To the Editor of the Syracuse Journal:--
Among the obituary notices published this week by you, was one of Mr. B.N. Miner, who died of consumption in Vermont, and whose remains were brought here to be interred by the side of his wife and friends in Oakwood. It seems to me that justice to his memory demands more than the simple notice already given.
Coming here when a young lad with his father, Rev. Ovid Miner, who was pastor of the Congregational Church, where the Convention Block now stands, for several years he grew up among us and has always called this city his home, being absent occasionally attending school. He finally went into the lumber trade in Clinton county, and was successfully building up a lucrative business when the war of the rebellion broke out. Ardent, zealous and patriotic, he felt that his country had claims for personal service from him, and he immediately obeyed the call, and went out as a First Lieutenant of the 34th Regt. N.Y.V. Soon after his arrival at the --- of war, his superior intelligence and quickness attracted the attention of those in command and he was detailed from his own regiment and ordered to report for duty in the Signal Corps. He was attached to General Banks' staff, when he was in the valley of the Shenandoah. In the battle of Winchester he was noted for his coolness and efficiency. After Banks was superseded by General Pope, he remained with the latter and was at South Mountain. While upon duty on the mountain he was taken prisoner by General Stewart in one of his cavalry raids, his horse taken from him and he compelled to walk to Richmond in the extreme warm weather.
The distance was some seventy miles and through that hard, wearisome journey he had only one meal. Arriving at Richmond he was thrust into Libby prison. The hardships he endured on the march and while in prison were the cause of the disease which finally ended his life, just as truly a victim to rebellion as if he had been struck down in battle. Released from Libby by exchange of prisoners, he did not remain at home long enough to recruit his worn out energies, but returned to the post of duty and danger. In the reorganization of the Signal Corps he was detailed at Washington as instructor, his health not permitting active service in the field. Chafing at what he considered to be an inactive life, and his health not improving, he resolved to resign and did so against the strongly expressly wishes of the government, who ordered him a position as First Lieutenant of Signal Corps, attached to the regular army, so desirous were they to retain his skill and valuable services.
Returning north, he was for a short time employed in the Provost Marshal's office in this city, and left it to enter upon the duties of teller in the First National Bank of Syracuse. Its duties and, the confinement necessary, were too much for his strength, and although he was kindly granted a furlough to recruit, his disease made such progress that he was obliged to resign. Since then he has bravely battled with disease, and it has scorned at times as though his will and resolution would gain the victory, but the sad funeral procession and the new raised mount in Oakwood, tells the simple, sad story that our friend has gone, and all that was mortal of Binkerhoff has been covered from our sight. Not in vain has he lived and suffered, and though dying young, he has left a record bright, and a memory to be cherished by all who knew and loved him.
"That life is long which answers life's great end."
Syracuse Daily Journal, Jan 21, 1871