The following obituary comes from the November 10, 1898 edition of the "Roanoke Times", Weldon, North Carolina.
Col. W. A. Johnston
Colonel W. A. Johnston, one of the leading
citizens of Littleton, died at his home in that town last Thursday
morning at 2 o'clock from a stroke of paralysis. While the news was not
unexpected, yet it came as a great shock to his many friends in Weldon
and surrounding country.
Col. Johnston served with the distinction
throughout the civil war. He enlisted when the first call was made,
going out in May 1861 as a captain of the “Roanoke Minutes Men.” He was
twice wounded in battle, once at Chancellorsville and for special
gallantry in that fight he was promoted to Colonel of the 14th North
Carolina regiment, and no braver soldier ever drew a sword. After the
war Colonel Johnston settled down at his home in farming and
merchandising since. At one time he successfully conducted the Central
Hotel, at Littleton, and as a host he has been excelled by non who have
followed him in the line of business.
He was a man of fine personal qualities,
well informed on the leading questions of the day and was an
uncompromising Democrat. For many years he was a devoted member of the
Methodist Episcopal Church and was regular in his attendance up to the
time when by reason of a failure of health he was confined to his room.
The funeral services took place Friday
afternoon and the great concourse of sorrowing relatives and friends
attended the love and esteem in which he was held. Bill Johnston Camp
Confederate Veterans (named in his honor) turned out and formed an
escort to the grave. Col. Johnston was also a Mason of high standing and
after the veterans had filled the grave to a certain extent it was left
to be completed with Masonic honors.
He was conscious in his last hours and took
an affectionate farewell of his children saying he did not fear death at
all. He entered the Shadow of Death and crossed over the dark river with
the same courage and grace he evinced on the field of battle.
He leaves seven children who have the
prayers and sympathy of all. Fatherless and motherless, as they
now are, there is One who neither slumbers nor sleeps and He will wipe
all tears from faces and comfort then in their sad bereavement.
The News joins in with the large circle of relatives in Halifax County in expression of sympathy, and while the tears of the dear children are falling thick and fast and their hearts are all bruised and broken, we can only point them to the Rock That is Higher than I,” for Behold “He careth for them.”
Submitted by: Rebecca (Becky) Leach Dozier,
who is Lt. Colonel Johnston's Great-Granddaughter.