GrandPapa's Letter part 18 continued
Major David H . Van Valkenburgh
I remember my Uncle, Edward Porter, in the uniform of a CAPTAIN, as the most exquisite piece of Martial Poetry I ever knew, and I doubt if General Scott, who was called "Old Fuss and Feathers," because of his gorgeous uniforms, could have outshone him.
The last year that I spent in Prattsburgh my brother Dave was elected Captain of one of the Companies, and they presented him with an immense Pitcher, manufactured for the occasion at the Pottery under the hill, and duly inscribed, and which held, on that occasion a full barrel of lemonade, and which stood when last seen by me, and after poor Dave had yielded up his life on the Battle Field of Fair Oaks, in the cellar at White Lake. Once I attended a Military Court, and I well remember the AWE FULL dignity of its members, as one might remember a frightful dream.
General Trainings of that kind are a thing of the past, but many of the young men who first donned military uniforms on such occasions donned them in earnest later on, and wore them to the front, and to death when their duty called, and among them was Major David H . Van Valkenburgh, the erratic, brilliant and well beloved son of my parents, who fell while gallantly leading his regiment, at the Battle of Seven Oaks, on the 31st day of May 1862.