NEGenWeb Project - Civil War
Articles 3 and 4
Nebraska State Journal
Wednesday morning, September 15, 1897
SPEECHES AND TALKS GALORE
Congressman Strode and W. J. Bryan Address a Large Audience in
the Afternoon -
Prepare for Woman's Day
Nebraska day at the reunion opened well yesterday. The day was not too warm and a few clouds that later cooled the air with a refreshing rain, hid the rays of the sun so that at no time was it uncomfortable on the grounds. Many more people were on the grounds than on Monday and it was easy to see that things were running smoothly and that everybody was happy. Among so many people there is always more or less inconvenience for some but old soldiers had such an inconvenient time for four years that camp life of whatever nature is luxury now. The fastidious had little to displease them. The prospects for a successful reunion were never better than on yesterday.
Early in the day a number of tents that had been engaged but not taken were thrown open and many who had been waiting for accommodations hastily moved in. Newcomers kept coming continually all day and the quartermaster was a busy man from morning till night. The booths were running in full blast and were well patronized. There were new side shows and curiosities galore so that everybody was satisfied.
A reunion is particularly for the old soldiers. They meet and talk over old times, discussing things which to the uninitiated, are not of surpassing interest. Their beaming faces and joyful countenances left their state of mind in doubt. They were in the seventh heaven and all others stepped aside for them. One man remarked as he saw them coming into the gates Monday that they smiled as if they were passing through St. Peter's portals. They certainly were as happy as they could be. There were reunions that were sad but the sadness only served as a background that set off the general happiness showing more clearly just what the boys in blue passed through. At the campfire two men met who were on a large battle ship which blew up killing 800 men. They were called up to the platform where they stood with tears in their eyes. To show the humorous side of the reunion, how it mingles with pathetic, it is only necessary to relate that the two men had scarcely wiped their eyes when Captain Henry announced that someone wished to see a gentleman in the audience. "There will now occur," said the captain, "one of those reunions that you read about, for the gentleman is wanted by his wife." And then the audience roared and someone started up a song. A jolly veteran yelled "Hallelujah" and two or three seconded him while the walls shook with the noise. The campfire is the noisiest but jolliest part of the day's program. City people who wish to see the soldier as nearly like he really is as may be should attend. They will carry away very pleasant remembrances.
The exercises of the afternoon consisted of speeches by Congressman Strode and W. J. Bryan. The attendance was large. During the day the camp was livened up with band music and at night by the shooting of a cannon which one of the posts boasts as its property.
The rain of the afternoon and evening caused a little inconvenience. A little water was needed to lay the dust and put the grounds in good condition for the remainder of the week.
The reunion is passing off pleasantly and the local G. A. R. committee is receiving the congratulations of the G. A. R. men for their efforts. It might be too much to say that every single person on the grounds was satisfied, but the kickers are so few and far between that they do not count.
The attendance yesterday was estimated all the way from 10,000 to 15,000 people.
The program for today has been turned over to the ladies. In the morning the Ladies of the G. A. R. will have charge of the exercises at 10 o'clock in Mercantile hall, and in the afternoon at 2 o'clock the Woman's Relief Corps will take charge. The regular campfire will be held in the evening. The program in detail for the day is as follows:
5:45 - Reveille
6:30 - Breakfast
7:30 - Policing camp
8:45 - Assembly of bands.
9:30 - Assembly of states at headquarters
10:00 - Exercises in charge of the Ladies of the G. A. R.
12:00 - Dinner
1:30 - Assembly of bands
2:00 - Exercises by the Woman's Relief Corps
5:00 - Supper
7:30 - Assembly of bands
8:30 - Campfire, with speaking by Gen. C. E. Adams of Superior; Gen. A. V. Cole of Juniata, and H. C. Russell
11:30 - Taps
The following programs will be given in the afternoon by the Woman's Relief Corps:
Instrumental - "Recollections of Home," Mrs. Lorena Fleming
Prayer - Chaplain Farragut corps, Mrs. Krumme
Address of welcome - President Appomattox corps, Mrs. Louise Alexander
Response - Department president W. R. C., Mrs. Julia S. Bowen
Solo - "Battle Hymn of the Republic," Mrs. John Doane.
Address - "Our Flag," Mrs. Nellie Richardson
Solo - "Our Flag and the Union Forever," Mrs. Dr. Cotter
Address - W. R. C. past department president, Mrs. Mary R. Morgan
Solo - "Soldier's Dream," Mrs. Mellie Greer
Address - "Teaching of Patriotism in Public Schools," Mrs. Henrietta Goodell
Solo - "May God Protect the Right," Mrs. Dr. Cotter
Recitation - Miss Bessie Gerhart
Solo - "Brave Sentinel," Mrs. John Brooks
Address - "Where Should Politics Leave Off and Patriotism Begin?," Mrs. Wealthy Kemp
Solo - Mrs. O'Neil
Medley - Hand
A reception will be tendered the department officers and members of the G. A. R. and W. R. C. this evening at the headquarters of the Woman's Relief Corps.
LADIES OF THE G. A. R.
Department headquarters, Ladies of the G. A. R., have been assigned at the north wing of floral hall. Tasteful decorations, comfortable chairs and music make this a pleasant place for the comrades and their families to meet, rest and chat. Thanks are due the comrades and ladies of Circle No 24 (?) of Lincoln, for furnishing this agreeable rendezvous.
The following reception and program committee has been appointed by Department President Mrs. Mary M Hull (?), vis: Comrade and Sister Higley, Comrade and Sister Mowbray, Comrade and Sister Brystone, Comrade and Sister Wrightman, and Comrade and Sister Doran.
Today at 10 a. m., the Ladies of the G. A. R. will hold public exercises in the auditorium. Excellent music, speeches and impersonations by (?) of Lincoln's leading elocutionists will make the program one to be enjoyed by all. An invitation is extended to everyone to come and hear something of the work and aims of this branch of the G. A. R.
The program of the exercises of the Ladies of the G. A. R. in the morning is as follows:Song - By the circle
Prayer - Chaplain Masterman
Address of welcome - Mrs. Mowbray
Address - Department President Mrs. M. M. Stull
Song - "Tenting on the Old Camp Ground," C(?) quartet
Speech - Dr. Britt
Piano solo - Mrs. Sutton
Music - Farragut post quartet
Remarks on the flag - Mrs. M. E. Cramphin
Piano solo - Miss Bertha Stull
Five-minute speeches by comrades
Song - Ladies' quartet
Recitation - Miss Mabel Crawford
Song - Miss Jennie Slade
Recitation - Miss Lethe Watson
Song - Mrs. Dr. Cotter
Song - "America"
Congressman Strode and W. J. Bryan Each Deliver an Address
At 2:10 o'clock, Commander Ehrhardt called a large crowd to order in Mercantile hall. The people stood in the aisles and blocked the doorways. It was a good natured crowd that had gathered an hour before the time of speaking in order to be able to secure seats.
An impromptu glee club of old soldiers led by Judge Foxworthy, sang "Rally 'Round the Flag," the audience joining in the chorus.
Congressman Jesse B. Strode was the first speaker. He spoke on the general theme of Nebraska's early history with applications along the lines of patriotism.
The territories of Kansas and Nebraska were organized in 1854 and by their organization the question of slavery was again reopened. Because of the agitation the lines were strongly drawn between political parties. A new political party was organized, which in 1860 succeeded in electing a president. Immediately the southern states took steps to organize a government of their own, which culminated in the civil war.
As the war progressed, in July, 1863, the capture of Vicksburg and then the success at Gettysburg, made victory sure for the union arms. The emancipation proclamation had also been issued. Following this the state of Nebraska was allowed a constitution. When the war closed, the territorial legislature adopted a constitution in January 1866. The legislature provided for the election of state officers and finally the election was held and two United States senators were elected. Then followed a long struggle for the passage of a bill for the admission of the state over President Johnson's veto. This was accomplished, and Nebraska was the first state to be admitted after the civil war. From the time of the admission of Nebraska no patriotic citizen has had reason to ashamed of her. (sic)
At the time of the admission, there were probably not more than 50,000 inhabitants. In 1880 the population of the state had quadrupled itself and the gain after that was almost as wonderful. The state was admitted with the homestead law in operation. Old soldiers and multitudes of people have settled within the borders till now there are over a million and a half of people. The productiveness of the fields has increased in proportion and there are 7,000 school houses in the state which shows development in another way. With all this glorious history, why should Nebraskans not be proud?
The veterans meeting at annual reunions have reason to rejoice over these things. The reunions are schools of patriotism. Many people profess patriotism but the real patriots practice it when it is necessary. True patriotism means the absolute surrender of oneself to the country. To the veterans it meant all of this, and they should be revered.
Commander Ehrhardt read a telegram from Congressman W. L. Greene stating that he could not be present. Congressman Stark wired that he would be here Wednesday.
A LETTER FROM ALLEN
??? the following letter, which was read from the platform by Commander Ehrhardt:
MADISON, Nebr., Sept. 13, 1897 - Hon. John A. Ehrhardt, Commander Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb. - My Dear Sir and Comrade: It has become apparent to me that, owing to the existence of circumstances over which I can exercise no control, I will not be able to attend the annual reunion of the soldiers and sailors of Nebraska, to be held at Lincoln during the current week. It has been my intention to attend and fraternize with those with whom, as a private soldier for over three years, I served in the late war for the union.
I entered the army when a lad, and served from the time I was fifteen until after I was eighteen years of age, and among the memories of my early life the days and incidents of the war are recalled most clearly. Having, up to the time of my enlistment, been confined to the life of a farm boy, it will not be counted strange by those for whom this letter is designed, that when I stepped from the harvest field into the presence of a mustering officer and took an oath to support and uphold the constitution of the United States and serve my country as a soldier to the best of my ability "for three years, or during the war," the drills, camp experiences, marches, picket duty, skirmishes, trenches and battle fields that followed for over three years, should make a deep and lasting impression on my mind.
For those who honestly served in the same great, just and holy cause, whatever their station in life may be, or may have been, I have strong feeling of affection akin to those existing between brothers, notwithstanding on political questions we may widely disagree. Men capable of sacrificing personal convenience and risking health and life in the accomplishment of a great cause in the interest of the race are too broad-minded, sensible and patriotic to cavil with others who performed a like services, respecting their political opinions.
The war for the union was fought on the theory that ours is a national government and that this is an inseparable union of indestructible states and that a state, having entered the union becomes an integral portion thereof, and cannot throw off or abandon its allegiance at any time a majority of its citizens may so declare. This is the settled doctrine of our country. We are not only a federal union, but a nation and our government possesses and can exercise, for the common good, all the power that any other national government can rightfully exercise.
Thirty-two years have passed into eternity since the close of the war in which we served together and the mustering out of the volunteer army and navy. Those who were then mere striplings have become grayheaded men and in the west have encountered the hardships, privations and experiences of a long useful and active pioneer life. It must have impressed itself on all, that with our retirement from the army we did not cease to be charged with duties and responsibilities of a very high order and an important character. The same cause that impelled our enlistment and induced us to encounter the hardships and experiences of a soldier's life, namely, the preservation and protection of the union, has doubtless induced us to perform our duty as citizens to the best of our ability, in making more secure the foundations of civilization and in strengthening the government wherever in our judgment it may have needed strengthening. It would not be possible for us to cease battling for good government after the close of the war, thus abandoning our duty on the very eve of victory. Such a course could only be regarded as sheer madness. A keen and perfect sense of the duties of citizenship would lead us to the conclusion that as long as life lasts we should give of our strength and influence to the cause of a government founded on popular liberty. Only by its citizens pursuing such a course can the government be preserved and transmitted to posterity unimpaired. If we should fail to perform our duties as citizens and the cause of popular liberty be thereby imperiled, or made less secure, the evil consequences to ensue would rest with us. Doubtless at the present time and in the past, we are and have been pursuing a course that has met with approval of our consciences and our judgments.
Among the many rights guaranteed the American people by the constitution is that of free speech, and the right to honestly act, think and speak on political and other questions affecting the welfare of mankind as we may see proper, so long as we do not intrench (sic) on or interfere with the like rights of others. If we keep with this line, we are enjoying a part of the liberty of which we and our fathers contended, and we must accord to all the right to act, think and speak for themselves.
I may be permitted to say that I shall in the future, as I have in the past, use every reasonable and honest effort to advance the interests of the soldiers and sailors of this state and nation. I have, during the incumbency of my present office, had under consideration nine hundred and sixty-five pension causes at the bureau of pensions, many of which have been granted, besides having introduced and secured the passage of many private bills. I have strenuously contended on the floor of the United States senate, and shall continue to do so, that all who honorably performed like service in the cause of the union, should be equally rewarded in the granting of pensions, and that the artificial distinction between husbands, made necessary by the existence of a state of war, shall not continue and each took his station in the ranks of citizens. I shall earnestly continue this line of advocacy until such an odious distinction shall have ceased to exist in the United States. the wife and children of a private soldier who performed meritorious and honest services for his country and risked life and limb at a time when the government needed him, should be rewarded equally with the wife and children of those who received higher pay, greater honor and emoluments during the short period such distinction existed.
To all I extend a greeting and God-speed in life's journey. Very Truly yours in F. C. and L.
WILLIAM V. ALLEN
The announcement was made that old soldiers would have free admittance to the penitentiary and the asylum.
The glee club then sang "We Were Soldiers Together."
MR. BRYAN'S SPEECH
W. J. Bryan was introduced, being received with a cheer. He explained that he could not be present on Thursday, when he had been invited to speak, and therefore he would speak while he could be in the city.
He thought that it is far more appropriate for these to speak at a reunion who have passed through the war. However, one by experiencing small contests, may appreciate to some extent the sufferings of the survivors of the greatest war in history.
Others have been engaged in wars of conquest but the civil war was the greatest war because temporary foes by it were converted into permanent friends. History affords no parallel of such a war. Before the war, every possible expedient was tried to settle the difficulty of slavery without resort to arms. Peaceable settlement was, however, impossible. The settlement which came, was permanent and the difficulty will never rise again. If the difference between the north and the south had been settled, leaving slavery in existence, the matter would not still be settled. The civil war settled this question and removed the only thing that could threaten the existence of the nation.
The interest in the war is not confined to the soldier or his immediate descendants. American will not forget what has been won in the terrible conflict of arms. The glories of war grow brighter as time goes on.
One looking back at the war, the great character of Abraham Lincoln stands out and is revered by all. Down in the southland people now say that in his death southern people lost a friend. Abraham Lincoln stands as the representative of what American citizenship can secure. No name is more worthy history's annals. There was nothing in his early life to mark him for the place he filled. He had the courage to stand by his convictions and by the side of justice, moderation and determination he was equal to the terrible responsibilities that fell to his lot. He was a patriot.
The word patriot does not include defenders of the country alone. It takes patriots to preserve liberty as well as to secure it. It is important for those who have risen up since the war to preserve the nation which the veteran saved. Battles fought with arguments are as noble as battles fought with guns. If a man hasn't the chance to die for his country, is it not glorious to be able to live for it?
Nebraskans stand today at the center of the United States. Nebraska has a population that is not surpassed in its general intelligence. I am glad that if I could not be here on flag day I could be here on Nebraska day and meet the veterans of the state. The nation should be grateful for the claims of the soldiers upon it. The nation depended upon volunteer soldiery, and now it should be willing to show its gratitude. When we bring contentment to those who form the nation's strength in peace and war, we have done our duty. By doing so we in another way show ourselves as patriotic as the soldiers were during the war.
During Mr. Bryan's speech, the first shower of the day came up and the roof of Mercantile hall being leaky, the water in places poured down in streams. Umbrellas were raised and the general effect of certain of the audience dodging good sized floods was curious. The shower was of short duration and did not draw the speaker's attention noticeably.
HAVE A JOLLY GOOD TIME
Veterans Sing Songs and Listen to Stories of the War Time
The campfire in the evening opened in cyclonic fashion. J. T. Walker of Ohiowa started the ball rolling before the presiding officers reached the platform. He spoke for the sons of veterans who, he said, would take the place of the veterans, but the sons of veterans would not take this place till the veterans were all gone. He said he received his patriotism honestly from a father who was at Shiloh. He spoke in a very humorous fashion, the burden of his talk being that the glories of the veterans would be kept alive by their sons and their daughters also. Captain Henry presided over the campfire. J. H. Foxworthy again led the singing. For a few minutes the hall fairly echoed with the strains of the familiar patriotic songs. Mr. Walker proved a trump again and in a second, he led the singing bringing out "Marching Through Georgia" from the audience with a volume that almost pulled the nails from the roofing. The comrades went fairly wild cheering with all their heart as the sweet old song brought up old memories. Captain Henry called them crazy but he said they had a right to be so over the flag.
Comrade Ginger of St. Louis was present and gave a recitation in German dialect which is his favorite. Every one of his recitations is interspersed and an exclamation was heard that the Dutchman (--?) heard use it must have been expert with it or Comrade Ginger could not have said it so naturally. The exclamation was "By Gollies." It was brought with such a natural fashion that the audience fairly howled in glee.
Past Department Commander A. V. Cole of Juniata was introduced. He succeeded in rousing the sympathies of the crowd by narrating some of his experiences. He touched a sympathetic chord by relating how on a visit to his Michigan home, he had found so many of his former comrades missing. He did not consider this such a sad state of affairs. He would not admit that he was growing old. He closed with a word of blessing for the mothers, wives and sweethearts who sent their loved ones to the war. Commander Ehrhardt took up the topic touched upon so often, that the comrades were growing old. He said it was impossible to grow old attending reunions. He mentioned the Veteran, the official paper.
Two comrades were brought forward who were blown up in the Sultana, nine miles above Memphis. Captain Henry brought them out on the platform and remarked that they did not look very much blown up. Their names were Hugh Kinzer of Albion and John Poland of DuBois. They met for the first time on the platform and were visibly affected. The explosion occurred April 27, 1863, and about 800 men were killed.
Comrade Wetz was called forward. He sang a parody on "Sweet Bye and Bye" about the "army bean. nice and clean." Going on he told the comrades dramatically that they had the pleasure of looking upon the "mug of one of nature's noblemen." He said he had a record that beats that of Nancy Hanks or any other horse. Continuing in a characteristic fashion, he told of a foraging expedition in Virginia when he and his comrades got a load of honey without the bees and were consigned to the doctors care next day.
Captain Henry next cited a few authorities to show that the union army was the largest history knows about. The war lasted 960 days with 1,500 battles, more than one for each day. All other wars sink into insignificance beside it. Captain Henry then related a number of stories of the war which the veterans could not get enough. He dwelt particularly on the effect of the war on the women of the land. He was very earnest in his talk and the audience was sorry when he stopped.
About 125 had registered at Wisconsin headquarters yesterday.
The election of officers for the Ohio division will occur this morning at 10 o'clock.
The prisoners of war will meet Thursday at 10 o'clock a. m., for a business meeting.
In the barracks, bales of straw serve as tables and the straw strewn floor for chairs when there are not more bales to serve the purpose.
After the speaking of the afternoon, Mr. Bryan gave the reunion committee an order for $25 to go towards the expenses of the reunion.
Sheriff Trompen was a visitor at Camp Lincoln yesterday. He looked old enough to have been a veteran but when the war broke out he was only seven years old.
The election of officers will occur at the Pennsylvania headquarters at 2 o'clock today. The registration there was the heaviest of any reunion for this period of the week.
At the headquarters of the reunion committee, two fine silk flags, hand embroidered, were displayed yesterday. An old battle flag belonging to the Eleventh Missouri, the property of Col. L. C. Pace, was also hanging at the same place.
A group of old soldiers were talking yesterday and evidently discussing the merits of some departed comrade. "He never showed the white feather to the enemy," said one. "No," added another, "and what's more, he never got away with anybody's money, except his own."
Pickpockets were at work in the crowd yesterday. Cyrus Carter of Lincoln, lost $14. A sister of Varney Robinson lost a pocketbook containing $1.50. Two other ladies were robbed, one of $3 and the other of fifty cents. One lady caught a small boy in the act of snatching her pocketbook. He was recognized as an old reform school inmate.
The state headquarters were the centers of attraction yesterday. The street before the tents was blocked all day by knots of veterans, every one of whom was telling some fight in which he had participated. The tents were full all day and many were the diagrams of battle fields to be seen, on all sides surrounded by very much interested veterans.
The oldest veteran on the grounds is Levi Dodson of Panama, of the First Nebraska; who is 91 years of age. He is the man whom the pickpockets were robbing when captured by the aid of Deputy Sheriffs Routzahan and Worthington and Detective Pound. Chaplain Henry Masterman of Farragut post, has held the ribbon for some time, he being 85 years old He has buried as chaplain, 114 comrades, none as old as he. He has been chaplain of the post for eighteen years.
Nebraska State Journal
Thursday morning, September 16, 1897
CAMP LINCOLN IS PACKED Woman's Day Draws the Largest Crowd of the Week
COMMANDER CLARKSON IS HERE He Addresses the Campfire in the Evening together With Thomas J. Majors -
State Divisions Elect Officers
The reunion grounds were crowded yesterday with veterans and their friends. The day was given over to the ladies' organizations in connection with the G. A. R., and these and their friends filled the spacious halls to overflowing. New faces were seen on every side. Yesterday was the first day when visitors from the city were seen to any noticeable extent.
The morning opened auspiciously. The Ladies of the G. A. R. held exercises in the morning and in the afternoon. The Woman's Relief Corps gave a very entertaining program.
The campfire at night was again in charge of Captain Henry who is a model conductor of such events. The principal speakers were T. J. Majors and Past Commander-in-Chief T. S. Clarkson. The veterans crowded the large hall as usual and Captain Henry "pulled" his coat and shed his collar and got down to work as if he was about to skin some unfortunate Johnny reb. There is no doubt but that Captain Henry can please more veterans in a shorter space of time than the majority of reunion speakers. He knows what the men went through and he possesses the faculty of telling them how they went through it in the 60s, adding just enough of original material to make his talk the better appreciated. Comrade Ginger of St. Louis, present at each campfire, who recites dialect poems about a certain Dutchman who could say "By Gollies" to perfection, is a great addition to the program.
The day was fully occupied with exercises, meetings and campfires, but large crowds of old soldiers filled the tents of the state headquarters and continued telling the tales that they had left unfinished the day previous. Throughout the tents, the people enjoyed the best of times. The grounds are roomy and there is no cause for complaint. The attendance during the day is variously estimated, there being no way to count the crowds at the gates. None put the attendance over 20,000, while some said it could not have been more than 15,000. The people are so scattered that an estimate of their numbers is difficult to make with accuracy. The trains brought in large crowds while the city people did not attend until evening. The threatening weather of the afternoon kept many away.
The expectation is that the afternoon speaking and the campfire tonight will be held in the amphitheatre, the hall being too warm and being provided with too few seats.
At 11 o'clock last night, a heavy rain came up and gave the veterans a sample of real camp life. Not all had their tents ditched and some came in closer contact with the dampness than was comfortable. The wind was not strong enough to do any damage with the tents, however, and the worst that anybody received was a good wetting.
INSPECT THE CAMP
Yesterday morning Commander Ehrhardt ordered an inspection of the camp by the medical directors. Director Pierce and Inspector Diener submitted the following report:
CAMP LINCOLN, Sept 15, 1897 - Gen John A. Ehrhardt, Commander Department Nebraska G. A. R.: We have the honor to report that we have this day inspected the sanitary condition of Camp Lincoln and while we find the camp in fair condition would respectfully recommend a more thorough renovation of cess pools and camp to insure good health. Respectfully submitted,
ALBERT S. (?) PIERCE, Medical Director
JOHN F. DIENER, Inspector
Medical Director Pierce stated that there was more than the usual amount of sickness on the grounds. For this reason a sick call was added to the program today. There is no case of serious illness in camp, but the veterans and their families especially seem to be suffering more that usual from the unusual conditions of living which tent life entails. Dr. J. R. Haggard of Lincoln and Dr. W. H. Barnwell of Orleans are acting as assistant surgeons.
HOLD A RECEPTION
Last evening a pleasant part of the program was a reception tendered in W. R. C. headquarters to the department officers, and all their friends. The department officers are as follows: Commander, John A. Ehrhardt, Stanton; senior vice commander, T. W. Majors, Peru; junior vice commander, J. E. Evans, North Platte; James D. Gage, Lincoln, acting adjutant-general; acting quartermaster-general, D. H. Figard, Seward; medical director, Albert S. Pierce, Hastings; inspector, John F. Diener, Syracuse; judge advocate, John Reese, Broken Bow; mustering officer, R. La Fountain, Kearney; chaplain, Charles A. Hale, Orleans; chief of staff, John L. Davidson, Long Pine.
The council of administration is composed of the following: L. D. Richards, Fremont; W. L. Askwith, Omaha; Alex Graham, Beatrice; L. B. Cunningham, Kearney; Ezra Brown, Harvard.
The program for today is as follows:
5:45 - Reveille
6:30 - Breakfast
7:30 - Police call
8 - Sick call
8:45 - Assembly of bands
9 - Assembly of states
10 - Meeting of prisoners of war in mercantile hall
11 - John Currie presents the statue of Lincoln to the department of the G. A. R.
12 - Dinner
1 - Assembly of bands
2 - Addresses by Hon. J. Sterling Morton, ex-secretary of agriculture; T. S. Clarkson, past commander-in-chief; H. C. Russell, private.
6 - Supper
7 - Assembly of bands
8 - Campfire by all hands
11:30 - Taps
ON STATE ROW
Several States Name Officers for the Ensuing Year
The headquarters of the various states were busy places yesterday. The majority of the states elected officers during the day and this brought the veterans out in force. The old soldiers are getting acquainted and they linger talking till it appears as if there could not be another word spoken. There is always plenty more to say, however.
Michigan soldiers met and elected the following officers: President, A. V. Cole, Juniata; vice president, A. H. Bowen, Hastings; secretary, Bara Brown, Harvard; treasurer, A. Traynor, Omaha; color bearer, Walter Trumbull, Lincoln. The Michigan people are very much in evidence and they tell some very big stories.
The Ohio veterans met and named the following: President, Joseph Brooks, University Place; vice president, Myron Richards; secretary. W. F. McLaughlin, Grand Island; treasurer, A. I. Warne, St. Paul; marshal, G. W. Efbier, Leigh; color bearer, V. W. Graves, Leigh; chaplain, B. F. Moore, Omaha; orator, H. N. Spencer, Negunda.
Missouri veterans have selected W. T. McKnight as president again. All the Missouri soldiers will parade the camp this morning.
The election of officers for the Nebraska division occurs in November, so there will be nothing but a general good time this week at the Nebraska tent. The officers are: President, J. L. Shaw, Adams; vice president, W. B. Swan, Tecumseh; secretary, J. Q. Goss, Bellevue.
At Kansas headquarters about twenty have registered. It is not likely that they will take any formal action as to officers.
The Iowa contingent elected the following officers: President, J. H. Dorrance, Fairmont; vice president, W. H. Smith, Sutton; treasurer, Jacob Hager, Clay Center; chaplain, W. Miller, Tobias; secretary, J. P. Beal, Crete; color bearer, William Newell, Lincoln. The Iowa people held a campfire at their headquarters last night.
Pennsylvania's new officers are as follows: President, J. F. Diener, Syracuse; adjutant, B. H. Shoemaker, Lincoln; quartermaster, J. W. Minick, Lincoln.
The Illinois veterans, some 400 strong met in a hollow square near the amphitheatre in the morning at 11 o'clock. Election of officers resulted as follows: President, Joe Teeter, Lincoln; first vice president, H. W. Chase; second vice president, Ira Wambaugh, Kearney; color bearer, E. J. Hardy, Engle; banner bearer; H. H. Sanders, Seward. The executive committee was named as follows: J. A. Ehrhardt, G. W. Greg, W. H. Wilson, P. J. Hall and J. T. Roberts. It was decided to hold the annual election of officers on the Wednesday of each reunion week. Resolutions were adopted on the death of W. B. Taylor of Lincoln, pledging the association to assist his family if assistance be needed.
LINCOLN DAY CONCERT
The Military Bands in Parade and on Postoffice Square
In the great parade on Friday afternoon each ward will be lead by a separate band. The same organizations will take part in the band concert in postoffice square, beginning at 8 o'clock in the evening. The full program of this musical treat will be published tomorrow. The following musical organizations will take part in both: Falls City military band, twenty-five pieces, F. Storm, director. Messrs J. P. Gliness, R. Kanady, F. Storm, A. D. May, C. A. Thacker, E. J. Satterwhite, G. Schoenhelt, J. R. Simanton, I. M. Branum, D. Noah, R. Gantt, F. Gantt, C. Sare, C. L. Marts, J. H. Davison, T. Richart, J. B. Downs, F. A. Keller, J. G. Harris, F. H. Werner, W. D. Shepardson, J. R. Pickett, G. T. Pickett, W. Goolsby.
Fairmont cornet band, George M. Heaton, director. Messrs. B. V. Farron, W. S. Jones, Otis Camp, F. Cubbison, Burt Camp, Will Dingman, Guy Clark, Floyd Corl, Lefford Haughowvert, Edward Johnson, L. F. Bullock, Emanuel Kahn, C. Bumgardner, W. Odell, J. M. Camp, Sam Church.
Finemen's military band, Fullerton, O. T. Harman, director. Messrs. W. H. Totten, L.S. Gleason, W. G. Parker, J. H. Fisher, C. H. Krumer, C. H. Adams, Clyde Gleason, C. W. Smith, W. A. Baidridge, Clare Macklem, E. W. Harwood, F. W. Thornburg, F. A. Kennedy, W. C. Adams, Roy Talbot, W. S. Morgan, Roy Agnew, C. E. Edgington, F. D. Fuller, W. C. Vangilder, Fred Agnew, R. G. Adams, Loren Taylor.
Omaha continental fife, drum and bugle corps, George Rhoades, director. Messrs. Al Barker, George Barker, Fred Barnum, Frank Cuby, Carl Carlson, Art Chism, M. C. Danforth, Fred Eastman, William Falconer, S. Dwyenne, William Johnson, Ernest King, Guy Richards, Carl Rowley, Charles Rhoades, G. M. Rathburn, P. S. Stokes, Frank Lowbach, Fred Sieserling, Grand Tignor, Richard Tizard, Ed Thresher, Dean Thompson, W. H. Wagensella jr. (sic)
Weston second band, Roy Carpenter, director. Messrs. Ferdinand Paca, Orri Edwards, Henry Blumk, Jay Stevens, Frank Matonsek, James Froliner, Will Lillibridge, Harry Lillibridge, Joe Staska, Herman Nelson.
Alma citizens' band, U. L. Gibbons, director.
LADIES OF THE G. A. R.
They Conduct Interesting Exercises During the Morning
The Ladies of the G. A. R. conducted the exercises in mercantile hall in the morning. The program was conducted by circle No. 36. The members of the circle rendered patriotic songs and there were other songs by individual members. Addresses were made by Mrs. Mowbray, president of Hetty K Painter circle; Mrs. M. M. Stuff, department president, and Mrs. Cramidih, department secretary.
Music was furnished by the Cotner ladies' quartet and the Farragut quartet and by Miss Jennie Simde and Mrs. Cotter. There were recitations by Miss Mabel Crawford and Miss Lethe Watson. Dr. Britt, editor of the Veteran, spoke in his characteristic fashion. The ladies extended a vote of thanks to him for his remarks.
A general reception and installation of comrades was held in the afternoon.
WOMAN'S RELIEF CORPS
Afternoon Exercises Listened to by a Large Audience
The exercises of the afternoon were very well attended. The friends of the Woman's Relief Corps are many and they filled the hall early, anxious to listen to the good things prepared for them. Printed programs had been distributed quite generally and the attendance was largely increased as a result. On the platform were seated many ladies who are prominent in relief work.
Mrs. General Bowen, department president of the Woman's Relief Corps, resigned the duties of chairman to Mrs. Helen Cook of Lincoln, chairman of the committee on arrangements.
The first number was a piano solo by Mrs. Lorena Flemming, "Recollections of Home." The piece was played with excellent execution and received hearty applause.
Mrs. Krumme, chaplain of Farragut corps, made an earnest prayer.
Mrs. Louise Alexander, president of Appomattox Relief corps, delivered a short address of welcome. She bade the veterans a hearty welcome to the nineteenth reunion in a speech that was full of the cordial feeling which pervades everything that ladies in G. A. R. circles do for their friends.
Mrs. Julia S. Bowen of Hastings, department president, responded to the kind words of welcome. She paid a tribute to Mrs. Helen Cook, who had been given charge of the program only five days ago. Mrs. Bowen said that the Woman's Relief Corps had 143,000 members and had expended$36,152 for relief since 1890. She said that she would advise every post which has not a corps of women organized to take steps at once towards the organization of one. Mrs. Bowen's speech was brief, but much appreciated.
Mrs. John Doane of Lincoln sang the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," the audience joining in the chorus. Mrs. Doane's rich voice filled the hall and her solo was excellently rendered.
Mrs. Dr. Cotter sang a solo, "Our Flag and the Union Forever." As she sang, two fine silk flags were waved from the platform, one by Mrs. Harrop and one by Mrs. Cook, making a very pretty effect.
Mrs. Mary R. Morgan, past department commanders, spoke on the Woman's Relief Corps. She said in part:
The men of the old continent came to America and could not make their new home a success until they brought the women. The women were organized into relief corps as early in the war of the revolution. The hardest position in battle is the relief corps. The womanhood of America during the war was in this position. The men in battle had easier positions than the mothers and wives who were waiting for them and whose hearts were pierced by the same bullets that killed their loved ones. The woman's aid societies of the war have changed into the relief corps of the present. The old soldiers were afraid at first to have an auxiliary society but they do not regret it now.
In 1886 (?), the national organization was completed at Denver thirteen state organizations entering. Sometimes it is said that the old soldiers are barred out. The G. A. R. made the laws of the relief corps and when that body changes the laws the veterans will be admitted. There should therefore be no criticism from veterans. Women who were loyal are admitted as members. Southern women who married northern men are excluded if they are not loyal.
Mrs. Morgan spoke in a very pleasing manner, with enough of humor to hold the close attention of the entire audience.
Mrs. Juliet Howe was introduced. She excused herself from making a speech by saying that in her day girls were never taught the art of public speaking. Her grey hair and motherly face captured all hearts, however, in the short time she spoke.
Mrs. Nellie Greer sang "Soldiers Dream" very sweetly.
Mrs. Henrietta Goodell read a paper on the "Teaching of Patriotism in the Public Schools." Mrs. Goodell gave a brief history of patriotic study. She detailed the movement to that end and spoke of the astonishing progress made in the last five years. As a result, 1,000,000 school children salute the flag each day. The flag salute is the first step in patriotic instruction, then comes the study of the patriotic primer. Following this come exercises of various natures for more advanced pupils. In this way the lessons taught by the Declaration of Independence will be perpetuated from generation to generation.
Mrs. Dr. Cotter sang "May God Protect the Right."
Miss Bessie Gerhart recited "The Whistling Regiment" with spirit. Miss Gerhart has a very pleasing delivery. She dealt very well with the pathetic parts.
Mrs. Nellie Richardson spoke briefly on the subject "Our Flag." Mrs. Richardson was in good voice for speaking in the large hall. During the course of her talk she remarked that since the acquisition of Alaska, Americans may boast like the Englishmen that the sun never sets upon their territory.
Mrs. John Brooks gave a vocal solo, "Brave Sentinel." Mrs. Brooks possesses a rich contralto voice which held the audience in silence, a very difficult thing to do.
Mrs. Wealthy Kemp read a paper "Where Should Politics Leave Off and Patriotism Begin." She believed that America should be considered as a unit and its interests as a whole. Speaking of political speakers whose arguments consisted of ridicule, she said that they were not patriots by any means. Politics should stop with the discussion of governmental affairs. The Woman's Relief Corps teaches loyalty and stands only second to the Grand Army of the Republic in the teaching of patriotism. It is not a political organization. Patriotism is welcome in the school house, the church and the home.
Mrs. O'Neil sang a vocal solo "We Were Comrades Together." Her song was one of the most touching on the program.
Mrs. Congdon was called for. She made a very brief speech thanking the audience for calling upon her. She wanted all to know that she was still working in relief work and had the interests of the heart.
The program closed with "America" sung to the audience, led by Mrs. Dr. Cotter, and a selection by the Falls City Band.
The band remained and gave a concert in the hall.
T. J. Majors and Past Commander Clarkson Talk to the Veterans
The campfire in the evening was begun impromptu fashion by J. T. Walker , who got warmed up on the subject of pensions. He is a son of a veteran who believes that nothing was too good for veterans. Eighteen of Mr. Walker's relatives died on southern battlefields.
Captain Henry had charge of the fire when Mr. Walker finished. Music was furnished by drummers and a fifer, who had gone through the war. The aged fifer made his fingers fly over the holes in the instrument.
Comrade Ginger sang "Marching Through Georgia" after the new version.
Capt. W. H. Woodward of Lincoln was called up from the audience. He spoke of Sherman's march to the sea and of army matters in general, decrying any slighting remarks of the veterans.
Comrade Ginger gave a recitation entitled "Number 4."
Captain Henry proceeded to fill in the chinks, as he called it. He told of the experience of a union woman who lived in Missouri, whose husband and brother enlisted in the union army. The unloyal Missourians shot her aged father and her brother as they were trying to prevent a search of their house where the two were hidden. The husband went to the war and before he lived with his wife again every one of the sixteen men who did the shooting were dead. "He did a good job," said Captain Henry, and the audience approved.
T. J. Majors was present and spoke for a short time. He said that the nineteenth reunion would be one of the grandest Lincoln had ever witnessed. He congratulated the veterans on the success of the meeting. The veterans have peace and prosperity now around them and there is nothing to mar the pleasure of the occasion.
Mr. Majors commented on the people who speak slightingly of the soldiers. He said they probably had scoffed at the "soldier racket" when it was time to enlist. The reunions do not open up old sores. The are schools of patriotism and they show to posterity the sacrifices of the war were not made in vain. It is the aim of the veterans to place the flags for safekeeping in hands as patriotic as the hands of those who preserved it. Veterans believe that their sons have the good of the country at heart.
Mr. Majors told of the lot of the soldier after his return from the war. He criticised (sic) those who oppose the giving of pensions. He told how the state had been thrown open to veterans. At last providence has smiled and there is no reason why all should not be glad.
As long as the rising generation is inspired with patriotism there is no danger as to the outcome of the nation. There is not a better class of men mentally and intellectually than the veterans.
Past National Commander-in-Chief T. H. Clarkson entered the hall at the time. He spoke as follows:
"I am gratified to have this opportunity of expressing my thanks for the manner in which you through your delegates commended me for the position of commander-in-chief. If I have fulfilled your expectations while holding that office, I am satisfied.
"It has been a great year in my experience. At Buffalo I met the veterans in in (sic) very many departments and the wonderful resources of the state were pictured before me by the comrades from different parts of the country.
"If the Nebraska people could only realize their resources as I did they would see that they have no reason to complain. If we only knew our own country better we would not care a cent whether silver was worth forty cents or $50.
"In my travels it was a great pleasure to say that I was from Nebraska. More actual wealth has been raised from the ground in proportion to the population in Nebraska than in any other state. People in the east are looking for places to make investments. I told them that the people of Nebraska did not need their money. We raising money right out of the ground here in Nebraska.
"The encampment of Buffalo was the most successful in the history of the G. A. R. The old boys were back again to the old times and the old time feeling of '61 was apparent in every face, more than any time I have witnessed of late."
In closing Gen Clarkson told how the news of Nebraska's prosperity was received in the east.
Adjutant General Gage read the orders for today, announcing the exercises of Friday and the campfire closed.
Harry Culver of Milford has been appointed bugler.
A team that disappeared Tuesday was found yesterday.
Comrade C. J. Dilworth was on the grounds yesterday.
A bicycle belonging to Miss Clara Scott, lost on the grounds Tuesday night, was recovered yesterday.
The registration at the Pennsylvania headquarters was the heaviest of any year. At noon 132 had registered.
The secretary of Congressman Stocks of Minnesota was at Minnesota headquarters yesterday to see after needy pensioners.
One man on the grounds drove in from Norton county, Kansas, being on the road three days and one night. He drove one horse hitched to a cart. Norton county is in the northwestern corner of Kansas.
J. F. Early of Wilber is the owner of some fragments of the battle flags of Minnesota regiments of which he is very proud. One shows the blood stain of some veteran who is not now alive to attend reunions.
The union prisoners of war met and re-elected the same officers for the ensuing year that they have had the past year. They meet at 10 o'clock today. The officers are: J. D. Gage, president; J. D. Garner, secretary; I. F. Diener, treasurer.
The Nebraska association of veterans held their business meeting yesterday morning and the same officers are continued over. They determined that some time between November 15 and December 15 of this year the Nebraska association will hold an annual reunion at Ashland, Neb.
General Clarkson is the possessor of a beautiful diamond badge presented to him at Buffalo by his staff through Comrade William McKinley. The badge is of eighteen carat gold and on it are ninety-seven diamonds, large and small. It is a beauty and one that the general prizes very highly. The general was much pleased to be able to attend the reunion.
One of the fakirs got taken in at his own game yesterday. He sold chances on a gold watch and offered to give $15 for the watch to whoever should draw it. A man living at Cortland was successful and the $15 had to be handed over, as he preferred the money to the watch. The fakir then endeavored to have him arrested to recover his money. The scheme did not work and the farmer left $15 richer.
The Indiana division meets today at 2 o'clock for a business meeting. Yesterday the Indiana people in charge were serving coffee and cherry phosphate to all visitors. The apparatus used in making these refreshments will be presented to the association today by the comrades living in Lincoln. The Indiana tent is tastily decorated with flags and portraits of O.
© 1997-1999, 2000, 2003 by Ted & Carole Miller