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Breckinridge Garnett Kim McCoy Rasin

Obituary of William I. Rasin, Newport News, Virginia.

One Sunday, June 18, Capt. William I. Rasin died at his home, in Newport News, Va. He was born on July 4, 1841, in Kent County, his father, Macall Medford Rasin, being an honored and influential citizen of that county. After his father's death, in 1848, William Rasin became a member of the family of his uncle, Unit Rasin, a merchant of St. Louis, Mo. He attended the city schools for several years, but in 1858 he went to Leavenworth, Kans., and began his business life. In the spring of 1861 he returned to Kent County, on his way to Richmond to enter the Southern army, and organized a cavalry company, of which he was chosen captain and which became Company E, of the 1st Maryland Regiment, C. S. A.

He was constantly engaged in the arduous duties of that branch of the service and participated in many severe engagements. Near Winchester, Va., his horse was shot, and he received a dangerous saber wound in the head, but soon returned to his command. Rev. Dr. Randolph H. McKim of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's staff, in his "Soldiers Recollections," states that Captin Rasin at the head of his company led the last charge at Appomattox. He says: "This was handsomely made by the 1st Maryland Cavalry under the following circumstances as related to me by Col. Cary Breckinridge, of the 2d Virginia Cavalry. When the enemy in full charge was seen coming not one hundre yards distant, Capt. William I. Rasin, commanding the first squadron and riding with Colonel Dorsey at the head of his regiment, said: "Colonel, we must charge them; it is the only chance.' And as the words left his lips Dorsey, who had perceived the necessity, gave the command; 'Draw saber! Gallop! Charge!' And this little band of Marylanders hurled themselves against the heavy column and drove them back. This was the last blow struck by the Army of Northern Virginia."

Soon after the war Captain Rasin formed a partnership with Col. Harry McCoy as commission merchants in Baltimore, and a successful business was conducted for a number of years. Later be became deputy collector of internal revenue in that city. Still later he entered the service of an English steamship company of Newport News, Va., in which he remained until death.

Captain Rasin was married to Miss Mary A. Garnett of Buckingham County, Va., who survives him. His force of character and personal attractions were recognized by all who truly knew him, and throughout his long life truth and honor were ever his guiding principles.

SOURCE: Confederate Veteran Magazine, October, 1916.

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