A Good Man Gone.
The Courant American Newspaper
December 16, 1897 Page 1:
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A Good Man Gone.
Mr. John C. Roberts Passes Away on Last Sunday Night.
The death of Mr. John C. Roberts which occurred last Sunday night at 12 o’clock was a shock to the community, as many were not aware that he had been sick. He was taken rather suddenly with a chill on last Friday morning, and became at once unconscious and never regained consciousness, pneumonia had developed of a stubborn type and his physician was unable to stay its progress.
Mr. Roberts was reared in east Tennessee, but resided here, where he married Miss Mays, years ago. He moved to Chicago, where he lived many years, but last year returned to Cartersville, with an expression and an air attending his coming which seemed to proclaim “I am glad to be in Dixie again.” He was genial, gentlemanly and upright and had many friends in the community. He was a brave confederate soldier, having served with much credit in Virginia as a lieutenant of company “F,” 3d Tennessee regiment. He was a brother of Messrs. Wesley Roberts, and Tom Roberts, Misses Laura and Hanna Roberts, and Mrs. W. E. Foute, of Atlanta. He leaves a wife and six children who are: Mrs. Broodwolf, of Chicago; Mrs. Charles Hoxworth, of Chicago; Misses Bessie and Jennie Roberts, Mr. Thomas Roberts and Master Lennie Roberts.
His remains were interred at Oak Hill yesterday at 10 o’clock.
December 30, 1897 Page 4
John Chester Roberts.
Born March 30th 1842, Died Dec. 12th, 1897, --In Loving Memory
Just as the Sabbath day was ending there entered upon an eternal Sabbath one who had committed no fault against this world at least, save that he had been, by nature a pilgrim and a stranger in it.
The stormy journey began fifty-five years ago in the dear old home in the valley of east Tennessee was ended, and through the shadows of the midnight he looked, with eyes blinded forever to the sights of this world into the tender divine eyes of her upon whose breast he drew his first breath and in whose arms was cradled his baby head.
When last he looked upon that dear face he was a young, strong, vigorous man going forth with his bright, young wife and little children, into a new country leaving his beloved south desolate by war to find as he hoped and believed prosperity and plenty in a strange land.
And now after many months of disease and suffering he has gone to see her again. And I believe that as heaven’s gates swung open to admit that ransomed soul that the very angels stood with silenced harps and motionless wings, while through all paradise there rang the lay: “My son! My son! Home at last.” And from the life which at her knees had lisped their first prayer, the glad answer came: “Mother, my own mother, what a reunion!” For shall not we believe that He, who nearly two thousand years ago pillowed his divine head upon the breast of that Jewish woman, who has become the type of motherhood for all ages, knows and remembers how an earthly son may love his mother and smile upon their meeting.
When we were little children we used to love to hear our mother tell of that gallant, young soldier whom she loved so well, but who was only a name to us. We knew him only as the gay, frolicsome boy, the light of his home, having always that simple, child-like nature, which he carried through the battles of manhood, unshaken and unstained or as the intrepid soldier, fighting bravely and so well for the country he loved with a love as pure and as strong as ever animated a patriot soul.
How breathlessly we hung upon her words as she told us of the night at the old school house when the terrible bushwhackers fell upon him, unarmed and how she tried to shield him, and ward off the blows, and at last when he fell, told them he was dead in order that they might go away and leave him. “He would always say thus I saved his life,” and then her eyes would grow dim and her lip would quiver, as her thoughts went back to the halcyon days of childhood, before the war, when they clasped their little hands in love and roamed the daisied fields together.
O mighty bond of human love, stronger than death or separation or sorrow, sweetening the joys of life, lessening the sorrows and taking away the sting of death itself, and this he had in abundance though many things were denied him and how the loyal heart gave back this love in full abundance. How faithfully he held to the love that came to him in the springtime of his life. She was always his stay with her fervent affections. How fondly he returned the love of his sisters and brothers; how unselfishly he loved the children that God had given him. How devotedly he loved the land of his birth. Through all the years of his exile memory never grew less dear and his constant desire was, let me go back to the south to my own people. Let me breathe again her balmy air and see once more a summer moon ride through the purple of a southern sky. I want to die in the south, to rest in the soil, to rise in the resurrection morn by the side of my mother. And when at last he came back to live among his people the fight was almost finished; the race was almost run. The edict had gone forth, my child is weary, lead him home and gently, tenderly the infinite love lead into the green valley and by the still waters. Gone home! Wife, daughters, sons look up from earth, his immortal soul has left its worn out house of clay. Freed from all life’s perplexities; safe from all life’s sorrows, would you bring back? No, but learn well the lesson of his gentle life, bear patiently as he bore the heat and burden of the day. And in a little while you shall see him again, not as he was, but radiant, glorified a celestial spirit in his father’s house and have joy with the redeemed. Joy ear hath not heard nor hath heart dreamed it, forever more. He has not gone away from you, he is with you still, watching over and guarding you. Seeing your deepest thoughts, loving you as ever.
So though, at last, at last!
Between you, these have passed
The tender, bending grasses,
Where the daisy shades are cast.
This love will never let you go
That held you once so fast.
Out from the heaven of grace
Shall smile his angel face
Upon the breaking hearts that only know
An empty place,
Oh! weary feet that trod,
So long the hard dry sod,
Oh father! father! Be thou crowned!
Within the sight of God.
---Laura Chester Foute.
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