SLEEPS HIS LAST SLEEP.
Captain William Mills Dies in Camp at Pine Ridge.
The unpleasant news received Monday from Pine ridge was intensified yesterday with the intelligence that will cause a great deal of sorrow at the firesides in the military homes at Fort Omaha. It was the announcement of the death of Captain William Mills, Company C, Second infantry, located in this city.
The news was telegraphed by Lieutenant Rowell, who, it is supposed, was acting regimental adjutant, during the probable incapacity of Lieutenant Kinzie, who, it has been announced, was wounded Monday in the fight with Big Foot's gang on Porcupine Creek.
The intelligence occasioned a shock at Fort Omaha, and especially in the home of the deceased, where a widow and two children inconsolably mourn his demise.
Captain Mills was a brave and capable officer and he looked the soldier as well as he knew how to act as one. He was of a genial companionable disposition, readily adapted himself to every circumstance and made friends in civil as well as in military life. Of all the gallant officers and men who formed the first detachment of the Second infantry, which was called into the field on that night early in November, Captain Mills looked least like the one who was first to die. Although he had complained shortly before of a slight indisposition, he was the picture of health and his martial bearing at the head of the column was one of the picturesque features of that march to the train. Death resulted from rheumatism of the heart which was doubtless occasioned by exposure. Captain Mills had shortly before his departure for the field been summoned before the examining board at Leavenworth for promotion to which he was entitled by long and arduous service.
Captain Mills was born in Michigan, September 19, 1836. He was appointed from the army and served successively as private, sergeant and first sergeant of company C, Fifth infantry from October 28, 1858, to February 23, 1863; he was acting second lieutenant Fifth infantry from January 6, 1862 to February 23, 1863; also second lieutenant Sixteenth infantry and was promoted to the office of captain February 13, 1866. On April 17, 1869, he was transferred to the Second infantry.
On account of his gallant and meritorious services during the Atlanta campaign and in the battle of Jonesboro, Ga., he was breveted captain September 1, 1864. During the civil war, he held staff positions as follows: Aid-de-camp of volunteers from October 2 to November 1, 1864, and from October 12, 1865 to February 13, 1866, was regimental quartermaster of the sixteenth infantry.
It is not known where he will be buried.
(Source: Omaha Daily Bee, December 31, 1890)
THE FORT IN MOURNING
The Remains of Captain Mills sent to Elmira, N. Y., for Burial.
Sorrow seemed to pervade the air in the vicinity of Fort Omaha yesterday, and instead of the soldiers being happy, as is their wont, they were bowed down with grief. They had been called upon to pay the last tribute to a commander and comrade, Captain William Mills.
Shortly after 10 o'clock the officers of the garrison, followed by the few privates who have not been sent to the front, passed through the large hall in the hospital building, where for the last time they gazed upon the remains of the gallant officer, as they rested in the elegant metallic casket.
There were no funeral exercises, no military pomp and splendor, but many a tear was dropped upon the coffin containing the body of the man who looked as peaceful and natural as though his eyes were closed in sleep instead of in death. The casket was closed and about it was wrapped the flag that Captain Mills loved so dearly. After this the pall bearers, Alber Wedemeyer, chief musician; John Kennaman principal musician; John Stahl, first sergeant of company A; John Forbes, sergeant of company D; Thomas H. Mooney, corporal of company H, and James Ping, corporal of company E, tenderly lifted the coffin of the soldier from its place and with bared heads bore it from the building to the ambulance that was in waiting outside.
Around the wagon were thirty-four soldiers, forming a guard. The procession slowly wended its way through the parade grounds and to the union depot, from whence the remains were sent last night, going to Elmira, N. Y., for interment.
(Source: Omaha Daily Bee, January 05, 1891)