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An Obituary and Funeral Recap for General Pierce Manning Butler Young (d. 1896)

His parents were Dr. Robert Maxwell and Elizabeth Caroline (Jones) Young.

New York Tribune
 (New York)
Tuesday, 7 July 1896

General Pierce M. B. Young, United States Minister to Guatemala and Honduras, died suddenly at the Presbyterian Hospital, at Park-ave. and Seventieth-st., about noon yesterday, after a long illness. General Young had for several years suffered from an ailment of the heart. He secured a leave of absence from his post on account of this illness, which had developed into dropsy. He left Guatemala on June 6, and reached New-York on June 27. He spent that night at the Marlborough Hotel, and then was taken to the hospital where he died. Although he had been ill for so long a time, his death was sudden. About an hour before he died he was sitting up in bed laughing and joking with his brother-in-law, Dr. Thomas Jones. He persuaded the latter to go to Dr. Janeway, his physician, to obtain his consent to the removal of General Young to his own home in Georgia. Before Dr. Jones returned from his errand General Young was dead.

Pierce Manning Butler Young was born in Spartanburg, S.C., on November 15, 1839. Then only a year old, he was taken to Georgia, and was educated at the Military Institute in that State. He began the study of law, but entered the United States Military Academy in 1857. Within two months of the time for graduation he resigned on account of the secession of the Southern States, and entered the Confederate army as a first lieutenant of artillery. His promotion was unusually rapid. In a few weeks he became the major of Cobb's Legion, and was promoted through all the grades until, on December 12, 1864, he was made a major-general, and was assigned to the command of a division of cavalry. Most of the engagements in which he took part were about Richmond, and he was twice severely wounded. He is said to have been the youngest major-general in the Confederate army, as he was barely twenty-five years old when he attained that grade.

After the war General Young went to Cartersville, Ga., to live, and was the only Democrat who was elected to Congress when representation was restored under the reconstruction acts, taking his seat on July 25, 1868. He was re-elected for three succeeding terms, serving till March 3, 1875.

At the close of his service in Congress he retired to his estate of Walnut Grove, on the Etowah River, near Cartersville. In 1877 he was appointed one of the Commissioners from the United States to the World's Fair, held in Paris. His next public service was when he was appointed by President Cleveland, in 1885, Consul-General to St. Petersburg, Russia. Some of his actions while he occupied this post, caused a good deal of severe comment both in this country and in the Russian capital. After remaining at the post for about a year he resigned, and the severe climate was given as the reason for this action. A number of people, however, were disposed to believe that the adverse criticism brought forth on account of his actions, in all probability had something to do with his resignation.

When, in 1893, at the beginning of his second term, President Cleveland appointed General Young to be United States Minister to Guatemala and Honduras, he was severely criticised [sic] for naming a man who had aroused so much adverse feeling while occupying a former and similar office.

Arrangements have been made by Dr. Jones to have the body of General Young transported to Cartersville, where it will be buried. The body will leave the city to-day. It is said that General Young leaves one of the most valuable estates in Georgia. He was never married, his sister, Mrs. Jones, being his only near relative.
 (Cartersville, Georgia)
16 July 1896

Remains of General Young Interred at Oak Hill.


Large Gathering to Do Honor to the Dead Hero -- Touching Tributes by Gen. Evans and Others.

When the news reached this community that Gen. P. M. B. Young was dead the hearts of the people were filled with sorrow. He had many warm friends in Bartow county, where he was born and reared and by the people all he was held in great esteem. Although news of the remains and their whereabouts and the time they would arrive were vague and meagre [sic] and matters languished in a state of uncertainty the people held to themselves in readiness to do suitable honor to him when they should arrive.

On Friday morning it was definitely known that the remains would reach here in the afternoon and a great crowd began to gather early in the day. It had been arranged that the several orders which were to participate in the funeral exercises should promptly assemble at the signal of three taps of the city fire bell. A short while before 2 o'clock the bell tapped, the bodies assembled and soon appeared, ready for the procession. It had been the request of Gen. Young's sister, Mrs. Jones, that the Masons should take charge of the funeral.

At two o'clock the train bearing the remains, with an escort of veterans from Atlanta, numbering about 75 persons, arrived. The remains were transferred to the hearse, drawn by four white horses with an all over netting of jet.

The pall bearers were Messrs. John S. Leake, W. M. Patterson, J. D. Wilkerson, A. D. Gilbert, J. C. Wofford, J. K. Rowan, E. Strickland and Martin Collins. These took positions in front and were followed by the hearse. Then came the members of the family, then came the Masons. Following the Masons came the Bartow Camp of confederate veterans, then the veterans' escort from Atlanta. Then followed the city and county officials, then the fire department and then the citizens.

The original intention was to have the funeral exercises take place at the Baptist church, but the crowd being so large that building was deemed inadequate to hold even a good percentage of those who would wish to be present, and the tabernacle was, therefore, selected.

Maj. A. M. Foute, by request of the family, acted as master of ceremonies and performed his duties with skill and devotion commendable.

The church bells were tolled and the procession moved out Market street, turning at the corner of Cassville street and thence through a side street to the south and then through the gate into the grounds and on to the tabernacle. The casket was placed on the front of the stand. It was nicely decorated with flowers. A plate on top had on it: 'Pierce M. B. Young. Aged 59 years.'

Dr. W. H. Patterson offered a touching invocation to the Almighty and followed his prayer in a few well chosen remarks. He then introduced Gen. C. A. Evans, who made a beautiful, impressive talk. Scripture taught that courage was one of the greatest virtues. A man could be courageous and yet genial. Pierce Young was one of the most genial and companionable of gentlemen and every one knew he was brave. Once, he, Evans, ordered a charge of his men. Afterward he rode on the field and saw a poor fellow with his leg shot off and said: 'I caused you to lose that leg. "Yes," said he, "and I love you for it. One who followed Pierce Young and while following him lost his leg sits before me. He loves Pierce Young for it and is here as a mourner and to do honor to his brave commander.' He referred to Mr. Walters, who came up from Atlanta.

Col. C. D. Phillips, of Marietta, who was a class-mate of Gen. Young at the Marietta Military Academy, followed Gen. Evans in a feeling tribute. He had known Gen. Young as a boy and never knew him to do an unworthy act. As a man and a soldier he had watched his career and had never known him to be guilty of a thing that was unmanly.

Several beautiful hymns sung by a large choir of voices formed a part of the services. After they were over the casket was again placed on the hearse and the procession to the cemetery began. The same route was taken on the return as when going until Erwin street was reached, when the procession moved down that street to the cemetery.

At the cemetery, Judge John W. Akin delivered in his usual faultless style a splendidly worded address on Gen. Young and the confederate soldier. It was pronounced by those who heard it, one of the finest talks ever heard on a similar occasion.

The Masonic service was carried out and the coffin finally lowered in the grave.

The funeral was the largest and most imposing ever held in the county. There were more than three thousand who participated in the exercises.

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