Joseph Ripley Chandler Ward.

History of George G. Meade post no. one, Department of Pennsylvania, Grand army of the republic online

. (page 11 of 24)
Online LibraryJoseph Ripley Chandler WardHistory of George G. Meade post no. one, Department of Pennsylvania, Grand army of the republic → online text (page 11 of 24)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

G. Stevenson, J, F. Stokes, Trumbull, Vodges, \V. H. H, Wallace, Wheeler, White, W. W. Wallace,
Weaver, J. W. Ward, Whitaker, Wolfe, Wilson, Wray, R. J. Voung and Vober. Total, 79.

Met the Post <■;; rniile and at cemetery, not uniformed : —

Comrades E. N. Benson, P. H. Karnes, H. A. B. Brown, F. C. Benson, J. 1'. EUioi, S. B. Huey,
j. William Hofmann, H. Levi and J. A. Law^. Total, 9.

On duty receiving guests : —

Comrades H. L. Lansing, chairman; 11. II. I'-iiighani, K. I)ale Ilcnson, I'. I). Ke)M-r. C. C Knight,
B. \V. Richards, and James Starr., 7.

Making a lotal numher of one hundred and thirteen (1 13) paiticipaliug with tlie Post during the day.

Po>t re-a.-^seml)Ied at the Academy of Music at 7.45 1'. M., and csLorled orators and invited guests to
the stage; was then dismissed. Respectfully submitted in F., C. and L.,

Jus. R. C. Ward, Aiijutaiit.

The services at the cemetery were as usual in two parts, first at
the chapel, when, after prayer by the Post Chaplain, Halsey J. Tibbals,
Hon. William N. Ashman, Judye of the Orphans' Court ot Philadel-
phia, delivered the oration, which was listened to with rapt attention.

The choristers of St. Mark's P. K. Church then sang the Decora-
tion Hymn —

'■ lilest l)e the yruund where our Ijraves are at rest."

After this followed an address by Commander .Sellers. The comrades
of the Post were then sent in details to North, Middle, and .South Laurtl
Hill Cemeteries to decorate the graves of all deceased soldiers. As soon
as their labor of love was completed, they reassembled at the call of the
bugle and proceeded to the grave of General Meade, where, after a
short address by the Chairman of the Committee, Comrade Wm. J.
-Simpson, and a prayer by Past Post Chaplain Rev. H. Clay Trumbull,
General \V. T. .Sherman was introduced and addressed the comrades
as follows : —

Coiiiraa'es mid Friends : Assembled as we are lo-day, in this most beamiful of all ceremonies, deco-
rating the graves of fallen comrades with fresh flowers, tokens of undying love, and standing by the grave
of General George Gordon Meade, my individual thoughts naturally revert to that period of his life " when
wild war's deadly blast was blown, and gentle peace retiring," he canre to live in ymir midst, a citizen and
a commissioner of your beautiful park, of which this cemetery forms a part. Many a lime he drove me
about this park, and up the lovely Wissahickon ; and I am sure that, had he chosen the place for his eternal
rest, it would have been at this very spot, overlooking the Schuylkill, and near those he loved so well. He

now sleeps well, and loving hearts come annually to pay tribute to his memory. He was a glorious soldier,
a gallant gentleman, a loving fatlier, a faithful fiiend, and a patriotic cili/en. His grave is a fitting shrine
for us all. old and young, to come to annually, nut to add to his fame ;ind glory, hut to deilicate anew what
is left to u> of life to the service of our common cuuntrv.

Trained as a soldier, his temperament was too active for the di ties ol a suhallern ; an<l be was enga-ed
the greater of ids life- in engineering, and in surveying our const from Florida to tlie Great Lakes of the
North, witli which his name will long he associated, liui the moment the country was aroused by the first
shot of the civil war, he sprang to arms, knowing tlmt war, and war alone, could determine such a con-
troversy. Beginning with a regiment he soon had a brigade, a division; and at ihe very crisis of the war
he was a corps commander, and on the eve of one of the greatest battles of the world was ordered to com-
mand in chief the vast Army of the Potomac, then in motion to defend the Stute of iVniisyKania against an
army, ably coiimianded, and moved by the powerful impulse of success. Wuli tin- l.atle of Gettysburg
Meade's name and fame will ever be associated ; and his victory on that field alone entitles his name to be
enrolled in the list of the great generals of the worhL But here on this lovely spot, in this bright sunshine,
we naturally turn from the hero to contemplate the virtues of the man. General Meade was essentially a
man of a social nature, kind, generous and manly, doing that which he wa^ appointed to do thoroughly and
well, and ever returning to his family an I circle of friends to sliare the simpler and finer joys of life.
Though he was comi)aratively young, and his ileath sudden and unexpected, yet he ha 1 accomplished all
that man should expect on this earth, and be(|ueathed to his family a rich legacy in public fame, in private
virtue, and in the abundance of affection by friends and neighbors.

.\s, year after year, crowds gather round this sacred spot, they will be reminded that although the frail
tenement which encloses a life is mortal, that human virtue, that courage and ability to do life's workfirudy,
and well, are more enduring than marble or lironze. We now lay our floral tribute upon the grave of our
Iriend and comrade, George Gordon Meade, and leave to your honored fraternity the completion of the
beautiful ceremony of the day.

General Sherman then placed upon General Meade's grave a large
and beautiful floral design presented to him on his way to the cemetery
by a pretty little three-year-old girl, who was lifted up to the carriage
window that she might see the great soldier. The General took her in
his arms and kissed her for her tribute.

Then followed the decorating of the grave of General Meade, with
the regular Grand Army service, by Comrades J. William Hofmann, C.

M. Beale, Thos. J. Ashton, and Chaplain 11. f. Tiljbals. The services
closed with the benediction.

Re-assembling, the Post proceeded to the boat landing, thence by-
boat to Fairmount Park, and re-formed and marched to the Lincoln
Monument, where the usual services were held, including anthem by
the choristers, music by the band, and address by Comrade Silas W.
Petti t.

The Post, after making a litde detour in order to pass the residence
of Comrade Robert H. P'oril, who was confined to the house from a
stroke of paralysis and unable to attend the services, returned to head-
fjuarters and was dismissed, to reassemble early in the evening to take
part in die Meade Memorial .Services at the Academy of Music, in aid
of the Meade Monument.

The officers of the meedng, orators and speakers, and invited guests,
assembled in the Green Room. The members of the Post, in full uni-
form, formed on tlie stage, which was set in a wood scene, with camp
in rear, tents pitched, muskets stacked, drums, knapsacks, and other
paraphernalia of soldier's life scattered loosely around. At the front
of the stage seats were arranged for officers, speakers and guests.
Above the centre of the stage was suspended a large oil painting of
General Meade, life-size, kindly loaned by the L'nion League of Phila-
delphia, bearing the simple inscription, "Gettyslnirg."

At (juarter past eight the Ringgold Band, of Reading, Pa., struck
up the grand march ; the Post presented arms as the guests, headed
by Hon. Henry AL Hoyt, Governor of Pennsylvania, who had been
selected as the presiding officer, escorted by Comrade William J. .Simp-
son, chairman of the Committee of Arrangements, followed by President

of the United States Rutherford I'. Ha\es, Secretary of War Alexander
Ramsey, Attorney-General Charles Devens, other Cabinet officers,
Members of Congress, Generals \V. T. Sherman, \\ . S. Hancock, C. C.
Auger, E. M. Poe, D. H. Rucker, Stewart L. Woodford, John V. Hart-
rantt, Macomb, Department Commander Chill. W. Hazard, |udges
of the courts, city officials, the \'ice-Presidents ot tlie meeting, selected
from the prominent business men and citizens of Philadelphia, and a
number of prominent officers (jt the late war, entered at the ui)])er end
and passed down to the front and took seats assigned them, the auili-
ence rising, waving their handkerchiefs and loudl\- applauding, as the
familiar faces appeared. The Post was then dismissed, and the mem-
bers took seats in the auditorium with their families and Iriends.

The services began by Comrade Wm. J. .Simpson, chairman of the
committee, introducing the Governor of Pennsylvania, Henry M. Hoyt,
who had been selected as the presiding officer. After a short address
Gov. Hoyt introduced Past Post Chaplain Rev. H. Clay Trumbull, who
offered pra\er.

The orator, (general (oshua L. Chaml)t;rlain, E.xGovernor of Maine,
was then presented, ami delivt'red an elocjuent oration. When he had
finished. Commander A. [. .Sellers stepped to the tront, and in a few
appropriate remarks presented Comrade Chamberlain with a handsome
gold Post No. I badge on behalf of the Post, and informed him that he
was elected an honorary member of the Post.

Mr. V. I)e Haes Janvier recited a dramatic [joem, ot his own com-
position, entitled "A Soldier's Prayer," founded upon an incident of a
picture of three little children being found in the hantlofadead soldier
on the battlefield of Gettyslnirg. This was foUowetl by a soprano solo

by Miss Tillie I). Summers, in Iht usluiI sweet, effective manner, win-
nintj hearty applause, necessitating an encore.

His Excellency, the President of the United States, Rutherford B.
Hayes, was then presented and was met with a storm of applause ; when
it ceased he said : —

Mr. ]'r(si,ieiil, I.ttdus and iicntlciiun : I lliaiik the comra^lc•^ of thi> I'ost ol llie (hmid Army for tin-
opportunity they have given me to take part in this meeting in aid of the fund for the erection of a moninnent
in honor of General Meade. The other great commanders of tlie Union armies who have passed away have
been remembered by their comrades and fellow citizens, and tluir nmnuments may be seen in the beautiful
parks of the national capital. Vou will see there the monument of that noble model old soldier, the veteran
of three wars, — a nnauunenl that titly commemorates the services and achievements of t^eneral Scott. Vou
will see there a monument to the rock of Chickamauga, General Thomas. Vou will see there also a monu-
ment to that gallant son of my own State and county, the lovable and beloved General Md'hersnn. liut as
yet, Pennsylvanians, I'hiladelphians, no suitable memorial of (leneral Meade has been Ijuilt. This meeting,
as I understand, is to do something to correct that. .\nd surely there are reasons enough why a monument
should be built in honor of General Meade. I do nut wi^h to repeat what has been far better said than 1 can
say it in the eloquent to which we have just listened, and yet you will, pcrha|is. bear with me while
1 try to em}>ha-size two or three jjoints in relation to General Meade.

He commanded, at the very crisis of tlie war, that great army which we are accustomed to hear, and
glad to hear, spoken of as " the grand old .\rm\' of the Potomac." He commanded that army at a time
when its defeat and destruction meant, humanly speaking, the ruin sind the loss of the national cause.

.'\gain, it may be truthfully said of (General Meade, that in every station he ever held, from the lowest
to the highest, he wa.s always adequate to the duties of his ; that he was always able, faithful an<l con-
scientious, and that he never, under any circumstances, failed to do his whole duty.

tieneral Meade was withal one of the most fortunate of commanders. Under him, and perhaps 1 may
say under him alone, the Army of the Potomac never knew defeat or serious disaster ; and it was his fortutie
to be its commander in that great decisive battle, that battle which will be of unrivaled interest in our history
as long as that history shall be known. If that battle had gone against our cause, the taunt of the hostile
Englishman that " the bubble Republic is bursted "' woulil have been true. Hut now Meade's name and
fame and memory are forever safe. They are linked in ailamant with Gettysburg, and Gettysburg is linked
in adam.ant with the salvation of th.- Re])ublic.

When we build a monument to Me.ade it will rec|uire no e\])lanation. No words should be wasted in
inscriptions. We shall read upon its ample sides the simple inscription : —

'• In memory of (ieorge ('•. Meade, the Commander of the Union .\rmy at (Gettysburg."


General Sherman was next inlnHluced, and, withoui waiting- for the
applause to subside, said : —

I.iuliis dill/ lienlli'iiii'ii : W lun I ttll you I have |jerl'onm'il a full day'- woik in lliat imposing cere-
monial of decorating graves, and as I endeavored in a few wor<is at (Jeneral Meade's tomb to express my
feelings, thonglits and admiration of that good, great and glorious man, I know you will permit me to close
with a very few words, and let them l>e of a liusiness character, following the example of my Commander-
in-chief, the I'resident of the United States. Let us look at this question of ( Meade's monument as
a business transaction. Supposing Meade had been defeated at (Gettysburg, what would have been the con-
dition of Philadelphia? Suppose you owed him the one-hundredth part of that success in Philadelphia, can
you count the millions you owe him to-day ? Supposing Lee, on the other hand, had slipped between Meade
and Baltimore and \Va.shington, what would have been the result then? Meade, instead of being attacked,
would have l^een the attacking party, and his loss would have lieen enormous, even if he been success-
ful. Again, when he took command of that army he displayed an amount of self-sacrifice that I am almost
safe in saying no other man on this continent would have done — so cheerful, so noble and so well, with de-
cision and patriotism combined. IJut when he took the command like a man that he was, he won that battle,
the fame of which has resounded over the earth ; and then, as the I'resident has well said, this nation became
firmly established. From that day every man in the L'nited States, whether a Philadelphian or not, owes to
(-ieneral Meade a debt he can never ])ay, and were you to erect a monument of ]>ure gold you would still be
indebted to him. He sleeps well where he is ; he asks nothing of you ; his family admit they have been
treated kindly by Philadelphians, and they are grateful and his friends are grateful. Hut it is due to your
selves, and you owe this duty to your children, to erect this monument ; and when they see his statue in the
Park they will emulate his example both in patriotism and courage, and you will then be trulv a cit\' of
brotherl)' lo\e, as you are properly nameil.

(General Charles Devens, Attorney-deneral of the l'nited .States,
was the next speaker and was endiusiastically received. He .said : —

.\niong the beaiuiful festivals in which the Catholic Church seeks to impress the truths of religion upon
Christian people is the ceremony of .Ml Souls' I)ay. which is instituted to commemorate and remember all
the departed. To-day, conuades, this been our .\ll .Souls' Day, by which we have sought to commem-
orate together all who have passed away, who in their lifetime did noble service in their country's cause.
We have sought to establish by this ceremony our connnunion through the whole of this broad land, not only
by processions, with banners and music from crowded cities, but not the less with the little family that to-ilav
has gone out from some little fann, or to some little churchyard, to commemorate one who was once a be-
loved lirother or dear son. Wherever our brave men lie, whether in the swamps or in the tangled wildwood,
or whether they lie in the crowded cemeteries, with monumental marble above them, all .are gathered and

all are remenilieri'il logcthcr to day. To sny cif all llie^t- men that all were e |iutlly lirave an<l were e |iially
self-sacrificing wtmld not l>e true. In our ami)' were the usual varieties of men, yet, when deductions are
made, histor\' will attest that no army was ever gathered together more resolute in its .struggles, more constant
in its disasters, or more getierous and forgiving in its victories. I would fain helieve these men have not
passtil away without aspir.ations worthy of the nolile cause in which they rendered up their lives. And now,
comrades and friends, it is most meet and proper that such a day shoidd conclude with such a meeting as
this, which seeks to reinforce a spirit which is to result in an appropriate memorial to tieneral Meade. In
honoring the generals of our armies we honor the men w ho served under them. No man can ha\ e a higher
regard than 1 foj- ( icneral Meade, for I believe I was honored with his regard and friendship. \'et. as 1
remember him in this monument, I desire to rememl)er with him ail the lirave men who. at ( lettvsliiu'g and
other great fields of the war, stootl side li\' side with him. We can only remember our soldiers by remem-
bering those wdio led them. The fame of the officers and soldiers of the army cannot be divided. If those
lips of General Meade, which are sealed in death now, could speak, sure I am he would say, " Erect no
monument to me that does not cominemorate alike all the brave men who have stood by my side." ^'ou
cannot divorce the fame of .Sherman from the bronzed and bearded veteran that carried his musket w ilh him
over half the continent, — he would not let you do it if you could ; and you cannot divide the fame of ( irant
from that of every soldier who formed one in that glittering wall of steel with which he environed and en-
compassed Lee. When you rear this monument you will rear it in remembrance of the great chief wdiose
image it will bear, hut you will rear it also for a tender remembrance of every brave soldier who was by his
side. This great field of ( Gettysburg, as the President has well suggested, is one whose reminiscences are
peculiarly dear and tender in the State of I'ennsylvania. It was the culminating ])oint of the war. (ireat as
the interest in this battle is to the wdiole country, it is of peculiar interest to you of Pennsylvania. It was
fought, as General Sherman has said, for the possession of your political capital, llarrisburg, and vovu- great
commercial capital, in which I have now the honor to stand. Who is it, then, that can say that one or both
might not have fallen if victory had been otherwise? .\nd now, friends, 1 trust that this nionunKiit, with
its remembrances, will be reared, and reared soon, for it seems to me that it is a dutv which has been almost
too long delayed ; and when it is done, whether it shall staiul in these streets, where he walked, or whether
in that park which he loved to visit, wdierever it shall stand it shall be a monument to patriotism, to liberty,
to country, that shall endm-e long after we have passed away. If, hereafter, there are to be dangers, the
monument you will rear shall inspire again to courage, to devotion, and to patriotism worthy of the deeds
that are jiassed.

The next speaker was General VV^infield .S. Hancock, Major-General
United States Army, and in introducing- him Governor Hovt sugg-ested
that the audience rise to be presented to the " W'liirlwind of the Army

of the Potomac," a suggestion that was [ n)m|)tly acted uijon, and ("len-
eral Hancock received an ovation that appeared to somewhat embarrass
him. .\iter Ijowing liis acknowledgments he said: —

I niii;lu very well, instead of being considered a guest to night, claim to he one of those assembled here
to receive the distinguished persons wlio surround me; for I am a citi/en of your own State, and was born
but twenty miles away. Or, as a, I might say .something appropriate to the occa-ion ; for in my service
during the rebellion I was thrown very near to General Meade, having served in the same army with him
or under his command during nearly all the period of that strife. I wa.s necessarily at times much with him,
and had thereby opportunities of knowing much of his " inner life," and of the " main springs " which moved
" affairs " as well ; Init I did not expect to Ik- called upon to night for any remarks.

1 came here understanding thai 1 was not to speak, but that others would say all that was needful on
the occasion, and far better than I could do. Without consideration, I could not speak with that care which
I think the subject deserves, and 1 shall not detract from the occasion by crude utterances, especialU' when
so much has been said by others that was aj>propriate and fitting in every way.

I am satisfied that the monument in which we all feel an interest will be promptly erected, and it will
only be necessary, when completed, to inscribe upon it on one side, " Meade," and on the reverse, " ( lettys-

The last speaker. General Stewart L. Woodford, L'nited States
District Attorney of New \'ork, was then introduced 1))' (.governor
Hoyt, and was received with a rt)und of applause. His Ijrief address,
delivered in his stirring, elotpient manner, won for him highest enco-
miums and continued applause. We regret that we have not been able
to procure a copy of General Woodford's address, but as he spoke ex-
tempore he had no notes to give us. We can onl)' atld that it was a
fitting conclusion to such a meeting before such a distinguished audi-
ence. Music by the band closed the exercises of the evening. After-
ward the guests were sumptuously entertained by the L'nion League
at their Club House Broad and Sansom streets. This was duly ap-
preciated by the Post, and the following letter was sent them : —

Headquartkrs Geo. G. Meade Post, No. i, Dep'i' ok I'enna., C;. A. R.,

S. E. Cor. Eleventh and Chestnut Sts.,

PiMLADELiTiiA, June 3, 1S80.
\Vm. E. Ltiteeton. Es()., .SWiv/ary C'liin/i /.,-a^.-n' 0/ Fhiladdphia,

BfOiul and Sansoni sts..
My lit-ar Sir : I have the honor to iiifotm you tliat liy the uuaniiiious vole of the I'osl at a re;.;uhir
muster held 011 Monday evening, May 31, iSSo, that the thanks of George G. Me.ide l'o>l, No. r, Depart-
ment of Pennsylvania, (Jrand Army of the Re])ubljc, are due and are hereby tendered to the " L'nion
League of Philadelphia," for the very handsome, generotis an<l suljstantial manner in whieh tliey enter-
tained the guests of ilie Post attending the services of the I'ost at the .Academy of .Mu^ic in aid of the
monument to the memory of Pennsylvania's illustrious soldier, ( ieneral George G. Meade, at their elegant
Club House, Broad and San.som streets, on Saturday evening. May 29, 1S80. .Vsking your acceptance of
this slight return for your extreme kindness and generosity,

I have the hcjnor to be. sir, very respectfully yours,

J. IS. K. C. Ward, AJjutaul.

We take the following- from the repDrt ot the Meade Memorial
Committee as signed and presented b\- Ctjnirades Geo. O. White, F.
L). Keyser, M. D., Henry H. Bingham and R. Dale Benson : —

The Post has the satisfaction of knowing that tlieie was assembled on the slage of the .\cadeuiy that
evening a body of distinguished men such as seldom have been brouglit together in the country, oulsideof
the city of Washington.

The net financial results are shown in the report of the Treasurer to be S-74-5')- Although the amount
is not as large as was anticipated, your committee are confident that the effect of the meeting has been to
bring the matter before the public in a manner such as it has never lieen before, .\bout S500 has already
been received, since the meeting, from different sources, which we are and ought, credited with ob-

Add to this, the amount subscribed b\' the members and we have
a total ot $870.34 as the amount contributed by this Post.

These services were also the means of the organization of a new
Post in this department, viz., Larrimer Post, No. 179, Clearfield, Clear-
held Co., Pa., as shown by the following letters of the Department
Commander, Chill. W. Hazzard, sent this Post, from which we extract
the following : —

"I may also congratulate you on the splendid success of the Academy services, whicli drew to the
support of your effort so many distinguished soldiers and citizens.

" The reflex of the honorable and memorable words spoken from the Academy stage, for and to tlie
Cliaiid Army, rekindles a pride in the hearts of our comrades elsewhere, and prompts others to ask con-
cerning its objects and aims. Ck.od results follow. I am about to muster a Post in Clearfield County,
which is organized from the direct results of inquiry awakened by reading the press accounts of your granrl
meeting on the evening of the 29th ult."

The full proceedings of these services on Memorial Day of this
year, includinor those at the Academy of Music in aid of the Meade
monument, and the sermon of i:)r. Danforth, jjreached to the Post on

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Online LibraryJoseph Ripley Chandler WardHistory of George G. Meade post no. one, Department of Pennsylvania, Grand army of the republic → online text (page 11 of 24)