VETERANS RANKS THINNING RAPIDLY
Twelve Members of the 17th and Three of 28th Regiment at Roton Reunions
WILL PUT PLATE ON THE POLE AT BARLOW’S KNOLL
Many Died During Year from Ranks of Both Regiments; Diversions of Day
A scant fifteen grey-headed, sober-faced, loyal-hearted men, all that actively survive two full regiments, 2,000 strong, of splendid lightsome youths who marched way to the call of the colors in the sixties, gathered yesterday at Roton Point for the annual reunions of the good old Seventeenth Connecticut, Fairfield County Volunteers, association and of the loyal Twenty-eighth Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers, association but three, once joined with a thousand who took part in the memorable siege of Port Hudson and the assault of the port, assembled as active members of the 28th for the 25th annual reunion of that association, while a bare dozen met to take an active part in the 58th anniversary of the formation of the 17th Regiment association, the body which, as the only truly “Fairfield County” regiment , took a varied part in many of the most important battles of the civil war.
‘Twas a day a (missing word) and hearty handshakes at the local park yesterday. If the veterans themselves were not that many their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were and the morning was a happy one in general, except in the few moments, so important in the memoirs of the regiments, when the names of those who have left during the year were read and silently passed upon.
Members Grow Less.
Twelve members of the Seventeenth took up a small corner of the dancing pavilion hall, where the meetings were held, as President John H. Batterson of Norwalk called the veterans and their many guests together. Rev. Charles A. Marks of Norwalk, chaplain of the regiment, opened the program with an invocation, in which he expressed deep gratitude to the almighty for the preservation of the bare handful, less than 40, who are living today, the sole survivor of the heroic 17th.
President Batterson noted that the meeting marked the 60th anniversary of the mustering into service of the regiment, when the flower of the youth of the county marched away to fight the Gray. The presiding head noted that one face was not seen among those present, a countenance always familiar to every reunion – that of Comrade Selah G. Blakeman, now among the missing.
Secretary Edward A. Pinkney, of Georgetown, in reading the record of the last meeting, noted the erection of the fine flagpole which flies on Barlow’s Knoll Gettysburg, and stated that at an executive committee meeting, it was noted that there was no designating plate on the pole to mark the founders of the memorial.
Treasurer George D. Phillips of Bridgeport reported that a balance of some $60.50 resides in the regiment treasury. He later urged that the regiment avoid the rather burdensome expense of preparing new badges each year by procuring permanent badges which might be saved from reunion to reunion. In bringing out this fact, Treasurer Phillips made the interesting statement that the average attendances at the meetings of the regiment have been as follows: 1890-1910, 83; 1910-1915, 69; 1915-1920, 38; 1921, 14; 1922, 12. Rev. Mr. Marks then offered to furnish the badges annually to the members on his personal responsibility. The fine offer was accepted with a unanimous vote of thanks.
The members then took up the decision of the executive committee to procure a designation plate for the pole at Barlow’s Knoll. It was unanimously adopted that this be done.
Correspondence from widows and far-off were read. Captain James Ayers of Hampton Roads,Va., remembered with a photograph of himself. Following this the names of those known to have passed away during the past year were read. They were as follows: Henry F. Britto, Company F,Norwalk; Irving Finch, Company I,Norwalk; Garrett D. Bowne (oldest member of the regiment), Company D,Hartford; George D. Underhill, Company D,Bridgeport; George W. Barber, Company C, Danbury; Francis Weinberg, Company H, Kimball, Dakota; W.W. Beers, Company I, Bridgeport; William A. Kellogg, Company F, Norwalk; Lewis DeMott, Company K, Soldiers Home, Noroton Heights. The deaths during the year take away two of the oldest members of the regiment, Comrades Bowne and Kellogg. The oldest living member today is Morris G. Buttery, Company A, of Norwalk, 86 years of age. President John H. Batterson with his 76 years is the “baby” of the regiment.
A standing vote of regret was passed at the deaths of the departed comrades.
Officers of the 17th
Due to the little “political timber” in view, the officers of the association were re-elected. They are as follows:
President – John H. Batterson,Norwalk
Vice Presidents – Company A, Richard G. Seymour; Company B, L.W. Scofield; Company C, none living; Company D (treasurer Phillips); Company E, Dennis O. Chase; Company F, James F. Comstock; Company G, Charles Jennings; Companies H, I, and K, none living.
Secretary – Edward A. Pinckney, Georgetown
Treasurer – George D. Phillips, Bridgeport, for the 22nd consecutive year
Chaplain – Rev. Charles A. Marks,Norwalk
Following this came the collection of dues for the coming year and negotiation of routine business. Many associate members for the coming year were taken in. The associate membership of the regiment now stands at nearly 700. The veterans are campaigning vigorously in the drive for associate memberships, on account of the wish to have the association survive the active members as a patriotic organization.
(The next several paragraphs describe the reunion and meetings of the 28th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry and have been omitted for space)
Following the business meetings yesterday Manager Neville T. Bayley of Roton Point, to whom is due the gratitude of the veterans for furnishing the meeting place and his cordial work yesterday, furnished a fine meal at the Casino to those visiting during the day. Both regiments took part in the luncheon.
At 2 o’clock both regiments, the 17th attending at the request of the 28th, took part in the annual campfire of the 28th. The feature of the campfire was an address by Commodore Loomis Scofield, in which he recounted the cruise made by himself and Mrs. Scofield through Indianapolis and other points of interest. Following is the program of the campfire.
Piano solo – Edna Walker,Stamford
Resolutions at death of departed comrades
Salute to the flag – Harold Carpenter, grandson of the late President of the 28th, Stephen Smith, flagbearer
Prayer – Chaplain George Ogden,New Canaan
Address – Commodore Loomis Scofield,New Canaan
Singing – all
Address – Judge Charles Brinkerhoff, Stamford
Address – Pres. John H. Batterson, 17th,Norwalk
Recitation – Mrs. Birdsall
Address – Ira Wildman, Danbury, past department commander, G.A.R.
Address – Christian Swartz, past department commander, G.A.R.
Singing – closing number
A large number of Norwalk veterans attended during the day. Among those missing, a familiar face among those of the invited guests, was Henry F. Stanton of Norwalk, this year deceased. – from Norwalk Hour, August 29, 1922