Obituaries

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1862

Obituary, Delhi, New York? Undated Clipping

Died of a gun shot wound, received at the battle of Gaines' Mill, near Richmond, on the 27th June last, Captain Rensselaer W. Foote, of the 6th regiment U. S. Army.
Captain Foote was a native of this village, and was born on the 12th November, 1815. He was son of the late Hon. Charles A. Foote, and grandson of the late Judge Ebenezer Foote. His grandfather was a distinguished officer of the Revolution, serving through the greater part of the war, being a portion of the time, one of the military family of the Commander-in-Chief, Gen. Washington.

His father was for many years a prominent member of the bar of this County, and also represented the Congressional District, comprising the counties of Delaware and Greene, in the National Legislature.

The subject of this notice was bred a printer, but feeling an ardent desire for military life, through the assistance of friends, he procured the appointment of 2d Lieutenant in the Regular Army of the U. S., in November of 1833 [1838? -dff]. He immediately joined the regiment to which he was assigned and remained in service from that time until the close of his brilliant career, as above mentioned. During this period, but few officers performed more arduous duties, or discharged them more faithfully, than did Capt. Foote.

He was an active participant in the Florida War, having been in most of the battles then fought, much of the time acting as captain, though he was in fact but a Lieutenant.

He always led his men in battle; by his steady courage inspiring his men in the fight. His conspicuous bearing and bravery were such as to draw the particular attention of his savage foe, and several attempts on their part to take his life having failed, they, in their superstition, at last regarded him as leading a charmed life and he became the most dreaded of our officers. At the close of the war, but five of his brother officers of the regiment survived with him.

That campaign being ended, and Capt. Foote's reputation for dealing with the Indians having become fully established, the Government transferred him tot he frontier posts in the then far Northwest, where he remained for many years. While there, he received his commission as Captain. During a portion of the time, he was 150 miles above St. Paul. In the discharge of his duties, he traversed the mighty Mississippi from its source to its mouth. A few years since, his regiment was ordered to cross the plains to California. He accompanied it in its long and tedious march to that state. After remaining there a short period, he was transferred to the territory of Arizona. While in that territory, his health failed him, and he was obliged to return to the East to recruit his shattered constitution. When the rebellion now existing broke out, his strength was not restored, yet such was his love for the old flag of his country, and so strong was his desire to join in the suppression of that rebellion, that (although entirely unfit for duty) he could hardly be restrained from joining his regiment. After a few months, (to him those of restraint) he again urged the proper authorities to be allowed to resume the command of his company. His desire to do so being so strong, his friends joined in the request, and he was once more ordered to active duty. In his last battle he was acting as the Lieutenant Colonel of his regiment. He went with it gallantly into the fight at Gaines' Mill,, where his great courage and skill were conspicuous as of old. In the early part of the action, he received a severe wound in his hand, but refusing to leave the field, he remained in the faithful discharge of his duties until the fatal shot, which at once deprived him of life.
He met death where every brave and true officer should desire to meet it—in the face of the foe, and in defense of his Government.
In private life he was kind and courteous, uniting the qualities of gentleman and soldier, and by his brilliant career has added to the fame of his already distinguished name.
His memory is held in grateful remembrance by all true lovers of that country which he so long and so faithfully served, and for which he so gallantly died. Com.