Gettysburg Star and Sentinel – July 8, 1884
Veteran Re-Unions and Dedications of Monuments
Last week was a very lively one in our usually quiet town. As announced in the “STAR AND SENTINEL” two weeks ago, the veterans of the 14th and 17th Connecticut, 124th New York, 27th and 153rd Pennsylvania, had arranged to put up and dedicate monuments on the battlefield in memory of their fallen comrades. The visitors, with ladies and friends, numbered over six hundred, and made a most favorable impression on our people during their three days among us. Monday evening, between 7 and 9 o’clock two sections of 19 cars, arrived over the Gettysburg and Harrisburg railroad, bringing the 17th Connecticut and 124th N.Y.V., with their friends. The latter were accompanied by the Warwick Cornet Band. There were over 500 persons in this excursion, which was swelled the next day by at least 100 veterans of the 14th Connecticut. The New Oxford band, engaged by the 17th, arrived on the evening train, and with both bands the town was quite lively until midnight. The veterans were received at the depot by Corporal Skelly Post G.A.R., and a large crowd of citizens, the Post cannon firing salutes. The dedicatory services of the several regiments extended through the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, and were very interesting. We regret that we have not the space to give a full report of all the exercises. A brief mention is all that we can give to each.
The exercises of this regiment were held first, on Tuesday at 10 a.m. The veterans formed at the Eagle Hotel, where they were met by the 124th N.Y., and invited guests, and accompanied by two bands marched to “Barlow’s Knoll,” where the monument had already been placed in position – Gen. John M. Brown, of Portland, Me., who was A.A.G. to Gen. Ames during the battle, marshalling the procession. On the ground the 17th received a marching salute from the 124th.
Their monument, which cost $1200, is massive, but beautiful and tasteful. It is in the shape of a sarcophagus, 8 feet long, 7 feet high and 5 feet wide. It bears the coat of arms of the State of Connecticut, with a full list of the 35 members of the regiment killed in this battle, and also the following inscription: “Erected by the survivors of the 17th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 11th Corps, in memory of their gallant comrades who fell here on the 1st day and on this Battlefield on the 2nd and 3rd days of July, 1863.” The monument was made by W.H. Curtis, at Millhouse Point. It is erected on the spot where this regiment gallantly contested, and for a time successfully repulsed, the attack of Early, but overborn by superior numbers they were compelled to retreat through the town, to form again on East Cemetery Hill, but not until their ranks were sorely decimated.
The stand was principally occupied by ladies and the program commenced with music by the New Oxford Band. Prayer was offered by the Rev. W.K. Hall, Chaplain of the regiment. In a few well chosen remarks, detailing the history of the movement to erect the tablet, Lt. Col. Henry Allen presented it to Gen. W.H. Noble as the representative of the Association, who presided during the exercises. The tablet was then unveiled, a very touching ceremony, which was done by Miss Moore, daughter of Capt. Moore, who was killed in this engagement.
Gen. Noble accepted it in an address which was exceedingly appropriate, filled with true patriotic ardor and good advice as to what is needed to make our Nation truly and really prosperous.
Music by the band followed, when the orator of the day, Private P.C. Lounsberry, was introduced by Col. Allen and delivered a very eloquent oration. We regret that we have no report of it, but understand that it is to be published and we hope hereafter to give at least a portion of it to our readers. He opened with a warm tribute to the heroic bearing of the regiment all through its history, gave a vivid description of the opening fight at Gettysburg, especially that part of it in which the 11th Corps was engaged, and passed on to discuss the great lessons of the battle of Gettysburg. Mr. Lounsberry is an earnest, eloquent, magnetic speaker, and was frequently interrupted by hearty applause.
Gen. Noble then turned over the monument to the care of the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association, D.A. Buehler, Esq., Vice President of the Association, responding and promising careful watch and ward over it. The exercises closed with the benediction by Chaplain Hall.
Everything passed off pleasantly, nothing occurring to mar or interrupt the ceremonies in any way. Regrets were expressed by all the boys of the 17th that business engagements of pressing importance prevented the attendance of Gen. F.C. Barlow, who was severely wounded on this knoll and has not, we believe, revisited the field since the war.
Col. Allen won praises on all sides for the ceaseless zeal and energy with which he has prosecuted this labor of love to a most successful completion. The first steps in the movement were taken last August, and in less than a year this beautiful and costly tablet is in position, where it will stand for all time as a memorial of the gallant 17th Connecticut Volunteers.
Meriden Daily Record – July 2, 1884
To-Day’s Telegraphic News
THE 17th AT GETTYSBURG
Unveiling the Monument to the Dead Members of the Regiment
Gettysburg, Pa., July 2.
The members of the 17th Connecticut Volunteer association arrived here safely Monday evening and were received by the local Grand Army post. Yesterday, the 21st anniversary of the first day of the battle of Gettysburg when the 17th was specially engaged, and when it lost the greater number of its total in the fight, the survivors of the regiment prepared to unveil the tablet which they have caused to be erected on the site of the first engagement with the enemy.
In the line, that was formed at 9:15, the 17th regiment led, followed by the 124th New York, the 27th and 158th Pennsylvania, and the G.A.R. post of Gettysburg.
The Seventeenth was divided into four companies, under the command, respectively, of Captains Enos Kellogg, Enoch Wood, John McQuaid and James Hubbell. Colonel Henry Allen commanded the regiment, and his adjutants were George Keeler and Selah Blakeman. There were 100 members in the line. The column moved to the place of the tablet, where the following order of exercises were conducted:
Music by the Gettysburg band.
Prayer by the chaplain of the regiment, Rev. Mr. Hall.
Presentation of the tablet to the regiment by Lieutenant Colonel Allen.
At 10:30 the tablet was unveiled by Miss Minnie Moore, of Danbury, daughter of Captain Moore, of Company C, who was killed on the spot, and Miss Fannie Noble, daughter of Colonel Noble. After the unveiling Colonel William H. Noble, on behalf of the regiment, made a speech of acceptance. After more music by the band, the memorial address was delivered by Phineas C. Lounsberry, of Ridgefield, a private in the regiment. He closed as follows:
And now, after a lapse of nearly a quarter of a century, we, the survivors of that conflict and the comrades of the fallen, gather here as reverently to thank God, to gratefully commemorate their heroism and unveil a monument to their memory, that shall in silent but matchless eloquence tell of their deeds, of our undying and loving gratitude (here pledging our fortunes, lives and sacred honor to maintain what on this field was so gloriously won), and here let it stand, simple in its majesty and majestic in its simplicity, to remind the countless millions that shall yet tread these lands, of the cost of their liberties, and to warn traitors of treason’s doom, down through the coming ages, until the arch angel’s trump shall pierce the ear of death and the heroes who sleep so quietly beneath this consecrated soil, shall come forth arrayed, not in the panoply of war, but in the robes of peace, and hear the well done from the lips of the Prince of Peace, who led them in the fight and gave them the victory. And if in the years to come, the north and south shall vie with each other in the bloodless battles of industry and patriotism, of social and political freedom, of intelligence and virtue, as gallantly and truly as on this field they fought in fratricidal strife, to gather the harvest the battle’s red rain has made to grow, who shall regret the price paid.
My task is done and while it was my wish that the address of this day should have been committed to an abler and more eloquent tongue, yet if this hour and the events of this hour shall intensify our love of country and liberty, broaden our patriotism and quicken our sense of social and political justice, shall aid to secure to all within the boundaries of our fair land the personal rights, political, social and religious, that were purchased for them by the blood of the nation, it will matter who, upon this occasion, was the speaker or what was said.