The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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                         "I saw young Harry,--with his beaver on,
                         His cuisses on his thighs gallantly arm'd--
                         Leap from the ground like feather'd Mercury,
                         And vaulted with such ease into his seat,
                         As if an angel dropp'd down from the clouds
                         To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,
                         And 'witch the world with noble horsemanship.' "

        He led his Regiment on the fatal field of Gettysburg, and out of 800 men there fell, with their chivalric young leader, 549 in that desperate battle; all the field officers being killed or wounded.

        Robert Strange was the second son of Hon. Robert Strange, at one time one of the Judges of the Superior Courts of Law and Equity, and subsequently in the Senate of the United States as a member from our State. See Wheeler II, 130. Mr. Strange was born in Fayetteville, July 27, 1823; graduated from the University at the early age of 17, and adopted the profession of the Law. Shortly after his admission to the Bar he removed to Wilmington and soon became a prominent actor in public affairs. He represented the County of New Hanover in the Legislature from 1852 to 1854, and was regarded as one of the most influential members of that body. He was also State Solicitor and for many years a director in the Bank of Cape Fear. To mental capacities of a high order he added great culture and unusual stores of varied and accurate knowledge. As a profound lawyer he occupied a most enviable position among his professional brethren, and as a sound jurist and eloquent advocate he was second to none within the limits of the State. Few men possessed in so great a degree the confidence of the public and few so well deserved the same, for his integrity was spotless. Gentle and unobstrusive in manner, yet firm and decided in his convictions, with a natural dignity that inspired respect and a chivalric sense of honor that recoiled from the faintest approach of "things unworthy," he was at all times and under all circumstances the high-toned gentleman, and of him was truly said by the Right Reverend Thomas Atkinson, as he stood by his bier, "Here lies the most spotless man I ever knew."

        He was true to his fellow men, to his friends, to his family and kin, and as true as mortals can be, to his God! A christian gentleman who to the grace of this life added those of the purer life to come. A brilliant future lay before him; positions most gratifying to laudable ambition and which he would have eminently adorned; but suddenly, in the midst of the argument of a case in Court, he received his summons to a higher tribunal, to appear before that Great Judge from whose decision there is no appeal. He died January 24, 1877, in the 53d year of his age, cut down in the full meridian of his powers. Amicus usque at aras.

        Mr. Strange's first wife was Sarah Caroline, the second daughter of Thomas Henry Wright, who was the second son of Judge Joshua Granger Wright (see p. 304,) and one of the most noted financiers of the State, President of the celebrated Bank of Cape Fear from its origin until his death. This was a man of many accomplishments, but especially distinguished for his financial ability and his devotion to the church. He was one of the founders of St. James' church in Wilmington, the oldest parish in the State.

        Mr. Wright married Mary Allan, daughter of a Scotch merchant, who survived him with a family of four sons and four daughters.*

        * Their sons were Dr. Adam E. Wright, Captain James A. Wright (killed in the war) Lieutenant Joshua G. Wright and Maj. Thomas C. Wright, (also killed in the war) and the daughters were, Anne Eliza, Sarah Caroline, Susan and Mary Augusta. The third daughter married Dr. W. H. Hall, of New York and the youngest married Mr. Clayton Giles, a merchant of Wilmington.

The eldest daughter Anne Eliza, married Hon. O. P. Meares, son of W. B. Meares, a distinguished lawyer. He is now Judge of the Criminal Court of New Hanover.

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