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The text that follows is reproduced from (the report of the) Thirty-Ninth Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 12th, 1908.

p113 Charles Bryant Stivers
No. 1736. Class of 1856.
Died, December 30, 1904, at New York City, aged 80.

Captain Charles B. Stivers was born in Jefferson County, Kentucky, May 27, 1834. He was the eldest son of a farmer of culture, who early inculcated in the minds of his six boys lofty ideals of honor, clean living and patriotism.

His paternal ancestors came from Holland before the Revolutionary War and settled in Pennsylvania. After the War of Independence one branch of the family immigrated to Kentucky and settled near Louisville. Here upon his birthplace, an extensive fruit farm, Charles B. Stivers passed his boyhood. He received his early education in a school house on his father's farm, and at a private academy in Louisville.

At a political "barbecue" near his home, in the summer of 1851, he attracted the attention of the Hon. Humphrey Marshall, the speaker of the day, a candidate for congress. After a long conversation with the shy country boy, Humphrey Marshall p114knew all his desires for a military training, and promised him an appointment to West Point should his congressional race be won. True to his promise, the appointment came the following winter, and Charles B. Stivers became a cadet at West Point, July 1, 1852. He graduated in 1856 with General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Fitzhugh Lee, General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Barriger and General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Sullivan as classmates and intimate friends. He was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Seventh Infantry, U. S. A., and joined his regiment at Fort Belknap, Texas, where General (then Major) Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Gabriel R. Paul was commanding officer. The following year he married Gertrude Emelie Paul, the daughter of General Paul.

At the outbreak of the Indian troubles the young husband was ordered into field duty in the famous Utah expedition of 1858‑60. The troops went from Fort Belknap to Shreveport, Louisiana, on the Red river, a long and toilsome journey, in wagons. Here, in a tent, a son was born, who is now Major Charles Paul Stivers of the Subsistence Department.

After some weeks' delay, waiting for transportation, the journey was resumed down the river by boat to New Orleans; thence to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, where the regiment was concentrated.

Some vivid experiences of their early life are described by Mrs. Stivers, the soldier's daughter, and the soldier's wife, in the following extract from a letter:

"After the Mormon trouble was over my father, General Paul, returned to the states for his family, myself and little son. The party, with an escort of soldiers as a protection against the Indians, then crossed the Great Plains, a distance of twelve hundred miles, with ambulance and wagons, to Camp Floyd, Utah, where the regiment was stationed. Our next long march was to Fort Buchanan, New Mexico, sixteen hundred miles. After service here I accompanied my husband, with only a small detachment, through the country of the hostile Apaches, to Fort McLean, New Mexico, a march p115of several days, in constant expectation of attack by the Indians. On this route our troops had captured and hanged several Apaches, the bodies being still suspended from the limb of a tree near where they had murdered some immigrants."

In the Mormon expedition Lieutenant Stivers was appointed Regimental Quartermaster, and in the following year received his promotion to the rank of Captain.

At the outbreak of the Civil War Captain Stivers, then at Fort Fillmore, New Mexico, having in his possession, as Quartermaster, about sixteen thousand dollars of government funds, was, with his wife and other officers and their families, taken prisoner. Mrs. Stivers cleverly gained possession of the money before the formal examination of the officers, held it in her keeping and carried it safely back to our lines after they had been held as prisoners some time and paroled. Then came another long march through New Mexico and across the plains, back to the states, passing through the valley of the Rio Grande, which then seemed a solid mass of buffalo as far as the eye could reach.

Captain Stivers' army record during the War of the Rebellion was an honorable one, though not an eventful one. He was on garrison duty in Missouri, and later with the Army of the Potomac, taking part in the battle of Fredericksburg. It was here that he received an injury to his ears, the heavy cannonading causing deafness, and his hearing never fully recovered its strength.

At Rouse's Point, New York, he was put in command of a battalion, and was later engaged in the battle of Snicker's Gap, on the Rappahannock.

From this place he went home on sick leave for several months, and later was placed on duty at Fort Union, New Mexico. In 1864 he had charge of the military prisoners at Columbus, Ohio, attending to the discharges, etc. He was retired from active service December 30, 1864, for disability in the line of duty.

p116 He commanded the company that served as guard to President Lincoln's body, as it lay in state in the capitol at Columbus, Ohio, April, 1865.

Captain Stivers went to Dayton, Ohio, in the fall of 1865, accepting the position of Professor of Mathematics and Commandant of Cadets, in the Western Military Academy there. After four years of successful work there he became assistant principal of the Central High School. He was made principal of the school in 1872, and served in that capacity in the old Central and new Steele High Schools until June, 1895, when he voluntarily retired to spend his last years in quiet rest, saying in his farewell speech:

Advancing years admonish me that I ought to cease from labor. Duty to my family and to myself demands my retirement. I have served my country on the western plains, in the tented field and in the Dayton High School. I feel now that I am entitled to rest, and to have at last no noise, no care, no vanity, no strife."

On his retirement he was presented with a magnificent silver service by the High School Alumni Association, and a professional associate of many years said of him:

"There has not been in the history of Dayton another teacher who has come into personal relations with so many students, who has been so universally loved and admired, who has been the living example for all that means honesty and fairness and the gentlemanly element in character, who has stood for accuracy in work, faithfulness to duty and helpfulness toward those who deserved help. I know there are thousands of Dayton's citizens, Dayton's best citizens, in fact, (for they are largely the product of his influence,) who will rise up and call the Captain blessed."

Not for long was Captain Stivers allowed repose. In the fall of 1897 he was elected a member of the Board of Education, and in that capacity he served the schools of Dayton for two years more, as a strong factor in the management of affairs, always a friend to scholar and teacher. Then came the final subsidence from active life into the quiet privacy of home p117and advancing age. His later years were saddened by the death of his wife, March 18, 1901. His family physician and life-long friend later said of the Captain's home life:

"Let me testify to his beautiful domestic life, and bear witness to his merits as a husband and teacher. As head of a household, Captain Stivers reached, to my mind, the summit of ideals. As a husband he was ever and always gentle, tender and devoted. His wife had reverence and love shown in all the little details of family life. To his children he was a watchful, loving father, solicitous to promote their welfare in the best and in every possible way."

Cheerful and genial, with the sorrow of his loss hidden in his heart, he passed the remaining years in the quiet of his suburban home, under the loving care of his daughter. Failing strength came gradually, and after seventeen weeks' confinement to his bed, weeks filled with his unfailing sweetness and gentle solicitude for others, he closed his mortal career at two o'clock in the morning of June 10th, 1907. His passing was in keeping with his life, unaccompanied by any flourish of trumpets, known only to his more intimate friends. He had fought the good fight, he had run the good race; he was ready to meet whatever rewards or whatever duties faced him in another world.

"Never has there lived in Dayton a single man who accomplished more than this man, who quietly sought to, and did inculcate in the minds of the youth of the place higher ideals of life. We shall proclaim in our hearts, which means to all the world, that he who slumbers now lived not in vain. We shall point to the manhood and womanhood of this city, and declare that thus shaped he the lives of those who came and contact with him. Kentucky birth and West Point training combined to make their teacher that best product of any land or clime — a gentleman."

A former pupil wrote the following tribute:

"When sleep hath sealed the eyelids fast;

When some dear friend hath from us fled;

What standeth with us by the dead,

And saith: 'Why held ye to the last

The meed of worth, the gift well won?'

— It is the ghost of things undone!

p118 Today we gaze upon this face,

Serene beneath the veil of death;

And sigh regret, with every breath,

That we had found nor time, nor place

To tell him of the love he'd won;

— We pay the ghost of things undone!

Our chorus, thousand-lipped, accords

Belated praise beside this bier;

Alas! our Captain does not hear;

Deaf to our all too tardy words,

He knows the higher conflict won,

The voice eternal says, 'Well done!' "

Colonel Stivers left four children: Major Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Charles P. Stivers, of the Subsistence Department, U. S. A.; Mr. William N. Stivers, Pittsburg, Pa.; Mrs. Frederic Harrington, Plainfield, N. J.; Miss Grace H. Stivers of the Steele High School faculty.


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