March 27: Seth Williams (1866)

Bvt. Major-General Seth Williams packed a lot into his short 44-year life. After graduation from West Point in 1842, he served with distinction in the Mexican and Civil Wars. In 1850, he was assigned as adjutant (assistant to a commanding officer) at West Point. For a time, Williams served under Superintendent Robert E. Lee. During the Civil War Williams was assigned to Washington, D.C. as Assistant Adjutant-General. While in the nation’s capital, he was confirmed at Epiphany and served on the vestry. In April 1865, Williams was on the staff of Ulysses S. Grant and in that role was one of the few officers to accompany the general to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. When Lee entered the room, his first words were of greeting to Seth Williams, his friend from their time at West Point 15 years earlier.

In Cullum’s Register, Williams is remembered like this. “General Williams was simple in manner, constant in friendship, honest in his convictions, and tolerant of adverse opinion. His personal magnetism, inextinguishable cheerfulness, genial nature, and gentleness endeared him to all who came within the sunshine of his presence. He never forgot the little amenities of life; his politeness was proverbial, his patience was inexhaustible, and it was his highest gratification to devote himself to the pleasures of others. Hence it was that his unselfishness, modest, sincere sympathy, and steadfast affection made him the loved companion of young and old of both sexes. Yet, with all this light-hearted nature and avoidance of the asperities of life, he was a manly man, a firm patriot, and a brave soldier, who never neglected his fealty to a friend nor a duty to his country.”

< Previous     Next >

No comments yet

Add comment