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 4 of 24)
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rotomnc. Assuming commnnd of that aniiy, lie noMy Mimmoiied it to duty l>y nn order, of whicli tlie fol-
lowing is an extract : —

• The coumo' looks to tliis army lo relieve it from the devastation and liisgrai^e of an hostile invasion. Whatever fatigues
and sacrifices we may he called upon to undergo, let us have in view constantly the magnitude of llic interests involved, and
let each determine to do his duty, leaving to ,->n all-controlling Providence the decision of the contest,'

" Comrades, you remember when we were drawn up in line and that order was read to us, how it went
straight to the heart of each tiiaii, and how each one there determined to do his duty, trusting to an all-wise
Providence the result ; and on that memorable third of July, at Gettysburg, just after the repulse of that ter-
rible onslaught on the 2d coips in the mad effort to break through our lines, when told by General (iibbon,
who temporarily commanded the 2d corps, that the enemy • was entirely repulsed,' he raised his hat, turned
his eyes to heaven, and said, • Thank God ! ' Not .as you or I would have said it, Imt from the liottom of his
heart, showing that he did rely uiion ( lod for the result.

'• In the long series of battles which followed — the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Peters-
burg, and every conflict up to the last — although suffering much from malarial fever, unable at times to sit
his horse, he still directed that army with that high idea of duty expressed in his order assuming command
of it, and was faithful to the close of its existence. .And his command in the Southern States after the war
exhibited that, humanity and justice whicli were the attributes of his character, anil made his civil
life as honorable as his military record.

'• Comrades, here lies all that remains of the leader of that great army ; let us leave him to his long re-
pose, to his pure, unsullied and well-earned fame — a Christian gentleman, a beloved citi/en, a wise, true
and brave soUlier.

'• Comrades, this day, and perhaps at this very hour, there are assembled in nearly every cemetery
throughout this entire land, loving comrades, friends and relatives, assisting in this same work that has called
us here ; does it not .arouse within you that old patriotism that prompted you when the bugle sounded to arms,
to fly to the assistance of your country? Hoes it not thrill yoiu- hearts? Does it not awaken within a de-
vout feeling and sympathy for the dead, to know that at this very moment there are thousands of comrades
with one accord marshalled together for this duty of peace, to strew u])on thousands of graves of our deail
comrades, again wet with the fresh tears of these widows and orphans, the beautiful flowers which ( ;od in
His mercy gives to us each year, weaved into bouquets and wreaths by woman's gentle hands?

'■ Think of it, my dear friends, that this whole land, North and South, Kast and West, is to day ])aying
this loving tribute to those who gave uj) their lives for their country; and, my friends, as I said before, ' but
for the care of a kind Providence you might now be slee])ing beside them, and those dear to you left lo the
cold charity of this worUl.' K\en now who knows but that ere another year rolls around some one of us may
be laid to rest, for it is only two short weeks since I was startled by the announcement that one of the com-
rades of this Post had gone to join that grand army above — a comrade who was a dear friend of mine, who
I brought into our Post only a little over a year ago, and as I held his hand a.s he took the obli.gation of our


I inler I lillK- th(>ui;lu lu- \V(>ul<l so soon Iio iniliatnl into tliat e;inn(l army al)i)vc; ami altliou^h we cannot
cluster around iiis trra\e, and with lovini^ Iiands and mournl'ul hearts strew upon it .spring's clioicest tlowers,
we are consoled that, tlioiigh burie<l far away IVom us, our coinr.ades of our sister State will not neglect his
new-made grave, hut witli the same devotion brings us here, cover it with the garlands of spring ; and
the heart of his widow and liright six-year-old hoy will be gladdened to know that although buried among
strangers, there are there conn-ades who will assemble each year and decorate that grave ; so, comrades, let us
so long as God spares our lives meet, and cheerfully and faithfully perform this beautiful ceremony, for yon
kiunv not how many loving hearts are made glad ; and when we are laid by their side, the hearts of those
dear to us will lie gladdened liy tliis loving trilmte paid to us.

*' Now, nty friends, a few words to you. The ( Irand .\rmy of the Republic, whose representatives are
today clustered around the graves of their dead connades, is no mere religious or political organization, but
men bound together by three great principles, — Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty, — without regard to re-
ligion, politics, color, sect or nationality ; only requiring a man to have faithfully served this country in her
time of need, .and to have received an honorable discharge. Fraternity of feeling and interest towaid all
good and true soldiers of the Rei'ublie, ( haritv toward our mainieti anil helpless comrades, and Loyalty to
our country and flag. And, my dear friends, as each year rolls around our number must decrease and the
work left to ns must necessarily increase and become more laborious ; therefore let me ask you, if you know-
any comrade who has faithfully served his country and is not associated with us, that you will use all your
influence to have him luiite with us and assist us in this oiu' pleasant dutv, and be ever read\' vrnnself to gi\'e
what assistance and encouragement you can.

*' And in conclusion, comrarles, let me again ask you on this sacred groimd to pledge \ourselves anew
to faithfully live up to the principles of our (.)rder, and faithfully perform tliis beautiful ceremony in all
Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty, calling upon (lod to kee]) you true and steadfast."

" The singing of the doxology concluded the services. A detachment of the Post, in charge of las. R.
Mullikin, proceeded in a carriage to Mount Vernon and Mount Peace Cemeteries; thirty. live graves, in-
cluding those of Commodore Ritchie, Col. \an Leer, and C.apt. \V. K. 1 lopkins, were decorated at the
former place, and over twenty at the latter; while those comrades remaining decorated cucr tihv graves in
North Laurel Hill.

riiere were but tour comrades oi the who performed these
services, — James Heslet, h{. Earnest Goodman, M. D., (ieo. W. I )e-
vinny. and |os. R. C. \\ ard ; James R. Mulhkin, of Post Xo. 2j. making
hve, who decorated over one hundred and fifty graves in hxe tUflerent
cemeteries. Comrades MiiUikin, ( loothnan and 1 )evimn- went to Mt.



Entered the service as First Sergeant Co. K, Thinl Reg't Penna. Cavalry, August 19, 1S61.

Final muster out as Second Lieutenant Co. K, 'I'hird Rey't Penna. Cavalry, March 11, 1S65.

Mustered into Geo. G. Meade Post No. I, May 13, 1874, on transfer from Fred. Taylor Post No. 19,

Department of Pennsylvania.

Elected Post Commander Decemlier 16, 1S74.


\'ernon and Mt. Peace, while Comrades Heslet and Ward decorated the
ijraves in North Laurel Hill.

During- the year 1874 l)ut three comrades were added to the roll:
Wilbur F. Geer, James Heslet and James R. Mullikin.

On December i6th Comrade James Heslet was elected Com-
mander, and on January 3, 1S75, he issued the following order: —

The undersigned, having l>een elected Commander of (George (1. Meade Post Xo. I, assumes the re-
sponsibilities of the oftice, with a hope that during the ensuing year lie may receive the hearty support of each
memlier in the endeavor to bring the Post up to its former sphere of influence and usefulness.

The following comrades were elected officers for the ensuing year:

J.\s. K, Mi'Li.iKiN - . . . . Senior Vice-Commander.

CiKiK \y. Dkvinny ... - Junior Vice-Commander.

H. Earnest Goodm.xn, M. D. - - Post .Surgeon.

Jus. R. C. W.\Rr) - . - - Post C^uarterma.ster.

WiLKiR F. tiKER - - - Officerof-the-Day.

Ii>s. R. C. W.\Ri) - - - Delegate to Department P'ncampment.

( :i:ii. W. Devinnv and .\nsei, H.\mberi; - Alternates.

The meetings of the Post will be held on the second Wednesday of each month, at the Post
Rooms, southwest corner of Twelfth and Filbert Streets, at eight o'clock, P. M.

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

BusiNFss ; Installation of officers; initiation of members ; instruction to delegates to l>ei>nrtment En-
campment, which is 111 be held at Chester, I'a., on the 27th inst.

J-\MES Hestet, Pas/ Commaitder.
r. S- Minr

To secure the co-operation of the members the following was pre-
pared, and a copy sent to each memlier: —

I'lm \iiii,riiiA, January 9, 1.S75.
The undersigned, members of Ceorge ('•. Meade I'ost No. I, (i. .\. R., ap|)reciating the many difficul-
ties a few of the remaining members have had to contend with to maintai[i its organization, and believing
that the time when an individual expression of opinion on topics vital to the future usefulness of the Post
has arrived, do hereby pledge ourselves to be present at the meeting to be held on Wednesday evening, the
13th inst., and thus a.ssist those whose indomitable will and love for the Order has held the- Charter of the
Post for the last five years, and then and there decide whether the glorious history of the Po.^t I being the old-
est in the State and one of the oldest in the Order) shall always remain as of the past, or its future be still

more fruitful of good rosulls lo our comradrs. ourselves, or the Order at Inr^e; will, this ei„l in view we
pledge ourselves to s.x-ure llie attendance ai this meeting of as many of the old members as we can reach.
•'^'-""'''- MvKR Asrir. James B. Diehi., Jos. K. C. Ward,

K. W. I'. Al.I.EN, H. EARNF.ST tli « )l l.MAN, Chas. B. SI.OAN,

J. K. Ml iiiKiN, \V,M. H. Lovn, |,\mks Hesi.kt. '

J. SniwAK/., Geo. W. Devinny,

An earnest and interesting- discussion took place, each one present takincr
part, and awain did they decide to continue the ori^r-mization and bend
all their energies to build up the i'ost.

On March 5th a benefit for the Post was oiven at Wood's Museum,
by Miss Helen M. Houghton, who appeared as yuliet in .Shakespeare's
tragedy of "Romeo and Juliet," with Mr. Lewis Morrison as Romeo.
The committee having it in charge, consisting of Comrades [os. R. C.
Ward, Geo. W. Devinny and [as. R. Mullikin, issued the following
circular : —

PlIILAIn riiii \, IVhrnary 27, 1S75.
Dear Sir am! Comrade : At the last meeting of this Post the undersigne.l \vere appimUed a committee
to take such steps as in their judgment might be necessary to replenish their " rehef fun.l," which has proved
made<|uate to meet the demands made upon it by applicants entitled to our aid.

The unusual severity of the winter, as well as the dullness of trade, has not o,dy exhausted our Post
fund, but has been a constant drain upon our individual resources, as it has n,> doubt been upon your own.
Our inability to relieve all the ca,ses brought to our notice compels us to your aid and co-operation
in the disposal of the enclosed tickets of admission to an entertainment to be given at Woo.l's Museum on
Friday evening, March 5, 1S75, the profit of which will be sacredly devoted to this object. Aside from the object in view, we a.s.sure you of the full worth of the money in a most delightful entertainntent.
.Shakespeare's tragedy of " Romeo and Juliet " will be produced, with the beautiful an<l talented young
actress. Miss Helen Houghton, as ./«/,>/, and Mr. Lewis Morrison as K„n„o, an.l a full and satisfacto.y sup-

We respectfully ask that you assist us in tins cfiort, and that you remit the amount of your sales to the
office of the Chairman, No. 105 .South Inurth Sireet, on or before I 1'. M., March sth.

We remain, vry truly yours, in Iv. ( \. and I... Jos. R. C. Wari,. ( -hairnian. I

CiEo. W. Devin\\-, Commille,-.

Jas. R. Mfi.l.lKiN,

This netted a good sum for tht- relief fund of the Post.


(k-iK-ral Orders .\„. 3 fn,m Department Head-Ouarters, dated
March 16, 1S75, announced the appointment of" Past Commander [os.
R. C. Ward, of tile l\)st, as Assistant Inspector, and assioncd him to in-
spect Post 25, at Chester, and Posts 31 and So, at West Chester, Pa.

On Memorial Day the Post again took char-e of Laurel Hill Cem-
eteries. The members assembled at the Head-Quarters, Twelfth and
I-ilbert -Streets, at three o'clock, and proceeded in carriages through the
Park to the Cemetery, and after decorating the graves in .South and
Middle Laurel Hill Cemeteries, jjroceetled to the grave of General
Meade, where the services were held. Those having charge of the ser-
vices were admitted into the lot of the Meade family, while an unusual
crowd of spectators were hucklled together on the outside of the railing.
The opening address was made lj\- Past Commander |os. R. C. Ward,
who had charge of the ceremonies in the absence of Commander Hes-
let. He spoke as follows : —

•'Com,;„/,s ,uul Fricuh : .\iic.tlier y.-:ir lu^^ pnv^cd, and nsjnin aa' we assembled .iinund llie graves of
oiir lielove.l comrades, to do a checrrul duty, I., cover their last resliii - | upon tliis earth witli sprins;'s
choice-t llowers. .And, my liiend-., while we aie iierforming tliis he.auliful ceremony here let us remenilier
tliat in nearly every churchvard throuulioni thi> entire country are there assemhled thousands of llie com-
rades of the (irand .Army of llie K.pulilic. with tluir friends. |jerformini,' this same ceremony.

I say the entire country, hecanse n,,w tlie liearls of die peo])le have heen so touched that even those who
were our late enemies join with us to pay this same tribute to their brave dead : and now may be seen those
who were marshalled against each other marching side by side, with the same .sorrowful hearts scattering
llowers on the graves of the blue and the gray ; ajid although they cannot join the (Irand .A.rmy of the Re-
public, they can join with us aiid perform each year this beautiful and touching ceremony together.

And, my friends, again do I desire to imi)re-s upon your minds a very important fact. .\s each year
rolls around our numbers decrease, and those left to perform the service arc gradually growing less. I there-
fore a-k and urge U|)on you, one ami all, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, to lend whatever assistance
you can \u those w ho are willing lo meet each yi ir and strew with flowers die graves of those who stood up
widi Ihem HI the <l.-fence of our counliy ni her iiour of peril ; and should dicir services be ever again nee.ied
lo protect (■ur country, the as-isiance yon can give them in lhi~ will make them more re.adv to assist vou then;

tor ll,e ( iran.l .\„m- of the Republic now will f„nn the grand armi.s of the Republic then. With these few
remarks let me ask your kind attention to the .erviees of the d^y.' -Sunday Kcpuhlic. May 30, 1873.

The orders were read by Adjutant James B. Diehl ; Rev. Wm. V.
Kelh-, of the Sprin,or Garden M. E. Church, officiated as chaplain : and
Hon. Jas. Pollock, ex-Gov. of Penns\lvania, delivered an eloquent and im-
pressive oration, which was listened to with deep attention. Miss Helen
M. Houcrhton recited very feelin^,dy Peterson's " Ode on Decoration."

After the close of these services the graves in North Laurel Hill
were decorated, and the comrades and friends took carriao-es and re-
turned to the city.

In accordance with the provisions of .Article \'II1 of the orisrinal
Hy-Laws, and the following, adopt(;tl at a muster held on .September cS.
1875, l^o ^^''t '■ —

HeSolvcA, That an Honorary Roll of .Membership be opened, .nnd that .ill memliers who have been
members of the Post for five (5) years or over, and who shall have i)aid all dues and assessments levied by
the Post to January i, 1875, shall be placed upon the Honorary Roll upon an aiiplication in writing, giving
the date of their muster into the Post, and certified by the Post Quartermaster that they are not in arrears.

Besolncd. That hereafter any member who may remain a member for five years, and pay all dues
and assessments during that time, m.ay upon application, a.s above stated, be placed upon the Honorary Roll.

Kc6oItlC&. That all menil>ers pl.aced upon the Honorary Roll shall l>e relieved from all dui's ami
assessments, ami not rec|uired to attend nieetin-^s.

the following-named comrades became Honorary or Life Members of

the Post, and are e.xempt from all dues and assessments : —

Clayton McMicHAEL, Henry H. Bingham, Jules Schwarz,

Campbell Tucker (Deceased), Wm. H. Loyd, Charles R.Smith,


Myer AsCH(TRANSFERREoi, Samuel N. Lewis, H. Earnest Goodman, M. D.

Alfred Vezin ideceaseo), Frederick Tiedemann (deceased), Jos. R. C. Ward,

Wm. H. Harrison, Henry A. Vezin, R. W.P.Allen

General Orders No. 9 from Department Head-Quarters, dated
September 23, 1875, announced among other things the appointment ol

the Centennial Commlttt-e, to make arrangements for the Grand Army
parade and reception durintr the Centennial year, and included Com-
rade R. W. F. Allen, of this Post.

In November the Post was called upon to mourn the death of its
Commander, Comrade James Heslet, who died on November 22d, of
typhoid pneumonia.

James Heslet was liorn in fuliiml.ia County, Slate of Pennsylvania; enliilcd in Co. K, 31! Regt., Pa.
Cavalry, on the 19th day of August, 1861 ; helil tlic office of Second Lieutenant, and was discharged March
II. 1S65. He joined Geo. G. Meade No. i. Department of Pennsylvania, May 13th, 1874, on trans-
fer from Post No. 19, which he joined in 1868: held the office of Commander, and died November 22,
1S75, aged 56 years. Uuried at I'rt-sliyterian Cemetery, Mt. Carlion, Schuylkill County, Pa.

-Senior \'ice-Commander Mullikin assumed command of the Post,
and issued the following-: —

I'lllI-Aiii-.M'Hi.v, November 23, 1875.
Comrade: It becomes my painful duly to announce to the comrades of this Post the decease of our
Commander, Comrade J.vmes llKsi.Kr, who died on .Monday evening, the 22nd inst.

The conir.idcs of this Post are requested to attend the funeral .services on Thursday evening, llie 251I1
Inst., at 7.30 v. .\I., sharp, at his late residence. No. 2026 Nicholas Street, l>elow Columbia .\venue. lit-tween
Twentieth and Twenty-first Streets.

The remains will be interred at Port Carbon, Pa., on Friday. leaving the city via the Reailing Railroad,
at 9.15 .\. M. A committee of the I'ost will accompany the same.

Respectfully yours in i'., C, and 1.., J. R. Mi ii.ikin, Sntior \'i,-f-Commaiuh-r.

The Post took full chars^'-e, and bore all the expense of the funeral.
The committee to whom was assigned the arranoements consisted of
Comrades R. W. P. Allen. Jos. R. C. Ward and James R. Mullikin ;
they accompanied the r(;mains to Port Carlxin, Pa., and were ably as-
sisted by Commander Levi Huber and a committee of (iowen Post No.
23, of Pottsville, who met them at the de|)Ot at Pottsville, accompanied
them to Port Carbon, and assisted in the ceremonies there.


Entered ihe service as Captain Co. K, 35th Reg't Indiana Vols., September 4, 1S61.

Appointed Second Lieutenant Fourth Reg't U. S. Infantry, February 23, 1866.

Promoted First Lieutenant July iS, 1S66. Placed on Retired List December 15, 1870.

Wounded, both legs, Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., April 7, 1S62; left hand, Perryville, Ky., October 8, 1862;

head, Lavergne, Tenn., November, 1862.

Mustered into Post No. I, June 10, 1S74, on transfer from Post No. 27,

Department of Pennsylvania.

Elected Senior Vice-Commander December 16, 1874.

Elected Post Commander December 8, 1875.

Appointed Assistant Quarlerma.-.ter General, Depaitment of Pennsylvania, January 30, 1S72;

* re-appointed Januaiy 27, 1873; February 21, 1S74, and February 20, 1875.

Granted transfer to Department of New Jersey May 9, 1877.

This year the Post was more fortunate in recruitin^^-, receiving seven
new members, but losing one by death, as above mentioned — Com-
mander Heslet. Those mustered during this year were

Jonathan C, Barnes, Silas H. Alleman, Lynford D. C Tyler

Wm. H H. Wallace, Elbridge G. Maize, Isaac W. Ranch,

William A. Hagy.

On December S, 1S75, Comrade James R. MuUikin was elected
Commander, and the following as the other officers of the Post : —

t;Kn. W. Df.VINW

K. W. p. AiiKN -
W. H. H. Wam.ack

K. C. Ward

Senior Vice-Commander.
Junior Vice- Commander.


( luaitermaster.

H. Earnest Ghohman, M. n. ... Surgeon.

.S. H. Ali.eman ..... Chaplain.

W11.BIR F. (;i:kr Officer-of-the-nay.

T.VNFORD D. C. Tvi.KR .... Officer-of.tbe-Guard.

The success of the Post was now assured, regular semi-monthl)-
meetings were held, and the new comrades seemed to have infused new
lite into the organization, each tr)'ing to do his part to help it forward.

From there-organization of the Post on -September 30, 1869, until
this time, all the work necessary to keep the Post in e.xistence devolved
upon Comrade Jos. R. C. Ward, who gave much of his time, means
and labor for its preservation. He was compelled to perform not onl)-
the duties of the office he held during those years, but also those of the
Commander, Adjutant and Quartermaster; in fact, to do all that was
required or necessar\- to be done by and for the Post. Each )ear he-
was sent to represent the Post at the Department Encampment, and
twice was elected representative to the National Encampment, viz. : at
Cleveland. 1872, antl at Pliihulrlphia, 1876: but now he received valu-

able assistance from the new meml)ers that were slowl)- being brought
into the Post. Especially was this the case with Comrades Geo. W.
Devinny and Jas. R. Mullikin, who were ready at all times to respond
to the call for duty, and did their duty well. This activity was also the
means of awakening increased interest in some of the older members,
particularly Comrade R. \V. P. Allen. Comrades H. Earnest Good-
man, M. 1)., and Jules .Schwarz also began to take more interest, and
the Post began to thrive.

General Order No. 3 from Department Head-Quarters, dated
March 15, 1S76, announced the appointment again of Past Com-
mander Jos. R. C. Ward as Assistant Inspector, and assigned him to in-
spect Posts Nos. 2, 8, 18 and 94, all of Philadelphia : and on May 31st,
by General Order No. 12 from National Head-Quarters, he was ap-
pointed Assistant Inspector-General, and assigned duty at National

At the muster of the Post on April i 2th, Comrade Ward presented
the Post, on behalf of Mr. Geo. W. Childs, with a handsome Bible for
use in the muster-in-service. At the .same meeting, a committee of Com-
rades Geo. P. Eldridge, R. W. P. Allen, and L. D. C. Tyler, was ap-
pointed to devise means to replenish the Post treasury.

This year the services of the Post on Memorial Day were still more
e.xtensive. Circulars were as usual prepared and freely circulated, to wit :

Philadei.piiia, May 25, 1876.

The unrlersigned committee respectfully solicits from you a donation of flowers to assist them in deco-
rating the graves of their deceased comrades in Laurel Hill Cemeteries, to which they have been assigned.

Donations of bouquets, wreaths, cut Howers, ]jlants in pots, or, wliere you desire, money, will lie thank
fully received and acknowledged.

Contributors will, therefore, please attach their names and address.


Donations for special yravcs should be distinclly marked, and will be sacredly placed.
All contributions should l)e sent to the residence of the Chairman, No. 1231 .Vrcli Street, Ijefore twelve
o'clock, jolh insl.

Respectfully, Jds. R. C. \V.\rii, Chainiiaii. Wii.IU'R F. Gkkr,

R. \V. P. Ai.i.KN, E. G. M.\IZE,

S. 11. .\.I,1.EMAN, L. D. C.,

C.i o. W. Devinny, W. n. H. Wailace.

and aojain met with a generous response from our citizens in donations
of money and flowers. .Starting from their Head-Quarters at Twelfth
and Filbert .Streets in carriages, the Post, under the command of Senior
\^ice-Commander Devinny, proceeded through the Park, thence by Ridge
Avenue to the entrance of North Laurel Hill, where the members 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 4 of 24)