Grand army of the republic. Dept. of Massachusetts.

Journals of the encampment proceedings of the Department of Massachusetts G.A.R. frm 1881 to 1887 inclusive online

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possession of each Post Commander. The matter and manner of
appeals is also fully set forth on page 22 of said manual.

My attention has recently been called to an organization
known as the " Beneficiary Fund of the Grand Army of the
Republic," an association claiming to be duly incorporated under
the laws of the State of New York, and having its headquarters
at Buffalo. The object of this association is to do an insurance


business on the co-operative plan, now so much in vogue. It is
officered by members of the G.A.R., who are designated by the
same titles by which our Department officers are known. I
understand that this organization has the official recognition of
the Department of New York, Grand Army of the Republic, but
whether it is or is not thus sanctioned, the fact remains that its
name, and the additional fact that its officers are thus designated,
may tend to lead to confusion and pervert the principles of our
Order from their true end, aim and purpose. We cannot be too
solicitous, comrades, for the purity and welfare of the Grand
Army of the Republic. We should zealously guard its fair fame
by keeping the Order aloof from each and every class, organiza-
tion or person attempting to trade upon its name, or to make
capital out of the great principles upon which it is so securely
founded. We should discountenance clap-trap and repudiate all
side shows, to the end that, recognizing no class, condition or
creed, the Grand Army of the Republic may be kept true to the
course which its founders in their wisdom marked out for it to
follow, until that day when the last comrade is " mustered out"
to pass on to the reassembling of the Grand Army above.

I desire, in closing this report, to tender my sincere thanks
to the Assistant Adjutant-General and other Department officers
for their uniform kindness and courtesy extended to me on all

Respectfullv submitted in F., C. and L.,

Judge- Advocate.


Boston, Jan. 30, 1882.

Commander and Comrades : I appear before you again, after
the trials and hardships of another year, to present to you my
third annual report. I should fail in the discharge of my duty
as your spiritual advisor, did I not recognize in your presence
tonight that an All-Seeing Eye had rested upon you for good
during the year. You, Commander, and your noble associates,
have gone in and out among the various Posts of the Depart-
ment In the discharge of your duties, and Avhether travelling in
the cars, or other modes of conveyance, the care of the Almighty
has gone with you, and the life of each of you has been precious

in His sight. •, r^ .

To you, comrades, delegates of the various Posts and Depart-
ments now present, God has graciously smiled upon you during
the year. Some who have met with us in Convention in the past
are not present tonight. They have crossed the Dark River to


the other side ; they have given the proper signal at the outer
door ; have been admitted to the presence of the great Commander,
at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Thus, 1 am exceedingly grateful with you, not only in the
blessing of preserved lives, but in the great and noble work that
has been accomplished in this Department during the year.
Surely it has been ope of great prosperity. No year has been
freighted with such grand results ; and each have followed in the
wake of its predecessor, until we are ready to shout, "Victory ! the
Lord God Omnipotent reigneth!" Memorial Day, in Boston, with
the united Suffolk County Posts, did much to open the way for
this great success.

The fine appearance of the men on parade, the soldierly
bearing of each on the line of march, the absence of the greatest
of all plague-spots to the true soldier, drunkenness, — the man
who, so forgetful of his own reputation or of those associated
with him, falls out by the way and takes too freely and too often
of the intoxicating cup, and then forgets to hide himself from the
sight of others, — was scarcely seen upon our streets on that day.

It was a Memorial Day long to be remembered. It was a
Holy Day. Thanks to the rulers of the good old Commonwealth,
it was a legal one. The large gathering in Tremont Temple, the
inspiring and enthusiastic address of our beloved governor, — all
tended to make the day what it should be, a memorable one,
sacred to the memory of our noble dead.

Then followed in quick succession, June 8, the dedication of
the Soldiers' Home in Chelsea, the crowning work of our beloved
Past Commander, Horace Binney Sargent, and his noble asso-
ciates of the Department. God bless them !

It was my privilege to offer the Prayer of Dedication, pray-
ing for the Divine blessing upon the building, and upon those
that shall be sheltered under its roof in years to come. May it
indeed be a soldiers' home. We are much indebted for the suc-
cess of that day to Post 35 ; to the ladies of Chelsea ; and to the
officers and members of the Woman's Relief Corps, led by its
President, Mrs. Fuller, who presented to the Home two fitting
emblems — the Bible and the flag ; the one to be a guide in the
journey of life to a better lapd ; the other to inspire with patriot-
ism and love for the country he had helped to save. Then came
the closing scene, — the bazaar, — to which the Posts of Boston
and the Department, aided by the ladies and gentlemen of the
Commonwealth, made it a great success, and put in the hands of
the treasurer between forty and fifty thousand dollars. Not
included in this sum is the munificent gift of Capt. J. B. Thomas
of Charlestown, of ten thousand dollars, and the smaller sums of
others ■ — so that the Home was paid for without touching the pro-
ceeds of the bazaar. And could my voice be heard tonight by


every true soldier in this Commonwealth, who, weary and :dmost
destitute, sometimes feels himself forsakeu and homeless, or to
that man who, through misfortune and sickness, has been com-
pelled to seek shelter \vith the paupers of the State, I would cry
to him in thunder-tones, My comrade, you are not forgotten.
Look — look to Chelsea's noble city, and upon an eminence floats
the stars and stripes, and a building beautifully furnished, fit for
any gentleman of the land. This is the Home — your home. Be
aratSul — be grateful to God — be grateful to the ladies and
o-eutlemen of the Commonwealth — but do not be unmindful of
the members of the Grand Army of the Republic, who, inspired
by the noblest attribute of God, Love, hath prepared this home

for you.

But amid all these pleasing thoughts of the past year, one
dark shadow hath passed in review before us. Not in our own
Department, but in the nation. It was a comrade who died. He
was our comrade. And when the bullet of the assassin struck
him, each member of the Grand Army felt the shock; and when
he died, we wept for the loss of a good man and great — James
A. Garfield, President of these United States. Honor to the dead!
But the nation lives, and we rejoice in the success of our present
Chief Magistrate — Chester A. Arthur. Long may he live !

The present success and spiritual condition of this Depart-
ment is chiefly due to our present Commander. Your gentlemanly
bearing, sir, and cheerful disposition, have done much to aid the
Chaplain in the work of reform. Until the present year the work
was immense, unaided by the Department Commander. But since
your occupancy of the chair, sir, the work has become so thorough
that the only unmarried one upon the staff has taken to himself a
wife, and now the inspection has become double and complete.
Even the Adjutant-General, since last year, has become a new
man, and tonight I can take him by the hand and call him
brother, and pray that his life may be a successful and useful one.
So that all the officers of the Department have followed in your
footsteps. Commander, and a good work has been accomplished ;
so much so, that we now number 10,000 strong.

Comrades of the Grand Army, when this Encampment shall
close, go back to your posts of duty, encourage your comrades,
replenish your charity funds, bring in every true soldier to the
Grand Army of the Republic, do deeds of valor worthy of your
name, and if, during the year to come, in the providence of God,
you fall, let it be at the post of duty. So shall the community
say of you, he was a good man and a true soldier. And the great
Commander-in-Chief, into whose presence you shall enter, will
say, " He hath fought a good fight; he hath finished his course ;
enter into my rest, and sit down with your Lord."

Yours in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty,





Headquarters Dept. of Mass., G.A.R.,
Boston, Jan. 30, 1882.

Comrades: Owing to the unavoidable absence of Comrade
Scates, senior member of tlie Council of Administration, it
devolves upon me to present the report for the Council. After
the very interesting and exhaustive address of the Commander,
and the concise and intelligent reports of the other Department
officers (who are ex officio members of the Council of Adminis-
tration), it would seem that there remained but little for us to
report upon.

We have held eight sessions during the year, and have also
attended to the inspection of Posts, and the auditing of the
accounts of the Assistant Adjutant-General and the Quartermas-
ter-General. We carefully examined the source of all receipts,
and the vouchers for all payments, and it is a pleasure to report
that we found everything correct, and the accounts neatly kept.

We would recommend that the accounts be examined and
audited every quarter, not waiting until just before the Department
Convention to perform this important duty.

The Council congratulate the Department that the long stand-
ing indebtedness to National Encampment has been wiped out,
the last payment having been paid during the present month.

A departure having been taken by the National Encampment,
as well as by this Department, in the matter of supplies, — every-
thing being now conducted on a cash basis, — the Council recom-
mend that the Assistant Adjutant-General hereafter keep his
accounts open long enough to bring in the last quarter of each
year. We believe that this can be done, as the Convention is not
usually held until the last of January. As now conducted the
last quarter of this year goes into the accounts of 1882, and so on.

We find the receipts of the Department for the year to have
been : —

On hand, last report $100 35

Receipts 4,G37 88

$4,738 23

And the expenditures, $4,705.06, for which vouchers are on file
at Department Headquarters.

The Department is in a healthy and flourishing condition, as
3^ou have already been informed ; eleven new Posts have been
chartered, and our membership increased during the year 1,363,
making our total membership 10,252.


We congratulate the Department that the labors of our Com-
mander and Assistant Adjutant-General have been crowned with
so much success, and we trust the time is not far distant when
every veteran soldier and sailor will feel it a duty, as well as a
pleasui'e, to be enrolled as a member of the Grand Army of the
Republic. The experiment of printing the proceedings of the
Convention for distribution to the Posts we believe has met with
general appi'oval, and we recommend its continuance.

The Convention of last year voted the sum of $200 to the
Assistant Adjutant-General for clerk hire. This came none too
soon, for the duties of his office are increasing with the growth of
the Department, and we recommend that the sum of S'200 be
appropriated to that purpose for the coming year, thereby enab-
ling him to devote more time to missionarii work, the good results
of which during the past year we see in our increased membership.

The Assistant Adjutant-General being the on\y salaried
officer of the Department, he must necessarily absent himself from
his office, attending to the interests of the Grand Army in various
parts of the State ; but we recommend that during such absence
he leave some one at headquarters to attend to the wants of the
comrades. This we believe he can do, with the extra allowance.

The Commander has alluded at length to the pension ques-
tion, and nothing remains for us to add, except that we heartily
endorse the suggestions therein contained.

The question of uniforms has received more or less consid-
eration from the Council, and your special committee will report
upon the same.

The Council believe the}' acted wisely in taking the necessary^
steps to call the attention of Congress and the Pension Office to
the fact that the Grand Army are interested in the method of
examination of pension claims, and we recommend that this
Department put itself on record upon this much vexed question.

All of which is respectfully submitted,

For the Council of Administration.

The reports of all the Department officers having been pre-
sented, it was moved by Comrade J. G. B. Adams of Post 5,
that the reports be accepted and placed on fde. Judge Advocate
William H. Hart offered an amendment, which was adopted by a
rising vote of ninety-nine to sixty-eight, that the recommendations
in the address of the Department Commander, and the reports of
the various officers, including the Council of Administration, be


referred to a special committee of five to be appointed by the
Commander; and the following committee was appointed, viz. : —

Judge Advocate William H. Hart ; Charles B Fox of Post
68 ; W. J. Mansfield of Post 12 ; George W. Powers of Post 15 ; '
William K. Vining of Post 78.

Comrade J. P. Maxfield of Post 42 moved that a committee
of eleven be appointed by the Commander, to report a list of
delegates and alternates to National Encampment ; and five com-
rades to serve on the Council of Administration. The motion
was adopted and the Commander announced the following com-
mittee : —

J. P. Maxfield of Post 42 ; Wm. M. Olin of Post 26 ; Henry
T. Holmes of Post 35; J. B. Lamb of Post 10; F. M. Harring-
ton of Post 96; Andrew C. Stone of Post 39; Geo. A. Thayer
of Post 2 ; John F. Bruce of Post 19 ; A. A. Davis of Post 5 ;
C. H. Parsons of Post 45 ; Geo. E. Whittaker of Post 71.

A motion was adopted that comrades in speaking be limited
to five minutes, and that no one shall speak more than twice on
the same question except by unanimous consent

Comrade Geo. L. Goodale of Post 66 moved that when we
adjourn it be to meet at this place at 9 o'clock January 31 ; an
amendment to meet at 10 o'clock was lost, and after a brief dis-
cussion the original motion was adopted.

No other business being presented, the Encampment
adjourned at 10.20 p.m., until 9 o'clock January 31.

Immediately after the close of the first session the hall was
cleared, and the officers of Theodore Winthrop Post 35, G.A.R. ,
of Chelsea, exemplified the work of the Order in a very complete
and satisfactory manner ; after which a branch of a subsidiary
organization illustrated the improbabilities of Grand Army life as
experienced in Chelsea.

Faneuil Hall, 10 a.m., Boston, Jan. 31, 1882.

The hour to which the Encampment adjourned having arrived.
Commander Creasey called to order, and after prayer by Depart-
ment Chaplain Lee, the Encampment was declared ready for busi-
ness, and the roll was called for.



Comrade James E. Barrows of Post 56, Cambridge, presented
a communication from that Post relative to the alleged abuse
of the G.A.R. badge. On motion of Comrade Joseph H. Gleason
of Post 77, Holden, it was voted that the communication be
referred to the incoming Council of Administration.

Comrade Charles D. Nash of Post 7S, South Abington, pre-
sented a communication from that Post relative to the formation
of a Mutual Benefit Association in connection with the G.A.R. ,
and by vote of the Encampment the subject was laid on the table.


Tlie Assistant Adjutant-General reported for the Committee
on Credentials, as follows : —

Number of comrades entitled to seats in this Encampment 383

Number of comrades present 295

Divided as follows : —

Department officers 12.

Past Department Commanders 4

Post Commanders 97

Delegates 182

Total 295

Comrade Silas A. Barton of Post 5, Lynn, reported for the
Committee on Uniform, appointed at the last Encampment, as
follows': —

Boston, Jan. 30, 1882.

Commander and Comrades of the Encampment : The com-
mittee appointed at our last Annual Encampment, to take into
consideration the expediency of adopting a uniform for the Depart-
ment, have given the matter careful thought, and as the result
thereof respectfully submit the following report : —

We earnestly recommend to the Department the following
uniform, a sample of Avhich is worn by the Assistant Adjutant-
General, and the cost of which, including coat, pants and cap, is
$10.00, coat and pants without cap, S9.50.


First. A cap or hat, as the Department may determine. If
a hat is adopted, we recommend the style worn by the Assistant
Adjutant-General, and submitted herewith.

Second. A dark blue single-breasted coat, average length
thirty inches, cut to button high in the neck, with a box collar,
four large G.A.R, buttons on front, and two small G.A.R. but-
tons on each sleeve.

Third. Pants of same material as coat, with light blue welt
made into each outside seam.

Fourth. A white belt of webbing or leather with G.A.R.
clasp on front.

Fifth. The present mixed cord and wreath with number of
Post inside the latter.

Respectfully submitted.





















After presenting the report. Comrade Barton moved that it
be adopted. The motion was seconded by Comrade Billings of
the committee, who expressed his personal preference for light
blue pants, and certain modifications, but believing fully in the
desirability of a Department uniform. After a discussion which
was participated in by a number of comrades, the report and
recommendations of the committee were adopted, with an amend-
ment, that Posts may adopt hats or caps at their option. Com-
mander Smith of Post 16 moved, and it was voted, that the Posts
of this Department be recommended to procure this uniform as
soon as possible.

Comi-ade Charles B. Fox of Post 68 presented the following
report for committee of five, appointed last evening to consider
the several recommendations in the address of the Commander
and the reports of the other officers, viz. : —

The committee to whom was committed the recommendations
in the Commander's Address, and the reports of the various
Department officers, having attended to their duty, would respect-
fully report, as follows : —

First. In relation to the recommendation that a ijer cajyitct
contribution be made by the several Posts of the Department for


the support of the Soldiers' Home, your committee would report
that they are unauimously of the opinion that such action would
be inexpedient.

Second. lu the matter of a Department Encampment, your
committee are of the opinion that it presents enough of possible
advantage to warrant the recommendation that it be tried at least
one year as an experiment.

Third. In regard to the question of jurisdiction, your com-
mittee would recommend the adoption of the following resolu-
tion : —

B^'solved, That in the opinion of this Convention, the applications
for admission of recruits living without the territorial limits of a i'ost
should not be encouraged.

Foirrth. Your committee would recommend the adoption of
the sucraestion of the Council of Administration, that the fourth
quarter^of each year be hereafter included in the annual reports.

Fifth. Your committee would recommend that the appro-
priation of $200 for clerk hire in Assistant Adjutant-General's
department be continued, it being understood that this appropria-
tion will enable the Assistant Adjutant-General to keep his office
open during office hours when he is necessarily absent on official
business ; and also that the report of the proceedings of the Con-
vention be printed as recommended by the Council of Adminis-

Si.vth. In regard to the matter of pensions, your committee
recommend the adoption of the following resolve : —

He'^olred, That this Department is ready to co-operate with other
Departments of the Grand Army, and with the Commission of Pensions
in any system which will expedite the settlement of just and the rejection
of fraudulent claims. ^^^^^ H.HART.



Comrade Billings moved and it was voted that the foregoing
report be accepted, and the several recommendations be acted
upon separately. After the reading of the first recommendation,
it was voted on motion of Department Chaplain Lee, amended by
Commander Smith of Post 16, as a substitute, that the Com-
mander of each Post in this Department ask for a collection in
each church in the city or town where the Posts are located, on
the Sunday next preceding Memorial Day.

The second, third, fourth and fifth recommendations as pre-
sented by the committee, were adopted.


The sixth recommendation was discussed at length, and a
motion to indefinitely postpone was laid on the table, after which
the resolution was adopted, and the Commander instructed to
send a copy of the same to each Department of the G.A.R. , and
the Commissioner of Pensions.


Comrade E. P. Simpson of Post 142, South Framingham,
moved and it was voted, that we proceed to the election of
Department officers, and that a committee of five be appointed by
the Commander to collect, sort and count votes for Department

The following committee was appointed : —

E. P. Simpson of Post 142, South Framingham ; E. G. W.
Cartwright of Post 47, Haverhill; J. H. Gleason of Post 77,
Holdeu ; Peter D. Smith of Post 99, Andover; J. H. Jones of
Post 37, Spencer.

Nominations being in order. Commander C. W. Sleeper of
Post 42, Lowell, presented the name of Comrade Thomas H. Hill
of Post 33, Woburn, seconded by Comrade B. F. Whittemore of
Post 33, and others.

Comrade John G. B. Adams of Post 5, Lynn, nominated
Comrade Geo. H. Patch of Post 142, South Framingham, seconded
by Comrade E. P. Simpson of Post 142.

On motion of Comrade J. P. Maxfield of Post 42, Lowell, it
was voted that the roll be called and delegations step to the front
of the platform and vote as they are called.

The roll was called as directed, and after all had voted for
Commander, the committee proceeded to a count.

On motion of Comrade Edwin Earp of Post o, it was voted
that a committee of five be appointed to collect, sort and count
ballots for Senior Vice-Commander.

While the committee was being appointed. Commander
Fellows of Post 35 nominated Comrade William H. Hart of Post
35, Chelsea, for Senior Vice-Commander. The nomination was
seconded by Comrade George L. Goodale of Post 66. In accord-
ance with Comrade Earp's motion, the following committee was
appointed to collect, sort and count votes for Senior Vice-Com-
mander, viz. : —



Edwin Earp of Post 5 ; Wm. H. Morgan of Post 89 ;
Dennis Meelian of Post 7 ; G. H. Carpenter of Post 20 ; Thos.
E. Cutter of Post 49.

A ballot was at once ordered, and after all had voted for
Senior Viee-Coinmander, the committee on ballot for Commander
reported as follows : —

Whole number of votes cast . .

Necessary for a choice ...
George H. Patch, Post 142, had
Thomas H. Hill, " 33, had





And Comrade George H. Patch of Post 142, South Framingham,
was declared elected Department Commander for the ensuing year.
The committee on ballot for Senior Vice-Commander reported
as follows : —

Whole number of votes
Necessary for a choice
William H. Hart had
Geo. W. Powers had




Comrade William H. Hart of Post 35, Chelsea, was declared
elected Senior Vice-Commander for the ensuing term.

Online LibraryGrand army of the republic. Dept. of MassachusettsJournals of the encampment proceedings of the Department of Massachusetts G.A.R. frm 1881 to 1887 inclusive → online text (page 5 of 64)