1879 OLD SOLDIERS' REUNION PREPARATION
The planning for this gathering went on for weeks and the local papers each had columns about the event and listings of who was planning to attend from each township.
I am putting here the articles from the North Vernon Plain Dealer & The North Vernon Sun so you can see what all went into such an event and who was involved. Prior to all our electronic
entertainment these gatherings were very special and brought people from the area together to remember things like the Civil War while it was still fresh in their minds and hearts. It
also shows how hard people were working to heal but yet remember the sacrifice.
North Vernon Plain Dealer - August 7, 1879
Proceedings of the Meeting held in City Hall on Saturday
Soldiers of Jennings county met in the City Hall in North Vernon, pursuant to a call, to take into consideration, the propriety of holding a Soldiers' Reunion.
This meeting was organized by electing Co. H. Tripp to the chair, and J.D. Hudson, secretary.
A motion that the soldiers of Jennings county hold a reunion was carried.
On motion a committee was appointed whose duty it will be to select officers and committees for a permanent organization. The committee was made to consist of J.C. Cope, H. O'Conner,
D. Brown and G.W. Riggs.
On motion one soldier was appointed from each township to act as enrolling officer, as follows: Montgomery township - Oliver Shepherd; Lovett - John S. Wells; Vernon - Harmon Dixon;
Spencer - S. W. Harding; Geneva - Oscar Cowell; Campbell - W.H.H. Boyd; Bigger - John H. Cox; Sandcreek - John B. Riggs; Columbia - John Barnes; Marion - Thomas H. Adams; Center - Scott Prather.
, That all soldiers, without regard to race or color, who were honorably discharged from the U.S. Service, be invited to attend this reunion, and also their friends and
Committee on permanent organization reported as follows:
COL. H. TRIPP
LEWIS F. BROUGHER
OLIVER SHEPHERD, W.B. WHITCOMB,
1st and 2nd Assistant Marshals
Committee of Arrangements - Daniel Bacon, chairman; F.W. Verbarg, J.H. Wohrer, Henry Knoll, A.G. Cotton.
Finance Committee - A.W. Brown, chairman; Samuel A. Spencer, Sanford Elliott, Charles D. Shank, T.S. James.
Committee on Speakers - P.C. McGannon, H. O'Conner, T.C. Batchelor.
Committee on Music - Thomas Adams, Bennett Grooms, James A. Davis, W.H.H. Boyd.
Committee on Grounds - G.W. Boyer, Mark Robinson, Fred Bohnen, Samuel Bosler, Harmon Dixon, Jesse McIlroy, Charles Johannes, James McCauley, W.W. Denton, James Swift - with power to call to their assistance
sufficient help to do the work.
Names of Regiments represented at the meeting:
6th Ind. Vol. Infantry
26th Ind. Vol. Infantry
93d Ind. Vol. Infantry
52d Ind. Vol. Infantry
37th Ind. Vol. Infantry
68th Ind. Vol. Infantry
12th Ind. Vol. Infantry
140th Ind. Vol. Infantry
148th Ind. Vol. Infantry
27th Ind. Vol. Infantry
137th Ind. Vol. Infantry
145th Ind. Vol. Infantry
120th Ind. Vol. Infantry
89th Ind. Vol. Infantry
82d Ind. Vol. Infantry
68th Ind. Vol. Infantry
54th Ind. Vol. Infantry
12th Ohio Vol. Infantry
83d Ohio Vol. Infantry
The Reunion was ordered to be held on the 11th day of October, 1879, to commence at 10 o'clock.
Ordered that the county papers be requested to publish the proceedings of this meeting.
A resolution was introduced by the Chair that the first Reunion be in the form of a picnic, and that all be requested to come with their baskets well filled.
HAGERMAN TRIPP, Pres.
J.D. HUDSON, Secretary.
North Vernon Plain Dealer - August 21, 1879
Ed. Downs, a member of 26th Ind. Regiment has a souvenir of the war which he would not part with for any money. On the morning of the day of the Illinois creek fight, in 1862, as he marched
along in the dusty road with his comrades in arms he picked up a knife in a sheath, lost or thrown away by a fellow soldier, and thrust it in his belt. Later in the day while engaged in battle he felt a strange thud
and looking down saw that a bullet had struck the knife and had been turned aside. The knife had saved his life and he treasures it to this day, taking pleasure in showing the broken blade and the turned edge where
the ball had struck.
Mike Striker has a most elaborate discharge from the 4th regular cavalry. It is parchment, and the parts filled are beautifully written. On the back are inscribed the names of the many
engagements in which he took part.
Such relics as these, and there must be many should be collected and shown to every body at the Soldiers Reunion on the 11th of October. Who has them. Boys report them.
North Vernon Plain Dealer - August 28, 1879
Old Soldiers Column
All ex-soldiers of Center township are requested to meet at the City Hall on Saturday evening, August 30th, at 7 p.m., for the purpose of organizing a battalion for the reunion. Recollect the date. COMMITTEE.
North Vernon, Aug. 23rd.
Committee on grounds meet in City Hall; members present, G.W. Boyer, S.L. Balser, J.H. McIlroy, J.S. Couchman and J.D. Swift.
On motion Mr. Swift was appointed secretary.
On motion J. S. Couchman was appointed as special committee on grounds.
It was resolved that the reunion be held on the fair grounds.
On motion of Mr. Couchman the refreshment stands be rented at $5 per stand, and be limited in number to ten; wagons with melons one dollar per wagon; cider one dollar per barrel.
On motion of S. L. Balser, all games of chance is excluded.
It was agreed to sell the refreshment stands on the grounds, on Saturday, September 13th, during the last day of Harvest Home, at 2 o'clock p.m.
motion of J.H. McIlroy, committee adjourned to meet at fairgrounds Sept. 13th, 1879, at 2 o'clock p.m.
C.W. BOYER, Chairman
J.D. SWIFT, Secretaty
A reunion of Survivors of Southern Prisons (Union Soldiers), will be held in Toledo Ohio, on October 1st and 2nd.
A meeting of the surviving soldiers of 6th Indiana regiment was held at the Reunion at Madison on Wednesday last. Captain W.E. McLeland was elected President and W. A. Lyon, Esq., Secretary. The President stated that the
object of the meeting was to perfect a permanent organization of the Regiment. On motion, a committee of five was appointed by the President to nominate officers for the first year or until their successors are chosen. The committee made the
following report, which was unanimously adopted, President, Col. Hagerman Tripp, of North Vernon; First Vice President, Edward McDevitt, of Indianapolis; Second Vice President, Mm. E. McLeland, of Madison; Corresponding Secretary, P.C. McGannon,
of North Vernon; Secretary B.M. Hutchins, of Columbus; Treasurer, Dr. Wm. A. Collins, of Madison. It was ordered that the next meeting of the Regiment be held at North Vernon on the Thursday preceding the 19th day of September, 1880.
Madison, Aug. 20, 1879
At a meeting of 82d Indiana Volunteers the following programme was arranged for the next annual meeting: to be held at North Vernon on the first Wednesday in October, 1880. Captain W.Y. Monroe was chosen to prepare and essay
for the occasion. The following committee on arrangements was appointed: Capt. Samuel Spencer, Lieut. A. W. Brown, Daniel Glenn and Henry Davis. All members of the Regiment are cordially invited to be present and participate in the exercises.
A.G. HUNTER, Sec'y, Versailles, Ind.
Mr. L. H. Hill has in his possession a spur which was taken from the bare heel of a rebel officer who fell on the field of Chicamauga.
Just after the close of the war Mr. E. S. Holliday, a soldier boy of this county, at present mayor of Brazil, Clay county, wrote the following poem, and it has never before appeared in print, we resurrect an old copy for the soldiers column.
It will be a surprise to Mr. H., we know.
MY FALLEN COMRADES
When Night o'er all a mantle throws
And starts in heaven are peeping,
Then Memory travels back to those
Who in their graves are sleeping:
Those manly forms with whom I stood,
And heard the muskets' rattle,
And saw them pour their warm life's blood
On many a field of battle,
The blow was struck - Our country called,
And loyal men were heeding;
We could not stand and see our land
By traitors' daggers bleeding,
And fathers, brothers, cheered us on,
Their grief and anguish screening;
While mothers, sisters, wept adieus,
When words had lost their meaning
From cherished friends and happy homes,
With one great effort tearing,
We took our guns just as the smoke
Above Bull Run was clearing;
And eighty-four as jolly boys
As ever shouldered rifle,
Swore that they'd teach their country's foes
How with her flag to trifle.
Three years sped by, and home again
We met our friends' warm greeting,
And sighed to think how few of us
Were left for that glad meeting;
For death had played his ghastly part,
In camp and field and quarters,
(Instinctively the tear drops start
At thought of those loved martyrs.)
Pale pestilence stalked in our camp,
And culled a goodly number
To place with those who ceased their "tramp"
Amid the battle's thunder.
Ten were by loathsome smallpox rowed
Across the Dismal Ferry,
And six - the bravest of our band-
Were starved at Salisbury.
And many found their time to die
While gun to gun was roaring;
While some brave hearts were beating high,
Some souls to heaven were soaring;
And one - my thoughts will turn to him-
To care and fear a stranger;
A boy in years, a child in grave,
A man in time of danger.
"Twas hard to see the purple flood
His golden locks dishevel,
And dye with crimson those fair lips
Where smiles were wont to revel.
No column marks his lowly bed,
No flowers o'er him creeping,
But I can ne'er forget the dead
In that lone valley sleeping.
Then, living comrades, here's a health
To those who fell beside us;
In sentiments like this I know
There's naught that can divide us,
For we will keep their memory green
Within our hearts forever;
They, by the world may be forgot,
But by their comrades - never.
Me______, writer of the Story "Andersonville" which lately run as a serial in the Toledo Blade and which will shortly appear in book form, gives the following:
One day about the middle of November, orders came in to make out rolls of all who were born outside of the United States, and whose terms of service had expired.
We held a little council among ourselves as to the meaning of this, and concluded that some partial exchange had been agreed on, and the Rebels were going to send back the class of boys
whom they thought would be of least value to the Government. Acting on this conclusion the great majority of us enrolled ourselves as being foreigners and having served our terms. I
made out the roll of my hundred, and managed to give every man a foreign nativity. Those whose names would bear it were assigned to England, Ireland, Scotland, France and Germany, and
the balance were distributed through Canada and the West Indies. After finishing the roll and sending it out, I do not wonder the Rebels believed the battles of the Union were fought by
foreign mercenaries. The other rolls were made out in the same, and I do not suppose that they showed 500 native Americans in the stockade.
The next day came in order for those whose names appeared on the roll to fall in: We did so, by the hundreds and thousands, and were marched outside the gates,
where we found a man standing on a stump, waiting to make a speech to us. As the last thousand came out and closed in he began.
It was the same old story:
"Prisoners you can have no longer any doubt that your Government has cruelly abandoned you; it makes no efforts to release you, and refuses all offers of exchange.
We are anxious to get our men back, but it is not. You have already endured much more than it could expect of you; you served it faithfully during the time you enlisted for, and now, when
it is through with you it throws you aside to starve and die. You also can have no doubt that the Southern Confederacy is certain of securing its independence. It will do this in a few
months. It now offers you an opportunity to join its service, and if you serve it faithfully to the end, you will get the same reward as the rest of the soldiers. You will be taken out of
here, be well clothed and fed, given a good bounty, and at the conclusion of the war receive a land warrant for a nice farm. If you----"
But we had heard enough. The Sergeant of our division - a man with a stentorian voice - sprang out and shouted,
"Attention, First Division!"
We Sergeants of hundreds repeated the command down the line. Shouted he.
"Division, about" ---
"First hundred about---"
"Second hundred about-"
"Third hundred about---"
"Fourth hundred about-" etc., etc.
Ten Sergeants repeated "Face," one after the other, and each man in the hundreds turned on his heel. Then our leader commanded-
"Division, forward, march!!"
And we strode back into the stockade, followed immediately by all the other divisions, leaving the orator still standing on the stump.
The Rebels were furious at this curt way of replying. We had scarcely reached our quarters when they came in with several companies, with loaded guns and fixed bayonets.
They drove us from our tents and huts into one corner, under the pretense of hunting axes and spades, but in reality to steal our blankets, and whatever else they could find that they wanted,
and to break down and injure our huts, many of which, costing us days of patient labor, they destroyed in pure wantonness.
We were burning with the bitterest indignation. A tall slender man named Lloyd, a member of the 61st Ohio - rough uneducated fellow, but brimful of patriotism and manly
common sense, jumped up on a stump and poured out his soul in rude but fiery eloquence: "Comrades" he said "do not let the blowing of these Rebel whelps discourage you, pay no attention to the
lies they have told you to-day; you know that our Government is to honorable to desert any one who serves it; it has not deserted us; their Hell-born Confederacy is not going to succeed. I tell
you that to assure as there is a God who reigns and judges in Israel, before the spring breezes stir the tops of these ugly old pines there ___ ____ Confederacy and all the lousy Graybacks who
support it will be so deep in hell that nothing but a search warrant from the throne of God Almighty can ever find it again. And the glorious old stars and stripes-"
Here we began cheering tremendously. A Rebel Captain came running up said to the guard, who was leaning on his gun, gazing curiously at Lloyd.
in ____ are you standing gaping there for? Why don't you shoot the ____ _____ Yankee son ___ ___ __ _____"? and snatching the gun away from him, cocked and leveled it
at Lloyd, but the boys near jerked the orator down from the stump and saved his life.
North Vernon Plain Dealer - September 4, 1879
Old Soldiers Column
There will be a meeting at the City Hall on Saturday evening, September 6th, at 7:30 o'clock, for the purpose of forming a battalion for the Reunion. An election of officers will take place.
Meeting of Organization.
In response to a call published in the Plain Dealer last week a number of ex-soldiers met in the city hall on Saturday night, August 30th.
The meeting was organized by electing Dr. J.S. Ewan President, and L.H. Hill Secretary.
It was unanimously agreed that a battalion for Center township be formed, and on motion W. S. Prather and Alex Shepherd were appointed enrolling officers to enroll every old
vet. In Center township who would participate in the parade on the day of the Reunion.
On motion the secretary was instructed to correspond with the Adjutant-General, to procure three hundred guns and equipments for the use of the battalion on the Reunion day.
On motion every old soldier of the township was requested to meet in city hall on next Saturday evening, at 7 o'clock, to complete the organization and elect officers. L. H. HILL, Secretary
Boys in Blue
The following is a list of the ex-soldiers who reside in Center township, and who will attend the Reunion on October 11th, 1879:
SIXTH INDIANA REGIMENT
Col. H. Tripp
12th INDIANA REGT.
A. S. Conner
13th INDIANA REGT.
J. N. Dickerson
22d INDIANA REGT.
W. R. Fall
S. H. Hartwell
26th INDIANA REGT.
28th INDIANA REGT.
32d INDIANA REGT.
35th INDIANA REGT.
36th INDIANA REGT.
37th INDIANA REGT.
52d INDIANA REGT.
54th INDIANA REGT.
W. B. Prather
56th INDIANA REGT.
68th INDIANA REGT.
J. C. Moncrief
72d INDIANA REGT.
H. B. Collins
82d INDIANA REGT.
Wm H. Black
W. R. Ummensetter
W. H. Bious
83d INDIANA REGT.
T. J. Snodgrass
James S. Long
120th INDIANA REGT.
135th INDIANA REGT.
137th INDIANA REGT.
W. S. Prather
F. A. Evans
145th INDIANA REGT.
148th INDIANA CAVALRY
F. W. Verbarg
F. K. Willman
L. A. Gray
J. W. Feagler
J. H. Grinstead
OTHER STATE REGIMENTS
Fred Smith, 9th Ohio
B. Matt, 9th Ohio
James McGauley, 10th Ohio
Charles Sanders, 10th Ohio
Charles Gautier, 39th Ohio
James Crum, 49th Ohio
C. D. Shank, 83d Ohio
G. W. Boyer, 83d Ohio
D. B. Reeder, 115th Ohio
B. E. McClain, 116th Ohio
Wm. Davis, 158th Ohio
Sol. Williams, 28th Pennsylvania
F. W. Bohnen, 79th Pennsylvania
J. G. Fowler, 3rd Vermont
Alvis Thomen, 35th New York
Jacob Johnson, 10th Illinois
Ernest Langneck, 17th Missouri
F. M. Batman, 14th Kentucky
Ed Hawes, 109th Kentucky
Allen Butler, 122d Kentucky
Harrison Davis, Wilder's Battery
A. E. Whitney, 4th Minnesota
N. Thompson, 10th Tennessee
G. Oliver, U.S. Navy
M. W. Stricker, 4th U.S. Cavalry
Ed Noble, _____
George Snowden, _____
If any name has been omitted from the list I would be pleased to be notified of the fact that they may be properly enrolled. W. S. PRATHER
The building at Richmond, Virginia, known during the war by the above name and used as a military prison by the rebels, was destroyed by fire last
week. In 1863 Castle Thunder contained 1,500 inmates-Northern citizens, Southern Unionists, Yankee deserters, Confederate convicts, and eighty-two free negros, captured with
Federal officers in the field. Its reputation was worse that Libby Prison's.
North Vernon Plain Dealer - September 11, 1879
Old Soldiers Column
The old soldiers met in city hall on Saturday night, September 6th, pursuant to adjournment, Dr. J.S. Ewan in the chair. Minutes of proceeding meeting
read and approved. Enrolling officers reported 34 names enrolled as members of the battalion, and about all of them ready for duty. A communication from Quartermaster General
giving terms upon which arms could be had was read by the secretary. C.D. Shank was then appointed to confer with Adjutant-General with a view of getting better terms. G. Oliver
was appointed to confer with R.R. officials to secure cheap transportation of arms.
As the battalion will be at some expense in procuring arms it was thought advisable to appoint a committee of two from each ward to solicit money for this
purpose, the committee consisting of the following persons:
1st ward, H.C. Smith and L.H. Hill. 2d ward, J.C. Cope and A.S. Conner. 3d ward, Capt Boyer and W.S. Prather.
P,C. McGannon was then elected Treasurer.
The battalion proceeded to election of officers which resulted as follows:
P.C. McGannon, Captain
F.W. Verbarg, 1st Lieutenant
David Bay, 2nd Lieutenant
W.S. Prather, Orderly Sergeant
The first order of the captain was that the command report on Fair Grounds on next Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock for company drill.
After adjournment the battalion joined in three rousing cheers for the Union, and from their manner one would think that the old war spirit was still alive.
L.H. Hill, Secy.
Soldiers Center Township
Every Soldier of Center Township is requested to meet at 2 o'clock p.m. Saturday, September 12 at the Fair Grounds, for the purpose of completing enrollment.
P.C. McGannon, Capt. Company
Frank Gross was a member of the 8th Wisconsin, this is the regiment that carried the eagle "Old Abe" through the war. The eagle was procured from a Chippewa
Indian when very young. When the regiment cheered the eagle would rise from his staff and soar above the men. Frank has seen Old Abe twice since the close of the war. He is now in
care of a crippled soldier at Madison, Wisconsin.
Dr. A. J. Thomas of Vincennes, now an officer in the State Insane Asylum, was an officer in the Confederate army and was captured by members of the 22nd regiment.
The 37th Indiana regiment will hold a Reunion at Lawrenceburg on the 18th of this month. All soldiers and everybody else invited to attend.
Additional list of names of soldiers who reside in Center township:
E.J. Richarson 12th Ind.
Wm. Swift, 54th Ind.
Charles Day, 52d Ind.
J.W. Thompson, 3d Ind cavalry
Frank Gross, 8th Wisconsin
Silas Bailey, 52d Ind.
The following are the names of colored ex-soldiers who reside in this county as far as we can learn. It can be borne in mind that they served in the Union armies.
Spencer Township Soldiers
The following is a list of the ex-soldiers who reside in Spencer township, and who will attend the Reunion at this place on the 11th day of October:
B. Van DeMore
Jesse W. Heaton
M. H. Day
Samuel G. Clark
J. M. Larrabee
John H. Trapp
5th Ohio Cavalry
Cornelius Larrabee, 13th Ind.
Thomas Hall, 18th Ind.
Eleazer Adams, 21st Ind.
A. Hamlin, 38th Ind.
P.B. Ewan, 67th Ind.
Wm. H. McLaughlinm 70th Ind.
J.L. Ewan, 134th Ind.
Sam Abercrombie, 140th Ind.
W.H. Wiles, 48th Ohio
Jos. W. St John, 74th Ohio
W.H. Wells, 79th Ohio
G.C. Hartpence, 83d Ohio
Wm Kilm, 196th Penn.
Jos. Sykes, ____ New Jersey
John Van Riper, 9 Kan Cav.
G. Gillenwater, 4th U.S.
If any name has been omitted from the list I would be pleased to be notified of the fact that they may be properly enrolled. S.W. Harding, Enrolling Officer
The ex-soldiers of Spencer township will meet in the school house at Hardenburg, on Saturday evening, September 13 at early candle-light, to take steps toward organizing a company to
attend the Reunion on the Fair Grounds on October 11th.
Vernon Township Soldiers
(Reported by Harmon Dixon)
Irby S Wagner
13th Regt. Cav.
Thomas A. Pearce
Samuel L. Balser
John A. Maxwell
Allen W. Brown
Samuel A Spencer
Wm. H. Ale
W. T. W. Dixon
Harmon Dixon, 7th Ind. Cav.
Winfield Jordan, 8th Ind. Cav.
Frank M. James, 27th Ind.
James H. Meek, 37th Ind.
Daniel Bacon, 52d Ind.
James W. Comley, 54th Ind.
Thos. C. Batchelor, 79th Ind.
Henry May, 137th Ind.
John Curtis, 147th Ind.
John D. Campbell, 132d Ind.
Wm. J. Randall, ____ Ind.
Martin Long, ____ Ind.
John Williams, 13th Ind.
John Butts, 16th Ill. Cavalry
Dalton Hinchman, 2d Mich. Cav.
Timothy Cronan, U.S. Regulars
George W. Wells, _____Ky.
Samuel Templin, 48th Penn.
We were sometimes told that one Confederate could easily whip from five to seven Yankee. The reverse of this we heard at
Hardenburg, on Saturday last. Gus Winters, a resident there now, and during the war a member of the 4th Ohio Cavalry, was surrounded by five
Confederates in one of the engagements, and Gus got away with every one of them coming out of the melee pretty badly hacked up but victorious.
The Jennings county soldiery are making extensive preparations for their reunion October 11. It will be the most delightful
time of the year; the roads will probably be good; why not our soldiers organize, make up a train and go in light marching order - in conveyances -
and spend the day with their comrades. They could go one day, go into camp, have a good time the next and on the third day return home. No doubt the
boys at North Vernon would make it pleasant for them and they would greatly enjoy it. Members of the 6, 12, 13, 22, 26, 18, 32, 35, 36, 37, 52, 54, 68,
72, 92, 83, 120, 135, 137, 145, 148 Infantry, and the 3 and 13 Cavalry are taking an interest in it. Suppose our post of the G.A.R. lead out. - Greensburg Review.
North Vernon Plain Dealer - September 18, 1879
At a meeting of soldiers of the "Great Rebellion," held in City Hall on the 9th of August, it was resolved to effect a permanent
organization of all honorable discharged soldiers in the county. To that end a reunion was appointed to be held at the Fair Grounds on the 11th of October.
Enrolling officers were appointed to enroll the names of all soldiers. Some of the lists have been reported and published in the papers. A full list from
every township is expected from each enrolling officer.
It is hoped that the Committee on Finance will be thorough in its work, as a little cash will be necessary to the success of the
Reunion. The committees on arrangement, on grounds, and on music should take such action as will give the desired result.
Our reunion on the 11th of October is to be a picnic meeting, or in other words, we depend upon cooked rations brought upon the
grounds to supply the wants of all. That this may be met, we suggest that the enrolling officers appoint committees in their respective townships to ask
our friends to contribute of their abundance to give the "boys'" and themselves a dinner-none of your "goodnugs;" but a plain old fashioned dinner.
Remember, "all soldiers, their families and their friends" are invited, and we think that this will will embrace all the people
in Jennings county, for we feel that those at home during "war's wrinkled front," who loyally supported the government and the army are as deserving of the
country as those in the line of battle. It may not have been so unhealthy at home, but the loyalty and service were there. And if there are any so unfortunate
as to have fought on "t'other side", come along and partake of our good cheer-you shall be welcome.
We regret to learn that some hesitate to attend our meeting fearing that there will be too many of the rough class, dead beats, gamblers, &c.
on the ground. Now, in the army there may have been gambling; if so, it was always in violation of discipline and orders. It would be strange indeed, if after
had served in that school at the front we should come home and at a reunion set up a gambling shop. Lay aside your fears, dear frinds, no such misfortune will
happen to you or us. There will be no wheels of furtune, or rather misfortune, or gambling devices and clap-trap allowed on the grounds.
We meet to renew former acquaintances, to mingle and rejoice together-yet that joy will not be unmixed with grief, for how vividly we will
remember the many graves made by the wayside, at the hospitals, and on the battlefield-but we will endeavor to "keep our memory green"
H. Tripp, Pres., North Vernon, Sept. 15, 1879
Notice to Soldiers
The enrolling officers in the several townships, and all committees appointed at the meeting held on August 9th, are requested to
to meet in the City Hall in North Vernon, on Saturday, 27th inst., at 2 o'clock p.m., to report, and adopt such further measures as may be deemed necessary
to make our Reunion a success. H. Tripp, Pres.
Vernon, Sept. 13, 1879.
The soldiers of the township met in the court house pursuant to call, to take steps towards organizing a company to attend the
Old Soldiers Reunion, October 11th. The meeting was called to order by Harmon Dixon, and organized by electing Daniel Bacon chairman, and Irby S. Wagner
secretary. On motion of Joseph Vesey a committee of five was appointed to solicit money to defray the expenses of organizing the company, the committee
consisting of Wm. J. Randall, T.A. Pearce, T.C. Batchelor, I.S. Wagner and Harmon Dixon. A committee consisting of Gasper Henninger, S.L. Bolser and H.T.
Wagner was appointed to engage music. On motion of Harmon Dixon the proceedings of this meeting were ordered published in the county papers. On motion of
James H. Meek the meeting adjourned to meet on next Saturday night, September 20, in the court house for the purpose of electing officers and transacting
It is earnestly requested that all the old soldiers of Vernon township attend the meeting on the evening of the 20th, and take part in
electing the officers. Daniel Bacon, chmn., Irby S. Wagner, secy.
Will the enrolling officers of Marion, Montgomery, Campbell and Columbia townships favor us with an early report of enlistments for the
Reunion. We want to publish a complete list of soldiers in the county. Please write name and number of regiment plainly.
Bigger Township Soldiers
5th Regt. (cav)
John W. Anderson
John M. Denton
7th Regt. (cav)
James M. Hand
Wm. F. Green
Wm. H. Anderson
John H. Cox
Enos Ellis, 10th Ind. Cav.
Leonard Ramsey, 12th Indiana
George Haney, 39th Indiana
Palmon Bailey, 53d Indiana
C.H. Hoffman, _____ Indiana
Robert McGee, _____ Indiana
Nelson Johnson, 83d Indiana
Francis M. Cox, 140th Indiana
Elias Little, 148th Indiana
John S. Hughes, 149th Indiana
Samuel Wise, 2d Illinois
Oscar Lord, 125th Illinois
C.W. Gudgeon, 7th Ohio cav.
Robt. Shannon, 57th Ohio cav.
Job Runyan, 60th Ohio cav.
James Fehl, 138th Ohio cav.
Henry Darly, 181st Ohio cav.
James Chadwick, ____ Penn's
JOHN H. COX Enrolling Officer
Geneva Township Soldiers
George W. Riley
Ansel R. Crippen
Andrew J. Ritz
George T. Basker
J.M. Robinson, surgeon U.S. Vol.
J.Q.A. May, 68th Indiana
Henry Miller, _____ Penn.
J.H. Wright, 1st heavy artillery
Wesley W. Day, ____ Indiana
Chas. Deutschman, 9th Ohio
George Clowson, 6th Vermont
Patrick Fifer, 9th New York
Lafayette Campbell, ____ Indiana
Chas. Kean, 12th Kentucky
Randolph Foist, 13th Indiana
Anthony McGowan, 35th Indiana
Van Ballard, 9th Michigan
Edward Derling, ____
Wm. Cox, ____
J.D. Amick, 54th Indiana
D.A. McConnell, _____ Indiana
John Richerson, _____ Indiana
Charles Thorp, 9th Kentucky cav
Elias Little, 19th Regulars
Hiram Clark, 10th Ind. Cavalry
Wm. Turner, 12th Ohio
Dennis Sheedy, ____
Samuel Peterson, 55th Ind
Abner Waldon, 3d Ind cavalry
John Curtis, _____ Ind
Albert Judd, 7th Ind cavalry
Boner Shed, _____
Malon Hays, _____
Robert Ellis, 7th Regulars
W.B. Wilson, 19th Ind
Walt Higgins, _____ Ind
It is desired that as many as possible of those above named meet at the school house in Queensville, on Saturday
night, September 20th, to arrange for attending the Reunion at North Vernon on October 11th. OSCAR COWELL, Enrolling Officer.
Additional names of Spencer township soldiers, furnished by S.W. Harding, Enrolling Officer;
Thomas Murray, 16th Ind.
John Donahue, 33d Ind.
John Emly, 82d Ind.
G.A. Leonard, 82d Ind.
An organization was effected at the meeting in Hardenburg, on last Saturday night. Last we printed "W. H. Wiles,
48th Ohio;" it should have been C.H. Wiles.
Sandcreek Township Soldiers.
5th Regt. (Mexican War.)
John B. Riggs
John R. Kain
John B. Little
William A. Cheever
Oliver P. McDowell
Wm. J. Richardson
W. H. B. Richardson
James M. Reynolds
S. D. Adams, 9th Indiana
Chris Shinold, 26th Indiana
Nicholas Gale 32d Indiana
C.A. Jackson, 37th Indiana
John M. Bryan, 52d Indiana
James A. Davis, 134th Indiana
Milo Higgins, 136th Indiana
John Hubbard, 140th Indiana
E.C. Goins, 4th Iowa cavalry
If there are any whose names do not appear on this list they will please inform me at once. J. B. RIGGS, Enrolling Officer
Lovett Township Soldiers
Thomas S. James, 6th Indiana
Jos. Roseberry, 22d Indiana
Thomas West, 22 Indiana
John Artz, 26th Indiana
Wm. Muster, 27th Indiana
John Muster, 27th Indiana
R.W. Wood, 49th Indiana
N. Shepherd, 82d Indiana
Ben Shepherd, 82d Indiana
John Johnson, 82d Indiana
John S. Wells, 82d Indiana
Charles Johnson 52d Indiana
Thos Myrick, 52d Indiana
C.W. Shepherd, 120th Indiana
W.S. Shepherd, 137th Indiana
Wm. Lottie, _____
Charles Walker, _____
D. M. Roseberry, 145th Indiana
J.C. Masoner, 7th Kentucky
Samuel McClellan, 18th O bat
Wm. Wilson, _____
JOHN S. WELLS, Enrolling Officer
North Vernon Plain Dealer - September 25, 1879
Called Meeting of Ex-Soldiers. September 19, 1879
Pursuant to an invitation given by commanding officer, representatives from the different committees and a large number of
soldiers met in the Good Templars' Hall.
The meeting was called to order by Col. Tripp, when Capt. A. W. Brown was elected chairman and H. C. Smith, secretary.
After a general interchange of views it was by an unanimous vote decided that a dinner would be spread upon the grounds free
for all soldiers, and to assist in the accomplishment of which it was resolved that the ladies of Vernon and North Vernon be earnestly requested to
unite with the soldiers and assist in procuring provisions necessary for the carrying out of this part of the programme.
On motion the following committee for North Vernon was appointed: Mrs. Col. Tripp, Mrs. M.J. Gooding, Mrs. Lew Hill, Mrs.
Mettie Grinstead, Mrs. Joseph Peitzuch, Mrs. V. Hodshire, Miss Ida Weber and Miss Lizzie Adams, and that they be empowered to call to their assistance
all those who could and would devote a portion of their time to this cause.
On motion Capt. Boyer, W. S. Prather, C.D. Shank and Harmon Dixon were appointed a committee to procure badges.
Mark Robinson was selected to act as Chaplain.
On motion W. S. Prather, Irby Wagner and F.W. Verbarg were appointed committee on decoration.
On motion it was resolved that the citizens and merchants of Vernon and North Vernon be and the same are hereby most earnestly
requested to decorate their dwelling and places of business with flags, evergreens, mottos, etc., on the day of the reunion.
On motion meeting adjourned subject to the call of the commanding officer.
A.W. Brown, Pres.
H.C. Smith, Sec'y.
The committee on badges have determined to use a small flag, 2 by 5 inches, with the regiment and State printed thereon. These
badges will be furnished by W.S. Prather, at the post office. Enrolling officers of the various townships will please call on him early and secure badges
for their men. G.W. Boyer, C.D. Shank, W.S. Prather, Harmon Dixon
align="center" width="20%" color="#000000" />
Center Township Company will form at the city hall on Saturday, 27th inst., at 3 o'clock, for the purpose of drilling. Bring
your guns. P.C. McGannon. Captain
We are requested by John H. Cox enrolling officer, to state that the soldiers of Bigger township will meet at San Jacinto on Saturday,
September 27th at 7 o'clock in the evening, to make arrangements to attend the Reunion.
There will be a meeting of all the ex-soldiers of Lovett, Marion, and Montgomery townships at Commiskey, on Friday, September 26th,
at 1 o'clock in the afternoon, for the purpose of organizing for the Reunion.
All soldiers who served in the cavalry are requested to meet at the city hall in North Vernon, on Saturday, 27th inst., at 1 o'clock
sharp, for the purpose of organizing a battalion. The sabres and accoutrements have been obtained and will be furnished to all who turn out. Come out everybody.
F.W. VERBARG, HARMON DIXON, And many others.
A GATHERING OF HEROS
North Vernon Sun - October 16, 1879
The meeting of soldiers on Saturday awakened many memories. Of the companies at first organized but few remain. Some
have found homes in other parts of the country, but a majority perhaps fill graves which the hosts who marched under the State's
Rights banner prepared for them. The Heroes of Jennings county, those who gave their lives to save the integrity of our common
country, are buried in every State of the solid South, where they fell in a hundred battles or where death sought them in hospitals
or prison pens. These were conspicouously absent from the reunion, but were remembered in the speeches made and in the mottoes
displayed. They were present in the recollections of their comrades who still live and while they live can never forget.
There is ever sadness in the thought of death, of the long separation, of the cheerless churchyard, or the more cheerless
battlefield where the lost fell and lie buried. Yet there is pleasure in the thought that the fallen soldiers died the death of
heroes, and that their graves are honored by their countrymen and by the friends of humanity and of liberty in every land. There
is pleasure too in the thought that they did not fall in vain, that the cause for which they died prevailed and the flag beneath
which they marched and battled, floats to day from the lakes to the gulf, the legacy of the heroic dead to their posterity. No
grave could be more honorable. The tawdry ornament of Westminister which adorn the field where royal families have decayed are
commonplace' when compared with the nobler monuments erected in the hearts of generations to honor those who died that the stars
and stripes might not fall, that human liberty might live and prevail, monuments of love, of affection, of thanks giving, which
time can neither efface nor dim.
The living met, perhaps with many the last meeting, conscious that they are the heroes of the earth today. As men are
taught in our time that the fathers of our country were true to duty in declaring and maintaining American freedom which they
transmitted to the keeping of their posturity, so in the future claim that the people of 1861 were worthy to have descended from
a race so illustrious as that of 1776.
A magnificent arch was erected from Doll's corner across Fifth street to Wilkerson's and trimmed in red, white and blue,
evergreens, wreaths, &c. The mottoes on it in large letters were: "Our Dead Heroes," "Our Living Defenders," "All Honor to the
Brave," "Stand Firm, Boys," and on the columns supporting the arch were names of battles and incidents pictured. In front of the
post office another arch was made having on one side the words: Preservers of Our Union, Welcome," and trimmed handsomely in the
national colors and flags. On the south side of the arch were the words "One Country," made in flowers by Tom Brolley.
Stretched from Odd Fellows' hall to Adams' store and arranged by Andrews and Cone were mottoes; "Honor to the Brave" and
"One Flag, One Country," with evergreens and flags. Another motto "You were Right," was hung between the Universalist church and
the mottoes, names of Generals, battles, &c. Of course there was much more decoration on the grounds and in the city than we could
The Crowd of Visitors
Was variously estimated at from 8,000 to 10,000, and it was an enthusiastic one. Before daylight wagons and carriages were
coming in from every point, making their way at once to the Fair Grounds, and this continued all through the morning. Among the
visitors were a number of the Pap Thomas Guards of Greensburg. When the trains arrived there came on them soldiers and citizens
and the town was in a hubbub of excitement.
Issuing of Arms
As soon as the soldiers arrived they were directed to the point where were being distributed guns and badges, and in issuing
which Ordnance officer C. D. Shank did noble and hard work until every man who wished to carry a musket was equipped.
Early in the morning the battalions of cavalry and infantry from this place marched to Vernon to escort from there the
Vernon battalion and other companies coming by that route, and together returned to this place in time to take their place in the
procession, which was formed and moved at 10 o'clock as per programme. While forming, various exercises in drill were gone through
with, among them a drill of the German soldiers, orders in their own language, by Capt. Ranft. At the appointed time the procession
moved,carring the tattered and torn colors of regiments as follows, as well as we could learn; 27th, 52d, 66th, 140th, 145th, 12th,
54th, 38th, 8th, 70th, 9th, 93rd, 7th cavalry, 81st, 19th. Everywhere the troops were greeted with happy cheerings, so different
from those of the times of 1861, when they went out f
rom their homes and families to do real battle for their country. The line of
march as published was followed out entire, the arches passed through and on to the fair grounds and the speakers stand and the
and the seats which had been provided in sufficient numbers
for all who wished to rest on them. Prayer was offered by Chaplain
Johnson, and no speakers from a distance being present Mr. Thomas C. Batchelor, himself a wounded soldier, was called on for an
address. His talk was short but pleasant and well received. Mrs. Leavitt was then called on to read a poem written by her for the
occasion. We give it here:
A Grateful Offering to the Soldiers
What memories stir our hearts to-day,
Beneath these autumn leaves!
Their pantomime of changing tints
Is like what Memory weaves,
Whose many tinted threads are spun
From the checkered days of Sixty-One
All our fair Land of bud and bloom
Bathed in the golden light
Of peace serene; and azure skies
Showed me not a cloud of blight
Through verdant wood, and flow'ry glade
Her summer air a music made.
Quick, o'er each sunny slope of life,
Our Country's air grew chill;
And over hill and valley fell
Foreboding sense of ill-
Deeper than any autumn haze-
The shadow of Rebellion's days!
Grown black with gloom, the War cloud rolled
Athwart the dark'ning air;
And sullen cannon thunders rent
The quaking cities there!
And down the tempest hurled its wrath
O'er every quiet vale, and path!
Oh there was hurrying to and fro!
And white lips breathed, "Farewell!"
And some went forth, who ne'er came back,
From many a hill and dell!
The battle smoke,-their winding sheet;
Their requiem, the drums wild beat!
Swept down by War's tempestuous breath
In manhood's bloom they fell;
And more than midnight pall fell o'er
The hearts, that loved them well,
Full many a fireside's gladsome light
Went out, forevermore, in night!
The summer-glory of the earth,
Swept by a tempest's wrath,
Is a faint picture of the blight
Which marked Rebellion's path;-
Strewn thick with mangled ones who gave
Their lives the UNION'S life to save
Shall TREASON walk a king to-day,
Crowned with a Nation's love?
Traitors, whose brows the Rebel flag
Once waved it "bars" above?
Shall hands, upraised against their own,
Wear Honor's signet ring and stone!
Shall they in regal robes of power,
Be throned in honor hight,
While Loyalty sits in the dust?
And none dare make reply?
Shall Justice fold her even hand
At Treason's impious demand?
If the Great Truths which underlie
Our Nation's life are fled,
If Right's eternal principles
Forevermore are dead,
If Union is an empty toy;
Let Treason laugh with Seccession's joy!
Let every loyal lip be sealed;
Let not a whisper low
Dispute Rebellion's right or power;
Let Truth and Honor go!
Let legal stamp the edict seal;-
"Put Loyalty 'neath Treason's heel!"
By every drop of loyal blood,
From th' Nation's heart outwrung,
Above her costly sacrifice,
Shall Treason's praise be sung?
O'er all the graves of th' loved and lost
Can we forget what Treason cost?
O'er Gettysburg? O'er Shiloh's slain?
O'er Richmond's hard-earned fall?
O'er Sherman's March down to the sea?
O'er Vicksburg's battered wall?
Sheridan's ride? and Grant's broad fame?
And-o'er our martyred LINCOLN'S name?
By th' marching hosts ULYSSES led-
Our gallant boys in blue,
Who bore our starry ensign on-
Thro' loss or victory, true;-
If Right is right eternally,
Let traitors quail, let freedom die!
In the brave fame of our loyal State
OUR COUNTY claims her share;
Her wounds, and sears, and shattered limbs
She well may proudly wear!
Tho' on her brow are laurel leaves,
The tear-wet cypress twines through these!
Her slain! Some 'neath an alien soil
Laid down life's early bloom
Where yearning Love no wreath may twine
Above their unkown tomb,
McKeehan, Sears, and Batchelor,
And Clinton,-when life's dream was o'er,
Came back, to her fond arms, no more!
Her slain! Some 'neath an alien soil
Laid down life's early bloom
Where yearning Love no wreath may twine
Above their unknown tomb,
McKeehan, Sears, and Batchelor,
And Clinton,-when life's dream was o'er,
Came back, to her fond arms, no more!
The Southern sky, bend soft above
The place where such repose!
Twine there your wealth of balm and bloom,
O jessamine and rose!
O morn's first blush, and eve's last glow
A tender halo o'er them throw!
To make their graves with us, some came,
Who in the conflict fell;
Green be the mounds, amid the vails
Their childhood knew so well!
Sweet be their sleep, and soft their rest,
Amid the scenes they loved the best!
A Veteran's fame is our proud claim;
He, 'neath the Army blue
Received the wound whose pains must last
Till all his years are through.
Entwined with all our hearts can give,
Let COLONEL TRIPP's brave record live!
To all who fought in our holy cause,
Deep as the flowing sea,
To all who fought in our holy cause,
Deep as the flowing sea,
A nations gratitude still flows,
Unspoken though it be!
Throbbing through all this offering,
Love's gratitude to you we bring!
The wood's once rent by war's alarms,
Are glad with golden leaves;
Nature has healed her wounds and scars;
And peace has bound her sheaves;
May you-in nature's sweet release,
Find for each wound exceeding peace!
And, unto Him whose hand hath led-
Even by His power alone-
Thy God. O glad America-
Our father's and our own,
To Him, whose mercies crown our days,
Let the whole Nation offer praise!
The next speaker was Chaplain McCoy, and he talked of the boys in a way that all who heard him will be pleased to remember.
While the visitors were coming the procession forming and moving, and the speakers being listened to by the vast crowd,
Commissary officers Robinson and Balser, with their numbers of efficient aids in the persons of ladies from Vernon and this
place, were hard at work preparing for the hungry soldiers and visitors the abundant supply of eatables furnished by friends
of those who were holding the Reunion, and placing it upon the tables in readiness for the time of feasting. A stack of
provisions were there, buckets, baskets, and other vessels full to over-flowng. The tables were two, each one hundred yards
long and food was arranged on both sides, making 400 yards of substantials. Three or four stoves were used in the department
in making hot coffee, and tin cups full of the old army drink boiling hot dotted the tables from end to end.
The commissary department's work was well done was the expression by everybody. At about one o'clock the battery gave the
signal for dinner and the soldiers marched in two files and in a few minutes had occupied all the available space along the
tables, and were told to "fall to." They "fell to" and were satisfied to the utmost. When the first table had finished the
following resolutions were read and adopted by a hearty "aye" from every soldier:
Resolved, That we, ex-soldiers of Jennings County return to our fellow citizens our heartfelt thanks for the munificent
entertainment they have provided for us.
Resolved, That the ladies of our county have by their toil and labor, in so liberally providing this splendid reception for
us-won our highest esteem, and we shall ever hold them in grateful rememberance.
Resolved, That we thank the editors of our county papers for the interest they have manifested in the Soldiers' Reunion.
Let all the soldiers thank you and your papers.
Resolved, That we tender to the several bands who have discoursed such beautiful music for us to-day, our heartiest thanks.
, That the soldiers present tender to Mrs. M. A. Leavitt their sincere thanks for the beautiful poem with which she
has so kindly and ably entertained us to-day.
The Drill and Sham Battle
time fixed the soldiers reparied to that part of the grounds where their guns were stacked and at once engaged in drill under
command of Col. Tripp, Major Spencer, Capt's McGannon, Carver, Brougher, Ranft, Lieutenants Hill, Harding, Pearce and others, and
Sergeant Gallagher. The crowd was so immense as to seriously impede the marching and counter marching, and for a time it was
almost impossible to go through the maneuvers. The cavalry appeared and took its station at the east end of the grounds, a larger
space was cleared, with some difficulty however, for all present were excited at the prospect of seeing a representation of a
battle, and all was ready for a fray. The cavalry was commanded by officers F. W. Verbarg and Harmon Dixon. It had not been at all
arranged which party-infantry or cavalry should acknowledge defear, which made the matter more particularly interesting to the
soldiery. All at once, without announcement, a charge was made by the horsemen, the infantry prepared to meet them. As they closed
in the crack of musketry, the shouts of command, the yells of the men, the tramp of horses, the rattle of steel bayonet against
sabre made that an exciting moment as our people had ever seen. The opposing troops came to close quarters, made imaginery attack
and defense, and the horse were routed, pursued, and several captures made. The shouts of applause from the multitude were
uproarious. The surging mass was wonderfully excited and pleased. In the fight two or three men were unhorsed, and two horses
slightly wounded by bayonet thrusts, and that was all the casualtes. Another attack would have been made, this time by the infantry
but the crowd pressed around so closely that it was feared there would not be sufficient space for the recounter and the idea was
abandoned and arms stacked.
So far in our report of the proceedings we have said nothing
about music. There was plenty of it. The two brass bands accompanied the soldiers in the procession and blowed and blowed until
every soul was stirred and heart fired with enthusiasm. Military bands were here to the number of half a dozen or more and they
made music by the wholesale. When the brass bands were not playing the military bands were, and music was heard from every quarter
The Artillery Company
Carried out its part of the programme faithfuly
by firing salutes at the different times appointed in the programme.
Capt. P. C. McGannon exerted himself through the day so much that
his old wounds troubled him seriously and for several days after he was almost disabled.
Sergeant-Major Oliver played
the part of an Absaolom (almost) during the moving of the procession, losing his plume and hat in a tree as he rode under it.
H.C. Smith the architect of the arch on north Fifth street and the arch itself were serenaded on Friday evening after its finish,
by the North Vernon Brass Band.
Gasper Hemberger was one of the most patreotic boys in town. In building arches, &c., he
was ever ready to offer help.
Bigger township sent a represtative of the navy dressed in full uniform.
boys of North Vernon made over 2,000 blank cartridges for use in the sham battle.
The arch at the postoffice was built by
the individual efforts and expense of J.C. Cope, L.H. Hill and W.S. Prather. The arch over Fifth street was built by H.C. Smith, the
expenses being footed by Wilkerson, Doll, Dickerson, Alley, F.W. and Gus Verbarg.
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