, pure and upright in his conduct, and thoughtful
upon the themes of religion but had not before decided to take an open position on the Lord's side, in the way of His appointment. Thus he had the highest qualification for the perilous service upon which he was soon called to enter,--faith in Christ, the Savior of sinners, and faith in God, the God of Providence, the God of battles, the God of righteousness and grace. And so, when the war began he engaged in it as a soldier of Christ, as well as a soldier of his country.
His military merits were soon discovered and appreciated by Col. Mitchell, who, on account of the illness of his Adjutant, appointed him acting Adjutant. This position of acting Adjutant he held during that most trying summer campaign in Southwest Missouri, under the command of the heroic and lamented Gen. Lyon. In the various skirmishes and battles of that campaign, he was very active, brave and efficient. In the severest of the fights, the fearfully contested battle of Wilson's Creek, in which Gen. Lyon fell, leading on his men against superior numbers, Mr. Lines was greatly exposed, riding hither and thither over the battle field to carry orders, and had early an increased responsibility, because both the colonels of the two Kansas Regiments, Col. Mitchell and Col. Dietzler, were wounded and borne off the field. Mr. Lines was in the van of the conflict, near Gen. Lyon when he was killed. His exposures and his remarkable preservation are seen in the facts, that his sword was struck, and severely marked by three rifle balls, his saddle was raked by a canister shot, two horses during the day were shot under him, and he was, towards the close, while on the retreat, struck on the shoulder with a piece of spent
shell, which did him no harm beyond a lameness for a few days.
Col. Mitchell, afterwards, expressed to a friend the highest admiration of the courage, self-possession, efficiency, fidelity and thorough soldierly bearing of Mr. Lines, on that day of fearful fight. He said that he had been sending him with orders here and there over the field, in the face of musketry and cannonade, when, in one of the pauses of his work, Mr. Lines rode up to him, and said, "Don't feel any delicacy, Colonel; send me anywhere you wish me to go." His courage, and his humanity also, and self-forgetfulness, are seen in another fact, which occurred at the beginning of the retreat after the death of Gen. Lyon. They were passing through groves of timber, in which shot and shell were cutting their way so thickly, that there was a continual dropping on them of leaves and twigs and branches, when he heard on one side the groaning of a boy. He went to him, and found he was one of the drummer boys, or one attached in some way to the musical service. Mr. Lines dismounted, placed the wounded boy upon his horse, and led him on, necessarily at a slow gait, till they were beyond the reach of the enemy.
Though the regiment originally enlisted on a call for three months service, yet through the influence of the patriotic Col. Mitchell, they served between four and five months. Soon after they were mustered out of service, in the autumn of 1861, they were organized anew as the 2d Regiment Kansas Cavalry; and Mr. Lines was appointed 1st Lieut. of Co. C. In this position he served only a short time: his Col., Robert B. Mitchell, was
soon after promoted to a Brigadier General, and appointed him as one of his Aids. Gen. Mitchell, with his brigade, was sent to join the Army of the Cumberland, on the east of the Mississippi. And in all the weary forced marches and severe engagements of that Army, in Kentucky and Tennessee, Mr. Lines endured bravely, and was entirely unharmed. In the desperate battle of Perryville, in which a part of our forces were allowed to contend against superior numbers, though reinforcements might easily have been brought up, Gen. Mitchell's brigade was in the thickest of the fight, and performed distinguished service. Such was the confidence of Gen. Mitchell in Mr. Lines, that he was accustomed to ask him to perform many duties of a responsible and critical nature, which perhaps did not strictly belong to him but to other officers. And the General used to give his reason in such language as this, when he had sent him, for example, to station pickets at night, a service not pertaining to his office --"When I know you have stationed the pickets, I can sleep.” Indeed, such was his over-work in consequence of the confidence reposed in him by his General, and his own desire to do all in his power, that he felt it necessary to resign his position as Aid, and request to be returned to his old Company, in the 2d Kansas Cavalry. This was in November, 1862. His Company, hearing that he was about to return to them, unanimously recommended him to be appointed to the office of Captain which was then vacant; and he was accordingly appointed. In this position he remained all the severe service of that Regiment during the remainder of 1862, and the Spring and Summer of 1863.
His position as Captain was one of exposure; on account of the confidence of the Commander in him, and his well disciplined Company, that Company was selected as advance guard of the Brigade Command, a place of special danger in a country where the enemy is accustomed to the practice of ambush. And it was Capt. Lines' custom always to ride in front of his Company, because he thought it his duty so to do. He used to say to his father, when exhorting him not to expose himself unnecessarily:--"Do not give yourself any uneasiness about me. I shall not risk any unnecessary exposures, and on the other hand, I shall always endeavor to be just where my duty calls me.”
It was in the performance of this duty, leading his company as an advance guard that he lost his life by a volley from a party of the enemy in ambush, a few miles from Fort Smith, Arkansas.
The account of this, I will give in the language of an eye-witness, the Surgeon of the Regiment, Doct. J. P. Root, formerly Lieut. Gov. of the State of Kansas, and one of the original Wabaunsee Colony, addressed by him in a letter to Capt. Lines’ bereaved wife. He says:
"Long ere this reaches you, you will have learned of the death of your dear husband, whose remains we have this day buried in the U. S. Cemetery, at Fort Smith; the members of the Kansas Cavalry, standing tearful mourners around his grave, as with military honors we bade adieu to the body, that so recently contained the spirit of the brave,noble, high-minded, gallant and lovely officer, who by heroic deeds in his
country's service, as well as private acts in social life, had endeared himself to all who knew him.
In our recent campaign of several weeks of almost constant forced marches by night and day, Col. Cloud had selected your husband's company as his special body-guard for his brigade command--a deserved compliment to the bravery and integrity of Capt. Lines and his gallant company.
During most of our recent marches, extending a distance of nearly five hundred miles, through Southwestern Missouri, Northwestern and Western Arkansas, both above and below the Arkansas River, through the Cherokee Indian Nation, to Fort Gibson, through the Creek and Choctaw Nation, well on to Texas, constantly chasing rebels of every grade, from the bushwhacking assassin bandit, to the rebel who dared to stand behind his cannon, and contend for his ground, until put to flight by our surer aim and sterner purpose, Capt. Lines was most of the time in our advance.
We had chased Gen. Steele and Cooper nearly to Texas without getting a general engagement with the enemy, and had turned back towards Fort Smith, where we expected a battle with Gen. Caball. In this, however, we were disappointed; for the cowardly traitor left our front during the night; and the next day, Gen. Blunt ordered Col. Cloud, with a portion of his Cavalry and Artillery to pursue. This order was promptly obeyed. When about twenty miles south of this place (Fort Smith) we overtook the enemy and engaged him, strongly posted among the mountains, immediately upon what is called the Back-bone--a high ridge of rocky and timbered
land. The battle was opened by a volley of musketry, nearly in our faces, from a company in ambush. Capt. Lines’ company was in the advance and received the first shock, at which your husband received a fatal wound from a rifle ball.
Capt. Lines fell while gallantly leading his men at the head of our column. I was riding with Col. Cloud, close behind, and immediately went to the Captain's assistance. But all could do was to alleviate. With a smile he said to me: “Doctor, I am mortally wounded. I have felt all the time I should not survive this Campaign. I do not fear death. How sad my wife, my father and friends will feel! This is all that troubles me.” He cheered his wounded comrades who were groaning around him; but not a groan or murmur escaped his lips. He desired me to tell you and his father and his friends, how he died. Never did bravery show itself more than when with heroic fortitude he bore his most excruciating pains with out a sigh of sadness, while the groans of the wounded were on all sides, and the shot and shell of the enemy were falling thick around us. * * * He lived between three and four hours, long enough to be cheered by the knowledge that the enemy had been routed completely, and had hurried from the field leaving their dead and dying in our hands.
What can I say to cheer your widowed heart? When danger threatened Kansas in its history, your husband gave himself to her defense. Never can I forget those scenes in which I knew him so well. When the present rebellion broke out, he sprang forward to rescue his country, and foremost on many a hard fought field has he testified his gallant
patriotism and undying devotion to the cause of freedom. A shower of leaden hail has been falling around him since, as Adjutant of the 2d Regiment of Kansas Volunteers, in the Wilson's Creek battle, he fought close beside the lamented Lyon, up to the hour when he lost his life at the battle of the Back-bone.
I knew him well and dearly did I love the brave, good young man. All loved him. He has left a host of friends, both in a military and civil life, who will ever cherish the memory of Capt. E. C. D. Lines."
A few additional particulars are given in a letter from J. W. Robinson, also a Surgeon of the 2d Kansas Regiment. He says: "Mr. Lines was aware he should live but a few hours, and said that he died where he preferred to die--at the head of his Company. He had always tried (he said) to do his duty to his country, and he only regretted that he had not been able to do more." He died, Dr. Robinson adds, firmly believing in his better estate in the world to come.
Of the great respect and affection with which he was regarded there is abounding testimony. Dr. Robinson says, “No man was ever more beloved by his company than he was; and no man more properly deserved it." He adds, that they were "almost frantic with grief" at his death.
The Manhattan Independent published near his home, says, "We honored him for his self-sacrificing patriotism. He saw the liberties of his country imperilled, and he only thought of how he could devote a brave heart and an earnest life to her cause. He was the first man in his county to enlist. * * *
While Kansas has a history, his name will be mentioned as one of her most honored sons; one of the martyrs to the of liberty, whose fame, though pure and spotless now, will shine with increased lustre as the ages roll on."
The Union, published at Fort Smith, Arkansas, where his body was buried, says of him, "Never, since our connection with the army, has the fate of a man created a wider and more heartfelt sorrow; never was the sacrifice of one's life for his country made more bravely and seemingly more cheerfully."
The spirit which actuated him in entering and continuing in his country's service, is well expressed in his own language, in a letter to his wife, then in this part of the country. It was written after his first period of service, subsequent to the battle of Wilson's Creek, and just upon his enlisting again for three years or during the war--a dark hour in our country's history. He says, "I have sometimes thought that I would retire from my country's service to my home and family. But I know it would be wrong, and that you would love me less for deserting my country in this dark and trying hour. Lives must be given up, riches and all man possesses must be cast aside, and our country's flag kept waving. I thank God every day of my life, that my arm is kept strong to battle against our country's enemies. And it is a wonder to me, that so many of our country's young men should persist in remaining inactive and allow for one moment a doubt as it regards our success.
And then in his last letter, written just before the battle in which he lost his life, and evidently tinged with the feeling
which he expressed to Dr. Root, when he said, "I have felt all the time that I should not survive this campaign,” he remarks, "we are expecting a battle, and I write this knowing it is possible that this may be my last letter to you. But I hope that God will spare my life for your sake. If I should be killed, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that I died with my face to the enemies of our country, and in its defence. May God watch over you, and bless you!; If I die, think that it is God's will. And do not give up, but live as happy as you can, and teach our sweet child to love the memory of its father."
His motive in all his military career was not personal ambition, but pure and earnest patriotism, and a sense of duty to God and the cause of righteousness and humanity.
And now, in conclusion, need a word be said to commend his example to especially to the young men, many of whom have known him--his example of patriotism, of purity, of courage, of self-sacrificing devotion to the right, and especially of faith in Christ and fidelity in his service.
We mourn that his life was so short. But it was not short, if we measure it by deeds and services instead of years. And' his example will inspire many to be like him, and to fill more than one place like his. Then we know that he died in the Lord's time, and we have been taught by friend's exhortation, as well as by the principles of piety, to say, “Thy will be done." And assured of his interest in Him who is the resurrection and the life, we may well rejoice in our loss as his infinite gain.
With such thoughts we adopt the words of the sacred poet, in our last address to him whose body we are now to consign to the grave:
In full activity of zeal and power;
Thou art not called away before thy time;--
The Lord's appointed is the servant's hour
Go to the grave; at noon from labor cease;
Rest on thy sheaves, thy harvest-task is done;
Come from the heat of battle, and in peace,
Soldier, go home; with thee the fight is won.
Go to the grave; for there thy Savior lay
In death's embrace, ere He rose on high;
And all the ransomed, by that narrow way,
Pass to eternal life beyond the sky.
Go to the grave:--no; take thy seat above;
Be thy pure spirit present with the Lord,
Where thou for faith and hope hast perfect love,
And open vision for the written word."