Cadet Monument: William S. Overton
This is the third in a series of posts on the Cadet Monument in honor of Memorial Day.
Although dedicated to Vincent M. Lowe, the names of other deceased cadets (as well as officers) were added to the Cadet Monument for decades. One of them is Cadet William S. Overton. Below is a death notice that appeared in the Nashville Whig in October of 1822.
Nashville Whig, 10/2/1822
Departed this life; at the Military Academy, West Point, on the 31st August last, Cadet William S. Overton, son of Gen. Thomas Overton of this vicinity. He died of the Typhus Fever, after a lingering and painful illness of four weeks. His remains were interred with military honors, attended by the members of the institution, who deeply lamented his untimely loss. In the death of this young man, his friends and relations have ample cause to mourn in anguish and sorrow. He has left a kind and affectionate father and mother, with brothers and a sister, to weep over his early and premature departure. At the early age of fourteen, he possessed many attributes of character, which gave every assurance, that he would be a man of usefulness and an ornament to society. But he has been cut off in the dawn of life, when all hopes and expectations of his parents and friends, were blasted forever.
“Ah! dear hapless boy, art thou gone?
“Great support of our languishing years,
“Hast thou left thy fond parents alone,
“To wear out life’s evening in tears.”
Trivia: William's father, General Thomas Overton, served as Andrew Jackson's second, or assistant, in the future President's 1806 duel with Charles Dickinson. The elder Overton administered the duel in which Jackson was injured and Dickinson was killed. Jackson was shot first in the chest but by the rules was allowed to return fire while Dickinson stood still. Old Hickory's pistol didn't fire, so he re-cocked and delivered a wound to Dickinson that killed him later that night.