John Tregaskis.

Souvenir of the re-union of the blue and the gray, on the battlefield of Gettysburg, July 1, 2, 3 and 4, 1888. How to get there, and what is to be done during the year online

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Online LibraryJohn TregaskisSouvenir of the re-union of the blue and the gray, on the battlefield of Gettysburg, July 1, 2, 3 and 4, 1888. How to get there, and what is to be done during the year → online text (page 19 of 29)
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Avelcome should be extended them by Colonel Charles H. Banes, on behalf
of tlie Philadelphia Brigade, and that Colonel McClure should give them a
hearty Avelcome on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania generally and of the
city of Philadelphia particularly. That programme Avas carried out, and
Comrades McDermott and McKeever did noble work in securing the great
success achieved.

Pickett's mek int line.

About the middle of February, 1887, a meeting of the surviving members
of Pickett's Division was held in Ricnmond, and it was determined to hold


a re-nnion of tlie whole Division at Grettysburg, July 3, 1887, and a Re-union
Ccir.jnitteo consisting of Judge William G. Clopton, Chairman ; Major
Charles Pickett, Captain A. R. Woodson, Major Joseph V. Bidgood and
Sergeant Charles T. Loelir, Secretary, was appointed.

Correspond enco with the Gettysburg Memorial Association resulted in the
Committee receiving information that it was a rule not to allow Confeder-
ate monuments within the Federal lines ; thereupon a committee consisting
of Colonel J. L. Maury, Judge Clopton and Captain E. P. Reeve, visited
Gettysburg, and, after a lengthy conference with the Gettysburg Memorial
Association, v.'ere informed that monuments must be on original lines of
battle and not in temj^orary positions, but that they were willing to allow a
"^ marker'^ to be placed where General Armistead was shot — the extreme
]iuint of the charge.

Colonel Batchelder of the Gettysburg Commission, informed the Pickett's
Committee that he had received bushels of letters from the North in regard
to Pickett's Division, and intimated that many of the writers were bitterly
opposed to their proposed visit to Gettysburg.

A meeting of the Executive Committee of Pickett's Division was held in
Richmond, May 7, 1887, and when the Committee concluded its report, the
Committee, on motion of Mr. Bidgood, unanimously adopted the following
resolutions :

Resolced, That the Committee, having heard the report of the Sub-Committee sent to
Kettysburg to confer with the Committee of the Gettysburg Memorial Association, and hav-
ing learned that they will not be allowed to locate their proposed monument upon the spot
to which the Division penetrated within the Federal lines in their charge, therefore,

Resolved, That it is inexpedient to erect their monument upon the Gettysburg Battleflela.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent the Secretary of the Gettysburg Memorial

The Committee unanimously resolved to hold no reunion at Gettysburg
that summer.


At a meeting of the Philadelphia Brigade Association held May 4, 1887,
Comrade John W. Frazier moved that a committee of 9 — two from each
regiment, with Colonel Banes as Chairman — be appointed to make all the
arrangements necessary to extend a fitting welcome to Pickett's Division at
(Gettysburg. The motion being adopted. Comrade Frazier was made Secre-
tary, and having been informed of the action of the Executive Committee
of Pickett's Division, held on May 7, called a meeting of his own Committee
hi Colonel A. K. McClure's editorial parlors— which had kindly been offered
for the Philadetphiit Brig^ade Committee's use— on the 10th of May, at which
jhe >va*i instructed to ixm^hi^ d^uuftunicate with the Pickeit people, using

every means in his power to secure their presence at Gettysbiu'g. The fol-
lowing from tlie Philadelphia Press of May 12, headlines and all, tells its
own story :



At a meeting of the Committee of R.eception of the Philadelphia Brigade to Pickett's [Div^i
sion on Tuesday, Secretary John "W. Frazier was instructed to communicate with Pickett's
Division Association and express the regret of the Brigade at the possibility of the re-union
not taking place at Gettysburg on July 3, as was proposed. He was also instructed to extend
an invitation to Pickett's men, inviting them to become the guests of the Philadelphia Brig-
ade. Mr. Frazier 's letter was read at the monthly meeting of the California Regiment last
evening, and at the suggestion of Colonel Pt. Penn Smith, who commanded that regiment at
Gettysburg, and on motion of Major John Lockhart, the letter was unanimously approved
and Secretary Frazier advised to forward it to Richmond. The letter is as follows :
Sergeant Charles T. Loehr, Secretary Pickett's Divisio7i Association, Richmond, Va.

My Dear Comrade : The very agreeable duty of communicatmg with your Association
relative to the re-union at Gettysburg has l>een assigned to me.

At a meeting of the Philadelphia Brigade held May 4 a Committee of nine — two from each
regiment— with Colonel Charles H. Banes, Commander of the Brigade Association, as Chair-
man, was appointed to make all the arrangements necessary to extend a fitting welcome to
Pickett's Division Association at Gettysburg. At a meeting of that Committee held on May 10 1
was directed to officially inform your Association of our deep regret at the possibility of the
contemplated re-union between your Division and oui- Brigade Association not taking place
in July next at Gettysburg.

We regret this all the more because we who witnessed it had intended on behalf of the State
of Pennsylvania, and the city of Philadelphia particularlj', to extend such a welcome as your
unsurpassed bravery merited, and I was further instructed to earnestly request you not to
forego your intention to hold your first re-union at Gettysburg July 3, but to meet there as
the guests of the Philadelphia Brigade, to enjoy the hospitality that we will extend to you,
and upon that occasion, with the fraternal feelings created by that re-union, the first of the
kind held since the war, and with our sincere sympathj^ and aid , to complete the arrangements
you have begun towards dedicating an imperishable monument to commenrorate American
heroism, of which none are prouder than they who withstood the shock of your charge — a
charge not surpassed in its grandeur and unfaltering courage in the annals of war since time

Please lay this letter before your Association at its meeting on Satm-day next, and urge
your comrades — the brave men of Pickett's renowned Division — to meet us at Gettysburg
July 3, and assure them for me and the Brigade I have the honor to represent that we will be
more than pleased to greet as many as will meet with us, whether it be 100 or 1.000, or more,
and that great good to all concerned will result from that re-union.

Please let me hear from you at the earliest moment, as your acceptance will necessitate
some immediate and j leasant labor on our part. With renewed assurance of soldierly regard.
believe me, yours very truly, John W. Frazier,

Secretary pro tern . Philadelphia Brigade.
Philadelphia, May 11.

Under date of May 14, Secretary Charles T. Loehr thus wrote to Secretary

Frazier :

John W. Frazier, Esq., Secretary of the PhiladeljMa Brigade Association.

Dear Sir : The cordial invitation extended to our Division by your Brigade Association
was laid before our Committee. In reply I am requested to tender you our sincere and grate-
ful thanks for the fraternal welcome and the very flattering terms therein contained, to ex-

press to your Association the assurance that while this Com mittee does not feel itself now
authorized to accept the invitation so generously tendered, for the reason that their functions
have ceased, when at their last meeting they decided not to hold their re-urion at Gettys-
burg, they deeply feel and appreciate all your kind intentions and efforts tor friendship sake.
We hope and trust that the day may come when all lines between us shall have forever
faded, that the survivors of our old Division and those of your gallant Brigade will meet at
Gettysburg to dedicate a Union monument (not for what was once called the Union side), a
■lemorial to the gallant men of both sides, expressive of the true American motto, " A large
Country and a large Heart," remembering only the devotion and courage of the men who
dared to sacrifice their lives and limbs for their principle and their country.

Undaunted bv reverses Comrade Frazier was more than ever determined
that the re-union should take place, and under date of May 23, 1887, wrote
the following letter to Sergeant Charles T. Loehr, who Avas personally doing
almost suijerhunian service to bring the men of Pickett's Division Associa-
tion to a reconsideration of the action of their Executive Committee :

My Deak Comrade : In your letter of the 16th instant you state that a permanent Asso-
ciation of the survivors of Pickett's Division will be organized, anu that a meeting for that
purpose has been called for June 1 next. That being the case, I write to kindly ask you to
present at that meeting my letter of May 11, officially inviting the brave men of Pickett's
Division to become the guests of the Philadelphia Brigade at Gettysburg on the 2d, 3d and 4th
of July next.

Writing as an individual member of the Brigade Association I do not hesitate to say that I
am sure every member of our Association would gladly and earnestly co-operate with your
Association in securing the location of a inoimmeut on the spot where the brave General
Armistead fell, and I believe that your Association will yet determine to place one there to
mark the spot not only where General Armistead laid down his life, but to indicate for all
time to come on the historic gi-ounds of Gettysburg the position reached by Pickett's Division
in the face of a hail of musket balls, solid shot, and shell, more terrible, perhaps, than was
hulled against any body of men on either side during the late war.

Wo have been so long anticipating, with so much pleasure, the renewal of an acquaintance
begun and ended so unceremoniously twenty-four yeai-s ago that we know not how to take
any disappointment of our hopes and plans, and if not all your Association, we still hope a
goodly committee — not less than one hundred strong — will be appointed at your meeting on
June 1 to represent your Association at Gettysburg as the honored guests of the Pliiladelphia

If your Association could understand how very anxious we are to meet and welcome you,
I am sure you would not fail in coming.

Please let me hear favorably from you. Very truly yours, John W. Frazier.

The responses to the invitation of the Philadelphia Brigade Association,
and to Comrade Frazier's unofficial letter of May 2'd, were as follows :


Gen WM. R. TERRY, President. Capt. WM. J. CLOPTON. Capt. JAS. E. PHILLIPS,


Sergt. CHARLES T. LOEHR, Sec'y.


Richmond, Va., May 26, 1887.
John W. Frazier, 3812 Spruce St., Philadelphia.

Dear Comrade : I took the liberty of giving your letter to the Dispatch, and, from the
CuUs 1 have had to-d:i> , 1 am aluiot,L hure that \\Leii } >.i.i- IraLeruul iiiviia.iou is ,subui.LUd at

our general meeting on June 1, we shall succeed in getting at least a respectable delegation tO
join 3'ou in revisiting the spot where more history was made in three days than we can now
possibly make in thu'ty years. Very truly yours, C. T. Loehb.


Richmond, Va. , June 2, 1887.
John W. Frazier, Esq., Secretary of the Philadelphia Brigade Association.

Dkar Sir and Comrade : Your fraternal invitation of 11th ultimo was submitted to our
permanent Association last night. In reply thereto it was resolved that our members be at
once notified that this Association recommends to all the members of Pickett's Division to
accept your kind invitation to attend your Re-Union on the 2d, 3d and 4th of July next, at
Gettysburg ; also to extend to your Association our heartfelt thanks for the considerate and
friendly expressions conveyed by your invitation.

With fraternal greetings to all the Comrades of your Brigade, I am yours very truly,


Sec'y Pickett's Division Association.

Immediately upon the receipt of the resohition of Pickett's Division to ac-
cept the invitation of the Philadelphia Brigade Association to become their
guests, Secretary Frazier made a call upon a few of the leading citizens of Phil-
adelphia for funds to enable them to hospitably entertain the brave Virginians,
the result of which was a generous and patriotic response to the extent of
about $1,500, and from Saturday evening, July 2, until Tuesday morning.
July 5, the gallant boys of General E. D. Baker's Philadelphia Brigade left
nothing undone to make the visit of Pickett's bronzed and grizzled veterans


The news that the survivors of Pickett's Division of the Confederate
Army would be the guests of the Veterans who had met them on the bloody
field of Gettysburg in July, 1863, drew an immense number of visitors to
that town, and every train brought its quota. They had read of the battle,
had seen and heard of the G. A. E., but they had never seen the gallant,
though mistaken, men who had opposed the Boys in Blue on the field.
Hence they were anxious to see the Boys in Gray first and then applaud
them afterwards. The sentiments raised by the Re-Union were of friendship
and unity. Entire Posts of the Grand Army, detachments of regiments
from various States, some accompanied by field music, helped to swell the
numbers, so that when the Veterans of the two Armies were on parade the
streets of the quaint and normally quiet to»vn resembled tlie streets of IS'ew
"^'(jrk during some great pageant.

The great pressure on the niilroad delayed everything, and tlie trains
were generally late. The weather was very sultry, and uospite the liiu-i-uh
business visil)le evervwhere, tliere was much discomfort.

The last train from the Xorth arrived in four sections, with the Philadel-
phia Brigade, and there was one train from the South. The latter brought
a delegation from the Third and Seventh Virginia of Kemper's Brigade,
forty men who came by steamer from Portsmouth to Baltimore, and from
there acted as escort for Mrs. Pickett and her son. At the depot the men
were quietly received, told to go to supper and then come down and join in
the general reception.

This done. Captain Hicks, Chairman of the Committee of Arrangements,
was invited into the presence of the widow of the Confederate General who
had commanded the forces that were to-day the guests of their bygone ene-
mies. When presented the Captain cordially invited her to become the
guest of the Philadelphia Brigade. Signifying her assent, Mrs. Pickett was
escorted through the ladies' room to avoid the crowd, and thence to an open
barouche and to the Springs Hotel.

The last train arrived at' nine o'clock and again the old time " yell " and
the bold hurrah resounded in the streets of Gettysburg. " Pickett's Men "
were there.

Shouting a,nd yelling, amid a throng of people clasping hands and waving
handkerchiefs, the united forces — Yankee and Southern — marched to a
medley of airs through the streets to "The Diamond," or public square.
The line halted. The Southeners marched up to the head of the Yankee
line. An order was given — ''Right and left face!" and the men in two
lines faced each other, looking into each other's eyes. There was a blaze of
fireworks. Someone shouted " Advance I" There was a general charge on
the Southern line, and as the band started "Dixie" hands were clasped,
greetings exchanged, and in not a few instances old acquaintances greeted
each other.

This informal hearty welcome was totally unexpected and unlooked for,
but it Avas heartfelt on both sides. The hand-shaking over, the column re-
sumed its march to the Court House where the first camp fire of the Blue
and the Gray upon the historic field of Gettysburg was held.

The scene in the court room was a remarkable one. In the front seats
were the tall forms of the "Johnnies,'' and seated among them were a few
ladies; the central seats were filled by a delegation of the white helmetted
Philadelphians ; behind them the citizens of Gettysburg and visiting Grand
Army men, while on tlie platform and within the bar were the officers and
orators of both Armies, public officials, and last, but not least, the band.

John W. Frazier, Secretary of the Philadelphia Brigade Association,
called the meeting to order, and with a few words of cordial greeting nre-
sented, as presiding officer, W. S. Stockton.

Colonel Charles H. Banes, President of the Philadelphia Brigade Associa-
tion, extended a soldier's Avelcome to the men who had been their foes in
war, now warm and devoted friends in peace.

Captain Eeeve of Eichmond responded on behalf of Pickett's Veterans,
returning hearty thanks for the welcome they had received.

The welcome to the ex-Confederates on behalf of the State of Pennsyl-
vania was delivered by Colonel Alexander K. McClure of Philadelphia, who
eulogized the memory of General Grant, and in concluding, said : " Free
Government is stronger at home and mightier abroad to-day because of the
wounds of the Civil War, and our children and our children's children will
turn to its sacrifices, ihs sorrows, and its irrevocable judgments as the surest
guarantee that ' Government of the People, by the People, and for the Peo-
ple' shall not perish from the earth."

Colonel William E. Aylett, who succeeded General Armistead as Com-
mander of the Brigade after the latter's death, responded on behalf o, the
State of Virginia. Colonel Aylett called attention to the picture of Chief
Justice Marshall, a son of Virginia, which graced the wall, and in eloquent
te^ms reminded those present that the picture was there when the battle
was fought, and then, as now, the Sons of Pennsylvania honored the Sons
of Virginia. He spoke of the glorious destiny of a re-united country, of the
lives and deaths of Lincoln and Grant, and then jjaid a tribute to the noble
self-sacrificing women of the North and South. "Why," said he "'the
bravest woman I ever saw was a Pennsylvania girl, who defied Pickett's
whole Division while we marched through a little town called Greencastle.
She had on a United States flag as an apron, which she defiantly waved
up and down as our columns passed by her and dared us to take it from
her. And there was not one man of us who dared do so. Struck by her
courage and loyalty, Pickett, with hat off, gave her a military salute, my
regiment presented arms, and we cheered her with a good, old-fashioned rebel
yell, which some of you boys here have doubtless heard."

Letters of regret at their absence were then read from President Cleve-
land, Senator John Sherman and others. Chief Burgess Tipton then, in be-
half of the citizens of Gettysburg, welcomed all the visitors, and Colonel
Banes requested all to withdraw that Pickett's Men could be assigned to
quarters and get that refreshment which a day's journey without intermis-
sion made absolutely necessary.

The Philadelphia Brigade— 69th, 71st, 72d and 106th Pennsylvania In-
fantry — was organized by Senator E. D. Baker, who, authorized to rasie a
regiment^ kept on till he had a Brigade. The battle record of these com-
mands as inscribed on their colors is Munson's Ilill. Ball's Bluff, Yorktown^
Fair Oaks, Gatjiett's Farm. Peacb Oi'chiird. Savuge Station. Glendale, Mai'

vern Ilill, Plarrisoirs I^iiuling. Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville,
Gettypburg, Mine Run, The Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor and

Pickett's Division on the great day of his historic charge was composed
of the Brigades of Kemper, Armistead, and Garnett, all Virginia troops ;
and representatives of each regiment were in the company which visited
Gettysburg in 1887 to shake hands and say Godspeed to the sentiment of
re-union Avliich had called the old foes together on the platform for all the
future — '• One Country and One fl;ig."

The limits of this pamphlet will not allow the jileasant task of recording
all the incidents of one of the most striking events in the world's history —
contestants in one of the most momentous of recorded battles, meeting on
the scene of conflict, to compare notes, greet each other as friends, and
pledge each other from thenceforth to stand shoulder to shoulder for weal
or woe against all foes — whether internal or external. Some incidents are,
however, too significant to leave nnnoticed.


Mrs. George E. Pickett, widow of the Commanding Officer of the Con-
federate Veterans, was the honored guest of both parties to the Re-Union,
and in company with her son George took part in all the observances of the
Re-Union. Mrs. Pickett bears the credit of having been the first woman
who welded the Blue and the Gray together. She was married to General
Pickett during the war and there are veterans here who remember when she
was first brought to camp, a beautiful and girlish bride. In 1868 she had
engraved on the case of her husband's watch the Confederate an' Federal

At the dedication of the monuments, which took place on July 3, she was
presented with a floral emblem, the. trefoil badge of the Second Corps.
Adjutant Alexander McDermott said, in presenting it: "Mrs. Pickett, we

should have been happy to greet your gallant husband here to-day, but an
Allwise Providence has prevented that ; therefore, as his representative, the
survivors of the 69th Eegiment desire to j^resent to you this token of our es-
teem and beg that you will accept it in the spirit in which it is given." He
handed her at the same moment a ribbon badge of ]>lue ;:nd Gray. Mrs.
Pickett, Avho was deeply affected even to tears, bowed in acknowledgement
of this, and said in a broken voice: "My heart alone must answer."
Then while still under the influence of the strong emotion kindled by the
unexpected and singular tribute, she pinned the badge upon her breast and
sank back in her seat as the gray-headed veterans sent up an old-fashioned
cheer for the lady.

The public exercises of that Sunday afternoon consisted of the dedication
of the monuments of the dead of the 69th and 71st Pennsylvania Volunteers,
the stone marking the spot where the gallant Lieutenant Gushing died, and
the monument for the losses in Cowan's New York Battery,

At the dedication of the latter, two remarkable incidents occurred. One
was the placing of a sword by Captain Gowan into the hands of Pickett's
Men ••'for the purpose of finding to whom it had belonged and restorins: it
to his family.'' Captain Cowan said that during the battle it had been
wielded by a young Virginian officer who fell dead in front of his guns.
The other was the passage of a resolution to erect a stone to General Armis-
tead. Commander of tiie Brigade that actually pierced the Union lines.

On Monday morning Mrs. Pickett held a reception on the line on Semi-
nary Ridge from which her husband started with his Division to make the
celebrated charge of twenty-four years before. The scene was a most
affecting one. The position occupied by each regiment was next located
and the changes made in the direction of the charge pointed out for use of
the historian ; a ride over the entire field followed.


When the " Boys'' reached the Bloody Angle all left the carraiges— the
spot where they met in the actual tug of war was before them.

The erstwhile foes looked about them for a few moments — they are all
goods friends now — the wall was before them ; in a moment each had taken
their own sides of " Anld Lang Syne," and they Avere shaking hands acros.-,
it. No more fighting now. Silence, dead silence, fell upon them, and then
one mighty cheer rose upon the air, repeated again. Changing individual
positions up and down the line, the warm clasps were repeated and the
cheering- was resumed. The scene was a memorable one. The field of bat-
tie under a clear sky looked beautiful. It is said by those who frequently
visit the ground, that it never looked more picturesque. While a great nuiny
visitors were at this time distributed over every portion of the field, the

largest gathering assembled near the stone wall to witness the fraternal greet-
ings, on the scene of death and suffering, of combatants in a civil war, that
reached a magnitude unknown to the nations of an older world. The spec-
tacle was caught on the camera and is engraved for our book so that the
scene is imperishable.

Online LibraryJohn TregaskisSouvenir of the re-union of the blue and the gray, on the battlefield of Gettysburg, July 1, 2, 3 and 4, 1888. How to get there, and what is to be done during the year → online text (page 19 of 29)