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Bill Thayer

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The following text is reproduced from (the report of the) Twentieth Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 12th, 1889.

 p100  Albert Sydney Bailey
No. 2732. Class of 1878.
Died, April 1, 1889, at Texas, aged 33.

Albert Sydney Bailey was born in Red River County, Texas, in the month of April, 1856, and died in the County of his birth on April 1, 1889, at the early age of thirty-three.

 p101  He entered the Military Academy in June, 1874, and was graduated in June, 1878, and was promoted Second Lieutenant, Ninth U. S. Cavalry. He was transferred to the Sixth Cavalry. He remained in active service until November, 1882, when he resigned and returned to his native County to engage in the peaceful occupation of farming.

His military career, though short, gave promise of great usefulness and distinction from the day he entered the Military Academy. He was universally loved and respected by his classmates for his high character, his true manliness and his gentle disposition.

He was trusted by his superior officers, and in his official intercourse with his inferiors, he was kind, just and thoughtful. He was very popular in his class from its first formation to its end. He was elected hop manager each year, and was on all of the class committees. His influence was good, and his judgment was sound and just, and in his death we feel that the service has lost a noble man and a good soldier, and we, his mourning classmates, have lost a warm friend and loving comrade.

Although in civil life at the time of his death, he was not lost to us, as he would have been the first to offer his services again to his country in her hour of need. That he was rapidly rising to distinction and in the estimation of his fellow-citizens in his civil career is shown by the following extracts:

The Clarksville, Texas, Times, in an editorial, says:

"No one could become acquainted with Mr. Bailey without loving him. He was as gentle and kind as a woman and as heroic as a lion. Few men possessed to such a degree these remarkable characteristics. The writer knew him while a boy in school at Clarksville, and was impressed with his gentle character, his devotion to duty and with all his manly upright course. He knew him while a cadet at West Point, and noticed the same unassuming, genial disposition. He knew him as a soldier, and since as a student of law, and then as a farmer, and last when he entered the arena of politics. The same quiet, unassuming gentility which attended him in all the spheres of his short career was uppermost always. His  p102 mind was of the best, and it was well trained and well stored with useful information. He knew how to study a question, and as well how to present it to an audience without embarrassment or excitement. He had just entered upon a field of usefulness, and the loss his people sustain, aside from the general sorrow his death has occasioned cannot be estimated. The loss is irreparable.

Upon the receipt of the news of his death the Legislature out of respect for the distinguished deceased member adjourned for the day and draped the house in mourning, many members telegraphing to the bereaved family words of sympathy and condolence."

The following extracts from the House Journal of the House of Representatives of the Legislature of Texas, of which he was a member, show that he had already gained a high place in the estimation of his State Legislators, and had his life been spared he would have attained honor and distinction in the civil service of his country and his name would have been added to the list of distinguished graduates of our beloved Alma Mater:

Whereas, We desire in a public manner to do honor to the memory of our deceased brother, and leave upon the pages of the records of this body a testimonial of our deep regret at this sad loss, our heartfelt sorrow and sincere sympathy with his bereaved friends and relatives, and our exalted appreciation of his noble services and manly deportment; therefore, be it

Resolved, That in the death of the distinguished gentleman, whose name appears above, the people of Texas have lost the services of one of her most patriotic citizens, and the Twenty-first Legislature a worthy and efficient member. None can gainsay but that he was careful, painstaking, conscientious even to a fault. Even in the very glance of his eye, unerring index to the soul of man, that had he been spared to life of such usefulness, that soon his name would have been on his country's roll of honor as one of her brightest objects of respect and renown, and those who had only learned to regard and respect him would have been among his most devoted adherents, for those who knew him best, loved him most. Quiet, reserved in manners, urbane in spirit, noble in action, generous to a fault, we found in him the embryo of all that to greatness portend.

 p103  He left a wife and two daughters to mourn his untimely death. He was buried with Masonic honors, and every business house in the city was closed out of respect to the honored dead.

Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.J. S. P.

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