1889 Monument Dedication
17th and 27th
October 22d, 1889.
Order of Exercises and Addresses.
The Standard Association, Printers.
THE GETTYSBURG EXCURSION
SEVENTEENTH AND TWENTY-SEVENTH CONN. VOLS.
[FROM THE STANDARD AND WESTPORTER.]
Our train left New Haven for New York, at seven o’clock Monday morning, October 21st, arriving at Jersey City, about ten o’clock. Here we met a large number of excursionists, who like ourselves, were bound for the world renounded battle-field. At about 10:30 we left the depot of the Pennsylvania railroad, in a train of five cars. The passengers were composed of veterans of the Seventeenth and Twenty-seventh Regiments Connecticut Volunteers and their friends. The entire party numbered two hundred and eleven persons. The distance from Jersey City to Gettysburg is nearly two hundred and fifty miles. During the morning we had been favored with more or less rain, but before we reached Philadelphia the clouds were nearly all gone. Luckily there were no parlor cars on the train, which fact served to make the entire party more social, and it would be difficult to find a jollier two hundred.
At Philadelphia a stop of thirty minutes was allowed all who desired to take dinner at the depot restaurant, many, however, preferred to use the half hour in looking about the Quaker City, and then eating lunch on the train. While we were at the depot we saw an immense number of G.A.R. men in uniform, taking the cars for Norristown, to attend the funeral of General Hartranft, to whose memory, all the flags in the city were at half mast. While in the city we had a hasty view of the Mint, State House, Masonic Temple, and the celebrated Wannamaker clothing house. We left Philadelphia at 1:30, making excellent time, through a most beautiful country to Harrisburg, which place we reached about five o’clock. Here we were delayed a short time by a hot box. Leaving Harrisburg we crossed the Susquehanna river and through Bridgeport, thence to Carlisle, where is located the Government Training School for Indians, from here the train dashed on at a good rate until Gettysburg was reached, at about seven o’clock, where there seemed to be more hack drivers and boarding-house runners then there were veteran soldiers, the latter, however, were ordered by Colonel Blakeman to “fall in rapidly,” and soon marched to the McClellan House, which had been assigned as the headquarters of the two regiments. A large number of the party, however, put up at the Eagle Hotel. After supper many of the vets strolled about the town to see if they could find any familiar traces of ’63. The town is said to have increased about one-third since the war, but among the business streets, we could see but little change from what it bore five years ago. The majority of the houses are of brick, as are also many of the sidewalks. The present population of the town is about 4,000.
At 9:30, Tuesday morning, the Seventeenth regiment, headed by the Gettysburg G.A.R. band, and escorted by their comrades of the Twenty-seventh, marched to their monument, which stands on the lane skirting the foot of East Cemetery Hill. The exercises of the dedication, were then conducted according to the programme, as follows: Prayer by Rev. Beverley E. Warner, of Christ Church, Bridgeport; Presentation of monument, Sergt. P. Wade; Unveiling by Miss Henrietta Huss, daughter of Henry Huss; Acceptance by General William H. Noble; Oration by Rev. A. R. Thompson, D.D., formerly pastor of the South Church, Bridgeport, and now pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church of New York; Reception of the monument by Hon. J. M. Krauth, District Attorney, Adams county, Pa.; Benediction by Rev. B. E. Warner.
ORATION OF REV. ALEXANDER R. THOMPSON. D.D.
General Noble, Veterans of the 17th and 27th Regiments, and Friends:
The dews and rains of heaven for more than a quarter of a century have been obliterating the traces of the stupendous conflict that once swept over this broad valley. In the peaceful quiet in which it lies this autumnal day, but for its memorial stones, no stranger could suspect that once, its bosom had been furrowed by terrific war. There are but slender signs to show that its grain fields were ever trampled by the feet of contending hosts, and its green award reddened by the life-blood of brave and heroic men. We may thank God that so He has been pleased to order the never broken procedure. That spring-tide showers, and summer sunshine, and autumn winds, and winter snows do faithfully their kindly work. That the ploughshare turns again the furrow, and harvest fields invite again the reaper; that new banners of beauty are hung upon the bending boughs; and that all His cosmic forces hasten to smooth and soften the traces of conflict.
There are no words at our command wherewith to describe the events which are inseparably linked in human memory, with the place wherein we are assembled; and it is a relief to know that it is not incumbent on us to attempt their description. They have been described by the only men who were competent to describe them. We are far enough removed from them in years to have given opportunity to the men who were actors in it to have written out with skillful pens the eventful story. Far enough away to have had the intensity of emotion on both sides the awful conflict, drift away like the cloud of smoke that envelopes and obscures the arena of struggle, and in the calmer, clearer light to have allowed men who were capable, on either side of the gigantic encounter, to build up a literature of it, which shall go far toward recording its complete history. It is enough that in its broad outline it reveals itself to us. For more than that, one must of needs turn to the recital of the men who were in it, who are the only men who are able to give it. Our coming hither to-day is to do honor to the brave men, living and dead, who bore their faithful part in the awful crisis, and so far to allow the memories of it, at once tremendous and tender, to sweep over us, as to render to them the honor which is their due.
It is easy now, as it was less easy in the time of it, to see that the terrible three days’ conflict, which swayed and swept over these fields and ridges, was fairly a turning point in the war. Its tidal wave was from this to recede. And although there were months and years of determined struggle yet to follow, ere came its end, the place whereon we are standing, marks the line at which the recession began. Almost simultaneously with this, the opening of the Mississippi by the fall of Vicksburg, and the extended ocean blockade completed the beleagurement, which was the beginning of the end. But for what took place here, where we are to-day gathered, this beleagurement would not have been completed; and that not completed, who can tell what the end would have been! The significance of the event of which this was the arena cannot be overrated. The array of force was simply stupendous. Other great encounters in the world’s history, even other whole wars, sink in comparison with it. Their numbers were smaller. The interests involved in them were far less significant. Thermopylae was to save the Grecian states from Asiatic semi-barbarism. But what were the Grecian forces there, sublime as was their valor, compared with the forces here! And what a shadow of a republic was Greece compared with this mighty republic of the West. The battle of the Granicus was to let in the flood of Grecian light and civilization on Asia. But who can forget that it was a step in the pathway of the stupendous ambition of Alexander of Macedon! Waterloo saved Europe from the domination of Napoleon. But it was dynasty against dynasty; and the people, as the people, of what account were they held to be! The whole Crimean campaign did not involve the forces or the interests involved in this one field of Gettysburg. For here on both sides, the stupendous forces of the mightiest republic that ever the sun has looked upon were gathered for an encounter, the issue of which involved the fate of a continent, the fate of millions upon millions, the fate of human kind the world over. Across the sea jealous governments looked on and hoped for such an event to the struggle as should give pause to the mighty march of human manhood, and leave the Republic of the West denationalized and denuded of its gigantic vigor. They were destined to be disappointed. The republic was to live in its majestic strength. The army of the South advanced under magnificent leadership. Its ranks were filled, and filled with veterans. Its organization was of the utmost efficiency. It had no divided counsels. Its confidence in its leaders was complete. Its courage and purpose were most determined. It had been recruited out of homes. Men fought in it with the love of wife and children at their hearts. It was met here by an army like itself. Made up of men born on the soil, or who, wherever born, had American citizen written over their hearts. These men fought for altar and hearth-stone! With homes behind them for which they knew that they were fighting. Under leaders who valor and wisdom had been proven over and over. These men knew that they were fighting their own battle and were sure that they were in the right, and so, stood in the way of the tremendous force arrayed against them. Back and forth swayed the tide of success through those three ever memorable days. Now on this side, now on that. But their sturdy resistance through those three days of awful strain and struggle, on this memorable field, breasted, and finally turned back the tide of battle, and opened the way for the immeasurable results which for six and twenty years have been coming of that great encounter. The whole history of it can never be written. There are salient points of it that are graven indelibly on the memories of men. But how much is there, known only to God, that proved the quality of the men on both sides in this fearful fray? Who will ever be able to write in full the history of the rank and file of those great armies, who knew how to do and die, the mortal remnant of so many of whom lies all around us, and others sleep amid the ashes of their kindred? What comprehensive recital will ever be able to give this in full detail?
What human heart can ever fail to say: Alas, that such an onset there must ever needs have been! But that it was; and that so it was carried on; and that so it ended, remains indelibly written.
In the calmer light of the years which have followed it, we are better able to see whence came its terrible necessity.
We shall have no adequate view of this great problem, unless we can climb to a point of observation high enough to carry our vision over centuries.
The value of individual human nature, and from that, its sanctity in the sight of Heaven, and the steady evolution of this in successive ages, underlies all human history. There were ages in that history in which this was no recognized factor. Either it was never suspected, or if some gleam of it crept into human thought and utterance, it was treated only as the dream of an impracticable enthusiasm. Millions lived and died, and still this imperishable item entered not into human computation. Slowly, so slowly as scarcely to provoke notice, like the waste of the granite, or the building up of the coral it began to reach a point where it forced itself on human reckoning. The awful eighty yars war in the Netherlands, under William, the Silent, and his brave son, Maurice, was its first appearance above the sullen waters of human life and endurance. Higher it rose in the English Revolution, under Cromwell. And still small enough for the great ones of earth, either not to notice it or else to despise it, God, who had kept for it this grand western continent, brought it over the sea and gave it here, in the later ages, its opportunity. It had to fight every inch of is way. The mighty forces of earthly power were at length awakened to its importance, and were resolved on its destruction. France with her Indian allies, and later England in her blind arrogance, would have made an end of it. But neither France nor England could turn back the tide of God’s almighty providence. So long as there was resistance to it from without, that resistance only developed its strength. And none could stay it. Its crucial testing came when thee was no longer any resistance to it from without, and it had grown in conscious inward strength. But in that conscious strength came the startling revelation that it did not fairly comprehend itself. But at length, that, gradually, but irresistibly forced itself upon it. Entirely within itself arose questions which would not, could not be shoved aside. Complicated with related though subsidiary and yet momentous issues, this grand substrative question forced itself upon the new nation: Was it a nation? Or was it only a congeries of sub-nationalities? In the complexity of its chosen form of self-government was the whole republic one nation, or was it only a collocation of self-centered governments, any one of whom might at will isolate itself? Perhaps such a question could not have been foreseen; or if foreseen by prophetic eyes, might be supposed to have been adequately provided for. But it had not been provided for, perhaps could not have been. And so at length it must be met. The occasion came, the occasion which was not the cause. It was met. And it has been settled. AT what fearful cost we know. But the result has been reached. The republic is one nation, henceforth indissoluble. All men know it. In the terrible struggle in which that question came to its settlement, one mighty momentous step was taken in this place wherein we are to-day assembled. And this place is the memorial, not alone of the grandeur of the nationality of the republic, but of the dauntless courage and magnificent heroism and vigorous character that were manifest in reaching the sublime issue. The whole nation has come to know itself, and the world across the ocean has already taken such notice of it as will make it slow henceforth to call it in question.
A quarter of a century seems long doubtless to eyes that look forward to it. But in the advance of human events it is not long. It is but a small item. And yet what results have in this last quarter of a century been following the events of which this place is the memorial. We are consciously one nation. Sectional divergencies are at an end. The whole land is one. And all of it belongs to every part of it. Has the sun in the heavens ever looked on a mightier struggle that came to a swifter healing? How rapidly the men that were left of the vast armies returned to their places in home, and mart, and field and forum. In the grand struggle men contended as only freemen can contend. And the struggle over, the reconciliation has been grandly, securely such as only freemen can make. How rapidly has the bitterness passed away! How fairly and fully are we one people again! No fierce retributions, nor recriminations; no hideous attainders. The healing is as swift and sure as the hurt was sharp. And that will go on until it is complete. Let no man question it. The new generation, the land over, accepts the result. With the old generation will pass away all that had better pass away. Each part of the land gives freely of its confidence, of its capital, of its enterprise, of its industries, of its methods, to every other part. Its white-winged ships upon the sea, its busy lines of railroad and telegraph, its enterprising sons, weave over the whole country a network to bind it in conscious unity. And this will increase year by year, until it is complete. Let us thank God for it!
Men of Connecticut, your ancient state is only just to herself in sending you hither to-day to plant here her memorial of her gallant children who had their part in the eventful struggle. Her history reaches back to the dim far off period when the grand idea of human life of which we have been speaking, was lifting itself sturdily against the oppression of the infatuated princes of England. Her motto is “Qui transtulit sustinet:” He who has transplanted, nourishes. It was the resolute faith in God, and the reverential fear of Him in which had been founded her earliest colonies, which had chosen such a motto. And her history has justified it. There has been no pause in the evolution of the Divine purpose. There could be none, cost what it might. She, as do others, remembers what it cost. And tenderly cherishing the memory of her faithful children, she sets here their memorial. Their fidelity, their courage are not to be forgotten. All honor to her brave dead! All honor to her faithful living! The summer days return as in a dream, when the white tents of her 17th Regiment gleamed on the sward where the blue waters of the Sound run up and kiss the shore. There went forth in that battalion brave men who were not to return: Walters, Fowler, Wilcoxson, Moore, and their gallant comrades; and brave men who were to come again with spotless escutcheon, and some with honorable scars, like the gallant leader, who wears so gracefully the star so chivalrously won. Let us remember too the mothers who gave their sons, the wives who gave their husbands, the households which sent their best beloved in the time of need and trial. Heavenly blessings be upon them! Their sacrifice was accepted of Heaven.
Veteran soldiers of the 17th Regiment; brave, true, faithful men, this memorial stone, unveiled by the gentle hand of the fair child of one of your number, will remain to tell to generations yet unborn the significant story. Amid the lavish plenty and solid freedom, and secure equity, and hospitable welcome to all men, it will stand to tell that by such men as you, under God’s providence, such a goal was won. Your valor, your purpose, your endurance, your privations in camp and march, and field, your honorable wounds, the life devoted of your comrades were not in vain. The nation is one. More than this memorial stone, the stupendous civil and social blessings which make our country what it is are its witnesses. Long after this memorial stone shall have crumbled, the generations to come will apprehend the results that came of this mighty struggle, in a united country, and a beneficent government, and a prosperous people.
God bless our whole land, and prosper it! And let all the people say, Amen!
Governor Bulkeley’s letter was read by Sergeant Patrick Wade, Jr., at unveiling of Seventeenth Regiment Monument:
(State of Connecticut, Executive Department)
(Hartford, October 15, 1889 )
GENERAL FRANK D. SLOAT,
My Dear Sir: I have deferred answering your kind invitation to accompany the veterans of the Seventeenth and Twenty-seventh Connecticut Regiments on their pilgrimage to the historic field of Gettysburg in the hope that I could find it possible to return an acceptance, but am compelled now to express my regrets at my inability to make the journey with you, and to participate in the ceremonies of dedication and transfer of the monuments erected there to the illustrious sons of Connecticut that participated in that decisive battle of the rebellion.
M. G. BULKELEY.
The monument of the Seventeenth Regiment C.V., consists of a granite base five feet and three inches square, with rock face finish. On this are two plinths, one bearing in large raised letters, with polished faces, the words, “17th Conn. Vols.” On these plinths rests a massive die, on the front of which is cut in bold relief the State, and United States coat of arms, with the State motto “Qui transtulit sustinet” in polished letters cut on an artistic scroll underneath. The other three sides are polished and lettered as follows:
On the left face, “17th Conn. Infantry, 2d Brigade, 1st Division, 11th Corps.”
On the right, “This monument is erected by the State of Connecticut to honor her brave sons.”
On the back, “After a fierce contest with Early’s Division at Barlow’s Knoll, on July 1st, marked by monument there, this regiment formed in line of battle on East Cemetery Hill, and on the evening of July 2d, took position here, and was engaged in repulsing the desperate night assault of Hayes and Hokes’ Brigade.”
A moulded cap rests on the die and from the springs a shaft about nine feet high, on the front of which is beautifully carved a wreath of polished oak and laurel leaves. Near the top of the shaft is a large polished crescent, the corps badge of the regiment.
The whole is surmounted with a moulded cap with gables on each side, on two of which are the polished figures “17,” and on the other two polished corps badges. The entire structure is over twenty feet high.
At the close of the exercise several photographers secured views of the monument together with the veterans and their friends.
In the afternoon the Twenty-seventh marched to a special train, the Seventeenth acting as an escort, and proceeded to their monument. It marks their most advanced position, in one of the fiercest charges of that great battle by which Brooks’ brigade, of which the Twenty-seventh was a conspicuous part in the charge, dislodging the enemy from the wheat field whence a galling fire was rained upon the troops. By the charge the enemy were forced out of the wheat field and away from the left of General Sickles’ brigade, whose flank was being turned by the enemy.
The memorial of the Twenty-seventh C.V., is a handsome, solid and durable sarcophagus, seven feet in length, and of breadth and height to correspond, and is of beautiful Chester granite.
The exercises consisted of an invocation by Rev. Mr. Warner; a report by General Frank D. Sloat, of New Haven; Hon. Lynde Harrison, of New Haven, delivered an oration, and then Prof. Calvin Hamilton, as one of the directors of the Memorial Association, accepted the monument.
Hon. E. H. Carrington, President of the Twenty-seventh Regiment Association, responded to the brief report of General F. D. Sloat, Chairman of the Monumental Committee, as follows:
General Sloat and Gentlemen of the Monumental Committee:
For the second time the friends and survivors of the Twenty-seventh Regiment are assembled on this historic battle-field to accept and dedicate a monument, for which we all tender to you our sincere thanks.
The granite shaft on yonder field, marking the spot where our loved Colonel Merwin fell, and dedicated to his memory and the memory of his associates who fell on this field, and this new monument, speaks in language more eloquent than any that I can use for your zeal and fidelity in providing these mementoes to the men of the Twenty-seventh and their heroic deeds. As one of the few surviving members of this regiment whom the fortunes of war permitted to share in the glories of the battle-field of Gettysburg, let me thank you for the accuracy with which you have selected appropriate places upon which to place these monuments. As a member of the present Legislature of the State of Connecticut, which without a dissenting vote passed the appropriation for this monumental stone, I can assure you in its name, that the sum appropriated has been wisely expended, and in the same of the State, and in behalf of the Twenty-seventh Regiment, I accept the work done by you, and I think I may add in behalf of every citizen of Connecticut that your work is approved in every particular.
ORATION OF HON. LYNDE HARRISON.
Gentlemen of the Gettysburg Battle-field Memorial Association:
It was the battle-summer after Seven Pines and Malvern Hill. The prophecies of the brilliant Premier Secretary had not been fulfilled. The armies of Halleck in the West and McClellan in the East were resting after a series of battles full of negative results. Neither a Sherman nor a Grant had yet come to the front. The promises of hope were as illusory as the shifting colors of the rainbow.
The fiery cross of war had passed for the third time over the hills of New England and the summons had been answered with all the patriotism, and with more of the determination than when Sumter fell.
From no portion of the North was the response more ready than among the patriots who dwelt within the ancient boundaries of the little Republic founded by Eaton and Davenport. Under the elms of the University City of Connecticut there rapidly gathered the clerk from his desk, the merchant from the counter, the workman from his bench, the farmer from the hillside, and the undergraduate from the halls of recitation, to organize and to march shoulder to shoulder under the stars of the Union and the vines of the Colony.
Nearly a generation has passed since that October day of which this is the anniversary, when a brilliant autumn sun looked down upon the golden brown forests that fringed our coasts, and kissed the cheeks of the brave lads of the Twenty-seventh Connecticut as they marched forth with free step to take their places with the great host that kept watch and ward below the Potomac.
In the ranks of that regiment the grandsons, of men who had fought from Bunker Hill to Yorktown, touched elbows with the sons of blonde warriors who had paced the heights where Ehrenbreitstein guards the swiftly flowing Rhine.
The major portion of a year had passed, and this regiment which had been decimated upon the bloody slopes of Maryes Hill, and had been sacrificed in the wilderness at Chancellorsville to cover the retreat of Hooker’s army, sent its torn flags and a remnant only of its brave eight hundred, to guard from the mighty invasion of Lee your glorious Commonwealth founded by Penn.
This State, upon whose soil we stand, has been more than a sister to Connecticut ever since the settlements upon the Susquehanna, founded by our kinsmen, sent their representatives to, and took their laws from, the Assemblies which gathered at Hartford and New Haven under the charter of King Charles.
It was a fateful irony for the Confederate cause that the pivotal battle of the war for the Union should have been fought on the soil of the State whose poetic name in the Old Union told the story of an unbroken arch.
As Saratoga was the forerunner of Yorktown, Gettysburg was the promise of Appomattox. The triumph of Burgoyne would have made the surrender of Cornwallis an impossibility. The overthrow of Meade at Gettysburg would have transferred the seat of war permanently to a point North of the line of Mason and Dixon.
As we follow the wayward fortunes of the great contest from the hour the gallant and unfortunate Reynolds led his corps against the advance of Hill, down to that glorious moment when Pickett’s Virginians were thrown back from the batteries of Cemetery Hill in a disorder as wild as the waves of the Atlantic, when dashed from the granite coasts of New England, no hour was so pivotal, for disaster or triumph, as that which followed the desperate attempt of Longstreet to flank Sickles, and capture Little Round Top.
With Little Round Top held by Lee when the sun of July 2d, set, the hands of the dial of time would have been turned backward for the Western continent, as surely as the history of human events would have been changed if Blucher had failed to reach Waterloo.
The clear perception of Warren, the desperate bravery of Sickles, and the grand courage of the brigades that rushed to the protection of his corps saved Little Round Top to the Stars and Stripes. Far, far, to the front, and beyond all others, on that fateful day charged the regiments of Brooks’ brigade, and foremost among them was the Twenty-seventh Connecticut.
Through the famous Wheatfield, led by the whole-souled Merwin and the faithful Chapman, they charged up this ridge, performing deeds of valor which might furnish a canto for another Homer to write another Iliad. Upon this hallowed spot the men of Connecticut, New York, Delaware and Pennsylvania, performed with steady courage the acts that, “Held the fort;” and Gettysburg was won.
The State of Connecticut to commemorate what her sons did, places this memorial here. It is composed of granite from the hills of New England which the glaciers barely scratched, and the storms of centuries will beat upon it in vain.
The student of history and of military science, a thousand years from now will read upon the myriad stones that mark this battle-field the story of a nation’s triumph. Solferino was the initial point of Italian unity, and Sadowa marks the beginning of the great struggles that made Germany one people, but Solferino is not, and Sadowa cannot be marked by these symbols of a nation’s gratitude. The historian of future generations will tell them that the war for the Union stands out in the history of mankind, among all those of modern times, because it stood for the emancipation of a race, as well as the solidification of a nation, and demonstrated in its results the capacity of men for self-government. In the same degree because Gettysburg broke forever the ambitious hopes of those who sought to destroy the Union, in that war, it is pre-eminently the famous battle-field of the world.
This great loyal Commonwealth, has the thanks of all its sister States for creating your Association and putting in your hands the custody of these historic fields. In your hands Connecticut, and the friends and survivors of the Twenty-seventh Regiment leave this memorial stone.
Here the blood of Pennsylvania and Connecticut cemented forever the arch of an indestructible Union whose foundations are to-day as firmly resting upon the shores of the Gulf as by the waters of the Great Lakes. While the memories of what was accomplished here in the three burning days of 1863 are fondly cherished forever in the hearts of all the sons and daughters of this Union, Pennsylvania enjoys the sacred trust of guarding all these outward symbols, and in her hands we gladly leave them.
On the close of the exercises the visitors took at the various monuments in that locality, until warned by approaching rain, which arrived and drove them to headquarters between four and five o’clock.
During the evening the members of the regiments and their friends assembled at the Opera House, adjoining the McClellan House, when the meeting was called to order by Colonel Henry Huss, of Mt. Vernon, N.Y., who announced General Noble as the president of the meeting. On the platform were Rev. Mr. Warner, Rev. Dr. Thompson, General F. D. Sloat, Past Department Commander I. B. Hyatt, Major Doty, Sergeant Wade, Colonel George M. White, George C. Waldo and others.
Colonel Huss acted as Master of Ceremonies, and General Noble presented Mr. Blocher, of Gettysburg, (whose residence is near the first Seventeenth Regiment Monument, and who had for the past five years attended to the raising of the National Colors on the flag staff at Barlow’s Knoll) with a handsomely framed set of engrossed resolutions. Owing to the feebleness of Mr. Blocher, the response was made in his behalf by Rev. Mr.Warner.
Colonel Huss then called Sergeant Wade to the front and addressed him as follows:
COMRADE WADE: I HAVE BEEN CALLED UPON TO PERFORM A VERY PLEASANT DUTY. The only regret in the matter I have, is my inability to command language fitted for the occasion. At our last re-union at Noroton, Dr. Munson handed me a letter. It contained a five dollar bank note, and highly complimented Comrade Wade for his efforts in helping his comrades, and expressed the wish that he might be presented with a testimonial and the presentation to take place at the unveiling of our monument at Gettysburg, and as the writer signs a Veteran’s wife, the request was cheerfully granted.
Now, we are well aware that comrade Wade is partial to the ladies, and whenever in their presence he always “takes the cake,” and I have not the slightest doubt but that he will take it upon this occasion. We can with good grace endorse all the excellent sayings the good lady writes, and properly add that he at all times, is not only the friend to the soldier but to any and all who may need his advice and services, and any reasonable request made and it lay in his power, we can feel assured that it will be granted. We might quote many cases, but this would not be news to you, as you all know comrade Wade. The faithful friend to our lamented late comrade George W. Keeler, was an example worthy of commendation. How many letters he wrote and sent, and when the indications were favorable he sent the joyous tidings broadcast to his friends and comrades with the sincere wish that he might soon recover his good health and be with us in our daily walks of life.
No brother could be more mindful of the slightest wish nor more willing to endure hardships or sacrifice comforts for a needy comrade, and many who have pitched their tents on the Eternal camping ground, had good cause to bless comrade Wade for the sunlight he brought when everything seemed dark and dismal.
Who was the life of Company K? The answer echoes back, Sergeant Wade. We might fill volumes with his good deeds.
Comrade Wade, your many friends have taken this method of expressing to you their respect and esteem, and it gives me great pleasure to present to you this testimonial, with the sincere wish that good health and prosperity be your constant companion through life, and when you look upon this dial you may be reminded that your many friends have honored themselves by honoring you. God bless you.
The present consisted of a magnificent gold watch and chain.
Comrade Wade was completely taken by surprise, but instead of retreating he pressed forward to the front and received the gifts in a few appropriate remarks, at the close of which the “4.30 McDonald,” who was in the audience, had to ask what time it was, and he got the answer.
The Rev. Dr. Thompson then presented General Noble, and wife, each with a watch charm, in the form of miniature drums, made from the root of the old oak tree on Barlow’s Knoll. The gifts were received and responded to by the General whose white flowing locks “brought down the house” every time the old soldier came to the front, notwithstanding the fact that the members of the Regiment made some fun of the General’s penmanship.
General Sloat, of New Haven, then made a pleasant speech closing with the recital of some verses in honor of woman. Remarks were then made by Colonel White, Comrade Wells, Captain Wilson of the New York Zouaves, Mayor Miles, of Meriden. The exercises were then closed by singing “Marching through Georgia,” and “America,” led by Comrade Hyatt, of Meriden, while the entire audience joined in the chorus.
When the visitors arose Wednesday morning they found the ground white and the snow falling fast, which continued the greater part of the forenoon, but for all that many of them improved the time in viewing the monuments and other historic points and places of interest on the great battle-field, although the weather was quite cold and large icicles could be seen hanging on the trees and fences until noon. At our visit in July, 1884, there were but few monuments on the battlefield, now there are two hundred and eighty-seven all of which are Union except one, that one being Confederate representing a Maryland regiment, and is placed within four feet of the Union breastwork on Culp’s Hill. Many of the monuments are very handsome and on the entire field there cannot be found two alike. The plainest one we remember of seeing, (we are sorry to say) is that of the gallant Fifth Connecticut, and we hope the day is not far distant when that regiment may have another and a handsomer monument. They deserve it. Connecticut evidently did her share in the terrible three days’ struggle, as she was represented on the memorable battle-field by the Fifth, Fourteenth, Seventeenth, Twentieth, Twenty-seventh Regiments of Infantry, and also the Second Connecticut Battery.
Evidently the center of interest to the majority of visitors to Gettysburg is the National Cemetery which embraces seventeen acres of ground, the highest point of which overlooks nearly the whole battle-field. The grounds were consecrated on the 19th of November, 1863, when President Lincoln standing on the spot now crowned by the National Monument delivered his immortal speech. The dead of each State, and of the regular army, also of the unknown dead are buried in separate plots, arranged in rows in a semi-circle, in the center of which stands the National Monument, erected to commemorate their heroic deeds. Three thousand five hundred and eighty Union soldiers are entombed within its borders.
Our readers, however, do not want to get the idea that all of the Gettysburg interest is embraced within the walls of the cemetery, but to go out to the great battle field and view “Little Round Top,” the “Devil’s Den,” the “Valley of Death,” the “Bloody Angle” and the “Wheat Field,” where the rebel Picket charged our line on July 3d, only to be repulsed and leave the ground covered with his dead braves.
Our party left Gettysburg at seven o’clock Thursday morning, and arrived at the Grand Central Depot, N.Y., in time to take the four o’clock P.M. train for home, and we doubt if there was a single person but who was pleased with the trip.
Jones paid the freight.
Everybody “fell in rapidly.”
Isaac is a singer, and don’t you forget it.
Selah introduced the party, but his wife was along.
The lost has been found, and is now in New London.
Captain Gray was there but he did not bring the turtle.
The agent for the “Gin-Sling” house did not get many patrons.
It was a “slobbering bib” and Mrs. Wade took it home with her.
The party who were photographed at Devil’s Den, look well on paper.
We appreciate the gift of Pennsylvania coal from 4.30, although it was a short ton.
The New London ship chandler had enough left to pay his fare across the ferry.
We wonder how comrade McGee of Bethlehem found his relics when he arrived home.
Little Hettie Huss looked fine with her soldier cap on, as she pulled the flag from off the monument.
He said it was a first rate crowd, but they hadn’t spent two dollars at the bar since they were here.
An account of the trip, together with the exercises and orations, are to be printed in pamphlet form.
Corporal George Hale visited the house in which he was held as a prisoner after the first day’s fight.
Blakeman did not have a brick in his hat, but he brought home a brick from the renowned “Bliss” house.
That was a jolly part at the residence of comrade Warner, Wednesday evening, and the grandchild of the old vet was remembered.
The location of the Seventeenth Monument is on the identical spot where our own Captain Burr captured the Louisiana “Tiger” color bearer.
Bailey, of the Danbury News, was there and he says the roadways are paved with cobble stones, and from their appearance he should judge the street commissioner was killed during the battle of ’63.
When any of our friends visit Gettysburg, we would refer them to George A. Warner, the well-known battle-field Guide and Driver. He is an old veteran, has a fine team, and his charges are uncommonly low.
The badges worn by the entire party-including the ladies-were of silk on which were inscribed in gold characters the corps insignia and the names of the two regiments, the name of Gettysburg, and the date, Oct. 21-24, 1889.
In the body of a large cherry tree, within a few feet of the house of John L. Sherfy, is still to be seen a solid twelve pound shot. The house was also riddled with rebel bullets, and during the battle the father and mother remained in the cellar of the building.
When General Hancock made his last visit to Gettysburg, he cut a cane on “Little Round Top” and presented it to a young man of Gettysburg. That identical cane, together with a gun barrel picked up in the rock crevices at Devil’s Den, were presented to a committee of the Seventeenth who brought them to New York. They were presented to Hancock Post, G.A.R., November 26th, a very pleasant evening being spent.
NAMES OF THE EXCURSIONISTS.
The following are the names of the excursionists to Gettysburg:
P. Wade, Jr. and Wife – Bridgeport
George C. Waldo ”
Charles Sturll ”
L. S. Catlin ”
George Gregory ”
Rev. Beverly E. Warner and Wife ”
Mathew Ward ”
Patrick Otis ”
John H. Porter ”
Major Wm. L. Hubbell ”
Gen. Wm. H. Noble and Daughter ”
S. R. Tomlinson ”
Henry M. Lyon ”
L. N. Middlebrook ”
Major Thomas Boudren ”
R. T. Whiting and Wife ”
C. B. Curtis and Wife Birmingham
S. G. Blakeman and Wife ”
E. S. Rounds ”
C. B. Brooks and Wife ”
Almon Ruggles Shelton
M. B. Perry ”
Sylvester Rounds and Wife ”
J. H. Blakeman and Daughter Stratford
A. H. Blakeman ”
L. B. Wakeman Green’s Fms.
John S. Jones and Wife Westport
Fred. Wakeman ”
George Hale and Wife ”
Rev. A. C. Hubbell Danbury
William T. Bronson ”
John Benedict ”
Capt. Henry Quien ”
George Bradley ”
Henry G. Smith ”
Cyrus Raymond, Wife and Daughter ”
George S. Purdy ”
Horace Purdy ”
James M. Bailey ”
Mrs. J. B. Ridge ”
Robert S. Dauchy Bethel
J. L. Johnson ”
William W. Gilbert Norwalk
Sylvester Keeler ”
Patrick Buckley and Wife ”
Alonzo Wheeler ”
Fred. Buttery and Wife ”
R. L. Ells ”
Floyd Ruscoe ”
George Mills ”
John Lockwood and Wife ”
Chas. E. Seymour and Wife So. Norwalk
James A. Brown and Wife ”
Chas. E. Doty and Wife ”
R. M. Hoyt and Wife ”
Chas. Smith and Daughter ”
A. W. Lee Ridgefield
C. Burr Todd Redding
Rufus Buttery New Canaan
Solomon Close Stamford
Gen. Frank D. Sloat New Haven
Henry W. Clark and Wife ”
George T. Dade ”
Major R. P. Cowles ”
John A. Munson and Wife ”
C. E. Clinton and Wife ”
Col. Simeon J. Fox and Wife ”
Dwight W. Baldwin and Wife ”
George W. Lewis and Wife ”
G. R. Chamberlin and Wife ”
W. A. Harris and Wife ”
Mrs. George H. Bradley ”
Milton Bradley ”
Hon. Lynde Harrison and Wife ”
George W. Elkins ”
Charles Lane ”
E. F. Baldwin and Wife ”
E. W. Sperry ”
N. H. Hoyt, Wife and Son ”
M. L. Church and Daughter ”
Joseph Bishop ”
W. A. Parmelee and Daughter ”
C. H. Merwin and Wife ”
Jas. A. Church and Wife ”
Mrs. J. C. Coe ”
Mrs. A. H. Covert ”
Wm. H. Warren and Wife ”
Joseph Altholl ”
Henry Hale ”
H. H. Taintor and Wife ”
John S. Cannon ”
Col. George M. White ”
William S. Wells ”
L. B. Hinman and Wife ”
George E. Dudley and Son ”
Rich’d M. Russell and Wife ”
William C. Scovil ”
John G. Chapman and Wife ”
A. F. Tilton ”
Frederick Hipelius ”
A. J. Puffer and Wife ”
S. F. Munson and Wife ”
J. D. Murray and Wife ”
E. T. Payne ”
H. C. Hastings ”
Ernest H. Crawford ”
F. H. Francis ”
Frank M. Crawford ”
E. T. Wilcox and Wife ”
Charles E. Hart and Wife ”
David Ford, Wife and Daughter ”
Dr. R. B. Goodyear No. Haven
F. W. Tuttle Fair Haven
Henry A. Barnes ”
E. B. Royce West Haven
Hon. E. H. Carrington Naugatuck
John W. Merwin Woodmont
F. S. Hitchcock ”
Joseph R. Clark and Wife Milford
Eldridge L. Cornwall ”
Henry Cornwall ”
Edwin B. Baldwin and Wife ”
John W. Buckingham ”
Almon E. Clark ”
J. Hutchinson Branford
Joseph T. Nettleton ”
Edward E. Bishop ”
H. Z. Nichols ”
Richard McGee Bethlehem
Lewis Hitchcock and Wife Woodbridge
J. W. Rice and Wife ”
Elton Warner ”
J. C. Chapman Middletown
C. S. Darrow and Wife New London
Isaac B. Hyatt, Wife and Sister Meriden
Wallace A. Miles ”
A. C. Harmon Suffield
F. E. Hastings ”
W. Wilson, Jr. New York
Mrs. W. Wilson ”
Carrie Wilson ”
Master O. H. Wilson ”
R. J. Draddy and Son Mt. Vernon
Henry Huss and Daughters ”
E. W. Finch, M. D. New Roch’le.
Rev. Alexander R. Thompson and Son Brooklyn
Col. R. S. Bostwick and Wife ”
G. H. Hodonpyt ”
C. F. Betts ”
T. Green ”
Willis McDonald, Wife and Sister ”
William J. Tait ”
John Sackett L. I. City
Capt. Theodore Gray Newark
For extra copies of this pamphlet, send 25 cents to
P. WADE, Jr.,