Saturday, March 10, 2007

Samuel C. Godshall (1827-1866)

Being in Nashville on business at the moment, I took some time today to visit the Tennessee State Library and Archives to try and track down more specifics about my children's ancestor, Samuel C. Godshall. This obituary appeared in the Nashville Daily Union and American and I thought it was as good a concise biography as one could ask:

Death of Capt. Samuel C. Godshall – This well known gentleman died yesterday evening [October 5, 1866] at six o'clock. He was attacked with cholera on Monday the 24th ult., and though the violence of the attack was arrested promptly, he passed into one of the sequeles of the disease involving the brain, which
terminated fatally, as above stated.

Capt. Godshall was a native of Philadelphia, and was in the thirty-ninth year of his age at the time of his death. He came to this city about the year 1845 while yet a youth, and soon won hosts of friends by his intelligence, and genial, and affable address. He was first in the employ of the Tennessee Marine and Fire Insurance Company. At the call for volunteers in May, 1846, he enlisted under Captain (now General) R. C. Foster, and served with gallantry through the campaign made in Mexico by the “bloody First” Tennessee regiment. During this service, he was a correspondent for one of the city papers, and wrote graphic and interesting letters of marches and battles, which gave him popularity and reputation. On his return he engaged in mercantile business, and soon he come connected with the extensive wholesale dry goods house of Douglas & Co. In this sphere, he soon won a reputation second to no man of his age in the country, and extended his popularity with all classes. At the dissolution of this firm, he entered into the boot and shoe business, in which he was engaged at the outbreak of hostilities in 1861. His ardent temperament again led him to the war, and he organized a company which was incorporated into the 11th Tennessee regiment. He continued in the service of the Confederate army until the surrender in the spring of last year, when he returned to his family in this city.

Captain Godshall was a man of fine capacity and cultivation, and possessed of happy conversational powers, and an agreeable manner. He was of a warm, genial nature, earnest and self-sacrificing in his dealings, and calculated to win the regard and esteem of all who came in contact with him. Reverses of fortune and domestic bereavements had dampened his natural ardor and impaired his usefulness, but did not forfeit the esteem of his friends. He was a prominent member of the order of Odd Fellows, the various lodges of which will, to-day, pay proper respect to his memory, and bury with due rites one who deserves the tribute from his brethren, for his many admirable qualities as a man.

His funeral will take place from the First Baptist Church, this afternoon, at 3 o'clock.
Services by the Rev. R. B. C. Howell, D.D.

-- From the Nashville, TN, Daily Union and American, 10/6/1866, p. 3

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