1882 Reunion at Bridgeport

The Reunion of the Seventeenth

The seventeenth annual reunion of the Seventeenth Connecticut Volunteers held in this city today was one of the pleasantest gatherings the organization has ever held. The day was every thing that could be desired and the veterans began to arrive on the early trains from all directions and by ten o’clock fully 175 members of the regiment had assembled at the depot, where the cordial greeting and recognition of old and familiar faces took up the time until nearly half-past ten when a line was formed and headed by the local comrades and the Wheeler and Wilson band they marched to Grand Army Hall where the regular business meeting was held.

The meeting was called to order by Mr. Patrick Wade, of this city, president of the association, and after prayer had been offered by Rev. H.Q. Judd, of this city, chaplain of the organization, there was a short recess to give the members an opportunity to pay their annual dues and procure their tickets for dinner all of which occupied about half an hour, after which the regular business was transacted.

The minutes of the last meeting were read by Secretary George Keeler of this city and were accepted without discussion. The treasurer reported the sum of $57.47 as being the amount of cash on hand at the last report. The death of Lieutenant Peck, who held the position of adjutant of the regiment, was reported and one of the comrades spoke with much feeling in reference to him. A committee of three was appointed to draft a suitable resolution in respect to the deceased comrade. Several other deaths of members were reported since the last reunion, after which a committee of three was appointed to make the necessary arrangements for a historical committee of the regiment in order that in the future a complete record could be kept and reported at each annual reunion of the association. It was voted to increase the executive committee from three to five. Notice was given by one of the comrades that at the next reunion a resolution would be offered to the effect that all male descendants of the members of the association should be eligible to membership in the association. This announcement was received with loud applause. The next business was election of officers which resulted as follows – President, James E. Dunham, Bridgeport; secretary and treasurer, Geo. W. Keeler, Bridgeport. It was then voted that the committee appointed as a historical committee be elected as vice-presidents of the association for the ensuing year, with the exception of the members from companies G and D, they having been elected to other offices. Lieut. A.W. Peck, company D, and E.H. Edmonds, company G, were elected as vice-presidents to fill the vacancies. The following executive committee was then appointed: – A.G. Brady, W.H. Noble, Henry Huss, and Selah S. Blakeman.

Following this letters of regret were read from a number of absent comrades, many of which were spicy and very interesting and were received with loud applause.

The committee appointed to select a historical committee reported the following as that committee: Lieutenant R. L. Ells, company A; Capt. Marcus Waterbury, company B; George Purdy, company C; George W. Keller, company D; George Hale, company E; Sergeant Willis McDonald, company F; Captain James E. Dunham, company G; Lieut. Frank Bliss, company H; Sergeant Wm. A. Baker, company I; Sergeant John H. Porter, company K. The committee recommended that the historical committee make an annual report to the secretary of the association previous to the annual reunion. The secretary will them consolidate the report and submit it at the annual reunions of the association.

A vote of thanks was then extended to the local committee, who had worked so hard and so successfully in raising the funds to defray the expenses of the band, after which Lieutenant Colonel Allen was called upon for a few remarks, in which he alluded to the practicability of admitting the sons of all members of the association as full members in order that the association might be perpetuated for all time to come.

Ex-President Patrick Wade was next called upon, and responded with a few humorous remarks, which were attentively listened to.

At this point Colonel Henry Huss, accompanied by ex-Postmaster General James and Hon. P.T. Barnum, entered the hall amid loud cheers and took seats upon the platform.

It being nearly dinner time, the veterans formed in line and to the lively music of the band marched to Seaside Park, where a shore dinner had been prepared for them by landlord Hummiston at the Seaview Hotel, to which it is needless to say ample justice was done. – Bridgeport Standard, August 28, 1882