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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 7 of 24)
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S.Grant, Edwin Stevens, William Lembrecht, George H.Walters, Joseph Strobel, Francis M.
James, s! P. Hutchinson, Edward DeG. Loud, Harry C. Potter, William W. Sweisfort, Silas W.
Pettit, William B. Burk, F. W. Grugan, Thomas J. Ashton, Joseph G. Rosengarten 'Re-eiected), Wil-
liam Bell, Charles C. Knight, Theodore Leidig, Harry W. Hewes, Jacob Stein, John D. Kise. Wil-
liam M'Candless, George Q,. White, William W. Tucker, Dorr. P. Tremaine and Harry W. Gimber.

59



It was tliis larof increase of im-nihership tliat g-ave'iis the impetus
that rushed us on to our successful existence of to-day.

General Orders No. 14, from Department Headciuarters, dateil
Decemlier 17, 1877, announced the apiwintment of Past Commander
Jos. R. C. Ward, of this Post, as Assistant Mustering Officer, and de-
tailed him to install the officers-elect of Posts Nos. 2, 5, 24 and 71.

At the muster of January 9th, the following officers, elected to serve
the Post for the }ear 1878, were dul\- installed by Comrade \Vm. R.
Peddle, Past Commander of Post No. 2; —

Commander ■• - - -■ R. W. P. .Vl.l.KN.

Senior \'ice Commander - - . . . L. l~), Q TviER.

Junior Vice Commander Al.l'RKD J. SELLERS.

.•Uijutant Arcmkr Maris.

Quartermaster W\i. W. Swi isrnR r.

.Surgeon John II. liKoVK^, M. 1),

Chaplain Wm. G. McF^wen.

Officer-of-the-Day Cm. in M. IiE.ALE.

( )fificerof-the-Guard ...... James B. Dieiu,.

Sergeant-Major - . - .. Francis M. |ami:s.

Quarterm.a.ster.Serge.int - - .- Wm. B. Hikk.

and they at once entered upon their respective duties.

The regular musters of the Post were now held semi-monthly, on
the second and fourth Wednesdays, at the southwest corner of Twelfth
and Filbert streets.

On Tuesday evening, February 26th, a delegation of the Post ac-
companied Commander Allen on a visit to I'ost No. 5, to participate in
the ceremonies of the dedication of their new headquarters at No. i 5 28
South street. Postal cards were sent to all the comrades, inviting them
to assemble at the "La Pierre House," Broad street lielow Chestnut, at
7.30 P. M., from which place they proceeded in a body to Post No. 5

60




RALPH W P. ALLEN.

PAST COMMANDER GEO. G. MEADE POST No. ONE.

Entered the service as Captain Co. C, lo6th Keg't Penna. Volunteers, August 13, 1861.

Final muster out as Lieutenant-Colonel, 40th Keg't Penna. Militia, August 16, 1863.

Mustered into Post No. I, January 11, 1867.

Elected Junior Vice-Commander December 8, 1875.

Elected Senior Vice-Commander December 13, 1876.

Elected Commander December 17, 1877.



head-quarters, whicli were found to l)e crowded with their meml)ers and
representatives from nearly all the Philadelphia Posts. A number of
interesting addresses were made by the visiting- comrades from each
Post, Past Commander Allen and Past Commander Ward speaking for
Post One.

At the muster of March 13th, the Post received a fraternal visit
from Ellis Post, No. 6, ot Germantown, and, as soon as business could
be rushed through, a Camp Fire was opened with Comrade Robert
Johnstone, of Post No. 6, in the chair, and a pleasant evening was en-
joyed by all present.

On March 19th, the Memorial Committee, of which Comrade A. J.
.Sellers was chairman, issued a circular appealing in the strongest terms
to the comrades to make every effort to uniform themselves and to be
present in line on Memorial Day, closing with the following: —

Wliat wu Lick luiinerically let us make amend;- for l>y piescntini; a imifonn and soldierly .ip|ie.irance,
and if ever an opportunity was presented to show om- zeal and interest for llie (Jrder, for our Post, and our
departed comrades, that time is the present.

On May 17th Commander Allen issued a circular, of which the
following is an e.xtract : —

The Post will assemble at 5 o'clock P. M., at Headquarters, Twelfth and Filbert streets, on Tuesday,
May 2lst, to proceed in a body, accompanied by Drum Coips, to Bristol, Pennsylvania, as escort to the Post
Commander on his tour of inspection, as per resolution adopted by the Post. Leaving second pier south of
Chestnut street, per Steam Yacht " Sidney." Vou are earnestly rec|uested to participate. Uniformed if con-
venient.

In accordance with the above, about twenty comrades of the Post
responded, and, with drum corijs, marched to Chestnut street wharf and
boarded the steam yacht ".Sidney," and shortly before dark started and
steamed up the Delaware River to Bristol. Commander R. W. P. Allen

61



having been appointed Assistant Inspector antl detailed to inspect Post
No. -j^ of that place. On arriving at Bristol we found elaborate ar-
rangements were made for our reception. Beatty Post, No. ■] i<^ turned
out in full force, also the Plre Department and other civic bodies, with
bands of music and colored lights. After a short parade we were es-
corted to the Hall of Post No. 73, where a still more cordial reception
awaited us. After the usual routine of business was transacted and
the inspection completed, addresses were made by comrades of both
Posts ; we were then sumptuously entertained at a well-spread banquet,
which detained us until towartls midnight, when we were escorted to
the w'harf, where we boarded our yacht and steamed for home, it being
in the wee small hours when we reached Philadelphia and separated,
having enjoyed one of the most pleasant trips and one of the most
agreeable social evenings that ever fell to the lot of this Post.

-Still more extensive arrangements were made for Memorial Day
this year by the active Committee to whom were assigned the arrange-
ments for the day. The committee consisted of A. J. Sellers, chairman ;
Robert H. Ford, L. D. C. Tyler, Harry W. Gimber, Wm. J. .Simpson,
Thos. J. Rorer, Colin M. Beale, Geo. \V. Devinny, W'm. P). Burk and
Wm. B. Spooner. They labored hard and the result of their labor was
a credit to the Post and to themselves. Part of their arrangements
was to have made in Paris, Prance, and imported expressly for the
Post, for this day's services, handsome immortelle wreaths, upon which
were worked in colors the number of the Post and the letters G. A. R.
These were very much admiretl, and proved a more lasting decoration
for the graves than the usual bouquets ol Iresh flowers. These wreaths
were arranged on staffs, and under them were suspentled the small

62



Ilaj^'s used on each Memorial I )a\-, as is illustrated :
one being placed on each soldier's grave in the
three Laurel Hill Cemeteries.

On Ma)' 23d Commander Allen, in (iencral
Order No. i. announced that a special muster of
the Post would be held on May 29th to muster
atlditional applicants who would desire to partici-
pate with the Post on Memorial Day; at the same
time directing the comrades to assemble at head-
quarters on May 30th, at 1.15 P. M., for parade,
ami gi\ing further instructions for said parade, in-
cluding the route. \n compliance with said order,
the comrades assembled as directed, ami, under
the command oi .Senior Vice-Commander Tyler,
escorted by the Ciirard College Cadets with their
lull band ami tlrum corps, and a detachment of
Soldiers' Orphans from the Northern Home, 23d and Brown streets,
left headquarters about 1.45 P. M., and marched over the route as pub-
lished, being reviewed by the Ma)'or of Philadelphia, W'm. .S. .Stokley,
at I'ifth and Chestnut streets. Of the scenes of the (.lay we will let
others speak, and give in full the report published in •' T/ie Press" of
May 31, 1878: —

George G. Meade Po.st, No. I, of the ( Wand .\rniy, (lid amjile lionor to the name it he.irs. l*re-eminont
for patriotism, it-s members, one and all, liave been actuated liy a friendly rivalry for weeks pa.st, each striving
to surpass the other in e.\ertioiis to render perfect the anangements for Decoration Day. The commodious
headquarters of the Post, at the southwest corner of Twelfth and Filliert streets, were thronged at 12 o'clock,
and white fingers deftly fashioned l)oui|uels from the wealth of rare and beautiful llowers provided. .\t I
o'clock everything was in readiness, and fifteen minutes later, aftir the readingof a I'ost order liy Commander




63



R. W, W Allrn. placing I.. I >. (\ IVli-r in c.innuni.l f,,r tin- <hiy, ilu- ind.-r, " Fuiwanl, March I '■ was
given, and the line advanced in ihe folluwing iirder : Si|iiad cif Reserve-, ooininanded l)y l.ieut. Crout ;
Girard College Cadets, under Lapl, Anderson, fulUnved, headed liy their lidl Land and drnni cor]>s, and then
marched the members of the I'lisl, forty six in nunilier. The rear of the procession wa-. covered liy a party
of thirty-two boys from the Soldiers' Oqjhans' Institute. The line of march wa- up Filbi-rt to Uroad, to
Chestnut, (ioing down Chestnut street the command met with a continuous ovation. The steady and sol-
dierly bearing of the Cadets, the elegant display of banners carried by the I'ost, and the feature of the .soldiers'
orphans, bearing aloft the wreaths of immortelles which the I'ost imported from brance — all this, added to
the splendid music rendered by the George G. .\Ie.aile Fife and Drum Corps, and the band of the Gir.ard Col-
lege Cadets, created deserved applause at every point in the line of march. Tlie I'ost had, .at an early hour
in the morning, decorated the W.ashington Statue at Independence Hall, and when this point was reached
a brief halt was made. The march was again taken up and the line pa.ssed in review Iwfore His Honor
Mayor Stokley and other i)rnniinent gentlemen, who were at the comer of Fifth and Chestnut streets. The
command moving up Fifth tu Arch and thence to Fighth.tn Willow, where they took tlie cars for Fairmount,
where the line was reformed and marched to Lincoln .Monunienl.

This was decorated with excellent ta.ste. Festoons of bunting surrounded the summit of the base, in
front of which was a large wreath of immortelles liearing the inscription, •' Meade l'i)-t. No. I, G. A. R."
and on the centre appeared a l)nnd bearing in jniqile letters the initials •• A. I.." .\t this ])oint (.'omrade
Gimber stepped from the rardi and spoke as follows: —

■■C\'iiiit7,/,:< : ( In this sacred sjiot, removed from the busy scenes of everyday life, it i- fitting that we
pau.-e a moment to p.ay a triliute of respect to the memory of the great President, to dn hnnor to whom lliis
monument was erected." "••" * The speaker briefly eulogized the martyred IVesideiit and his great w.irk,
and refened to his speecli at Gettysburg, wherein he said that the words uttered over the heroes who hail
fallen there might Ije forgotten, Imt the memory of the heroes themselves, and of the victory they won, would
never .lie.

.\t the conclusion of the address the command marcheil to the laniling and took the steamlioat for L.aurel
Hill. The rain, which had been threatening for .some time, now began to fall heavily, ami when the ceme-
tery was reached it became evident that anything like a regular service in the open air was out of the c|ues-
tion. The procession was formed, however, and the effect wa.- greatly etihanced by the presence of the
choiri-sters of the .St. Mark's 1'. E. Church, Si.\teenth .and Locust streets, who, under the leadership of Pro-
fessor Mills, chanted with sweet solemnity during the march to the spot at which the ceremonies were to
have taken place. A stand had been erected for Gener.al .McCandless, the orator of the d.ay, but it remained
unused, and in an informal manner the members .,f the Post proceeded to decorate the graves. The decora-
tion was performed under the direction of a cnmnttee of the Post, consisting of A. J. Sellers, chainnan ;
Robert H. Ford, I.. I), t'. Tyler, H. W. < iimbei , W illiam j. Simpson, Thomas J. Korer, Colin M. Beale, George
A\'. Hevinny. William IS. Burk, and William 15. Spooner. While the conn-ades were performing their duties

64



in the drenching and pitiless rain, il was suggested that Ceneral McCandloss deliver his oration in the chapol.
This edifice was speedily filled to overllowing, and Comrade Sellers introduced the orator of the day, (lencral
William McCandless, Secretary of Internal Affairs. In so doing he paid an eloquent tribute to the Pennsyl-
vania Reserves and to the lamented Meade, both of which were greeted with applause.

tleneral McCandless said : " Comrades, the Almighty Father has thought i)roper to drive clouds in
showers of tears over this spot where we have assemliled to-day to pay trilnite to the memories of our fallen
heroes. They will make the sod greener over those who battled with us for our country. This beautiful
custom of decorating the graves with flowers is the s\-mbolization of a thought that has made nations great
from the days of Greece to the present time. The memory of the heroes of Thermopyhe and Marathon was
thus preser\ed." In glowing and eloi|uent words the speaker then eulogized the citizen soldiery of the Re-
public. •■ When," he said, " they had given up their lives for their country, a grateful people had commem-
orated their deeds of heroism in lasting monuments ; but when CJreece became torn with internecine warfare ;
when Spartans, Thebans, and Athenians, struggled with each other ; it was decreed that naught but wooden
monuments should be erected in memory of the dead, in order that the asperities engendered by the strife
should not l)e transmitted to succeeding generations." Speaking of the undying glory which Pennsylvania
troops had won in the war of the rebellion, the eloquent speaker paid a glowing tribute to General John K.
Reynolds, and then proceeded in fervent words to describe the grand victory won by Meade. " Wlien," he
said, " the last tidal wave of the rebellion flowed to the Round Top at CJettysburg, General George G. Meade
was the rock that shattered it to fragments. [Applause.] it was a grand sight to see the old general, sitting
calm and impassioned, slouch hat on head, as the serried ranks of the rebellion were hurled back in disorder
by the Union's brave defenders." In conclusion the speaker urged the continuance of those sentiments of
loyalty which were necessary to perpetuate Union, and hoped that the day would come when Pennsylvania
and .South Carolina would alike pay tribute to their fallen .soldiers, only to increase the love of the living for
the Union as it was.

The Post then went to the grave of (Jeneral .Meade, where the ceremonies in .accordance with the Grand
Anny ritual were performed, and, at the conclusion, the green turf over the remains of the dead soldier were
fairly hidden from sight amid the ma.ss of splendid floral tributes which surrounded it. Colonel Meade (son
of General (Jeorge G. Meade) was present during the entire ceremonies. The entire command took the boat
and arrived back in the city shortly after 7 o'clock.

On Wednesday, June 19th, the Post participated in the ceremonies
of the Centennial Anniversary of the Battle of Valley I'orge. In com-
pliance with a circular issued by Conimander Allen, the comrades assem-
bled at the headquarters of the 2d Brigade, \. G. Pa., \o. 4 Merrick
street, at 12.30 P. M., and marched to the Philadelphia and Reading



Railroad depot, Broad and Callowliill streets, uhere they took a special
train tor Valley Forge, but had to j,ret off at Port Kennedy, where the
line was re-formed, and then marched to \'alle)- I'orue, a distance of
about three miles. The comrades, in groups, visited and were enter-
tained at the headquarters of the different commands of the National
Guards of Pennsylvania, there encamped, and attended the services of
the day, thereby enjoylnu- a xerj- pleasant visit to that historic spot.
Towards dark the line was re-formed and marched back to Port Ken-
ned\-, where each one shifted for himself taking any train he could for
home. As usual on such occasions, considerable delay was experi-
enced in reaching Philadelphia. P^orty-three comrades were present
under the command of Commander Allen.

During the summer alterations were made in the building occupied
by the Post as headquarters, at the southwest corner of Twelfth and
Filbert streets, therefore no meetings could be held there, so that at
the muster of July 24th a resolution was adopted dispensing with the
regular musters until the second \Vednesda\' of .September ; but when
the Commander went to ascertain if the new room would be ready by
that time, he was informed that the Post could not meet there an_\- more :
so we were homeless. Therefore, on .September 6th, Commander .Allen
issued a circular calling the muster of September 1 ith at the A. P. A.
Hall, i\o. 1415 Locust street, to take ac.ion on the (juestion of per-
manently locating there. On that night there was such a diversity of
opinion that the matter was postponed, and the Post adjourned until
Monday evening. .September i6th, when, after anoth-r exciting meeting,
the matter was again postponed, but it was der-idcd to meet weeklj-.
on Monday evenings, at 1415 Locust street, until further orders. At



66



the next muster, on September 23(1, a resolution finally prevailed by a
majority of one vote, after a long- and exciting debate, to meet at the
Hall of Fred Taylor Post, No. 19, No. 71 i Spring Garden street. Ac-
cordingly, on September 30th, the Post met at 7 1 i .Spring Gardt-n
street, when the question was again debated and a resolution was
adopted, "that hereafter the musters of the Post would l)e held at 141 5
Locust street, beginning with that of October 7th," and notices were
sent out notif)ing the comrades of the change. At that muster a
communication was j^resented, signed b\- eight comrades, protesting
against the action ot the Post at its previous muster and asking for their
Transfer Cards. The communication was received and a committee
appointed to confer with those signing the same. This finally resulted
in the application tor cards being withdrawn.

At the muster of October 14th tlie subject of meeting-room was
again opened and discussed, and a motion prevailed to meet at 711
Spring Garden street, and the next muster was held there on October
2 1st. At the following muster, October 28th, another animated discus-
sion took place as to the future location of the Post. Several places
were mentioneLl anil urged for permanent ln-adcpiarters. I'inall)' Past
Commander Jos. R. C. Ward made a motion "ihat the Council of
Administration be directed to st-cure the- rooms at No. 926 Chestnut
street, or any other rooms they ma\' decide u|)on, and prejiare them lor
the permanent headquarters of the Post, if they deem it ad\isable to do
so." This was adopted by a majority of one vote. S to 7. The next
day Comrade Ward found that the third floor of the building southeast
corner of Kleventh and Chestnut streets could be obtained. I le imme-
diately notified Commander Allen and Comrade Loud, chairman of the

67




WILLIAM W. SWEISFORT.

QUARTERMASTER GEO. G. MEADE POST No. ONE.
Entered the sen'ice as Private Co. I, Si.\th Reg't I'enna. Cavalry, October lo, 1861.
Final muster out as Private Co. I, Sixth Reg't Penna. Cavalry, October 13, 1864.

Mustered into Geo. G. Meade Post No. i, September 12, 1S77.
Elected Post Quartermaster December 17, 1877; re-elected December 2, 1S78.



Council on Administration. They examined tlie rooms and decided
to secure them, paid a month's rent in advance and obtained the lease.
At the muster of November 4th the Council reported as follows: —

The Council of Admini>lration would respectfull) leport that, in oln-<iicuce to instnictions from the
Post, they have secured a room at the southeast comer of Eleventh and Chestnut streets, tliird ston-, at a
rental of three hundred dollars per annum.

This was a great surprise, and fell like a thunderbolt from a clear
sky, as steps had been taken by those in favor of remaining perma-
nently at 71 I Spring Garden street to undo the action of the Post at
the previous muster, but the presentation of the lease, duly e.xecuted,
and a receipt for the rent paid, precluded any such action, and the ac-
tion ol the Council of Administration was approved, thus settling a
disputed question that came very near dividing the Post in two, each
side becoming more and more severe in its denunciation of the actions
of the other. The longer the discussion was kept up the more bitter
it became: those desiring the Post to be located at 71 1 .Spring Garden
street claiming that the success and prosperity of the Post certainly de-
pended upon the musters being held there, an<.l that it would prove fatal
to the Post to locate down town : while those on the other side were
equally positive that the Post could only survive and prosper by being
centrally located, and that it would certainly go to pieces if taken up
town. Commander Allen concurred in this latter view and entered
heartily into the effort to have it carried out. The action of the Council
of Administration finally settled the matter.

Immediate steps were taken to make the necessary alterations and
to furnish and fit up the new quarters for the accommodation and needs
of the Post. A committee was appointed, of which Past Commander



Jos. R. C. Ward was chairman, to raise funds for that purpose, and
they succeeded in receiving subscriptions amountin<r to nearly $400,
which, with the donation of materials and labor of many comrades, soon
put the room in excellent condition.

On Thursday, October 17th, the Post attended the funeral of Com-
rade Jacob Stein, who died on October 14th. A large number of the
comrades were in attendance and escorted the remains from his late
residence, No. 50S Vine street, to Glenwood Cemetery. The Wash-
ington Grays' Band furnished the music. A detail from the 2d Regi-
ment, N. G. of Pa., acted as escort and firing party.



Jacob Stein wa> liuni in IJaiU-n. (ifiiiiaiiy ; enlisted in Co. H, Kjcli Keg't I'enna. Vols., on the igtli
day of April, 1861, as Drummer, and was discharged August 9, 1861. Was mustered into Geo. G. Meade
Pest, No. I, Department of Pennsylvania, November 14, 1S77, and died October 14, 1878, aged 39 years.
Btiried at (ilenwood C'emetfry, Philadelphia, I'a.



During October an effort was made to have the members of the
Post take the large second story rooms of No. 4 Merrick street as a
social and general meeting place for the comrades, day or night, to be
entirely distinct from the Post meeting-room or headquarters. They
were formerly occupied as the headquarters of the 2d Brigade, N. G.
of Pa., and were nicely furnished and would have served the purpose
very well. Owing to the uncertainty as to the future of the Post, and
in the anticipation that its members would eventually have rooms of
their own, centrally located, that would answer all the requirements of
both meeting and social purposes, this project was abandoned.

The Post having decided to participate in the ceremonies of Grand
Army Day again this year, Commander Allen issued the following order:

69



Heaii-Quarters Geo. (;. Meade Post, No. i

<l$ciicral (Orders, Jto. 2. d ,, '

=>. »iu. ^. I'HILADELPHIA, November 7, 1878.

I. In accordance with General Orders, No. II, Department Headquarters, the IW will assemble -.t
headquarters. No. 711 Spring Garden street, on Grand Army Day, November 12, a. ii.jo o'clock, to parti-
cipate ni the parade and ceremonies at the main Exhibition Building.

II. Comrades will wear the following dress .-Katigue cap, badge, white vest and gloves, black necktie
and dark suit.

HI. The Fife and Drum Coips will report to the Adjutant at 12 o'clock sharj).

By order of ]j \y p \,,.~., n ,,-

Official. .Archer .\Iakis, Adjiilaiit.

In compliance with the above the comrade.s a.s.sembleci as directed,
and, under the command of Commander Allen, marched to Broad and
Spring Garden streets, where the whole line was formed and reviewed
by the Department Commander and .staff; and soon after, the column
started and marched out Green street and through the Park to the Main
Exhibition Building, where the rest of the day was spent in social enjoy-
ment with comrades, families and friends. About sixty comrades of
the Post participated.

The Post took immediate possession of their new headquarters,
southeast corner of Eleventh and Chestnut streets, dating from Novem-
ber I, 1878, and every means at their disposal were taken to have them
ready for occupancy as soon as possible. By the first of December
they were ready, handsomely furnished and fitted up, and the first muster
was held there on Monday, December 2d, which was the annual meet-
ing for the election of officers, resulting in the election of Comrade L.
I). C. Tyler as Commander for the ensuing year.

The success of the Post was now assured, notwithstanding that the



Online LibraryJoseph Ripley Chandler WardHistory of George G. Meade post no. one, Department of Pennsylvania, Grand army of the republic → online text (page 7 of 24)