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HONORABLE ARTHUR S. SEGAR.
There are times, when in the busy whirl of life, it is well to pause and contemplate the past and look toward the future, and there can arise in our lives no better occasion than, the death of a good man. Such an occasion comes with startling suddenness in the death of the Honorable Arthur Simpkins Segar, of Hampton, Va., born in Accomac county, on the 9th day of October, 1811. At an early age he lost his father; such a disaster may overwhelm the weak, but it calls forth all the strength of the strong. His uncle, the Honorable Joseph Segar, took charge of the fatherless boy, and our friend never wearied telling of the kindness of his uncle.
When the storm-cloud of war burst over the old State in the fateful year of 1861, young Segar was among the first to tender to her his services. The regiment in which our departed friend served was the famous 32d Virginia Infantry, which on so many battlefields covered itself with glory. It was from this regiment, after the war had ended, that there came so many bright lights to the Virginia Bar. Naming them at random, there were Edgar B. Montague, its Colonel; William R. Willis, its Lieutenant-Colonel; Baker P. Lee, its Major, and Arthur S. Segar. Mr. Segar was promoted Lieutenant, when a mere boy, and when but nineteen years of age won imperishable renown at Gettysburg. It was there that he carried twenty men into the action and lost eighteen and himself was struck four times. The halo of glory that decks the brows of the Confederate soldier will grow brighter as the time goes on. After the war had ended, the people of Virginia were called upon to send their best and wisest men to the General Assembly and the choice of Elizabeth City fell upon young Segar. The task before the Legislature was Herculean--a devasted territory, desolute
homes, children without fathers, fathers without children and confronting this awful condition the people of the old State lifted their stricken heads and declared that they would face the future with the same patient courage that they had the past. It was upon the history of the State at that time, that young Segar left his impress. There are few heroes in the world, who happily unite unflinching physical courage with that higher moral courage, which dares to do right, because it is right, such a man was Arthur S. Segar; true in all the relations of life; as a lawyer he was courteous, strong, brave and always fair; as a citizen, without reproach; as a Christian, humble and devout, and when the dread summons came, he could "wrap the drapery of his couch about him, and lie down to pleasant dreams."
Mr. Segar for many years represented three of the largest corporations in the State, and yet he died a poor man. Not many weeks before his death, he said to the writer, that, if he had known how to charge, he would have been a rich man. On the 28th day of November last he died very suddenly. In the very zenith of his powers, he was stricken down without premonition, but the dread summons did not find him unprepared, for his life had been an epistle known and read of all who came in contact with him.
As the telegraph flashed abroad the sad news that the gallant soldier, the patriotic statesman, the learned and brilliant lawyer and the devout Christian was no more, many a head was bowed in grief, but we grieved not as those without hope, for we cherish the fond trust of one day meeting him beyond the stars. The astronomers tell us that there are some stars so far above the earth that long after they have disappeared in space their light is still coming to the earth, and so there are some men whose characters are so high that long after they have left the earth the light of their lives is still falling upon the pathway of men. “Though dead, they yet speak.” Such a man was Arthur S. Segar; one who stood “four square to every wind that blew.” We can stand with uncovered heads at his grave and say, here
lies a "MAN.” Cut off in the fullness of his powers fulness, we mourn his departure, because it will be difficult to fill his place, because a useful man, an ornament to society is gone.
“He is gone to the mountain,
He is lost to the forest,
The writer feels how inadequate are words to express his thoughts and feelings, and lays this leaflet on the new-made grave of a dear friend.