A Worthy Soldier
A WORTHY SOLDIER
Fitting Tribute Paid to One of the Departed Soldiers- Jacob H. Epler had the Qualities of a Solider and Man.
Portland. Ore., Feb. 12, 1911.
Editor of Transcript:
The last issue of the Transcript to reach me brings the information that Jacob H. Epler has passed on. Feelings too deep for expression move me as I write. I knew him well. "We drank from the same canteen." During the last year of the war I saw him almost daily and under conditions which reveal what manner of man one is. Clean of body, clean of mind, clean of soul, Jacob H. Epler was a comrade to tie to.
I recall an incident of the battle of Alatoona which illustrates his soldierly qualities so well that I ask space to relate it. Early in the action, Co. K. was sent out as skirmishers. We deployed in thick underneath. Naturally there was a good deal of independence of operation on the part of the men. Corporal Epler had charge of a squad on the left of the line. When the time came for retiring, he held his squad till the last, getting in a few more shots at the advancing foe. After the battle, Bill Tripp, a recruit, and a member of his squad, was loud in his praise of the corporal. "I tell you that little corporal has got sand." Nothing better could be said of a soldier.
It was Comrade Epler's good fortune to have been old enough and young enough to bear an honorable part of the most momentous period of our nation's history, perhaps of all history and he did it.
The time is at hand when we may say, with Charles Fenne Hoffman, poet of the Mexican war period,
We are not many, we who pressed
Besides the brave who fell that day,
But who of us has not confessed
He'd rather share their warrior rest
Than not have been at Monterey?
I am sure that our departed comrade shared that feeling.
Robert C. Winthrop has said: The noblest contribution which any man can make for the benefit of posterity is that of good character." This heritage Jacob H. Epler has left to his children. That they may always live worthy of it is the sincere prayer of his old friend and comrade.
M. M. TROWBRIDGE