1885 Reunion at Stamford

The Seventeenth’s Reunion

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A Glorious Time by Fairfield County’s Veterans had at Stamford

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Few of the Connecticut regiments turn out at the annual reunions such a large representation of the survivors as the 17th C.V. – the distinctively Fairfield County regiment – and in none is the cordiality and good fellowship which exists among the members were marked. Yesterday’s eleventh reunion at Stamford was no exception to its predecessors in these essential respects. The reunion was held in Stamford and a right royal reception did the local Grand Army post and the citizens give the visitors.

The members of the association met at the depot yesterday at forenoon upon the arrival of the morning trains from the east and the west and exchanged the usual greetings. Line was formed and under escort of Hobbie Post No. 23, G.A.R., headed by the Stamford band, the veterans headed to the skating rink on River Street, where the business meeting was held.

The association was called to order by the president, Comrade Henry Huss. The resolution of Lieutenant-Colonel Allen, “That the oldest living male descendant of a deceased member of the Seventeenth regiment Connecticut Volunteers shall be eligible to membership in this association upon the death of said member,” laid on the table at the last reunion for the second time, was taken from the table on motion a committee of three was appointed by the president to take the matter into consideration and report at the next annual gathering. The committee appointed were P.C. Lounsberry, Selah G. Blakeman, and J. Irvin Benedict.

General W. H. Noble of this city offered appropriate resolutions on the death of General Grant. They included this passage: “That while the nation and the world mourns his loss yet through the clouds above the grave there shines the light of a divine mission faithfully performed and the radiance of an immortality beside that of the father of our country.” The resolutions were unanimously adopted. Resolutions of sympathy to Colonel Henry Allen, the regiment’s old commandant, and to his family were also presented and adopted. Colonel Allen is seriously ill and his absence and its cause occasioned real regret among the comrades present. He sent a note regretting his inability to be present, which was answered.

The election of officers for the ensuing year resulted as follows: President, George W. Keeler, Bridgeport; vice presidents, Co. A, Capt. W.O. Merritt, South Norwalk; Co. B, Capt. Chas. A. Hobbie, Darien; Co. C, Sergt. Geo. Dickens, Danbury; Co. D, Sergt. Selah Blakeman, Birmingham; Co. E, Capt. J.E. Hubbell, Saugatuck; Co. F, Sergt. Willis McDonald, New York City; Co. G, Capt. Wilson French, Stratford; Co. H, Lieut. F.M. Bliss, New Canaan; Co. I, Lieut. Thos. Haight, Greenwich; Co. K, Capt. John McCarty, Bridgeport; secretary, Geo. S. Purdy, Danbury; treasurer, Patrick Wade, Bridgeport; executive committee, Len Dixon, Stamford; J. Henry Blakeman, Stratford; Henry Huss, Mt.Vernon, N.Y.; Phineas C. Lounsberry, Ridgefield.

An invitation from the citizens of Stratford to hold the next reunion at that place was read and referred to the executive committee.

The band and Post 23 G.A.R. made a march through the principal streets to Town Hall, where the members and their friends sat down to a splendid dinner furnished by the citizens of Stamford. The inner man having been satisfied the veterans were welcomed by Hon. Chas. E. Hill, and the address of welcome was responded to by Comrade P. C. Lounsberry of Ridgefield. Afterward speeches were listened to from the following comrades of sister regiments: Charles H. Pine, 2nd Conn. H.A.; F.E. Weed, 13th C.V.; Major Westcomb, 28th C.V.; Major Boudren, 6th C.V.; Comrade Jaquith, 23rd Ohio Vol.; and the following members of the regiment: Gen. W.H. Noble, Comrades Otis and McDonald. Comrade Knight of US Grant Post, G.A.R. Brooklyn who with Sergt. Willis McDonald was of the guard at Mt.McGregor to Gen. Grant obsequies gave an interesting address of their experiences. Capt. Nathaniel E. Adam who held a commission of the state of New York 1837 was present and responded to a call as also did Hon. D.N. Morgan of this city. Letters of regret were read from the following parties who were unable to be present: W.B. Glover, Fairfield; Benj. Wright, New York City; C.D. Flagg, New York City; Thos. P. Randall, Newburgh, N.Y.; Jos. H. Keedy, New York City; A.H. Byington, Washington, D.C.; Chas. E. Snyder, Newburgh, N.Y.; Chas. E. Wilmot, this city; Gov. Harrison and Augustus, New Haven and Mayor Grace, New York City. A vote of thanks was given the citizens and G.A.R. Post for their inattentions after which the march to the depot was taken when the goodbyes was said, and each departed for their respective homes.

Over 100 veterans were in attendance. At the business meeting it was stated that John Cahill, a comrade accidentally killed in Norwalk had left a family in poor circumstances. Within ten minutes a purse of over $100 had been made up for their benefit.

From the Bridgeport Morning News, August 29, 1885

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