March 1, 1867
Died, at the residence of Abram Nordyke, Esq., near Hansonville, Russell county, Va., on Friday morning, December 28th, 1866, Mr. JOHN W. GILMER, (son of Charles H. Gilmer,) aged 29 years, 4 months and 24 days.
In perfect health, in the flush of manhood, buoyant with hope, he was suddenly called to grapple with the "King of Terrors." On the morning of the 26th of December, the deceased, with a party of companions, with hounds and gun, went out with bright anticipations of enjoyment, to engage in the exciting sport of fox hunting; but ere noon came, in an unfortunate moment, he was mortally wounded by an accidental discharge of his gun; the contents entering the head, near the temple, and passing out near the top of his head. He lingered in much pain, (having undergone a very severe surgical operation) until about 1 o'clock on the morning of the 28th; when calmly, without a groan or struggle, he gently passed away, having borne his sufferings with a patient resignation, to the will of the Great Dispenser of Events.
In boyhood, John was the beloved of his parents, and won the esteem of those who knew him; for at an early age he gave evidence of the possession of the many beautiful and excellent traits of character that distinguished his manhood. With a character pure and spotless, and in which benevolence and kindness of heart were prominent, he was devotedly beloved by an affectionate wife and doting parents, and much respected and esteemed by the community in which he lived. By the community, his loss will be deeply felt; but none but God can tell the agony of heart of the devoted wife, or what she and her two helpless bages have lost.
May God "temper the wind to the shorn lambs." But not only did he discharge well his duties as a son, a husband and a parent, but as a patriot, he fought the battles of his country against a ruthless and vandal foe, and for three years, he faithfully served in Capt. Jeffrey's Company of Artillery, ceasing to do his duty as a soldier, only, when there was no longer need for his services. When the war was over he came home to enjoy the society of his beloved wife and child, and then with that energy of character, which ever characterized him, he set about repairing the losses he had sustained; and it seemed that just as he was getting so as to enjoy the delights and comforts of home, the monster, as envious of his happiness, tore him away from those who loved him, and those he loved.
But though we mourn, "we sorrow not as those who have no hope;" for, although temporal affairs occupied his mind, he was not neglectful of the more important interests of the soul, he was an earnest, consistent member of the M. E. Church South, ever resting his hope of salvation on the merits of Christ; he was a faithful student of the Holy Scriptures, and lived by faith, near the Cross of Jesus. He was constant in prayer to God, and all his trust was in "Jesus of Nazareth, the sinner's friend," and to day we believe he sleeps in Jesus. To his heart-stricken widow, we would say weep not, for in the morn of the resurrection, we will find that God took him just at the right time, and as to thy fatherless babes, remember that God has said:
"I to the widow, a husband will be,
And to the father child is my care;
And in their affliction, if they come up to me,
I will hear and will answer their prayer."