The Vacant Chair
Remembering our comrades who have answered the final call.
"The Vacant Chair," a song by George F. Root, became immensely popular in both North and South, although with different lyrics. The song was inspired by the death of Lt. John William ("Willie") Grout at Ball's Bluff. Grout, an eighteen-year-old student from Worcester, served in the 15th Mass. Infantry
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly how to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for – but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
Attributed to an An Unknown Confederate Soldier
Say not in grief, ‘he is no more’ but in thankfulness that he was.
Tom Connell Sr.