From "HISTORY OF WHEELING and Ohio County, West Virginia and
Edited & Compiled by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer. Biographical Publishing, 1902; pgs. 209-218.
Submitted by Linda Fluharty.
On the 23rd day of September, 1886, a Tri-State Reunion was an event the equal of which, in its way, was never before witnessed in Wheeling. In general and profuse decorations nothing ever approached it, except the celebration of the Centennial, and that did not equal it. The crowd has seldom been surpassed in Wheeling, and this crowd was unfavorably affected by threats of rain, by the rain of the night before, and by the fact that at least two of the railroads instead of cooperating with the committee in securing a large attendance seemed actuated by a desire to prevent the people from coming to the city. It is safe to assert that under circumstances entirely favorable the crowd in town would have been twice as large.
As it was everything passed off smoothly, everybody was pleased, and the success of the Tri-State Reunion of 1886 did much to contribute to the success of the Society of the Army of West Virginia in 1887.
The grand parade and review of the veterans took place as arranged for in the programme. Like everything else about the reunion, it was a big success, and made a very decided impression upon the thousands that lined the streets along the line of march. While the number in line was not as large as many expected to see, the procession was still a notable and interesting one. The heavy rain of the previous night had made the streets, except those paved with the brick blocks, very muddy and slippery and difficult to march over. This fact and the clouds, which threatened rain all the morning, served to keep a large number out of the ranks. Indeed, it was a common remark that the number of old soldiers in the crowds that filled the sidewalks and watched the column swing by almost equaled the number marching in the streets.
At daybreak a national salute of 13 rounds was fired on the State Fair Grounds from the 12-pound Parrot gun brought down from East Liverpool and handled by a squad under the command of Capt. Joshua Curfman. At the same time the clear, ringing notes of the reveille were sounded by Bugler Roller from the top of Wheeling hill. The thundering echoes of the salute had not yet ceased reverberating among the Ohio and West Virginia hills, and the bugle call was yet sounding, when the city was wide awake and the streets alive with the bustle of preparation.
Decorations disturbed by the wind and rain of the night before were arranged and additional flags and mottoes put out. The day broke bright and clear, but soon after the sky was overcast with clouds that betokened rain. Only a few drops fell, however, and the clouds served to shield the marchers from the sun's rays. The day was warm, but not oppressively so.
Col. W. B. Curtis, who had been chosen the chief marshal of the day, had issued his order commanding the troops to be in position to move promptly at nine o'clock, but it was not until after ten o'clock the order to move was passed along the line. The delay was occasioned by the lateness of trains bearing troops that were to take part in the parade. As it was, several companies did not get into the city in time to start with the column, and were obliged to drop in at various points along the route.
With the troops from out of the city came their families and other excursionists, filled with patriotic desires to make the Tri-State Reunion as much of a success as possible. Everybody seemed to take a special interest in the occasion, and it was largely this that made the reunion such an eminent success. The excursionists mingled with the residents, who were out in force and crowded the sidewalks so that locomotion was a rather formidable task unless the muddy streets were resorted to.
From eight to nine o'clock the scene on Market street from Twelfth to the postoffice and in the Public Square were full of interest and life. This was especially the case about the general headquarters, just below the McLure House. There the street was packed full; there was a continual reunion in progress for over two hours, and as each delegation from out of the city arrived the enthusiasm increased until it had infected everyone. The men cheered and sang; the drums rolled and marked the old-time step, and the fife's shrill accompaniment was heard above all the noise. Bands played patriotic airs; comrades who had not seen each other since the war rushed into each other's arms and wept for very joy as they gazed in each other's eyes and clasped hands once again.
Generals and colonels and majors on horses dashed about with martial bearing, - good riders mostly, who had seen service too long to sit uneasily in the saddle on such a playday as this. Horses, too, were full of the spirit of the occasion; they were slick fellows, fattened at the crib without compensatory service, but for all the world war horses; many of the saddle stocks were worn and faded, the burnish of the gilt stars somewhat dimmed, but all in condition for efficient service.
About nine o'clock the various G. A. R. posts, companies and regimental organizations began falling into line and taking up their line of march toward the rendezvous, the Public Square. While this was going on an opportunity was afforded to inspect the crowds on the streets.
There were business men, professional men and laboring men; city, town and country people; soldiers and civilians; young and old of both sexes; children by the thousands, under foot and in every place they ought not to be. Everybody was in good humor, with a kindly heart and good wishes for the old veterans. Tiny flags were worn in button-holes by the hundreds of spectators; the best of order prevailed, and the good humor that was everywhere apparent was marked.
Shortly after ten o'clock the bugle sounded the advance and the column too up the line of march. As the commands were given the old soldiers straightened up and with the old, easy- swinging step moved along, happy that they were once more able to join their comrades and renew the warm friendships formed during the Rebellion. At the head of the column rode Chief of Police Smith and 14 men of the force, two or three of them veterans, all mounted. The police were in full dress and looked and rode well. Colonel Curtis and his staff were next in line; they were all men who had seen service in the saddle, and they looked handsome and brave as their steeds pranced along. The "awkward squad," composed of the Tr-State Reunion committees, were next in the line.
Following were the G.A.R. posts, company and regimental organizations, and old soldiers from almost every state in the Union that contributed soldiers to the Union Army; there were bands and drum corps that blew and rattled out the music in a lively manner,- the Richmond, Ohio, cornet band, the Gas City band of Wellsburg, the Union cornet band of Aetnaville, and the famous Opera House band of this city. Junior Vice Commander B. N. Linsey of the Department of Ohio, G.A.R., from Steubenville, was in command of about 200 men from the various posts of Jefferson county. Capt. D. S. Ball, of Canton, Ohio, commanded a squad of about 40 men, representing 22 Ohio regiments.
The Bridgeport drum corps was at the head of a squad of 25 men from Company F, Fiftieth Ohio, commanded by W. T. Steadman. Brannon Post, No. 221, of Bridgeport, under command of Lewis Skidmore, turned out 60 strong. East Liverpool was well represented. It sent a drum corps of 10 pieces, and General Lyon Post, No. 44, with its handsome little post cannon. There were about 50 men in all, counting the men in charge of the post gun, under the command of Fred G. Coxrall and J. N. Rose. Pierpont Post, of Wellsburg, was in line, handsomely uniformed and very enthusiastic. This post also had its post cannon and pulled it through the streets. The cannon are made of shells from the Gettysburg field, are handsomely plated and are complete in every particular. They were frequently fired at street crossings, wherever the column was halted during the march and their deafening reports always brought forth a cheer and the old cry of "Lie down." The men were very proud of their pets and polished them and cared for them in the tenderest manner.
Squire H. C. Peterman was in command of soldiers from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky and California, about 75 altogether. There were in round numbers 125 members of the old First West Virginia Cavalry, Third Brigade, Custer's Division, in line, under command of Captain Grubb, an old Ohio veteran. The cavalry was marshaled by Adjutant F. C. Robinson, Capt. W. A. McCoy and Captain Seltzer. Nearly every man wore a red flannel necktie and a conspicuous yellow badge.
Meade Post, No. 6, of Fairmont, Capt. J. W. Shrayer, had a number of that town's leading citizens in line. J. W. Holliday Post, No. 12, of Wheeling, W. J. Robb, commanding, followed Meade with 28 men in line, headed by McGiven's drum corps. The Cameron drum corps was at the head of S. B. Stiger Post, No. 35, of that place; Daniel Franklin commanded the 75 men this post mustered; they carried a beautiful silk banner. F. W. Stephens Post, No. 35, recently organized in South Wheeling, was out with its own drum corps, 28 strong, commanded by Joseph Arkle. Hon. Josiah Sinclare was at the head of 25 men from Hancock Post, No. 48, of Benwood.
Col. Henry B. Hubbard commanded the old First West Virginia Infantry; there were about 80 survivors of the famous old regiment in line, and they marched in fine form. Capt. S. Kraus commanded the 42 men of the Seventh West Virginia Infantry that reported for duty, - they carried their old battle flags and were manifestly proud of them. The Black Eagle drum corps furnished the music for Battery "D: (Carlin's), First West Virginia Light Artillery; there were 53 of the battery in the column, commanded by Lieutenant Harris. Then there were detachments from the posts at Mount Pleasant, Barnesville and other points. Spangler Post, of Bellaire, and Thoburn Post, both of Martin's Ferry, turned out in great shape. Drummond Post, No. 202, of St. Clairsville, was mounted. There were 60 men under command of Col. J. F. Charlesworth and all were mounted on white or gray horses, - this post was one of the features of the parade.
Bringing up the rear were open carriages containing General Duvall, Capt. John Carlin, West Virginia department commander G. A. R.; Captain B. B. Dovener, treasurer; P. B. Dobbins, Mayor Grubb and Dr. T. H. Logan, W. E. Hughes and Howard Hazlett, the executive committee; officers of the Chamber of Commerce; Captain Hart, of Washington, Pennsylvania, hospital steward of the First West Virginia Infantry; Gen. R. E. Fleming, of Fairmount; Maj. T. Hudson McKee, of Washington, D. D.; Maj. Lee Haymond, of Clarksburg; Surgeon Neale, of the Thirty-first Ohio; Sergeant McCauley; D. W. Arend and John Shusler, of Pittsburg; Col. N. Wilkinson; the Women's Relief Corps attached to Spangler Post, No. 133, of Bellaire, and a number of others. McPherson Camp, No. 1, Sons of Veterans, another East Liverpool organization, was also in line.
All along the route of the procession the decorations were profuse and the cheering and enthusiasm incessant. Over 1,000 men were in line. By 12:30 o'clock all were on the Island, the Infantry crossing on the pontoon bridge and the cavalry and carriages over the suspension bridge.
In getting into the Fair Grounds the rush was so great that a blockade at the gates was with difficulty averted several times. The old "vets" had grown hungry on their march and they broke for the dinner tables at once. The Bellaire Relief Corps ladies hastened to the assistance of the 50 or 60 Wheeling ladies who, under the direction of comrades Waterman and Busby, fed at least 5,000 people in three hours.
The dinner was the greatest success of all the reunion successes, and too much praise and credit cannot be given to the able committee which arranged for and served it. Not only were the soldiers fed, but their wives and families were looked after. In fact, anybody that was hungry could be satisfied for the asking.
The bill of fare consisted of baked beans, cold met, pickles, pickles, bread and hard tack, pie and cheese, doughnuts, cakes and other good things, and Joseph Speidel & Company's "Ohio Valley" coffee. Speidel gave the coffee and made it; there were 11 barrels on tap to commence with, but almost as muchmore had to be made to supply the demand. There was enough of everything for everybody and plenty left after all had gone away. The dinner pleased the men immensely and the liberality displayed in the donating of such generous supplies was very gratifying.
In the afternoon the ladies rested from their work by singing a number of war songs that drew people in large numbers and the dining hall was soon packed with a chorus that could be heard for squared when some old favorite like "Marching Through Georgia" was started. About one o'clock Capt. J. N. Rose, commanding the squad in charge of General Lyon Post's gun, from East Liverpool, fired a salute and soon after the speaking began from a stand erected on the track in front of the grandstand. The grandstand was filled to overflowing and the men stood on the track to the number of several thousands.
Comrade Melvin Richards led the singing, the accompaniment being played by Comrade Sheib. The exercises opened with the singing of "America," in which nearly every one of the vast crowd joined. Captain Dovener then introduced Commander Carlin, who offered a fervent and appropriate prayer. Mayor J. W. Grubb was presented by General Duvall, and in a very few words, which were sensible and to the point, extended the freedom of the city and bade all a hearty welcome back to old Camp Carlisle. Dr. T. H. Logan, president of the Chamber of Commerce, was brought forward on behalf of that body and said:
"Veteran Soldiers: It affords me very great pleasure in behalf of the Chamber of Commerce of Wheeling to second the remarks of his honor, the mayor, and extend to you a cordial and heartfelt welcome.
"And to these words of wisdom we feel prompted to add our hearty congratulations over the fact that so many of you have been spared to meet together in this interesting reunion and to recount in the presence of your wives, children and friends the thrilling incidents of your eventful soldier life.
"We further congratulate you that you have been spared to witness with your own eyes the wonderful and splendid results which have been achieved for our beloved country, by the labors and sacrifices rendered by yourselves and comrades.
"We congratulate you that you have exchanged the weapons of war for the arts of peace; and that the one glorious flag of our country is honored, not only by the allegiance, but by the sincere devotion of both the blue and the gray.
"In conclusion permit me to emphasize, if possible, our words of welcome, to extend our cordial greetings, and to wish you long life in which to enjoy the blessings you have earned for yourselves and your children, and to receive the honors with which a grateful country is glad to crown you."
Maj. T. H. McKee responded to these two welcomes in a speech of considerable length, but which was full of interest. It was listened to attentively and frequently the applause was such that the speaker was obliged to stop and pause. His address abounded in political passages, was well delivered and was one of the most appropriate speeches of the occasion. At the conclusion of Major McKee's eloquent speech the crowd sang heartily, "Shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom," the old soldiers coming in heartily on the chorus.
Captain Dovener then said he was about to call on a man whose name was familiar to every old soldier of three states and to every old soldier of three states and to every person within sound of his voice, - Mr. A. W. Campbell, former editor of the Wheeling Intelligencer. Mr. Campbell's name was received with cheers. Mr. Campbell was called out from the crowd at the rear of the speaker's stand and escorted to the front by General Duvall, and after being presented by Captain Dovener to the audience proceeded to remark that he was on this occasion what, in military parlance, would be called a conscript. He had therefore no special speech to make. The occasion was a speech of itself. It spoke to us of the momentous days of the past, the stirring days of 1861, when the island whereon they were gathered was a camp where there were sworn in the first soldiers from the immediate border who had answered the call of the president of the United States for volunteers to save the national capital and beat back the wave of secession and rebellion that was threatening to sweep over us.
"The historian of the future will have a subject worthy of his pen when he comes to write of those days on this border. He will dwell on that phase of the early conflict that in the opinion of the speaker reflected the highest glory on the loyal people of West Virginia. West Virginia had not voted for Abraham Lincoln in the presidential election pf 1860. The Republican party in her borders was a mere handful. The people as a whole were opposed to that party. All their partisan prejudices were against its ascendancy in the government. But they did not mistake the nature of the issue that was made in 1861. No appeal to their prejudices could disguise the fact from their patriotic instincts that the issue had ceased to be of a partisan character when the South, of which they were nominally a part, had taken up arms to overthrow the government of their fathers. It was then that they ceased to think of themselves as partisans and gave to the world am exhibition of high and devoted loyalty that has never been surpassed in our history. Who can say what might have been the ultimate result of the great conflict had the people of this border thrown their weight and influence into the opposing scale and made of this island another Vicksburg to thwart the navigation of this river and hinder and delay the operations of the government by land and water? Who can say what difference it might have made had the 33,000 loyal troops of West Virginia been enlisted on the other side? That was a time when it did not need a great deal to turn the scale. It is not too much to say that the troops raised on the borders of the slave states saved the Union. They represented the sentiment within the border states that stayed and beat back the rebellion, that enabled the government to get a foothold in the enemy's country. We never can sufficiently honor the men along this border, who saw their duty clear in the dark days of 1861, and it is indeed well that we have these reunions of the heroic men who answered their country's call in those days. These occasions are schools for young who have since appeared on the stage of action. They here learn the story of the war in an impressive way. They see their fathers and grandfathers gathered here, carrying these flags and wearing the insignia of their service, and they hear from familiar lips personal references to the events that have now become matters of history. When I look upon these veterans and remember that year by year these ranks must grow thinner, I think of the welcome that was given by Daniel Webster to the veterans who fifty years after the battle of Bunker Hill appeared once more on the scene to witness the laying of the corner-stone of its now historic monument. 'Venerable men,' said Webster, 'you have come down to us from another generation. Your deeds made it possible for us to assemble here to-day under the flag of our country and commemorate your sacrifices.' So I say to these border veterans who are gathered here on this island to-day, it was your loyalty, your heroism, your sacrifices that preserved this flag that floats above us and made it still the emblem of an undivided country. We owe it all to you, and therefore we extend to you to-day our heartfelt greetings."
After the singing of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," and the announcement of the meeting there next year of the Society of the Army of West Virginia by Captain Carlin, Captain Carlin, Captain Dovener read a letter from Gen. B. F. Kelley, presenting his excuse for absence and expressing his regret, but urging all the boys to meet in Wheeling next. The latter evoked applause. Professor Crago read a fine poem, "The Last Reunion," in that eloquent manner of which he is master. It aroused enthusiasm.
Col. George B. Caldwell was then introduced by Captain Dovener as "one of the biggest soldiers in the army." Colonel Caldwell was greeted with enthusiastic applause and cheers. He made a model reunion speech, short, boiling over with enthusiasm, full of personal reminiscences, not without graver feeling, and concluding with a peroration which was the most eloquent thing heard from the stand during the afternoon. It was generally voted the best speech made, and this verdict is just.
Hon. Lorenzo Danford, of St. Clairsville, a captain in the Fifteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, was then presented, and made an eloquent speech, urging upon the old soldiers their duty to do all in their power to secure pensions for comrades who were entitled to them. These sentiments ere heartily indorsed. His eulogy of Lincoln was grand, and aroused the crowd wonderfully. "Marching Through Georgia" was then sung and the crowd dispersed, with three cheers for Mother Holliday, whom Captain Dovener presented as a "mother in Israel, who gave four sons to the Union."
The Society of the First Virginia Volunteer Infantry met in the Opera House in the evening, Gen. I. H. Duvall, president in the chair. S. F. Dean was made temporary secretary. The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. It was moved that a vote of thanks be tendered to the Wellsburg Brass Band for their services on this occasion. An executive committee of five was named to have general management of the next reunion, the committee being E. C. Irwin, S. F. Dean, C. J. Rawlings, James A. Henry and William Gilchrist. A committee of three was also appointed to formulate rules for the government of the society. The chair appointed T. H. McKee, J. A. McCauly and Hon. Thayer Melvin. A general advisory committee of four was appointed, consisting of Capt. G. M. White, Hon. Thayer Melvin, Capt. Thomas Reed and W. A. Harp. It was moved by Captain Robb that the next annual reunion be held on the first day of the meeting of the Society of the Army of West Virginia, which was adopted, it was agreed that as many of the members as are in the city attend the funeral of Comrade Emery, of Company A, who died Wednesday (Note: John Emery, 1st WV Inf.). A resolution was adopted that the thanks of this society be tendered to Manager Forse for the use of the Opera House so generously adopted by a standing vote: "Resolved, That the thanks of this society in behalf of all our comrades be tendered to the ladies' committee having in charge the entertainment of the veterans. All feel deeply our indebtedness to them for their valuable aid in making this reunion a success, and to the citizens and soldiers of Wheeling we desire to express our obligations for another evidence of their hospitality furnished this day. To Capt. William Price & Company our warmest thanks are returned for free transit across the river by the pontoon bridge - a big-hearted boatman's characteristic act."
The rest of the evening was spent in holding a regimental camp fire, during which a number of interesting speeches were made, notably by Col. Henry Hubbard, Hon. Thayer Melvin and a number of others. The boys separated feeling that the reunion had been an entire success. Colonel Hubbard's address was in the nature of an historical sketch, and it was so interesting and valuable to the members of the regiment and their friends that it is appended in full:
"Comrades and Fellow Soldiers: I will not say your call has taken me by surprise, for a soldier to be surprised is to be disgraced. So anticipating your call I have prepared from memory a short sketch of the First West Virginia Infantry in the three months' service. In doing this it may be well to review the anomalous condition in which the Union men of the border slave states were placed at the commencement of the war. From the standpoint of state sovereignty they were rebels, and as rebels beyond a doubt would they have been treated and punished by fine, imprisonment, confiscation or death had the South succeeded in disrupting the tie that bound the Union together.
"Serious as the outlook was in this direction, it was backed by distrust on the part of the government at Washington to such an extent that they were refused arms with which to assist that government, or with which to protect themselves. In support of this statement let me state a fact which to many of you may be novel, - that is that the guns with which we were armed were furnished by the governor of Massachusetts at the solicitation of A. W. Campbell, S. H. Woodward, E. M. Norton and perhaps others. Such, then, was the condition of the Union men of the border slave states, - cursed as traitors by their state government, and viewed with suspicion by the government at Washington. Such being the case, it is not to their credit that there were men who could view unappalled the approach of the storm which was to burst in fury on their heads, unsheltered as they were by the general government, and cast out by the state to which they owed allegiance, an allegiance they would have gladly paid in any other cause than the rending of the bonds that bound the states together? The trepidation, frown of uncertainty, which affected the boldest, was thrown to the winds when the government proclaimed she would recognize the Union men of the coder slave states, give them arms and commission the officers. But the First Virginia was formed before this, when all was darkness and uncertainty, when no one knew who was to be depended on save God and the right.
"Previous to this, however, a number of companies have been formed here and known as the Home Guards. Some of these were made up of men beyond the period of active service, who when called on to enter the service of the United States, had to decline, while others were composed of younger men, who volunteered to a man. Well do I remember the casting about for arms for these same Home Guards, and the heterogeneousness of their equipment, - old flint-lock muskets which had seen service in the Revolution, if not in Queen Anne's time, horse pistols, squirrel rifles, and shot guns, many of which were mire to be dreaded at the breech than at the muzzle. It was from the ranks of these Home Guards that a large portion of the regiment was recruited.
"The roll of the captains as they stood on the roster, was: Andrew H. Britt, Company A; Edward W. Stevens, Company B; Isaac N. Fordyce, Company C; Montford S. Stokley, Company D; George C. Trimble, Company E; James Connolly, Company F; James F. Kuhn, Company G; Thos. C. Park, Company H; ?. W. Chapman, Company I; George W. Robinson, Company K. The lack of military knowledge was so great amongst us that it made the selection of a colonel one of the greatest difficulty, as no home resident was known who had ever more than shouldered a broom stick a a militiaman; but it was solved by sending for B. F. Kelley, then of Philadelphia, a man who, in bygone times, had directed the movements of the cornstalk and broomhandle brigades at the militia musters on the commons, which then girted our city.
"How happy the selection, none here need to be told, but history will tell to the generations yet to come, scarcely had the regiment been mustered, when the enemy, who had made a lodgment on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad at Grafton, sent a detachment to burn the bridges at this end of the road. No sooner was this known than the order to march was given and this at a time when not a single thing saved muskets and ammunition had been issued. Not a tent, blanket, haversack, canteen, or cooking utensil, not even a cartridge box in which to carry their ammunition.
"Taking the cars here, they moved to the burnt bridges, and from there taking the advance, supported by the gallant fellows from Ohio and Indiana, moved toward Grafton, from which point the enemy fell back at their approach to Phillipi. From Grafton a move to Phillipi was made, which, though successful, was at the cost of a serious wound to the Colonel, which was so severe that it retired him from active service for the remainder of his term of enlistment. This being among the first successful moves against the enemy, it received, as it deserved, no little applause. Called by the suffrage of the officers in an election held at Philippi, where five companies of the regiment were encamped at the time, to the honorable position of lieutenant-colonel. I joined them at that place, and will not soon forget my first night in camp.
"Arriving after night I found quarters with Lieutenant McNeely in the tent he had borrowed from the Seventh Indiana, but before the introductions were fairly through a storm of wind and rain came on that gave us work for most of the night to keep our tents from being carried bodily away. The wind was so violent that it blew down large trees in camp, fortunately without injury to any of the command. Along toward morning, while lying down, I heard the orderly that was stationed in front of the tent challenge, and soon heard an inquiry for the Colonel. I at once went to the opening in the tent and inquired what was wanted, and was gravely informed by the party that he had recruited a company which he wished inspected and mustered into service, and that the company was paraded in the rear of the tent.
"Partly realizing the condition of the men from what I had learned from Lieutenant McNeely, I thought it best to humor the man, and so accompanied him. On turning the rear of the tent I found a company of 16 men drawn up in line, each with a flour barrel over his head, and reclining against a stump was a 'paddy' placarded with the intelligence that he had been drowned in the storm. After complimenting the officer on the fine appearance of his men, and assuring him they would be mustered, I advised him to dismiss them to their quarters, when I was politely informed they carried their quarters with them. Here were men who had been for six weeks without shelter, and for three weeks without anyone to look after them, the major being sick, the colonel wounded, the lieutenant-colonel not having reported for duty after being commissioned.
"This you will remember was before years of service had inured them to hardships, and was aggravated by the fact that they were surrounded by troops from Ohio and Indiana who were fairly burdened with the amount of their outfit, many of them having been furnished with overcoats as for a winter campaign. After breakfast I ordered a parade of the battalion for inspection, and I hope you will consider it no disgrace to my manhood, when I tell you tears nearly choked my utterance when I saw the condition they were in. Lying out in the weather for weeks, they were 'soiled doves' and no mistake, besides which many were shoeless, hatless, shirtless, and one poor fellow really breechless, and to hide his nakedness had to wrap himself up in part of an old quilt!
"The night's rain, with their previous exposure, had produced no small degree of mutiny, and from all parts of the camp previous to parade could be heard the cry of 'Camp Carlisle,' 'Camp Carlisle,' for which, sympathizing as I did with them, I could hardly blame them. However, I counseled them to commit no overt act until I could see what could be done by seeing General Morris, at Grafton, when if nothing could be done to better their condition, I would head the column for Camp Carlisle. So dismissing them, I turned my horse's head, and though the rain was pouring down, started for Grafton. In fact, it had been a steady pour all through the parade, but as they had no shelter to go to it mattered little whether they were on parade or not.
"At Grafton I found General Morris, to whom I told my story and demanded some relief for the men. The General, who had very patiently heard my story, quietly remarked when I got through, 'Perhaps you had better see General McClellan," and sent an orderly to show the way.
"Permit me to say right here that General McClellan's sympathy and kindness on that occasion will never be forgotten by me, for on hearing my statement he told me to go to the quartermaster's department and see what I could find that I could make available, and make a requisition for it, and he would approve it and have it started for camp at once. While I was there he telegraphed to Wheeling for tents, which were loaded on the cars that night, and two days after everyman of the five companies was comfortably sheltered, and Camp Carlisle for a time forgotten.
"I have no doubt that many of you who were on the Hunter raid, or similar expeditions, will be disposed to smile at the idea of my being so worked up over the hardships of the men, but you must remember everything is measured by comparison, and this was in the days when McCook's regiment had 52 two-horse teams to move its baggage. The move on Philippi was followed by the move on Laurel Hill, but General McClellan's success at Rich Mountain made it necessary for the Johnnies to light out from there in such a hurry that they had not time to strike a tent, and from that time on tents were at such a discount that I used one as a stable for my horse. A day's march took us from Laurel Hill to Beverly, where we remained until our time expired, and we were ordered home to be mustered out.
"Of the five companies belonging to the regiment it is proper to say they were generally scattered, - some doing duty as bridge guards on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, others at Buchanan. But all collected at Grafton, from where we took the cars for Wheeling and Camp Carlisle."
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