Joseph Ripley Chandler Ward.

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

. (page 16 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 16 of 24)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

After nearly two hours thus spent, still greater pleasure was afforded
by the few brief but excellent speeches. Comrade Wendell P. Bow-
man made a ringing Grand Army speech, making all present appreciate
the services of our comrades who saved our country in time of war, and
the services of those who now labor s<i faithfully in the ranks ot the
Grand Army.

Past Commander Jos. R. C. Ward was called upon and spoke as
follows : —




Entered tlie service as Surgeon in Clmrm.-in's Mounted Rangers (Slh I'enna. Cavalry), May i, iS6i

Afterwards as Surgeon 28th Reg't I'enna. Volunteers, July 24, 1861

Final muster out as Colonel and Medical Director U.S. Volunteers, November 3, 1865

Mustered into Geo. G. Meade Post No. I, Dccenil)er 6, 1867

Elected Post Surgeon May 27, 1871 ; re-elected January 14, 1872, January 3, 1S73, January "-'' '"^74

January 3, 1S75 ami December 8, 1S75

Mr. Chniiman, and Comrades, and Friends : — T am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to you
to-night— pleased that you have decided to meet around this festive board and greet each other so pleasantly.
I do trust that our experience this evening will be so enjoyable, and so much desired, as to induce us all to
meet in this way each succeeding year.

And while we are enjoying ourselves so much, let us stop to think that ihere is a sad side to this
pleasant picture — sad to think tliat we cannot AI.I. expect to meet many more times on such occasions as
this. The grim sergeant is rapidly mustering our comrades into that CJrand Army above, and leaves us
saddened by his repeated calls ; sad that, witliin the year just closed, five of our comrades have left us, and
one of them, who would have added much to oiu- joy this evening, has gone with them to his eternal rest —
Past Commander Ashton. We miss you ! but we will ever bear in pleasant memory yoiu- manly virtues and
your ever ready and willing sacrifices for the welfare of this Post. We also miss you, Comrades Lansing,
Bond, McFadden, and Birnbaum. May your sleep be sweet, and your awakening joyous !

Comrades, I am glad that you have selected this time for your first anniversary supper, as it is just
fifteen years this week since I was mustered into this Post. Our headquarters then was at No. 1316 Chestnut
street, and we numbered about eighty members. I was, within a month, called upon to assume the duties
and responsibilities of an officer in the Post, and when I retired from the office of Adjutant, two years ago,
I closed an official life of eleven years as Quartermaster, .Adjutant, and Commander. Having thus been so
active in the life of this Post for so long, you can appreciate with what pleasure I congratulate you to-night
on your success and the very prominent position you now occupy as a Post in the Grand Army. And it is
my pleasing duty to-night to express to a comrade here, who has contributed so much towards that success,
your appreciation of his services, and to substantially convoy to him a token of your esteem.

It is with great pleasure that I perform this duty, for we are not only comrades together here in this
Post, but we served in the same brigade during the war, and the regiments of that brigade were so closely
united and so continuously together that it might almost be called one regiment.

It is also a pleasure for me to perform this duty because, ever since his admission into this Post, we
have been closely associated together in most of the labors necessaiy for the upbuilding of the Post, and on
many of the important committees, and I have always found him a most willing and ready co-laborer, re-
sponding cheerfully at all times, and to any and all duties; and, as chairman of .some of those committees
and Commander of the Post, has given entire satisfaction to all of his comrades ; and I know, my comrades,
that it would afford any of you as much pleasure as it does me to perform this most pleasant duty. I not
only give expression to my feelings, but of yours also, when I say to you, Past Commander William J.
Simpson, that I have not only the pleasure, but the honor, to bear to you the ap])roving sentence of all your
comrades and their good wishes for your long continued life of usefulness, and you to accept this hand-
some gold Past Commander's badge, containing also the corps mark under which you served your country
so well, as a slight token of their ajipruciation of your worth as a comrade and your services as Com-


Past Commander Simpson received the bade^e, expressing to tlie
Post his gratification that his efforts to serve them had met with their
approval, and returned his thanks for their ahnost universal support
and encouragement given him during his administration, and especially
for the beautiful testimonial just presented to him, and to Comrade
Ward for the very flattering manner in which he conveyed to him the
wishes of his comrades.

Judge Wm. N. Ashman was then introduced and made a very
pleasing speech, and closed by presenting Past Commamler Jos. R. C.
Ward with a gold badge, almost the counterpart of the one presented
to Comrade -Simpson, in recognition of his eleven years' service as Ad-
jutant, Quartermaster, and Commander. Comrade Ward receivetl the
same with many thanks to the comrades for their beautiful gift, l)ut re-
frained from an)- further remarks, as he had already trespassed so much
upon their time.

Rev. [. C. Walker recited a beautiful patriotic poem, which was
greatly appreciated by all present. Thus closed one of the most pleasant
gatherings of the Post.

At the Department Encampment, convened at Wilkcs-Barre, Pa.,
on January 31st, Past Commander A. J. Sellers, of this Post, was elected
Senior \'ice-Department Commander, and Past Commander William
J. Simpson a delegate to the National Encampment.

At muster of February 26th, a very interesting and minute report
was presented by Comrades Albert C. Johnston and H. VY. B. Her-
vey, the committee, who, upon their own responsibility, secured and
presented to the Post that interesting and valuable relic "Old Baldy" —
the head and neck of General Meade's old war horse " Baldy "—and


Comrade G. Harry Davis, on their behalf, presented "Old Baldy"t() the
Post, it having been very tastefully placed upon a tablet, which con-
tained briefly the services of the old horse and account of the wounds
received in battle.

The report asked for a vote of thanks to Mr. John J. Davis, the
owner of the horse, for his services in assisting the committee in pro-
curing the relic, as the horse was already buried on his farm, and for
a photograph of himself and the horse, which was granted. ( )n March
1 2th a letter was received from Colonel George Meade giving a full
and correct history of the old horse and the battles in which he was
wounded, as follows: —

" B.\LDV " was rnised on the Western Frontier, and at tlie hrcakiiit;

out of the war was owned \>y Col. E. D. Haker, of the "Ist I'a. Vol. or im

California Regiment. .At ihe first battle of Hull Run, July 21, l86i, Baldv

was wounded in the nose by a piece of slull. He was afterward pur

cha-sed by CJeneral Meade, at Washington, for S150.00, ainl was ridden \<\

him almost e.xclusively throughout the war, .and in ihe following battles:

Dranesville, Va., Dec. 20, 1861 : Mechanicsville, June 26ih; (Gainesville,

June 2-1I1 ; Crovetun, .Aug, 29th; Second Hull Run, .Aug. 30th ; .Soutli

Mount.ain, Sept. 14th; .Antielam. Sept. i/lh; Fredericksburg, Dec. i,;,

1862; Chancellorsville, May 2d, 3d and 4ih ; Cetlysburg, Pa., July 1st, 2d

and 3d; Brisloe Station, Oct. 14th; Kaii)).aliannock .Station, Nov. 7th ; .Mine Run, .Nov. 26, 1S63 ; Wilder-
ness, May 5th and 6th ; Spottsylvania, .May Stli lo 20tli ; .\orlh .\nna, .M.ay 23d to 26lh ; I'olopotomy,
May 29th ; Kethesda Church, May 30th ; CoIil Harbor. June Isl to 3d ; I'ctersburg, June I5lh to iSth ;
Jerusalem Road, Jime 22d ; Mine Ex|)losion, July 30th : Wddoii Railroad, .Aug. 18 to 25, 1.S64. .At ihe
latter (General Meade wounded in the leg by shell ; nol badly. 1 le was ilien sciil .\oith in charge
of (George Melloy, of the 1st IVniisylv.aiiia Cavalry, lo I'hil.idclpliia, liy rail, and then sent to (ieneral

Meade's country place, where be remained for seven years ; he was then presented to Mr. John J. Davis,
blacksmith, near Jenkinlown, .Monigomery Co., Pa., who kept him until he became too feeble lo gel up
after lying down, and on December 16, 1882, a dcse of poison laid him to rest. lie was over thirty years
old, and had lived ten years after his gallant master, the veteran of many battles through which he safely
carried his masier. He was wounded at tirst Bull Run, July 21, 1861, in nose: at second Bull Run, .Aug.
30. 1S62, through right liiiid leg; .Aiilietam, Sc|it. I-lh, through neck ; Cettysburg, July 3d, siile.


Past Commander A. J. Sellers conceived the idea of getting up a
Post Guard, to be handsomely uniformed, to parade with the Post and
act as firing part)- at fiinerals, and he was appointed a committee of one
to organize said guard, uniform and equip them, and on March 5th,
when the Entertainment Committee reported their arrangements for a
benefit at the theatre, he asked to have the proceeds of said benefit
devoted to the guard. This was amended to allow the guard 50 per
cent. Comrade Sellers then resigned as that committee, presenting in
writing at the next muster his reasons therefor. Another committee,
consisting of Comrades \V. Wayne Vogdes, Wm. H. Howard anti D.
F. Nichols, was appointed. They labored hard but were unable to get
the guard organized any further than securing the muskets from the
State and uniforming tour comrades to act as guard during muster-in-

The Society of the Arm)' of the Potomac meeting in Washington,
D. C, this year, on May i6Ui and 17th, it was thought advisable to
have Post i attend in a body. A committee was appointed of Com-
rades W. L. Atlee, B. P'rishnuith antl P. |. lloifiiger to make arrange-
ments. A circular was sent to all the comrades, but the res])onse was
so meager that the idea was given up, and those who attended did so
as individuals.

On April 9th Comrade John E. Mann presented the Post with two
gavels made from wootl taken from the U. .S. .S. Cumberland, sunk at
the mouth of James River by the Confederate ram Merrimac. They
were received with the dianks of the Post.

The rapidly increasing membership of the Post since taking the
rooms at the southeast corner of Eleventh and Chestnut streets, made

what at first seemed ample accommodation for all uses of the Post, en-
tirely too limited, overcrowded and cramped, so that it became neces-
sary that steps be taken to secure more convenient quarters ; the mat-
ter was talked over but no definite action taken. Finally the action of
the landlord precipitated matters and the Council of Administration
was instructed to at once take steps necessary to make the needed
change, and on April 23d they reported to the Post that they had se-
cured the second floor of No. 1109 Chestnut street and taken imme-
diate steps to put it in condition for con\cnience of the Post. On May
15th Commander Wray issued a circular formall)- announcing tlic
changing of headquarters and urging the attendance of all the com-
rades at the muster of May 21st, when formal possession would be
taken A ver)- large number of comrades were present and found a
handsome furnished parlor in front, next a billiard room with two tables,
then a large ante-room with two rows of closets for the officers and
members who desired to rent them, and finall\- a much larger Post
meeting room, also handsomely furnished. All of these rooms on that
evening were filleil with the comrades, making a personal examination
of the new quarters, the fine furniture, works of art an.l troi)hies; all
expressing themselves much pleased with their new quarters and felt
proud that they were members of Post No. 1. The great outLiv for
furnishing and fitting was made up largely b\- private subscrii^tions
from the members in response to a circular sent out by die Comman-
der, and many gifts irom comrades which the Council in their report
made that evening sum u]) as tollows : —

" The good will of oui fiu-inK has lieen .shown by ihe constant roccipt of evidences in tlie shape of
[lictures, .statuettes, etc. 'to Conir.ide Edjjar W. Karle we are indehtcd for several exceedingly appropriate
engravings, .and the hanging of all the pictures on the wall. To (..'omrade A. T. Clajk for the very hand-


some statuetie of General Cusler. To Comrnde E. N. Benson for the magnificent picture of "Sheridan's
Ride" and •' Custer and Cody." To C. Hatrv Davis for tlie hoaulifid lace curtains in the parlor." * * *'
" The decorating and furnishing of the room^ were left to a subconnnitiee of Comniandir Wrav and Com-
rade Frishnnith, assisted Ijy Comrade John W, Ward."

The report shows that so far the expenses amounted to 5^625.00 ;
this was subsequently increased to $713.1;,. of which $315.85 were con-
tributed l)y the comrades. Commander W'ray coni^ratulated the Post
u[)on the possession of their handsome (piarters and thanked tiie Coun-
cil of Administration for the successful termination of their labors, and
announced that Comrade E. N. Benson had prepared a lunch for the
comrades, which he would ask all to i)artake of ujjon the adjournment
of the Post.

Comrade E. N. Benson respondeil to the repeatetl calls and a])-
plause and added his conoratulations to those ot the Commander, and
closed by presenting to the Post a very handsome lift> size oil painting
of General Meade, being the original painting that had ix-en in the
possession of the General's famil)-. This additional evid(-nce ol the
generosity of our comrade produced a prolonged applause, and the fol-
lowing resolutions presented l>\- Comrade (i. Harry Davis were unani-
mously ado[)ted l)y a rising vote : —

Stcsolocd, I'lKit the engrossed vote of th.anlis embrace tlie assurance that the picture, .surrendered
l)y (lie family, tlirough the generosity of Comrade K. N. Benson, with all the holy memories hy whieli it is
surrounded, wdl lie duly appreciated by the Post.

Slesolncd. Ihat the thaidis of the Post be extended to Comrade E. N. P.enson for his munilicent
and unseltish gift of the oil painting of (General Meade, and the very many other evidences of his interest
in its prosperity and advancement, that now adorn the walls of these quarters.

ltcSOltlC&, Tli;'t the Pnst. in receiving this portrait, iloes so in the same spirit of fralerii:il aflVclion
that |)n)nipled the gift : tlnit oui aim and ambitions, .as comrades, shall l>e— so to live and n< t thai when
the time lu hand it to our ^ULCessors, or to our posterity, there shall go with it a nanu- and a iharac-
ler a> unsullied, and a~ br;iuiihil, as i.- now the picture.


The Post was then closed and the comrades partook of the limch
provided by Comrade Benson.

Commander Wray, in General Order, No. 2, dated May loth, g-ave
full instructions for Memorial Day, from which is ([noted the following- :

II is loo ofun clinr.icicri.stic of our frail liiiman naliirc, to for:;rt wlicii wu slioulii, ami to
i,L;nore wliat >lioulil diserve const.iiu recognition.

Till- rapid lliglil of lime effaces the memory of many noble and heroic deed.s wliicli slionUI stand as
eternal monnments of duty nolily done and suffering patiently endined. This is the loo freiiuent tendency
after a niiL;lity siruK^le for a nation's honor, or the existence of a re|)ulilic.

In llie first touch of sorrow, and when liere.avemcnt is fresh aiul separation painful, we claim wilh lov-
ing hearts —

" O for a tou.^h of the vanished hanj,
A sound of the voice that is still."

and then soon lurn away into distraction, and .seek relief in oMivion.

It is, however, the glory of the Cirand Army ol the Republic to preserve the holy mission of recalling
its heroic dead, and per])etuating their stainless honor by the services of Meinorial Day. This privilege be-
comes a sacred duty, to cover with flowers the soldiers' graves, where rest our comrades gone before.

And it should be our es])ecial pride to gather every name which once was found on tlie muster rolls of
the great struggle, and to retrace its letters wilh (.icjd's flowers.

From the peerless Mi':At)i''., whose name we bear, to ihe humblest private in the ranks, who, in giving
life, gave all he had to give for his country, every sacred mound which covers vvhtit was once a hero and
a soldier, should receive ei|Ual honor at our hamls, while we are able to them in salulc.

A few more years and, in our turn, we shall be commingled with our mother earth, and our names be
written in the death list; then content we may be, if, on Memorial Day, our comrades g.ather round our
graves, and sorrowful memories cluster in the thought that we, .as soldiers of Ihe Republic, shall lie missed
and our memories respected.

The order also announced that the Post would attend dixine serv
ice at the West Spruce .Street Presbyterian Church, southwest corner
of Seventeenth ami .Spruce streets, upon the invitation of the pastor.
Rev. William P. Breed, D.I)., on .Siuiday evening, May 27th. There-
fore the comrades met at the Post Rooms on that evening at 7.30 P..M.
and marched to the church: se\'enly-nine comrades, under Commander


W'ray, beina present, who listened attentively to an eloquent sermon
by the pastor, and the excellent music furnished by the choir.

The followinjj^ were the committee having- in charg-e the Memorial
Day services :—I'ast Commander A. J. Sellers, chairman; Comrades

B. Frishmuth, Thomas Thompson Colin M. Beale, Lewis W. Moore,
James Thompson. W. 11. lirown. W. M. Worrall, and Leslie Stones.
And the followin^r special committee, which was appointed to assist
them : — Past Commander Geo. W. Devinny, Comrades P. ]. Plofniger,

C. Irvine Wrioht. .A. L Clark, Isaiah Price, Wm. E. Coster. Wm. C.
Bird. Rob't McBride. (ieo. Baskins and H. J. Tibbals.

On May 15th, at the retjuest of the Committee, the Commander
issued a circular |)rohibiting minors, in G. .\. R. uniform, parading- in
the line, also e.xplaininjj;- that the families and friends of the comratles
could not be permitted on the same boat with the Post from the Park
to Laurel Hill, owing to size ot boat; and announcing that none but
members — active, contributing and honorary — ami invited guests, would
be admitted.

On Ma\' 30th the Post assembled at headcpiarters. and. at 1.15
P.M., with 171 comrades in line, under Commander W'ray, headed by
the Keystone liand. marched down Chestnut to Fifth, to Market, to
Eighth, to \ ine, to Ninth, to Willow, thence b\' train to bairmount
Park, where the line was re-formed, and marched to Lincoln Monument,
where the usual services were held, including an address by Comrade
W. \\ . H. Davis ; closing with an anthem by the choristers. Thence by
boat to Laurel Hill, where the members marched through the Cemetery,
the choristers from the P. E. Church of the .Annunciation singing the
processional Ininn. with Inuul accompaniuu-nt.


At the Cliapel the services consisted of" an address l^y tlie Chair-
man of the Committee, Past Commander A. j. Sellers ; ,M-a\er l)y I'ost
Chaplain Rev. 1. Newton Ritner ; sinui„u- hy the choristers, and the
oration by the Rex-. Jos. F. Loverino-, Past Chaplain-in-Cli'ief ; after
which the followino- hymn, composed for Memorial Day and dedicated
to Geo. G. Meade Post, No. i, and to the Grand .Army of the Republic,
by Rev. Jos. V. Loverinu-, of Mass., orator of the da\-, was read by Com-
rade (i. Harr\- I)a\is : —

Long years pasM-,1 sine,- l.ntll. duM ( ;u.l of our dca,!, our noble de.-,d,

IXnrkene.l the r.ndiant sun ; ( -^a of our Coinrndes dear

n,e gleaming swoni is stained will, ru^t, l^or all who n,ourn their loss, we pray
Silent the volleyins,. H»m. i„ reverent love and fear.

Where valley, plain an.l l,illsi,le felt Hless thev left, and bless the land

1 he tread ol martial feel. |.or which thev t;ave their life ;

The whispering Ueezes sadly .noan, liU-.s us, who with them fo. the flag

The ghosts of lieroes nieel. shared in the battle's strife.

The cottage in the niouiitain glen We'll gallu'r now in broken ranks;

Or by the nmrmuring sea. We'll make our solemn rounds ;

Hears sighing pines, or plaintive waves .And wreathe our Comrades' clierished graves

Still chaunt their tlnencxly. 1,'ntil our " Pack up "* .soun<ls.

.•Vcrass our western prairie lands R]— Oli : ilie brightness of the glory

Echoes the mournful strain, ^||.^, jriids the storied past ;

And city homes with sobs repeat ( ,1, 1 the nmny s.tcred memories,

The tender, sad refrain. ' Wliieli, long .as life, shall Last.

•Tli^ name sivrn in tlie .irrny to die Jium ami l.ii);!,- call-"l he (;,-iKral."

Then followetl the usual services at the j^-rave of General Meade
by Comrades j. A. .Stevenson, Ale.x. Reed, Isaiah Price, and Chaplain.
1. Newton Ritner, following a brief atldress by Commander W'ra}'.

hi compliance with (ieneral Order No. ;, from Post Idead-C Quar-
ters, the comrades assembkxl at Post rooms on \\'ednc-sda\', |uly .|th,


Eiuorea tliescn'ice ns Private ill Co. I, 49"i l<-<^g'i >''-■""='■ Vulunletr,, ;„ uS6i.
Final nui-tfi- oul a> 1-irst Lieutenant and Brev. Captain Co. A, 49111 Rcg't Penna. Vols., November 27, 1S63.

Mustered into Geo. G.. Meade Post No. 1, June 27, 1881.

Elected Chaplain, 4. I SS2 ; re-elected December 7, 18S5, December 6, 1886, Decembers, 1887,

December 3, 1SS8, December 2, 1889.

to proceed to German town, to participate in the ceremonies of the vm-
veiling of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. 81 comrades, under
Commander W'ray. reported, and with the Keystone F)and marched to
9th and Green streets, and took train for Germantown. After the pa-
rade, proceeded to the mansion and grounds of the \\'orkin<;men's Ckib
and i)artook of a cokl lunch, and returned to the city after 7 o'clock, P.M.
On Jul)- 31st the Post attended tin- funeral of Comrade Louis I.
Boos and wife, who were instantly killed in a railroad accident at Carl-
yon station. X. V., on their return home from a pleasure trij) to Niagara
Falls. The services were held in the chaj^el of die Eleventh Baptist
Church, Diamond street below 2 2d. Post Chaplain I. Newton Ritner,
the pastor, was assisted in the services l>y the Rev. W. II. Humphreys
and Rev. [. W. Booth. Owing to the uncertainty as to the time the
bodies would reach Philadelphia and the haste reijuired for their inter-
ment, owing to their condition, no time was given to send out notices,
and but 38 comrades, under Commander W'ray, were present, with the
Geo. G. Meade Fife and Drum Corps. The Inmeral Committee sent
to the church a handsome floral design. The services at the church
were unusually impressive and solemn, bearing upon the sutlden and
une.xpected death of man and wife necessitating a double funeral of
those who had left but a few days before in i)erfect health and in
anticipation of so much j.ileasure.

Louis J. Boos w.i> I'Oin in rhil.ideliilii.-i, .State of I'enna. Enlisted in Conii>.iny K, 61I1 Kej;t. I'a.
Cavalry, i>n llie 2l!,l day of Xovenilrer, iSoi. Held the office of Sergeant, and wiis discharged .Voveni
ber 29, I.S64. Was musieved inio Ceo. (;. .Meade Tost, No. I, Dept. of I'enna., Mecembcr 30, I.S7S. and
died Inly 29, I.ScSj. a-ed 45 year-. I'.uried at Mount I'eace Cemetery. Philadelphia. I'a.


At muster of September loth, Past Commander Sellers presented
the followini,'- resolution which was unanimously adopted : —

l'JcSaItll^a, Tlial this P„st dq,rccal,.s the vioblio,, o( th,- SaMath by I'u.sts ,.f tlie (;,«„<1 .\,n,y
in observing tl,at sncied clay as one of frolic by public Cant,, Vin: a,„l other inappropriate cerentonies, in
v.olation of the laws of (iod, of this Cotnntonwealth. and our rules an<l rcKulations, believing it to be det-
rimental to the interests of our ( )r(lor.

Hcsolac&, Ihal a cpy of these lesolulions be forwarded to 1 tepnrlmeni I Iead-(>iarters in the
hopes that measures may be | romptly taken to suppress this ^rcuvini; evil.

At the same muster, on motion of I'ast Commander |os. R. C.
Ward, a committee of five was appointed to secure a l)in-ial lot for use
of the Post in one of the cemeteries, upon the best terms. On No-

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16 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 16 of 24)