Funeral of Lieutenant-Commander A. Boyd Cummings, United States Navy.

Philadelphia Inquirer, 1 April 1863

From the New Orleans Era, March 19.


"....There I set him down my friends,
Full in my sight, that I may view at leisure
The bloody corpse, and count those glorious wounds!
How beautiful is death, when carried by virtue!
Who would not be that youth?"

The funeral of this noble young officer, who fell so gallantly at his post on board the Richmond, in the recent brilliant affair opposite Port Hudson, was a very imposing and solemn pageant. The procession was formed before ten o'clock, and proceeded to Christ's Church in the following order: Escort of marines from the Pensacola, marching with arms reversed, followed by the hearse in which the body, encased in a metallic coffin, and wrapped in the American flag, was borne, accompanied by six pall bearers, three from the army, of the rank of major, and three from the Navy, of equal frank with the deceased. The hearse was followed by a detachment of sailors from the Pensacola, and then came three companies of infantry, under the command of Capt. Wilcox. Twenty-sixth Massachusetts Volunteers; following these was a long line of officers of the Army and Navy, marching by twos, according to rank, and the rear of which was brought up by the venerable Commodore Morris of the Pensacola

and the gallant Captain Smith, of the Mississippi, fresh from his glorious achievement. The procession was closed by a long line of carriages, in which were a great number of ladies, accompanied by officers and other gentlemen.

On reaching the church the marines were drawn up in line fronting it, and when the coffin was taken from the hearse to be borne into the house of God, the escort presented arms. The procession entered the building, which was already quite filled with ladies, and here the solemn and impressive service for the dead was read by the Rev. Dr. Bacon and the anthems chanted by the choir, accompanied by the deep tones of the organ, combined to make the ceremony sadly interesting.

Owing to the fact that the body was to be immediately conveyed on board the Fair Haven, to be taken to the North, the entire service, a portion of which it is usual to give at the grave, was performed in the Church.

The beautiful service for the dead, according to to the Episcopal rite, concluded, the procession again formed and marched down the aisles into the street, keeping time and the hearts of all beating in unison with the deep tones of the solemn organ.

The sad cort├Ęge then passed down Canal street to St. Charles, up St. Charles to Julia, down Julia to Tchoupitoulas, up Tchoupitoulas to Erato and down Erato to the river, where the remains of the youthful hero were placed on board the propeller Fair Haven, one of the Navy transports, to be carried home to his widowed wife and bereaved mothers, who, like the Spartan mothers of olden times, it is to be hoped, will welcome the bloody corpse of a son born upon his warlike shield, and thank God that he was permitted to die so glorious a death in the service of his country.

The sidewalks of the streets through which the procession passed were lined with people of all classes and all opinions, and the greatest decorum and good order were observed by all. The shipping in port, during the day, displayed their flags at half-mast. A shade of sorrow for the early death of one so promising in the profession of arms seemed to pervade the entire population and thousands expressed sincere sentiments of grief.

When the escort arrived at the steamship landing, foot of Thalia street, the marines were again formed into line, the bier on which the coffin was borne was placed in front of them and at the word of command the usual honors of three volleys were paid to the noble dead.