Thursday, December 20, 2012

S. W. Prestman, 17th., Virginia Infantry C. S. A.

Capt. S. W. Prestman, of Company I, Seventeenth Virginia Regiment, who was wounded at the battle of Bull Run, July 18, 1861, is remembered by the surviving members of that band of soldiers with feelings of fond regard. As an officer and social companion, he was without exception, beloved and honored. His untimely end, after such a bright and goodly record, will not be out of place in the annals of his first command.

In May, 1862, he was ordered to report to General Beauregard at Corinth, Mississippi, and served with distinction as Engineer in the Western army. Upon the arrival of the army at Chattanooga, he was appointed Chief Engineer of General Hardee's Cdrps, and as such, served faithfully during the Kentucky campaign. Upon the return of the army, he received the appointment of Chief Engineer of the army of Tennessee, with a position on General Bragg's staff. He afterwards served under General Johnston, and ever carried with him a knowledge of having done his duty as a soldier.

In January, 1864, his health gave way, and upon application, he received a furlough to visit his native State to recruit it. Whilst enroute to his home, and upon arrival near Danville, Va., the accident which deprived him of life, occurred. He had stepped out of the cars to warm, during the stoppage, and in crossing the track, (the engine having been detached for water,) he slipped and fell ; he was too weak to regain his feet in time, and the engine returning, struck him, killing him instantly.

Colonel Prestman was a most gallant officer, and from his conduct in the many battles and arnay movements in which he was a conspicuous actor, he was frequently mentioned, with well deserved praise, in official reports.

He was universally beloved by all who came in contact with him, and his sudden deathj when so near a reunion with his family and friends, cast a deep gloom over the hearts of many who served with him, both in the "Virginia and Western armies.

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