Brave, gifted, generous, and faithful

No, leave me here; I might put you in peril.”

So reads a cemetery monument I discovered in an old, unmaintained cemetery in Nevada City, CA. The rest of the inscription reads, “Henry Meredith, born in Hanover County, State of Virginia on the 14th day of August AD 1826. Died in battle at Pyramid Lake in Utah Territory on the 12th day of May AD 1860. His body was buried here on the 16th day of June 1860.”

A quick bit of research reveals that on May 12, 1860, militia under the command of William Ormsby were ambushed by Paiute’s about 5 miles south of Pyramid Lake. Of the 105 militiamen, 76 were killed, including Ormsby (and Henry Meredith). In February, 1858, Meredith was elected captain of the newly formed Nevada Rifles, a militia company organized in Nevada City. He resigned as Captain in March, 1858, but made himself available for any service call in the future. That call came in 1860, when the militia hurried to the Washoe Valley to deal with the “Indian hostilities.” (It turns out the Indians were seeking retribution for the kidnap and rape of a couple of Indian girls by the white managers of Williams Station).

And so, his epitaph reads, “Brave, gifted, generous and faithful, he closed a life of usefulness and purity by a death of honor.”

1 comment to Brave, gifted, generous, and faithful

  • Scott Inge


    Henry Meredith was a relative, I have been looking for this for a very long time. Thank you so very much for posting this.
    Scott Inge

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