Wilbur F. Watson, eldest son of Thos. J. Watson, died at Pittsylvania Court House on the evening of the 8th of June, 1863, after a few hours of unconscious suffering, aged 23 years, 8 months and 14 days.
He was riding a horse he thought of buying for the use of a younger brother who is in the cavalry service, which proving somewhat restive, reared with him, when the saddle slipped back and causing a tightening of the rein, the horse fell backward with and upon him. Consciousness never returned, and although able physicians resorted to trepaning, no relief could be given.
He was graduated at Trinity College, N. C., in June 1859, at the head of his class, delivering the valedictory address at the commencement of the exercises. Selecting the law as a profession, he was diligently prosecuting his studies when the struggle for our independence began. Although frail in form and feeble in constitution he entered at once into the service, and in the arduous and trying campaign in North West Virginia, under the lamented General Garnett, did his duty manfully and well. The writer of this notice bears willing and cheerful testimony to the fortitude, high sense of honor, and noble intrepidity exhibited by him on a sleepless retreat exposed to hunger, fatigue, and cold. He was always ready as courier or scout for duty. His stay in the army was short, the surgeons pronounced him unfit for service, yet again he sought the tented field, only to find the physical strength to follow his patriotic aspirations was denied.
He has gone suddenly, and though he died not the death of a soldier, none who knew him can say that it was not the spirit of a true soldier that passed away. — S. M. S.
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