In a journal written April 7, 1882, his granddaughter, Elizabeth S. Thomas Bruce wrote:
“Grandfather was in the Army for a long time. He held the office of Ensign. His health failed him and he was sent home on a furlough ‘til his health improved. He endured great hardships while he was in the army but he never wished to shrink from duty and when his officers saw his failure in health, they offered him the furlough. He did not feel like leaving his post but finally did return to his home for the purpose of benefitting his health. One night he stopped to get a place to rest, and the woman proved to be an enemy of those who had taken arms against the crown. She did not want to keep him, but finally consented and when he asked for refreshments, she gave him cold corn bread and some cold collards, as they were called. It was cabbage leaves boiled when very green and then she gave him a cup of sour milk and the little granddaughter of the old lady drank most of that. It would look like a slim supper for a sick man. He ate what he could and lay down to sleep. Next morning, he asked what his fare was and she told him she had plenty and he had little so she made no charge. He thanked her and started on his way. He lived a good many years after the war ended and accumulated a great deal of wealth for his family. He was in failing health for a number of years and finally died of consumption, leaving a wife and thirteen children to realize their loss.”
He died September 25, 1818 in Culpeper County, Virginia.