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James R. Graves

James Rollin Graves was the eldest son of Z. C. and Adelia C. Graves. He was born January 1, 1843, at Kingsville, Ashtabula County, Ohio. When he was seven years of age, his parents removed to Winchester, Tennessee, where his father became President of the Mary Sharp College, which position he still occupies, holding a leading and prominent position as an educator. His mother is also known as a writer of some note, being the authoress of "Jephthah' s Daughter," and some other works. James pursued his preparatory studies at the institution of which his father is President, until 1859, when he went to Kimball Union Academy, Meriden, New Hampshire, for one year. He entered Dartmouth at the beginning of the Fall term, August 24, 1860.   When the war broke out, in the Spring of 1861, no funds could longer be transmitted to him, and he left us for his home in Tennessee.

Being ardent and enthusiastic, he threw his whole heart into his country's struggle for what he thought its rights. Upon entering the Service, he was placed in the Quartermaster's Department; but that did not suit his active temperament, and he joined the Fourth Georgia Cavalry, and was appointed Adjutant on the staff of Colonel Avery, commanding the regiment. 

He was killed by a fall of his horse, near Kingston, Georgia, on August 30, 1863. His horse reared and fell backward, and crushed him to death instantly. The regiment was just commencing a forced march when the accident occurred, and when Colonel Avery asked who would remain behind to bury the dead boy, and take their chances for overtaking the regiment, every hand was raised.

A detail was made to bury him, and they rode several miles to procure screws to fasten the lid of the coffin which their own hands had made, saying that they could not bear the sound of a hammer to drive nails into the box containing the remains of so loved a comrade. One of the members of this regiment afterward said that if they could not obtain assistance from the authorized officer when they came into camp wet, hungry and cold, it was a common saying among them, "Go to Graves, he will not see us suffer," and he was always ready to attend to their needs. His chief characteristic was self-denial, and his generous, self-sacrificing disposition made him a universal favorite wherever he was known, and his memory is tenderly cherished by those who knew and loved him.

Source:  "Memorialia of the Class of '64 in Dartmouth College" compiled by John C. Webster, Shepard & Johnston, Printers, 1884, Chicago 

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