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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Nominations for Junior Vice-Commander being in order,
Comrade P. Allen Lindsey of Post 30 presented the name of Com-
rade John D. Billings of Post 94, Canton. Comrade T. J. Ames
of Post 53 named Comrade John F. Bruce of Post 19, Fitchburg.
Comrade Thomas Langlan of Post 15 nominated Geo. W. Powers
of the same Post, and Commander Smith of Post 16 presented
the name of John L. Rice of Post 16, Springfield.

The several nominations were seconded, and on motion of
Commander C. W. Sleeper of Post 42, Lowell, the following com-
rades were appointed a committee to collect, sort and count votes
for Junior Vice-Commander, viz. : —

C. W. Sleeper of Post 42 ; L. F. Currier of Post 122; G.
W. Johnson of Post 134; C. H. Watson of Post 41 ; Theodore
Leutz of Post 21.


While the above committee were counting the votes they had
collected, Commander Fellows of Post 35 moved that a committee
of one be appointed to wait upon Comrade George H. Patch and
introduce him to the Encampment. An amendment offered by
Comrade John Upham of Post 39 was accepted, that the commit-
tee consist of three comrades, and Commander Fellows of Post
35, Comrade Upham of Post 39 and Commander L. E. Thayer of
Post 27 were appointed. The committee retired, and in their
absence the committee on ballot for Junior Vice- Commander
reported as follows : —

Whole number of votes cast 262

Necessary for a choice 132

John D. Billings, Post 94, had 123

John L. Rice, " 16, " 69

John F. Bruce, " 19, " 31

Geo. W. Powers, " 15, " 16

Wm. H. Wade, " 145, " 13

A, O. Kinney, " 103, " 7

Scattering 3

There was no choice and a new ballot was ordered ; the same
committee collected votes and proceeded to count.

The committee appointed to wait upon Comrade Patch put
in an appearance and presented to the Encampment Commander-
elect George H. Patch, who, in a short speech, accepted the posi-
tion, thanked the comrades for their confidence as expressed in
the election, and promised to devote his best efforts to the advance-
ment of this Department and the Order generally.

Senior Vice-Commander Benj. S. Lovell moved that a com-
mittee of three be appointed to conduct the Senior Vice-Com-
mander-elect to the platform. The motion prevailed, and Comrade
Lovell, Comrade Geo. S. Evans of Post 30 and Comrade Savillion
Arnold of Post 9 were appointed.

The committee attended to their duty, and introduced Com-
rade William H. Hart, who expressed himself as grateful for the
honor conferred, and promised the most unqualified assistance in
the upbuilding of the organization.


The committee reported the second ballot for Junior Vice-
Commander, as : —

Whole number of votes cast 250

Necessary for a choice 126

John D. Billings, Post 94, had 181

John L. Rice, " 16, " 51

John F. Bruce, " 19, " 9

Geo. W. Powers, " 15, " 8

Wm. H. Wade, " 145, " 1

And Comrade Billings was declared elected Junior Vice-Com-

On motion of Comrade Powers of Post 15 it was voted that
a committee of three be appointed to escort the Junior Vice-Com
mander to the platform. The committee, consisting of Comrade
Geo. W. Powers of Post 15, John F. Bruce of Post 19 and Com-
rade William H. Wade of Post 145, attended to the duty assigned
them, and presented Comrade John D. Billings as Junior Vice-
Commander-elect, who briefly thanked the comrades for the honor
conferred by the election, and promised the best service at his
command to perfect and maintain the G.A.R.

The Assistant Adjutant-General was instructed by a unani-
mous vote to cast a ballot bearing the name of Comrade John W.
Lee for Chaplain, and Comrade Azel Ames, Jr., for Medical
Director of the Department for the ensuing year. The ballot was
cast as directed, and the comrades named were declared elected.

Senior Vice-Commander Lovell called attention to the fact
that many Posts depended, in a great measure, upon the collec-
tions taken in churches, on the Sunday preceding Memorial Day,
as a means of paying expenses incurred in decorating graves on
May 30, and he therefore moved that the vote passed at an earlier
stage of the proceedings, providing for a collection to be taken
on the Sabbath next before Memorial Day, for the benefit of the
Soldiers' Home, be reconsidered, and it was so voted.

He then moved that the collection for the Soldiers' Home be
taken on the third Sunday in October of each year, which motion
was adopted.

Comrade Horace Binney Sargent referred to the magnificent


gift of $10,0C0, recently made to the Soldiers' Home, and moved
that the thanks of this Department be extended to Capt. Joseph
B. Thomas for his munificent gift, and that the same be suitabl}^
engrossed and forwarded to Captain Thomas. The motion pre-
vailed unanimously.

Comrade J. P. Maxfield, for the committee appointed at the
first session of this Encampment to nominate five comrades to
serve on the Council of Administration, and a list of delegates
and alternates to National Encampment, reported a complete list
which was read, and he then moved that the Assistant Adjutant-
General deposit one ballot bearing the names as reported by the
committee. There was no objection ; the ballot was cast as
directed, and the following comrades were declared elected,
viz. : —


W. A. Sloaue Post 37, Spencer

Wm. S. Frost "43, Marlboro

Wm. S. Brown " 2, South Boston

M. P. Palmer "115, Groton

C. H. Parsons "45, Gloucester

Representatives to National Encampment.

delegate- at-large.
Henry B. Peirce Post 73, Abington


Andrew C. Stone Post 3'J, Lawa-ence

C. O. Fellows "35, Chelsea

Alvin R. Bailey " 11, Charlestown

Benj. S. Lovell "58, East Weymouth

J. P. Maxfield "42, Lowell

J. E. Killian "26, Roxbury

C. H. Tracy " 103, Chicopee

Thomas J. Ames " 53, Leominster

J. B. Lamb "10, Worcester

Azel Ames, Jr " 12, Wakefield


J. Frank Dalton . . . . • . Post 34, Salem



John F. Bruce Post 19, Fitcbburg

Benj. Pitman "82, Marblehead

J. D. Edgell "116, Gardner

J. H. Dwyer " 5, Lynn

Nathaniel E. Ladd "101, Groveland

F. W. Merriam "93, Shelburne Falls

Charles B. Fox "68, Dorchester

J. Payson Bradlee " 2, South Boston

E. P. Gibbs " 9, Hudson

George Gurney "55, Taunton

Comrade George S. Ball of Post 105, Upton, offered the
following, which was adopted unanimously by a rising vote : —

Whereas, As a part of the Grand Array, we recall most gratefuUj'
the service rendered to the woimded and sick soldiers in camp, field and
hospital, by the Sanitary and Christian Commissions, and recognize their
efficient organizations as vital links between the Union Army and the
charity, care and love of the people throughout the cities, towns, villages
and hamlets of the loyal North ; and

Whereas, We have heard of the death of Rev Dr. Bellows of New
York, whose prolific brain and warm heart sought, with a few others of
the same spirit, to increase and perfect that mighty engine of tender
care and help to sufiering soldiers, the Sanitary Commission ;

JResolved, That in the death of Rev. Dr. Bellows, we lose a friend
of the great army and the Republic, and, in grateful remembrance of his
services, would now inscribe this tribute to his memory on our records.

Besolved, In the death of Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, we recognize
the departure of a tender and sympathizing comrade, whose memory is
near to the hearts of all in this Department of the Grand Army.

We also recognize in this death, the loss of a loyal, large-hearted
and efficient soldier and citizen. We are assured that history wall do
justice to his ability as a general, and coming generations of loyal men
and women will hold his character in reverence and gratitude ; and we,
as his comrades, will cari-y his benign image in our hearts as long as
they shall beat, and extend to his afflicted family our sympathy.

The following resolution, presented by Comrade J. P. Max-
field, was unanimousl}' adopted, viz. : —

Besolved, That it is the sense of this Department in Convention
assembled, that the practice by any members of the G.A.R. in this


Department, to charge, besides the necessary expenses, for their ser-
vices as orators on " Memorial Day" is in bad taste, and should be
discouraged ; and this Encampment condemns such practice, believing it
detrimental to the best interest of the Order.

Inspector William L. Baird offered the following, which was
unanimously adopted : —

Voted, That the thanks of this Encampment be and they are
hereby tendered to the officers of Post 35, for the very acceptable
manner in which they exemplified the ritual of the Order last
evening ; also to the officer of the day, officer of the guard, and
comrades of the same Post, for their efficient performance of guard
and ordei'ly duty.

Comrade Horace Binney Sargent moved that a vote of thanks
be extended to Comrade Arnold A. Rand, and the patriotic women
and men w^ho assisted in making the Soldiers' Home Bazaar so
eminently successful. The motion prevailed.

Comrade John G. B. Adams presented certain correspondence
relative to the decoration of the graves of Union soldiers at
Andersonville and Florence, and on his motion it was voted that
the whole subject be referred to the incoming Council of Adminis-
tration, with full powers.

The Assistant Adjutant-General called the attention of the
Encampment to the long-continued illness and more recent acci-
dent to Medical Director Azel Ames, Jr., and the following was
unanimously adopted : —

Voted, That the Assistant Adjutant-General express to Com-
rade Azel Ames, Jr., Medical Director of this Department, the
warmest sympathy of this Encampment in his recent affliction,
and the hope of the comrades of the Department that his recovery
may be speedy and complete.

Comrade Charles B. Fox of Post 68, presented the following
resolution : —

Besolved, That, in the judgment of this Convention, the interests
of the Grand Army in this Department would be promoted by such
changes as will shorten and simplify the ritual and secret work of the
Order ; and that our delegates be instructed to advocate such changes at
the next session of the National Encampment.

The foregoing was duly considered, and after a brief dis-
cussion the resolution was lost.



The following resolution was offered by Comrade Thomas
Langlan of Post 15 : —

Eesolvech That for the purpose of more perfect organization, and
to promote the efficiency of the Grand Army of the Republic in the
Department of Massachusetts, the Rules and Regulations be so amended
as to provide for the creation of Divisions limited to include the Posts
within the county lines in each county ; and that hereafter any county in
this Department containing five or more Posts of the Grand Army, shall
constitute a Division of the Grand Army of the Republic of this Depart-
ment subject to such conditions as the Department Encampment may
hereafter determine.

The resolution was laid on the table.

Comrade George S. Merrill moved, and after some discussion

it was

Voted, That the Department Commander petition the General
Court for an annual appropriation of ten thousand dollars in favor
of the Massachusetts Soldiers' Home.

On motion of Comrade Adams of Post 5, it was

Voted, That the thanks of this Encampment be, and the same
are, hereby extended to his associates, the I.O. of B.J.'s, for
their entertainment on the evening of January 30.

The usual vote. of thanks to the retiring officers was passed,
and upon a call for business there was none presented.

The Commander-in-Chief George S. Merrill then installed
the following officers : —

Department Commander .... George H. Patch
Department Senior Vice-Commander . William H. Hart
Department Junior Vice-Commander, John D. Billings

Department Chaplain John W. Lee

( W. A. Sloane
j W. S. Frost
Council of Admmistration . . . "i -y^. §. Brown

l^C. H. Parsons

Upon the second call for business, and none being presented,
the Encampment dissolved at 2..")0 p.m.

A true account of the proceedings

Assistant Adjutant-General.


General Orders and Circular Letters.
Series of i88i.


Headquartkrs Department of Massachusetts,
Grand Army of the Republic
53 Tremont St., Room

General Orders, "» Boston, Jau. 28, 1881.

No. 1. /

I. Having been elected and installed as Commander of this Depart-
ment for the ensuing year, I hereby assume the duties and responsibilities
of the office, and in doing so I desire to urge upon all comrades the
necessity of a thorough, energetic and determined eflbrt to promote the
efficiency and usefulness of the Department by the increase of our mem-
bership. The time has not arrived, comrades, when we should look for
the diminishing of our numbers ; for while there are thousands of hon-
orably discharged soldiers and sailors in our State who are eligible to
membership in our Order, we should use every effort to interest them in
our work, and induce them to help us in our labors by joining our ranks
An increase in membership is not only beneficial to the individual Post,
but is the source of additional revenue to the Department; and if we will
but labor earnestly and zealously with the determination to succeed, we
can, before the expiration of the present year, sAvell our membership to
ten (10) or twelve (12) thousand comrades. Let ns labor for this result,
and not rest content until all who are worthy and eligible are enrolled in
our " Grand Army."

II. The following comrades are announced as the Official Start' of
the Commander, and will be obeyed and respected accordingly : —

Assistant Adjxitant-General, James F. Meech of Post 10, Worcester,
Assistant Quartermaster-General, Edward T. Raymond of Post 10,

Inspector, William L. Baird of Post 5, Lynn.
Judge Advocate, William H. Hart of Post 35, Chelsea
Chief Mustering Officer, Alfred C. Monroe of Post 13, Brockton.

III. All official correspondence must be signed by Post Commanders
and addressed to the Assistant Adjutant-General, whose office hours will
remain as heretofore.

By command of

Official : Department Commander.

James F. Meech,

Assistant Adjutant-General.




Grand Army of the Republic
53 Tremont St , Room


General Orders, \ Boston, March 18, 1881.

No. 2. (

I \ list of the officers elected at the Annual Encampment of this
Department held at Boston, January 2G and 27, appears in the roster
accompanvins this order. Two rosters are forwarded to each Post one
to be filed with General Orders, the other is for the use of the Post

II The following comrades are appointed on the Stafl'of the Depart-
ment Commander, and they will be obeyed and respected accordmgly


Thomas E. Barker . . Maiden. George I. Goodale . . Medf-.rd.

E P Gibbs .... Hudson. John D. Billings . . Cambn-lgeport.

David W. Lewis . . . Hyde Park. James S. Lowell . . Newburyport.

\ M Tilton .... HaverhiU. George C. Joslin . . South Boston.

George W. Powers . . Boston. M. J. Ferrin .... Stoneham.

E M Clapp .... Chicopee. P. Allen Lindsey . . Cambridgeport.

e'c'riske Ashland. L P. Connig .... Fitchburg.

Melville C. Beedle . . Cambridge. J. Albert Blake . . . Danvers.

George R. Pierce . . Shelburne Falls. John T. Wilson . . . Winchester.

Joseph Gregory. . . Marblehead. W.T.Woodbury . . Somerville..

III The petition presented to the Legislature by the Department
Commander, in compliance with instructions from the Department
Encampment of last year, asking that Memorial Day be made a legal
holiday, has been favorably acted upon by that body, and on the 8th inst.
the Governor of the Commonwealth approved the same by aftixing his
official signature to the bill. , . ^ , ,

The pen used Ijy His Excellency in performing this act he has pre-
sented to the Department in the following words : '• With this pen was
5-ned the bill making ' Memorial Day ' a legal holiday. It is presented
ti'the Department o'f Massachusetts, Grand Army of the Republic, m
response to whose petition the bill was enacted."

IV The Department Commander desires to call attention to his
letter of February 5, regarding the increase of our membership and to
aS Jrge upon all comrades, particularly the officers of the Posts the
hnportlTuce if earnest and continued labor for the accomplishment of

that resuU.^^ commencement of the year very many of our associates in
arms have identified themselves with our organization, one new 1 ost has
beSi or<^anized, others are being formed, while eftbrts are being made in
someof'the lal-ger towns in the CommonweaMi to recall chart^^^^^^^
have been surrendered, or to organize new Posts. Let all join in tne
ANork, and by a united eflbrt we can again place our Department in the
front rank of the Grand Army.

By command of

^ . , . Department Commander.

James F. Meech,

Assistant Adjutant- General.


Headquarters Department of Massachusetts, )

Grand Army of the Republic, -

53 Tremont St., Room 3. )

General Orders, } Boston, April 26, 1881.

No. 3. f

I. General Orders Nos. 13, 14 and 15, from National Headquarters,
G.A.R., are herewith promulgated to this Department.

II. That the establishment and success of the "Soldiers' Home"
may be brought moie prominently before the people of this Common-
wealth, the Department Commander would suggest that the Commanders
of Posts request their orators or speakers on Memorial Day to refer to
the subject in such terms as may seem fitting and proper.

III. Since the Department Encampment, two new Posts have been
organized as follows : —

Friedrich IIecker Post 21, Boston, Theodore Leutz, Commander.
Gen. W. F. Bartlett Post 99, Andover, James B. Smith, Commander.

Other Posts are in process of organization in various parts of the
State, and the assistance and co-operation of Posts and comrades is
invoked, that there may be a material increase in our numbers, not only
by the addition of members in existing Posts, but in the creation of new

IV. The discharge of John Johnson, formerly a Private in Co. A,
30th Mass. Infantry, has been forwatded to these Headquarters, and
awaits his order or that of any of his relatives or friends.

V. Information is wanted at .this oflice as to the present address
of any member of the 5th U.S. Cavalry who was with the regiment in
1861 and 1862. Information is also wanted as to the address of any
soldier who was a member of the 6th New York Heavy Artillery, and who
knew James Balfe, alias James Kelly, of Co A of that regiment. The
inquiry is made in the interest of the said Balfe or Kelley's father, who
is a helpless invalid, and an applicant for a pension.

By command of

Official : Department Commander.

James F. Meech,

Assistant Adjutant- General.

Headquarters Department of Massachusetts, )

Grand Army of the Republic, -

53 Tremont Street, Room 3. )

General Orders, / Bo.ston, May 4, 1881

No. 4. )

In compliance with the Rules and Regulations of our Order, estab-
lishing the 30th of May as a day to be observed by the Grand Army of
the Republic in decorating the graves of our fallen comrades and com-
panions-in-arms, and in response to Genei'al Order No. 13 from National
Headquarters, the several Posts in this Department are directed to make
such arrangements for a proper observance of the day as will best
accommodate their respective localities and honor the memories of those
whose loyalty and devotion to the land they loved has secured to us the
blessings of a free republican government.


As the day has been made a legal holiday by the Legislature of our
State it is hoped that every comrade will regard it as a sacred duty to
forsake the busy haunts of trade, to forget the cares of daily life, and
ioin with his Post in visiting the silent camping grounds of the dead.

Let the militia companies and the people generally be invited to par-
ticipate with us ; extend an invitation to the clergymen in your vicinity
to remember in some appropriate manner, on the Sabbath preceding
Memorial Day, the great sacrifices made by the loyal people of our nation
for human liberty and equal rights.

And, comrades, as we lav our tribute of love and respect upon the
craves of our departed associates, let us not forget the thousands who
sleep in ank)iown graves by the roadside, on the picket-hue and in the
prison pens : —

" For what they were, and all they dared, remember them to-day."

Reports of the proceedings had by the several Posts will be forwarded
to these headquarters. ^ , . ,

Post Commanders Avill see that the provisions of this order are

complied with.

By command of

Qjpflgjj^^ . Department Commander.

James F. Meech,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Headqu.^rters Depaktment of M.^ssachusetts,

Gkand Army of the Republic,

53 Tremont St., Room ?>.

General Orders, \ Boston, June 22, 1881.

No. 5. j

I. General Orders No. 18 from National Headquarters are herewith
promulgated to this Department.

II Comrades: At the recent meeting of the National Encampment,
held at Indianapolis, Ind., on the 15th inst., the Department of Massa-
chusetts was again honored by the election of Comrade George S. Merrill
of Post 39, Lawrence, to the position of Commander-in-Chief. This honor,
conferred upon one who has been so closely identified with the interest ot
oui Department, one Avho has labored earnestly and zealously for its suc-
cess and advancement, should be appreciated by us individually. Let us
therefore acknowledge the compliment by doing all in our power to
strengthen our membership and increase our influence, so that at the
expiration of the year Ave may be able to shoAV a permanent and substantial
advancement in the strength and efficiency of our Department.

III Bv a formal vote of the National Encampment at its recent
meeting. Comrade Austin S. Cushman, the first Commander of this
DepartVnent, was restored his honors as a Past Department Commander,
which he had lost by reason of his absence in Europe for a number

of years . , , , ^ ., i *

" IV Chief Mustering Officer A. C Monroe is hereby detailed toi
duty at these headquarters. He will be obeyed and respected accordingly.
V. Post 54 G.A.R. of Berlin has changed its name to " Captain C.
S. Hastings," and the same is hereby approved.


VI. Since the date of last General Orders the foUowina; new Posts
have been organized, viz. : —

Francis Gould Post 36, Ai-liugton, Middlesex Co., E. F. Kenrick,

Franklin Post 60, Franklin, Norfolk Co., George W. Nason, Com-

Arthur G. .Biscok Post 80, Westboro, Worcester Co., C. P. Wins-
lovy, Commander.

VII. Post 21 G.A.R. of Boston having adopted the name of "Fried-
rich Hecker," and Post 99 G.A R. of Andover having adopted the name
of " General William F. Bartlett," those names are hereby approved.

VIII. The address of either of the following-named members of
Co. D, 28th Mass. Vols., viz. : John Colman, Barnej' Hart, Michael Pow-
derly, or Timothy Ryan, is desired at these headquarters.

IX The address of Capt. A. F. Holt, James Speed, Maj. J. Hoyt,
H. C Jordan, F. A. Vaughn, Capt. F. A. Flanders, H. C. Hunt, or Col. J.
L. Hains, late of the 1st Texas Cav., is wanted at this office.

By command of

Official : Department Commander.

James F. Meech,

Assistant AdjtUant- General.

Headquarters Department of Massachusetts,

Grand Army of the Republic,

53 Tremont St., Room 3.

General Orders, 1 Boston, Aug. 31, 1881.

No. 6. ;

T. The following Department officers are hereby detailed to inspect
the Posts Avhose numbers appear against their names : —

Benj. S. Lovell, Department Senior Vice-Commander, 8, 31, 73, 74, 78, 83,

104, 111, 112, 127
Royal B. Wight, Department Junior Vice-Commander, 18, 62, 92, 117, 142

Azel Ames, Jr., Medical Director 33, 75, 99, 113

James F. Meech, Assistant Adjutant-General 5, 35

William L. Baird, Inspector 10, 34, 42, 49, 82, 90, 95, 118

William H. Hart, Judge Advocate . . 23. 149

Alfred C. Monroe, Chief Mustering Officer, 1, 3, IG, 20, 37, 41, 46, 55, 76,

87, 93, 110


John Scates 2, 21, 32, 102

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 6 of 64)