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passed unanimously by a rising vote, tendering the
thanks of Congress and of the American people to Com-
modore George Dewey, U. S. N., Commander-in-Chief
of the Asiatic station "for highly distinguished conduct
in conflict with the enemy as displayed by him in the
destruction of the Spanish fleet and batteries in the har-
bor of Manila, Philippine Islands, May 1, 1898."

Senator Hale of Maine introduced a bill, which became
a law, increasing the number of Rear Admirals from six
to seven, and the President promoted the hero of the
battle of Manila to the rank of Rear Admiral. A hand-
somely engrossed copy of the joint resolution was sent
to Admiral Dewey, together with the appreciation of the
Secretary of State for the good judgment and prudence
he had shown in directing affairs since the destruction
of the Spanish fleet.

A resolution introduced by Senator Quay of Penn-
sylvania was adopted, authorizing the presentation of a
sword of honor to Dewey. This sword bears the arms
of the United States and of Vermont, and the initials
"G. D.," and "U. S. N." in diamonds. The blade, of
thin steel, beautifully damascened, bears the inscription,
"The Gift of the Nation to Rear Admiral George Dewey,


U. S. N., in Memory of the Victory of Manila Bay, May
1, 1898." Seven hundred and twenty-five penny-
weights of gold were used in the manufacture of this
sword, which is the finest ever given by the United
States to any of its military or naval heroes. In
December, 1898, Congressman Livingston of Georgia
introduced a bill to revive the grade and rank of Admiral
in the Navy for the benefit of George Dewey. This
resolution was adopted by both House and Senate, and
on March 2, 1899, President McKinley sent to the
Senate Dewey's nomination, which was promptly con-
firmed. This honor made Admiral Dewey, not only the
ranking officer in the military or naval service of the
United States, but also the ranking naval officer in
Philippine waters. Farragut, Porter and Dewey are
the only American officers upon whom the permanent
rank of Admiral has been bestowed.

Montpelier, Admiral Dewey's birthplace, on May 9,
two days after his message had been received, cele-
brated the victory of its distinguished son, approximately
ten thousand persons being present. The speakers in-
cluded Mayor John H. Senter, Hiram A. Huse, Joseph
A. DeBoer, President A. D. Brown of Norwich Univer-
sity, Rev. Andrew Gillies, T. C. O'Sullivan of New York
City, Rev. W. J. O'Sullivan, George W. Wing, Fred A.
Howland, Mayor John W. Gordon of Barre, C. A. G.
Jackson and Gen. Stephen Thomas. Charles Dewey
extended thanks for the family. Resolutions were
adopted which declared, in part, "That the city of Mont-
pelier and the neighboring villages and towns do here-
bv with great sincerity, happiness and pride, vote its



heartfelt thanks and congratulations to the officers and
sailors of the Asiatic squadron, and especially to him, the
Commodore, George Dewey, who led them with such
ideal success, amid unprecedented obstacles, to a victory,
the renown of which will never perish from the earth."

The Vermont Legislature in the fall of 1898 adopted
a resolution favoring the advancement of Rear Admiral
Dewey to the full rank of Admiral.

One of the officers who took part in the battle of
Manila was Lieutenant Commander George P. Col-
vocoresses. Executive Officer of the Concord, who was
a native of Norwich, Vt.

Admiral Dew-ey continued at his post in Manila long
after his victory, his presence being needed there. His
firmness with German officers under trying circum-
stances, is a v/ell known fact.

Few incidents of the w-ar aroused more interest and
enthusiasm than the feat of Capt. Charles E. Clark, a
native of Vermont, in bringing the battleship Oregon
from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, around the coast
of South America, in time to participate in the naval
engagement ofif Santiago, Cuba. Just before the out-
break of hostilities Captain Clark was assigned to the
command of this battleship, the pride of the American
navy. The Oregon was ordered from Bremerton,
Washington, to San Francisco, where Captain Clark
took command. The ship carried thirty-one officers and
four hundred and thirty-five men.

The battleship started from San Francisco, March 19,
on a long and perilous voyage. War had not been de-
clared when the ship left San Francisco, but a declara-


tion of hostilities was a distinct possibility. The Oregon
arrived at Callao on April 3 and passed the Straits of
Magellan, April 17. The report that Cervera's squad-
ron was at Curacao, an island in the Carribbean Sea,
caused great anxiety in this country, and for weeks the
American public was in suspense, fearing that this lone
battleship might be attacked by a Spanish fleet. The
ship reached Rio Janeiro, Brazil, and there Captain
Clark learned for the first time that war had been de-
clared. The most dangerous part of his journey, how-
ever, was the last. During all the voyage the crew had
been divided into quarter watches, the guns were loaded
for firing and the decks were kept cleared for action.
The ship touched at Bahia, Brazil, May 8.

The crew was constantly on the alert for the enemy.
The danger was known to be very great, but Key West
was reached in safety. After coaling, the Oregon left
for Santiago, where the good ship joined the American
fleet, having travelled 14,990 nautical miles in sixty-six
days. There was great rejoicing throughout the United
States over the safe arrival of the Oregon and Clark
became a popular hero. The voyage around South
America gave great impetus to the demand for a ship
canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

The Oregon took an active part in the naval battle of
July 3, when the Spanish fleet attempted to escape from
Santiago harbor. Captain Clark stood on the forward
thirteen-inch turret where he could see every manoeuvre
of the enemy's fleet and headed his ship for the Spanish
torpedo destroyers. He destroyed one of these boats
and it is said that he prevented the escape of two, and


possible three, of the Spanish cruisers. Rear Admiral
Sampson, in his official report of the battle, said : "This
performance of the Oregon adds to the already brilliant
record of this fine battleship, and speaks highly of the
skill and care with which her admirable efficiency has
been maintained during a service unprecedented in the
history of vessels of her class."

Owing to the strain under which he had been placed.
Captain Clark was granted a leave of absence in August,
1898. In May, 1899, he was given charge of the
League Island Navy Yard at Philadelphia, and later was
made Governor of the Naval Home in the same city.

The Vermont Legislature of 1900 asked Captain
Clark to sit for a portrait, which might be placed in the
State House. He complied with the request and por-
traits of Clark and Dewey now hang in the corridor
of the State Capitol. The Legislature also adopted this
resolution: "Resolved, That our Senators in Congress
be instructed and our Representatives be requested, to
endeavor to secure from Congress some proper recogni-
tion of, and reward for, the extraordinary service of
Captain Charles E. Clark, in command of the battleship
Oregon during the late Spanish War."

In a speech delivered before the V^ermont Officers'
Reunion Society in September, 1901, Col. Theodore
Roosevelt, then Vice President of the United States,
said : "You have a right to be proud of Captain Clark.
In all the history of the Navy I can remember hardly
anything so romantic as the trip of the Oregon, which
arrived in time to give the finishing stroke to the last
remnant of the Spanish fleet. You have a right to be


proud of him, but I challenge your right to be more
proud of him than I am."

The Vermont Legislature at the regular session in
1898, adopted resolutions with a preamble declaring that
"the people of Vermont, in common with the entire
Nation, regard with patriotic pride the career of that
distinguished son of the State, Capt. Charles E. Clark,
late commander of the United States battleship Oregon" ;
and adding that "they share in the admiration the world
has for the professional skill and the heroic spirit that
brought his ship through perils of the sea and danger
from lurking foes, in safety to the end of its long voyage
вАФ 'A service,' in the words of an eminent naval authority,
'unprecedented in the history of vessels of her class'."
This resolution follows :

"Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representa-
tives of the Legislature of Vermont, representing the
people of Vermont, that we hereby express our high
appreciation of the great and heroic services of Captain
Clark to the Nation, our pride in him and our gratitude
to him as a son of Vermont, our admiration of his ability
and courage as a naval officer; and we further express
our deep sympathy for him in the physical disability
that followed his arduous services to his country, and
our sincere hope that full recovery may speedily restore
him to the quarter deck of a battleship worthy of his
spirit, his accomplishments and his patriotism.

"Resolved, That the Senators and Representatives in
Congress are requested to use their influence to secure
for Captain Clark such recognition from the National


(^jovernment as the value and importance of his services

Charles Edgar Clark was born in Bradford, August
10, 1843, in a humble little cottage. His father carried
on the business of bookbinding in that village, until
1861. In 1860, through the influence of Justin S. Mor-
rill, then a member of Congress, young Clark received
an appointment to the United States Naval Academy.
The father removed to St. Albans in 1861, and to Mont-
pelier, in 1864. From that time the young naval officer
considered Montpelier his home and spent his furloughs
there. It is a remarkable coincidence that two of the
most famous naval officers prominent in the War with
Spain, DeW'Cy and Clark, should have been closely identi-
fied w^ith Montpelier. This fact led some facetious per-
son to characterize the conflict of 1898 as ''the war be-
tween the town of Montpelier and the Kingdom of

Clark was ordered into the naval service in 1863, and
until the close of the Civil War he was in the Western
Gulf blockading squadron. He served under Admiral
Farragut in the battle of Mobile Bay, and participated
in the capture of Fort Morgan, and in several minor
engagements on the Mississippi River and the Texas
coast. He was promoted, successively, to the grades of
Ensign, 1863; Master, 1866; Lieutenant, 1867; and
Lieutenant Commander, 1868. He married Maria
Louisa Davis of Greenfield, Mass., in 1869. For sev-
eral years after the Civil War he served on the Pacific
and West India stations. He was on the ship Suivanee
when it was wTecked oflf the coast of British Columbia


in 1868. A British ship rescued the shipwrecked crew
from Hope Island, but Clark remained in command of a
small party to protect what was salvaged from the
wreck. He was an instructor in the Naval Academy,
1870-73, and from 1873 to 1877 served on ships of the
Asiatic fleet. From 1877 to 1880 he was on duty at the
Boston Navy Yard. He was promoted to the rank of
Commander in 1881 and was in charge of the training
ship Nezv Hampshire. Between the years 1883 and
1886 he made a survey of the North Pacific and was de-
tailed as a Lighthouse Inspector from 1887 to 1891. He
was stationed at Mare Island Navy Yard from 1891 to
1893. Late in the year 1895 he was given command of
the receiving ship Independence. He was promoted to
the rank of Captain in 1896 and was given command of
the Monterey. Following the battle of Santiago he was
advanced six numbers in rank for eminent and conspic-
uous conduct. He was advanced seven additional num-
bers and made Rear Admiral, June 16. 1902. He served
on the Naval Retiring Board, 1904-05, and was retired
in 1905.

The war aroused much enthusiasm in Vermont. For
thirty years the veterans of the Civil War had been
prominent in public affairs. Memorial Day had been
observed faithfully and had served to keep alive the
memories of the last great struggle. The response to the
call for recruits was prompt on the part of the young
men of Vermont, and not a few of the Civil War veterans
tendered their services in any capacity. Before war
actually was declared officers of the Vermont National
Guard travelled about the State, preparing the various


companies of the regiment for a possible call and secur-
ing new equipment where it was necessary. War meet-
ings were held, which were addressed by prominent citi-
zens. As the companies left their respective towns and
cities for the rendezvous at Fort Ethan Allen there were
great popular demonstrations in honor of the departing
soldiers. Schools, shops and places of business were
closed, streets and houses were decorated.

At Montpelier five thousand people assembled at the
railroad station to witness the departure of the local
company. Speeches were made by Mayor Senter, Gen.
Stephen Thomas and others. The granite sheds were
closed at Barre on a similar occasion. Public buildings
were decorated, cannon fired, bells rung, whistles blown
and there was a procession from the Armory to the
station. Northfield reported one of the largest gather-
ings in the history of the town, and five hundred pupils
of the schools participated in a parade. A reception and
banquet were given at Bennington for the soldiers the
evening before their departure, and on the morning they
left, a great ovation was given to the company. The
train to North Bennington was drawn by an engine
decorated with flags. The business portion of Rutland
was decorated with banners and bunting when the sol-
diers departed and a great crowd assembled at the
station to say farewell.

On Sunday, May 15, between nine thousand and ten
thousand Vermonters visited Camp Olympia. The
twelve companies of the Vermont regiment were mus-
tered into the United States service on Monday morning.
May 16. Adjutant General Peck, accompanied by Cols.


Edward Hatch and C. A. Hibbard of the Governor's
staff, turned the regiment over to the mustering officer.
The men were mustered into service by Maj. S. P.
Jocelyn, U. S. Inf. With bared heads and right hands
raised, the men repeated this oath: "I do solemnly
swear (or affirm) that I will bear true faith or allegiance
to the United States of America, and that I will serve
them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies
whatsoever; and that I will obey the orders of the Presi-
dent of the United States and the commanding officer
appointed over me according to the rules and articles of

The names of the commissioned officers of the First
Regiment of Infantry, Vermont Volunteers, are given
herewith : Colonel, Osman D. Clark, Montpelier ; Lieu-
tenant Colonel, John H. Mimms, St. Albans; Majors,
Henry D. Fillmore, Bennington ; J. Gray Estey, Brattle-
boro; Charles M. Bonett, St. Johnsbury; Adjutant, with
rank of Captain, Arthur G. Eaton, Montpelier ; Quarter-
master, with the rank of Captain, James E. Creel of Rut-
land; Surgeon, with the rank of Major, Henry H. Lee,
Wells River; Assistant Surgeon, with the rank of Cap-
tain, James M. Hamilton, Rutland; Assistant Surgeon,
with the rank of First Lieutenant, Joseph W. Jackson,
Barre; Chaplain, Charles O. Day, Brattleboro; Battalion
Adjutants, with the rank of Second Lieutenant, Merton
C. Robbins, Brattleboro; Daniel F. Curtin, Brattleboro;
Walter H. Sterling, Wells River.

The non-commissioned officers were: Sergeant
Major, John G. Norton, St. Albans ; Quartermaster Ser-
geant, Harry H. Chamberlin, Bradford; Hospital


Stewards, George B. Anderson, Rutland; William
Bailey, St. Albans; Homer J. Dane, Northfield; Chief
Musician, Fred I. Swift, Brattleboro; Principal Musi-
cians, Thomas Mercer, Barre; Lee S. Tillotson, St.

The Captains of the various companies were: Com-
pany A, H. Edward Dyer, Rutland ; Company B, Frank
L. Greene, St. Albans; Company C. Bernice A. Carr,
Bradford; Company D, Henry D. Ellis, St. Johnsbury;
Company E. Edgar J. Badger, Barre; Company F,
Frank L. Howe, Northfield; Company G, Herbert T.
Johnson, Bradford; Company H, Weston A. Pattee,
Montpelier; Company I, William T. Haigh, Brattleboro;
Company K, Charles F. Burnham, Bennington; Com-
pany L, Howard K. Blair, Newport; Company M. Cor-
nelius M. Brownell, Burlington.

Ex-Gov. U. A. Woodbury entertained the field, staff
and line officers at a banquet held at the Van Ness House
in Burlington on the evening of May 18. Speeches were
made by Ex-Governor Woodbury, Governor Grout, and
several officers and State officials.

The regiment, consisting of forty-seven officers and
nine hundred and eighty men, left Fort Ethan Allen in
four sections on Saturday morning, May 21. A large
number of friends and relatives assembled to say fare-
well to the soldiers. "All aboard for Cuba," shouted
the conductor as the last train left the fort. The people
of Burlington contributed a large amount of food for
the soldiers of the entire regiment and many other towns
and cities made contributions of a similar nature. Dr.
and Mrs. W. Seward Webb of Shelburne gave five hun-


dred dollars to be expended for sick and wounded

All along the route the trains bearing the Vermont
troops were enthusiastically greeted. Several thousand
people assembled at Montpelier Junction. At White
River Junction coffee in unlimited quantities was served
to the men of the regiment. Probably five thousand
persons gathered at Brattleboro, where public and pri-
vate buildings were decorated with flags. One of the
most cordial of the many greetings along the route was
given at Amherst, Mass. The steamer City of Law-
rence was in waiting at New London, Conn., and trans-
ported the regiment to New York. A cruiser convoyed
the transport to its destination. Senator Proctor met
the regiment at New York. Chickamauga Park was
reached on May 24. Here the First Vermont was
brigaded with the Third Tennessee and Eighth New
York regiments, and constituted the Third Brigade of
the First Division of the Third Corps, commanded by
Gen. James F. Wade.

Col. O. D. Clark was temporarily assigned to the
command of the brigade and Lieutenant Colonel Mimms
succeeded to the command of the regiment. Capt.
Frank L. Greene was appointed Acting Assistant Adju-
tant General of the brigade. Dr. J. N. Jenne of St.
Albans was Chief Surgeon of the Third Corps with the
rank of Major, and at times had other troops under
his jurisdiction, having general supervision over seventy-
two thousand men. He served on the staff of Generals
Wade and Breckenridge.


The heat was intense, the water supply was infected
and the troops were not fully equipped. The first death
was that of Musician \V. C. Spafford of Bennington, on
June 1, death resulting from brain fever and congestion
of the lungs. On June 6 the regiment moved to a new
camp. About the middle of June Quartermaster Gen-
eral Gilmore was sent to Chickamagua to inspect the
condition of the regiment. The report of the surgeons
on July 24 showed eighty-six Vermont soldiers in hos-
pitals. On August 2 the Vermont regiment was
brigaded with the First New Hampshire and an Iowa

The Vermont officers desired to go to Porto Rico, but
as the weeks passed and it became increasingly evident
that the w^ar would be of short duration, there was a de-
sire to bring the regiment back to Vermont. Governor
Grout wrote Secretary Alger: 'When peace is again
established between this country and Spain, so that the
Vermont regiment is no longer wanted for war pur-
poses, I trust it may be returned and mustered out
among the first troops you feel at liberty to spare."

The First Vermont broke camp on August 19 and on
August 21 arrived at Fort Ethan Allen, just three
months to a day from the time of the regiment's de-
parture from this post. There was one death on the
homeward trip, that of Corp. Harry B. Lamson of Com-
pany E, Barre. There were tw^o hundred and fourteen
sick soldiers on the returning train, and a considerable
number of cases of typhoid fever developed after the
men reached Vermont. A fund was raised for the sick
soldiers. The men were greeted along the homeward


route. Senator Proctor met them at Washington and
crowds assembled at Vermont stations through which
the train passed. It is estimated that six thousand per-
sons visited Camp Olympia on Sunday, August 28. The
regiment was reviewed by Governor Grout on August
31, in the presence of five thousand spectators. Speeches
were made by Governor Grout, Senator Proctor, Con-
gressman Powers, Ex-Governor Woodbury, Gen. O. O.
Howard, Col. E. C. Smith and Col. Z. M. Mansur. The
next day Governor Grout asked the Secretary of War to
muster out each company in its own town, and on Sep-
tember 4 camp was broken, the officers and men leav-
ing for their homes on special trains, furloughs of thirty
days being granted. The men were welcomed home with
demonstrations of joy.

Between October 26 and November 7, 1898, the com-
panies were mustered out, each in its home town or city,
by Major Jocelyn.

The only resident Vermonter in Colonel Roosevelt's
Rough Riders was Wallace N. Batchelder.

Twenty-seven of the members of the First Vermont
died during the period that the regiment was in the
service of the United States. They were: Second
Lieut. Daniel F. Curtin, Battalion Adjutant; Sergt. Wil-
liam H. Sullivan, Company B ; Corp. Frederick L. Hin-
man. Company L ; Corp. Harry B. Lamson, Company E ;
William C. Spafiford, Musician, Company K; John S.
Tupper, Musician, Company F ; Emerson L. Hull, Artifi-
cer, Company K ; John Chalmers, Wagoner, Company D ;
Pvts. George R. Smith, Company D; William F. Mar-
sette. Company C; Adelbert H. Leach, Company B; Clif-


ford A. Place, Company B; Frank Felio, Company C;
Arthur L. Dale, Company F; Joseph Vallinger, Company
I; Harold F. Foyles, Company A; William J. Taylor,
Company I ; William R. Dunham, Company E ; Nelson E.
Bishop, Company A ; George F. Barlow, Company L ;
Henry Smith, Company L : James Flynn, Company M ;
Harlie A. Smith, Company C; Octave H. Robillard.
Company C; Almond E. Wheelock, Company D; Rich-
ard F. Shannon, Company H ; Fred E. White, Company

At the close of the war Dr. W. Seward Webb of Shel-
burne presented each officer and man of the First Ver-
mont Regiment with a handsome gold-bronze medal,
suitably inscribed, made from metal taken from Admiral
Cervera's flagship, Maria Teresa.

The venerable Senator Morrill did not approve the
policy of expansion, and in a speech delivered in the
Senate on June 20, 1898, he opposed the annexation of
Hawaii, urging that the annexation of distant islands
was not in harmony with the Constitution of the United
States, nor with the recorded opinion of America's
earliest and wisest statesmen.

The retirement of Gen. J. G. McCullough of Benning-
ton from the contest for the Republican nomination for
Governor left a clear field for Col. Edward C. Smith of
St. Albans, and he was nominated by acclamation in the
Republican State Convention. Henry C. Bates of St.
Johnsbury was nominated for Lieutenant Governor, re-
ceiving 546 votes, 205 being cast for Dr. Henry D.
Holton of Brattleboro.


Thomas W. Moloney of Rutland was the Democratic
candidate for Governor. The vote in the September
election was as follows: Smith, 38,555; Moloney,
14,686; Cyrus W. Wyman, 1,075; scattering, 21.

Edward Curtis Smith, son of Gov. John Gregory
Smith, was born January 5, 1855. His father and his
grandfather had ranked among Vermont's most eminent
men in public life and in industrial affairs. He was
educated in the public schools of St. Albans and grad-
uated from Yale College. He studied law and became
the junior partner in the firm of Noble and Smith. He
was elected second vice president of the Central Vermont
Railroad in 1886 and became its general manager, con-
tinuing in that capacity until the death of his father in

1891, when he was elected president of the road. He
organized the Ogdensburg Transit Company with a line

Online LibraryWalter Hill CrockettVermont, the Green mountain state (Volume 4) → online text (page 20 of 43)