Today, in our town, one of our grand old veterans of the ’61 gang passed the 96th milestone of his journey through this ever-changing world. “Uncle George” —as he is familiarly known— Burnett, one of the few remaining veterans of the Civil War, is still hale and hearty at this ripe old age, and says “temperance in all things, faith, hard work, lots of patience, and the goodness of the Almighty Father” are some of the main reasons he has attained this age.
He is, possibly, one of the oldest veterans left in our county, and is still active taking long daily walks. His vision is not quite as keen as the day near Petersburg he spied the “Yank” nestled close up against a log as the boys in grey had ‘em on the run. He walked over to this “Yank,” who was trembling with fear, and poked him in the ribs with his old trusty rifle and said, “Come out of there, Yank, and get behind these columns of grey, and we’ll not kill you for sometime yet.”
He is still able to read the Clinch Valley News and looks forward to this paper. He is known all over the western end of the county, and his honesty, straight forwardness, and sincere dealing with all of his fellow men is a known trait. He owes no man and says when the Master of all things calls him to a better world, he is ready to go. His home is located near the top of Claypool Hill, and his towering figure, now slightly stooped, is often seen along the road, taking his daily walks.
As we see that sparkle in his eyes, we wonder if he isn’t happy basking in this sunset time of life, with memories of a well-spent life, and hope of a glorious future in that “purple valley” beyond. His many friends wish for him many more happy birthdays; tho’ there may not be “many” these friends want to see Uncle George reach that one hundred mark. ‘Tis fine to live by a fine old neighbor like you, Uncle George, and we want you to stick around for several more years.
Clinch Valley News
Tazewell County, Virginia
May 19, 1936