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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Louisiana: Avoyelles County

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Hon. A. M. Gray's son Rufflin Gray
Posted by: Ellen Dauzat (ID *****2642) Date: February 06, 2003 at 09:07:13
  of 408

Dec. 14, 1861 p. 1


This noble young soldier was the second son of our fellow citizen, the Hon. A. M. Gray. He was born in the parish of Point Coupee, on Sunday the 21st day of August A. D. 1842. Subsequently ? ? moved to this parish where he now resides. Ruffin was sent to the Marksville High School soon after it was established and remained there arduously pursuing his his studies under the supervision of Prof. A. Lafargue. Whilst he remained in this institution, he was known and respected as one of the most exemplary boys that ever cheered the ? of a parent. His teachers admired him for his docility and gentleness, whilst his comrades loved him for his proverbial amability and gentlemanly deportment. He was possessed of a fine, mind and, had he been permitted to reach maturer years would have shown himself capable of great usefulness in the civil walks of life, as he proved patriotic in the army of the Confederacy.
During the year of 1860 he became a cadet I the Military Academy at Alexandria, and while there displayed the same qualities of the head and heart, as had distinguished him at the Marksville High School. At the end of the year he returned home having acquired a considerable knowledge of military tactics.
In the ? of a few months war broke out between the remnant of the United States and the Southern Confederacy. Ruffin had completed his eighteenth year and felt his services. When Capt. L. A. Stafford, of Rapides was making up his company, Rufflin bade when he could set out for the seat of war. This last night this noble boy spent at home he sat up until very late assisting his sister in making a small flag for his individual use. On its little folds she inscribed these words: “Come on home.” On his way t enlist, he was successful in getting two recruits to join him. He went on immediately to Virginia ? he remained in active services until smitten by the ruthless had of disease and death.
The following is Capt. Stafford’s letter to his father.
Manassas, Va. Nov. 28th 1861.
Dear Sir—It is my painful duty to inform you of the death of your noble son Ruffin. He died yesterday morning about 10 o’clock very suddenly. He had been complaining for some time of a little fever but was most all the time knocking about the camps and taking a little medicine. The day before he died, he reported himself for duty and superintended the hauling of wood for our camp. He was perhaps imprudent that day and night and ate too much. Hew was taken ill in the nigh again, and next morning was standing by the fire getting one of his mess-mates to make him some tea; complaining of being chilly, and said he had had a chill in the night when he was taken suddenly ill---was immediately taken to his tent and died in ten minutes. When I returned from a Court Martial I found my noble boy a corpse. I was too much shocked to describe my feelings. He was a true specimen of the chivalrie and brave youths of the South. I would to God! I had consolation to offer you and your family. I can only say he died in a noble cause on the tented field ready and anxious to fight for his country. Noble boy! If he had any faults I never discovered them. All the company loved and respected him. He was buried this morning with the honors of war, on a beautiful high hill where I buried two others of my company. They have been taken home since. His name is roughly cut on a rock which is at his head. He lies buried about three and half miles from Manassas at a M. John Wells. I must conclude by offering you my heart-felt sympathy at your irreparable loss.
Your sincere friend.
L. A. Stafford.

P. S. We are expecting a fight everyday and should get in an engagement rest assured my dear friend. I will revenge your boy’s death to some extent.
L. A. S.
This tribute in respect throughout is well worthy of the generous heart of Capt. Stafford, and it is one which never would have been bestowed had it not been merited by the young soldier. Other letters were received announcing his unexpected and untimely death, and all breathe the same spirit as to his noble qualities. Among them is one from Lient. Frank A. Kittel who was in no way connected with the Company of Stafford Guards, and one, fromone of his fellow soldiers of that company Desolive Couvillion.
It should be consoling to the wounded feelings of his surviving parents and friends to know that he had performed all of his duties well to the last, and that he went to a soldier’s grave wept and honored. Fond memories will linger about the name of Ruffin Gray and when the story of the present war shall be told, such devotion and such names as his will endear our freedom to us, and make us proud of the land and clime where such heroes are born. All honor to the name and memory of th brave and chivalrous Ruffin Gray!
E. N. C.


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