Joseph Ripley Chandler Ward.

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

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Online LibraryJoseph Ripley Chandler WardHistory of George G. Meade post no. one, Department of Pennsylvania, Grand army of the republic → online text (page 3 of 24)
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The Cominander earnestly requests that you will attend this meeting of the Post, to assist in the election
and initiation of the toUowing comrades:

liy or<ler ol

JdS. R. C. WARr>, Post Commander.
Official. .\KCHF.R Maris, PosI .Adjutant.

On Memorial Day in 1S72 the Post again united with Post No. 8.
Memorial Day, Thursday, May 30th, proved to be stormy ; it rained
nearly all day, so that the services were postponed b)' many of the Posts
until Sunday, June 2d, on which day Post No. 8 performed their services
at Glenwood Cemeter}'. The -State Pencibles and the soldiers' orphans
again accompanied the Posts. Rev. Richard Shields officiated as cha])-
lain, and Rev. James Neall delivered the oration.

By hard and persistent work, and perhaps -by not making- known
our small membership, Commander Ward was able to secure and have
mustered into the Post three recruits —

Comrades Ansel Hamberg, Morris Briggs, and James B. Diehl.

In General Order No. 24 from Department Head-Quarters, dated
January 30, 1872, Comrade Jas. R. Mullikin, of this Post, then of Post
No. 27, was appointed Assistant Quartermaster-General by Department
Commander I'rank Reeder ; was re-appointed in 1S73, 1S74, and 1875 •
and in 1876 was elected a member ol the Department Council ol Ad-

Shortly afterwards Commander Ward received the iollowin^' no-
tice of appointment on a .Special Committee to investiy'ate the misman-
agement of the .Soldiers' Orphan .Schools : —

Eastiin, Pa., PY-linuiry 2, 1872.

A/y Deal- H'ard : — \'ou have been appointed witii Colonel Oir, of Post 2, and Captain Norris, of

Post 19, njion tlie Secret Examining Committee to investigate charges of neglect or mismanagement in any

of the Orphan Schools. Colr>nel Beath thinks that General Wagner will be able to procure passes to cover

your travellmg expenses. Please write me whether you will accept.

\'ours, very truly, in F., C. and L.,

Frank Reehkk, Departmetit Cunniiaudcy.

Pnn..\i)i'.i-i'mA, F'ehniary 7. 1S72.
Colonel Frank Rf.f.der, Depailmeiit Coiiimaiidfr G . A. R. :

Coniratif, — Vour notification of my ap]>ointment as a member of the Examining Committee is received,
and the appointment accepted with pleasure; will be ready to discharge the duties of the same whenever
called upon.

Will you please investigate the matter I wrote to Colonel Beath about, in regard to my election as Alter-
nate Delegate to the National Encampment, antl let ine know the result ?
Yours, etc.. in F.. C, and I...

Ids. R. C. Wakii, CommntiJer Post Xo. 1.

Major-General George Gordon Meade Died November 8, 1872.

On November i itli, while ridins>^ at the head of his command, Com-
mander Jos. R. C. Ward, then Colonel of one of the regiments of the
National Guard of this city (the brigade being the junior brigade and
he the junior colonel, gave him the extreme right of the escort), was
impressed with the quiet and reverential respect shown to Pennsyl-
vania's great soldier, Major-General George G. Meade, as his remains
were being escorted through the streets of our city from St. Mark's
Church to Fairmount Park, where they were placed upon the boat and
taken to Laurel Hill ; and he decided that this, the senior Post of this
Department, should bear Meade's name, and thus ever keep before his
surviving comrades a name so dear to the Army of the Potomac, to our
city, to the state, and to the nation. Commander Ward immediately
notified Department Head-Quarters that Post No. i had adopted the
name of Gen. George G. Meade ; and none too soon, as other Posts de-
sired to do the same. At the next meeting of the Post, on January 8,
1873, this action of the Commander was approved, and Post No. i be-
came George G. Meade Post No. 1. To-day it stands without a peer
in the noble galaxy of Grand Army Posts, and the hero whose name it
bears will ever remain sacred to Pennsylvania, for it was upon her soil
that he broke the backbone of the Rebellion, and won the greatest battle
of modern times — CiKTTVsr.i Ri..

On December i i, 1S72, the annual election of officers to serve for
the year 1873, resulted in the re-election of Jos. R. C. Ward as Com-
mander, and on January 3, 1873, he issued the following order: —

rini.ADKl.l'HiA, Jamian- 3, 1S73.

The undersigned, having been re-elected Commander of Post No. I, again assumes the responsibilities
of the office, with a hope that during the ensuing year he may receive the hearty support of each member in
the endeavor to bring the Post up to its former sphere of influence and usefulness. The additions of new
memljers to our master-rolls during the past year, indicate that it only requires a small amount of effort ujioii
the ji.^rl of our members to till our ranks.

The following comrades were also elected ofticers for the ensuing year :

Myer Asch -..-.. Senior Vice-Commander.

Ansf.i. H..\mberg - - - Junior Vice- Commander.

H. E.\RNEST Goodman, M. D. - - - Post Surgeon.

Morris Briggs . - - - Post Quartermaster.

J. H. Stewart ... . Delegate to Depariment Kncampmeni.

Morris Krio-.s and Jri.Es Schwarz - .\lternates.

Comrade Jas. I!. Diehi. is hereby appointed Post .-\djutant, and will be obeyed and respected accord-

The regular meetings of the Post will be held on the second and fourth Wedne-idaysof each monlli, at
the new rooms, southwest corner of Twelfth and P'ilbert Streets, at eight o'clock i'. .M., except during ihe
months of July and .'\ugust.

The fii-st regular meeting of this year will be held on Wednesday, the Sth inst-, at eight o'clock. Every
member is earnestly requested to attend.

BfsiNESs: Installation of ofticers, initiation of members, instruction to Deleg.ites lo Dep.irtment En-
campment, etc., etc.

Jos. R. C. Warii, Post Commamhr.

Xo. 4/1 H'a/nKt Street-

Offiiuil. James B. Dikul, /W ./,//«/,;;//.

General Orders No. 36, Department of Pennsylvania, dated April
1 I, iiS73, announced the appointment of Commander Jos. R. C. Ward
as an aide to the Department Commander, and assigned him to duty
with the -Assistant Quartermaster-General.

-At the meeting held on May 12th it was decided to accept the invi-
tation of Post No. 8, to co-operate with them on Memorial Day in dec-
orating the graves of our deceased comrades at Glenwood Cemetery.

In pursuance of this action of the Post, Commander Ward issued
the foUowintr order: —

Philaiiki.imiia, May 26, 1873.
Comrade :

At the regular meeting of tlie I'u^t, heKl nt the Post Rooms, southwest corner of Twelfth and Filbert
Streets, on Monday evening, the 12th inst., it was decided to accept the invitation of Post No. 8, to co-oper-
ale with them on the 30th inst., to decorate the graves of our deceased comrades in Glenwood Cemetery.

Comrades of this Post will therefore meet at Spring Garden Hall, Thirteenth and Spring Garden Sts.,
on P'riday, the 30th iiist., at 2 i'. M. Dress: dark clothes, fatigue ca|), and white ijlovo.

Comrades will exert themselves to procure all the flowers they possibly can, as well as plants in pots (as
there are over si.K hundred graves to decorate), and send the same before twelve o'clock (tn Friday, to the
Commander, at his residence. No. 1 231 .\rch .Street.
By order of

Jos. R. C. \V.\Rti, I\>st Commaiuler.
Official. [AMES E. DiKHi., PoU .Ujidaiil.

The battalion of soldiers' orphans cadets acted as escort, with their
own band, the ^irls ridincr in two large omnibuses. Rev. A. J. Rowland,
who years afterwards became a member of this Post, officiated as chap-
lain, and Rev. P. S. Henson delivered the oration.

It was during- this year that strenuous efforts were made to deprive
the Post of its charter, and wipe it out of existence ; first at the Depart-
ment Encampment, but it was found that the law had always been com-
plied with, — all reports and returns properly made out and duly for-
warded with the necessar)' per capita ta,\ ; then it was attempted on
account of membership, as it was claimed that the members e.xisted only
on paper, as no one had seen any of its members, except Comrade Jos.
R. C. Ward, with one or two exceptions ; but it was proven satisfactorily
that the twenty-four members did really exist, and complied with all the
laws ; and, finally, because no meetings were held, — that, while all of-
ficial records showed that for two )'ears past regular meetings were held,
yet when any one came to these meetings no one was found there but
Comrade Ward, and sometimes one or two others, who were always

ready with excuses that others had l^een present and i^om^ home, or the
weatlier prevented otliers from coming' ; too warm, too cold, too stormy,
as the niyht happened to be. I^inally the Department Inspector was in-
structed to make a final inspection of the Post, and it not enough mem-
bers were found to properly conduct lousiness, to report the Post for dis-
bandment. After two unsuccessful attempts to find a sufficient number
of members present, he decided to ,t^i\e the Post one more chance ; ac-
cordingly a few^ days before another of the regular meeting nights. Com-
mander Ward was informed by the Inspector that he would be present
that night to make his final inspection of the Post.

The Commander visited many ot the members and wrote others,
making a personal appeal for them to attend this meeting, and finally
issued the following circular: —

Pini.ADEi-i'HiA, December 3, 1S73.
Coutriiiie :

Tlie regular annual meeting of C!eo. G. Meade Post No. I, flrand Army of the Republic, Department
ol Pennsylvania, will be held at the Post Rooms, southwest corner of Twelfth and Filbert Streets, third story,
on Wednesday evening, the loth inst., at S.30 i'. M.

The Commander most earnestly requests that every comrade will make e.\lra exertion to be present at
this muster, especially those who have not been able to attend the previous musters of the Post during the
present year, as there will be transacted business of importance as well as interesting and instructive, includ-
ing :

I. The .\nnual Inspection by the De|)artnient Inspector.
II. The initiation of new members.

III. The instruction of those who have not yet received the new work.

I\'. The annual report of the t'omniandei", including the (,>uarlennaster's report of all tunds received and

V. The election of officers and delegates.
VI. fieneral business.

liy order of Jos. R. C. W.\Rn, Pos/ Commander.

S,K 105 South Fourth Sheet.
Official. J.VMKs li. DlI-.Hl., Post AJjiilanl.

Fortunately for Post No. i that ni^ht pnned to be a very stormy one.
The rain fell in torrents from early evening until after midnight. The
Inspector came, and found but three comrades present, who told him
that the storm had undoulitedl\- prevented others from attending. He
e.xamined carefully our books and records, and thought they indicated
activity and interest ; those present assured him of their determination
to work to build up the Post, exhibited two new applications, and then
requested to be given another trial. This he recommended, and that
saved Post Xo. i.

\\ e afterwards learned that he reported us struggling hard to get
along, needing some encouragement, and advised a longer trial.

As this was also the annual meeting. Commander Ward submitted
his annual reiwrt in writing, gi\ing in full the work of the Post, and the
work tor the Post for the whole )-ear, from which rei^ort the following
e.xtract is taken : —

Cotnrai/es of Geo. G. Meade Post No. i :

Another year has passed since you elected me for the third lime Commander of this I'o^t. .\ year in which
nearly every Post in tliis Department has so improved in numbers and efficiency, as to receive the commenda-
tion of the Department Commtinder; but I am sorry to state that this Post has not, notwithstanding that I
have devoted a great deal of time and labor, and endeavored to make this fruitful to Post No. i.
While we have added a few recruits to our ranks, they have but taken the places of those whom business or
other important interests have taken from us. 0„e gone to Massachusetts, with transfer-card to connect
with the Order there; one to California; another to New York, on account of health; one away with the
U. .S. Navy; while quite a number seem to have lost all interest in our organization. Comrades, can I not
arouse you to a sense of duty when I remind you that this is Post No. i, the senior Post in this Deparlmeni,
one of the oldest in the country, and in this Deijartment alone there are about a hundred I'osts working to-
gether to carry on the work you so well began ? The work of cementing together in holy bonds of Kraler-
nity, Charity and Loyalty those who stood side by side during those dark days of our country's peril, and by
their noble deeds maintained unsullied their country's flag, and finally restored peace throughout the land.
Fraternity of feeling and interest, begun on the march and cemented in the fire of battle; Ch.irily towards

those whom God lias left to our care and protection, the widows and orphans of our deceased comrades;
and Loyalty to our country and flag.

And when I ask you to look hack to the early history of this Post, organized over seven years ago, ami
see the distinguished comrades enrolled in its ranks, who by their devotion to the cause advanced this Post
until its influence was felt throughout this Commonwealth, and then handed it over to us to continue the
work they have so well begun, will it not arouse you to do something?

I further ask your attention to the following:

We have held during the year eight meetings, and only the same few familiar faces greeted us, and
even those few were not willing to do more than attend the meetings; so that all the work of the Post fell
upon me. I had to preside at all meetings, keep the records of same, answer all communications, make out
all reports and returns, act on all committees attend to all the collection and disbursement of the finances,
keep all the books and papers, and, finally, do all the recruiting. I therefore appeal to you, each one, and
ask that you now lend all the assistance you can to the incoming officers, that their labors may not be so hard
as mine have been, and be productive of much belter results. Let each one of you try and see what you
can do, each one try to add at least one recruit, give a portion of your time, attend the meetings, and give
more liberally of your means, and thus encourage those who are willing and ready to do the rest.

Last May this Post co-operated with Post No. 8, and assisted them to decorate the graves of our de-
ceased comrades in Glenwood Cemetery, only eight of our members turning out. Let me ask that you will
take a more active and prominent part in this beautiful and touching ceremony, and that next year ue may
act alone as a Post, and take upon ourselves the responsibility of decorating the soldiers' graves in Laurel
Hill Cemetery, to which no Post has been assigned, but which has been sadly neglected. * *

Shortly after the election of officers, Comrade Briggs, elected Post Quartermaster, was compelled to
give up his business and leave the city on account of his health, therefore the duties of that office also fell
upon me, and I herewith submit the following re]>ort. (Here follows an itemized account for the year, show
ing the receipts to have been, with balance on hand, S57-I5 ; expenditures, $55.25 ; leaving a balance of

In conclusion, comrades, let me once more appeal to you, and ask that you give my successor what
assistance you can, and thus enable him to make a much more favorable report at the end of his term of

During' 187J; three more recruits were mustered : —
John M'Leish, William Arthur (re-elected', and Geo. W. Devinny.

On December lo, 1873, Commander Ward was strongly urged to
serve another year as Commander, but positively declined, and Myer
Asch was elected.



Entered the service a.s .Second Lieutenant Co. H, First Reg't N. J. Cavnlry, December 9, 1S61.

Final muster out as Captain Co. II, First Reg't N. J. Cavalry, and Brevet Major U. S. V., March 29, 1S65.

Mustered into Post No. I, Novemljer 15, 1S66.

Elected Post Quartermaster January 4, 1S67 ; re-elected July 5, 1S67.

Elected .Senior Vice-Commander January 3, 1S6S; re-elected May 27, 1871 ; December 11, 1S72.

Elected Post Commander December 10, 1S73.

On January lo, 1874, Commander Asch issued an onler announc-
ing- the officers elected, as follows : —

PHti.AIiF.l.PIlIA, January lo, 1S74.
Comrdi/i : The Commander takes pleasure in announcing to the comrades of this Post the election of
the following comrades as officers of the Post for the ensuing year:

Ansei.i, HAMHERn ... - Senior Vice-Commander.

Jl'LES ScHWARZ ■ • Junior Vice Commander.

H. Earnest Goodman, M. D. - - Post Surgeon.

Jos. R. C. Ward - Post (^)uartermaster.

Jos. R. C. Ward . . . . . Delegate to Department Encampment.

Wm. H. LoYD and J.\s. B. DiKHi. Alternates.

Comrade Jas. B. Diehi, is appointed Post AdjiUant, and will be obeyed and respected accordingly.
The regular monthly meeting of the Post will be held at the Post Rooms on Wednesday evening next,
the 14th inst., at 8 o'clock, and the Commander requests that comrades will endeavor to attend this meeting.
Bt'siNKSS: Installation of officers, instruction of delegates.

By order of Myer Asch, /W Commmii/fi:

Xi:. 004 Wahiat Street

Offidii/. James 11. Diehi, /'<«/ .■^,//K/'rt;;A

On May loth the first death in the Post occurred, that of Comrade
Morris Briggs, of consumption. Quartermaster of the Post for the pre-
cedinQ- year. He was buried at Lebanon, N. \ .

Morris Brigga was born in Lebanon. Slate of New York ; enlisted in Co. H, 56th Regl.. Ills. Vols., on
the 14th day of August, 1S62; held the office of First Lieutenant, and was discharged from Slh Regt.,
V.R. C.,April 2, 1866. He joined Geo. G. Meade Post No. I, Department of Pennsylvania, April 8, 1872,
and died May 10, 1874, aged 38 years. Buried at Lebanon Cemetery, Lebanon, Madison County, N. V.

This )ear the Post decided to take a long step in the advance for
Memorial Day, and determined to act alone, and take charge of Laurel
Hill Cemetery.

Commander Asch issued the following circular: —

Pim.ADEi rin A, May 25, 1S74.
Comrade : Post No. I resolved at its last meeting to act independently this year in the beautiful and
touching ceremony of decorating the graves of our deceased comrades, and will take charge of Laurel Hill
.and Ml. Vernon Cemeteries.

Comrades who intend parlicipaling will assemble at the Post Txooms, southwest corner of Twelfth and
Filbert Streets, at three o'clock i>. m,, on Saturday, the 30th inst.

Dress : Black suit, white vest and gloves, and black silk hat.

All contributions of flowers to be sent to the residence of Jos. R. C. Ward, Post Quartermaster, at 1231
Arch Street, who will acknowledge receipt of the same on behalf of the Post, and who will call in person
on each member to receive his donation towards defraying the expenses, which the Commander trusts will
be liberal, as this is the first lime since its organisation that the Post has undertaken to act alone in this cere-

The services will he at the grave of (ieneral Meade, at Laurel llill Cemetery, at four o'clock.

'^y "^''" "f . MVKR As<n, Post Commnmler.

Offiiial. JAMKS n. DlEHI., Poit A,ljutni!l.

Circulars were also sent to many of our citizens, informing them
that the Pest would decorate the graves of their deceased comrades in
Laurel Hill Cemetery, asking for donations of money and Howers, also
asking the co-operation of the families and friends of all soldiers buried
there, to assist them in suitably marking their graves. This met with a
generous response, man)' liberal donations both of money and flowers
were received. Of the services we will let The Press speak : —

" The members of Geo. G. Meade Post No. I assembled at their Rooms, Twelfth and Filbert Streets, at
three o'clock, in charge of Myer Asch, Commander, and proceeded in carriages, accompanied by the choir
of young ladies from the Grace M. E. Church, via Broad and Green Streets to Fairmount Park, and through
the East Park 10 .South Laurel Hill. At this place a halt was made, and, guided by the Superintendent,
decorated thirty-five graves with flowers and a small flag, among which were those of Walter S. Newhall
and Gen. E. M. Gregory; thence to Central Laurel Hill, where si.v graves were decorated, including
Gen. Frank Patterson and Capt. Biddle; then drove to North Laurel Hill, close to the grave of Gen.
Meade, where a large audience was assembled. The regular Memorial Service of the Grand Army of the
Republic was commenced by the choir, who sang

' niest are the martyred dead, wtio lie
In holy graves for Freedom won."
"Comrade Ward presided in the absence of the Post Commander, Comrade James Heslet delivered the
prayer, and after the anthem

' Illest he the ground where our braves are at rest '
Comrade James R. Mullikin deposited on the simple and unpretentious mound which marks the remains of
Gen. Meade a large cross and crown of exquisite and costly flowers, donated for the express purpose by

Mrs. M. A. Binder. The orator of tlie day. Col. Jos. R. C. Ward, Uien delivered an appropriate and well-
writtert address." He said : —
" Comrades and Friends :

" We have assemljled here to-day to honor with fitting ceremonies those who died in the defence of our
country, to decorate their graves with the garlands of .spring, and to give expression in words to the feehngs
that animate us in the discharge of this noble duty.

" We are here to decorate the graves of men who a few short years ago were in the enjoyment of all
the blessings of this life, as you are to-day, but when the peace of our country was threatened, our flag in-
sulted, and the call to arms sounded, rushed as you did to defend that country and vindicate the honor of
that flag; and to-day they fill numberless graves in every cily, village, and hamlet churchyard throughout
this entire land, thousands of them in unknown graves ; and, but for the care of an all-wise Providence, you,
too, might now be occupying one of those unknown graves, where no loving hand could place upon it a few
flowers as spring after spring rolls around ; therefore, comrades, let us give thanks to God that He has spared
us, and here, on this hallowed ground, with the angel spirits of our departed comrades, friends and relatives
hovering over us, solemnly pledge ourselves that, so long as our lives are spared, we will assemble each
spring with the beautiful flowers, and most cheerfully perform this beautiful and touching ceremony, so that
when we are gathered to our rest, this labor of love, so faithfully performed by us who shared with them the
same hardships, fought in the same fields side by side, gave our blood, and some of us our limbs, for the
same cause, may, too, have those who are left gather around our graves, saying that while we lived we were
faithful to our comrades, let us be faithful to them, and drop a few flowers upon their graves.

" .\nd, comrades, more especially do we feel ourselves unable to pay a just tribute to the comrade
around whose grave we are now assembled,— Pennsylvania's .son, one of the nation's greatest generals, and
Philadelphia's beloved citizen, — Major-General George Gordon Meade, after whom this, the oldest I'ost
of the Grand Army of the Republic, is named. Born on a foreign soil, of American parentage, he was edu-
cated and gradu.ited with high honors at West Point in 1835. He entered the Second Artillery. Resign-
ing in 1836, he was re-appointed in 1S42 in the Corps of Topographical Engineers, in which he served on
routine duty until the breaking out of the War with Mexico, where he served with distinction on the stafTs
of Generals Taylor and Scott. At the conclusion of that campaign he was again placed on routine service
in his corps. At the commencement of the late war he was again called into active service; appointed a
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, and placed in command of the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps. He served
with the Army of the Potomac through all its campaigns, being severely wounded at the Battle of Glendale,
in Tune, 1862. Returning to the field in September, he was appointed to the command of a division.
After the battle of Fredericksburg he was placed in command of the Fifth Corps (having previously been
made a Major-General), which he retained until June 28, 1863, proving himself everywhere a brave, zealous
and competent officer, when he was called upon to take command of that grand old army — the Army of the

Online LibraryJoseph Ripley Chandler WardHistory of George G. Meade post no. one, Department of Pennsylvania, Grand army of the republic → online text (page 3 of 24)