Yesterday Mr. W. B. Wood, A. J. Slattings and S. Haas, members of the Newnan Guards, passed through this city with the remains of Mr. Bh. [Bernard] H. Meyer, en route to Newnan, his late home for interment. The circumstances of his death are these: Whilst on guard at Shaw’s Gap, in Virginia, on Sunday night last, a member of the Quitman Guards, named Stokes, attempted to pass the line. Young Meyer demanded the pass-word. Stokes refused to give it, and insisted on passing, which Meyer sternly, yet politely refused.—Stokes returned to his own tent, deliberately loaded his gun, and returned and coolly shot the sentinel dead. His company, or some members of it, had on the previous afternoon bought a barrel of whisky: hence this horrible murder. We sincerely sympathize with young Meyer’s parents and friends. Below we give the letters from his Colonel and Captain, accompanying his remains:
SHAW’S PASS, IN THE MOUNTAINS OF
VIRGINIA, June 17, 1861.
My Dear Sir and Madam:
It becomes my painful duty, as Commander of the 1st Regiment, to inform you of the death of your son. He was shot last night, while in the faithful discharge of his duty, as one of my sentinels. From the information I have been enabled to pick up in reference to the affair, you son was shot without any cause—simply for doing his duty. I will see that justice is done the offender.
I know this news will come with crushing effect upon your feelings, but console yourselves with the reflection that he fell at his post, and had conducted himself so as to merit and receive the high approval of his officers. I saw him soon after he was wounded; his sufferings were short. I send him back to you for burial, hoping God may give you fortitude to bear this heavy affliction. It is the great sacrifice you have made for your country.
Respectfully, J. N. RAMSAY,
Col. Commanding 1st Reg. Ga. Vol.
CAMP FIRST GEORGIA REGIMENT,
Shaw’s Pass, Va., June 17, 1861.
It is with feelings of deep regret that I have to communicate the sad intelligence of the unfortunate death of your son. He was brutally murdered last night, whilst in the discharge of his duty as sentinel. The nature of this thing can be more fully explained to you by the soldiers who have been detailed to accompany his remains home. Your son had always borne himself in the most high-toned manner, and no one in the Regiment had more reputation as a soldier—prompt in the discharge of his duties. It is needless on this occasion for my to undertake more to console you for a loss so entirely irreparable.
Hoping you may become resigned to the loss, I remain, sincerely, your friend and sympathizer,
GEO. M. HANVEY,
Captain Newnan Guards.
Stokes was arrested and held in jail, but was never arraigned for the murder. He was eventually released and returned to Georgia, where he died in 1867.