The New York Times
Sunday, August 10, 1884


Two black coffins, each covered with an American jack and decorated with exquisite wreaths of flowers; a venerable white surpliced clergyman standing with open books before them; an assembly of military-looking gentlemen, with uncovered heads and badges of crape; young girls and children ranged along one side of the room, which was draped in deep mourning; outside, troops drawn up and mounted artillery; such was the scene at Governor's Island early yesterday morning. The funeral of Private Charles B. Henry, the unclaimed hero of the Greely arctic expedition, was to take place. All the other coffins, with the exception of these two, had been safely dispatched to their destination on the preceding evening. The eastern ward of the hospital was soon to be entirely vacated, as the body contained in the second coffin--that of Private Roderick R. Snider--also to be taken to Cypress Hills Cemetery and placed in a receiving vault until such time as it was found expedient to forward it to Chemnitz, Germany, the birthplace of the dead hero. The flowers which lay on the two coffins yesterday had been anonymously sent from this city as a fitting tribute to those whom none claimed. The surpliced clergyman was the Rev. E. H. C. Goodwin, acting Chaplain of Fort Columbus and minister at Trinity Church. Two military-looking gentlemen were Gen. Hancock with his department and division staff, Capt. George F. Price, of Company E, Fifth Artillery, to which Private Henry had formerly belonged, and Mr. Robert S. Oberfelder, an intimate friend of the dead man in Sidney, Neb., were also present. The troops outside were the same employed on the preceding day.

The burial service was read inside the hospital by the Rev. Mr. Goodwin, and two caissons were then drawn up, upon which the coffins were placed. The procession was then formed by the mouted escort, the caissons, the troops, and Gen. Hancock and his staff, and to the music of Prof. Wiegand's band proceeded to the wharf. There lay the barge William Lewis, upon which the procession embarked and were taken by the little tug May Clinton to the foot of Atlantic street, Brooklyn. Gen. Hancock and his staff were carried to the same destination by the Chester A. Arthur. At the foot of Atlantic street, two light batteries under the command of Capt. Eagan met the company, and the whole procession marched to Cypress Hills Cemetery. The body of Private Henry was interred in the national part of the cemetery devoted to the burial of soldiers. The body of Private Snider was placed in the receiving vault. The soldiers then discharged their farewell shot, the salvos rang loud and clear through the air, and the impressive ceremonies were at an end.

"Ah!" said Mr. Robert S. Oberfelder, the friend of the buried here, "how earnestly we all entreated this young man not to join the arctic expedition. You know all his ideas on the subject were gained from books. He was a spendidly educated young man and read deeply. He was employed as letter carrier in the company at Sidney, Neb. I remember Capt. Price's words to him when he stated his intention of joining Greely's expedition. Said the Captain: 'If I had a yellow cat, and was mad with her, I wouldn't send her out to the arctic seas.' Couldn't stop him. He had set his mind on it. And now we're following him to the grave. I think he must have left some letters with Lieut. Greely, and I am anxiously waiting for them. I know he must have written to me. We were always such old chums--poor old boy!"

 This Article was contributed By: James Urness

editior's Note: Rodrick Snider is actually Rodrick Schneider

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