from the Fitchburg Daily Sentinel, Tuesday, 22 October 1907
| Veteran's Reunion
Members of 15th Mass. Regiment Gather in Worcester on 46th Anniversary of the Battle of Balls Bluff.
The veterans of the 15th Mass. regiment held their annual reunion and banquet at Grand Army hall, Worcester, on Monday, it being the 46th anniversary of the Battle of Balls Bluff, where they first met the enemy.
Among those present from this part of the country were
I. P. Connig, Fitchburg; Henry Greenwood, Charles A. Tenney, G. W. Laythe, Henry A. Putnam and J. E. Winer, Clinton, of Co. C.
Alonzo V. Walker, Princeton; James Clifford, Clinton, Co. E.
Warren H. Walker, Harvard; David Reekie, Clinton, Co., F.
William Bixby, Gardner, Co. H.
The nominating committee reported the following list of officers who were declared elected:
While the nominating committee was out, a committee made up of Col. Russell and Comrade Bixby collected $16.09 for the regimental fund.
Col. Russell for the committee named to arrange for the reparation of the regimental monument on the battlefield at Gettysburg, told of the difficulties the committee encountered in having the monument brought back to Worcester from its station on the field to have it repaired and sent back again. The whole proceeding cost almost $500, which the committee was successful in raising. The monument is now in good shape and according to the report will stand the weather for years.
A report read by W. F. Miller, acting assistant secretary, showed the following members died during the year:
Gen. Kimball stated after the report of the assistant secretary that he had noticed reports that but 23 members of the regiments were buried in the regimental burial plot on the battlefield at Balls Bluff. He said he remembered there were 54 members of the regiment interred there. They were shot down on the day of October 21, 1861, when the regiment went into action and their bodies have remained in the little plot since.
Capt. Earle stated that the war department was now in a position to purchase the battlefield if it saw fit as Congress had appropriated enough money. He said the last time he visited the battlefield the old stone wall that surrounded the burial plot had fallen down and the gate built by members of the regiment had also fallen down. Complaint was made to the war department and it was suggested that the bodies be taken from the place they have rested in since the eventful day in 1861 and put in a big receptacle for soldier dead in the national cemetery at Washington.
This was vigorously opposed and now, according to Capt. Earle, the plot is well cared for. The wall has been rebuilt, the gate fixed and the underbrush cut down and well kept.
At the close of the business meeting the members formed in a column of twos, headed by Gen. Kimball, and marched to Grand Army hall, where the banquet was served.
The banquet was provided by George H. Ward Relief Corps, who received a rising vote of thanks from the veterans for the excellence of their provision. H. A. Kimball of the 36th regiment sang several army songs which were vigorously applauded. After dinner Mayor Duggan gave a short address on the Grand Army. He was followed by Chief Matthews and William G. Waters. Talks were given by many of the veterans, among whom was Col. Henry E. Smith, who was color bearer for the regiment at Antietam; Col. E. J. Russell; A. H. Foster, North Brookfield, a member of F Co., Capt. D. M. Earle and Gen. Kimball.
The speeches dealt with personal experiences of the veterans, and as some of the speakers finished they were greeted with shouts that showed how some present remembered the incidents. The main scenes of the big battles were lived over again in the telling.
Letters of regret were received from some who were unable to attend, and many wrote of experiences during their life with the regiment, which made their absence felt more keenly.
Among the letters received were from
The closing number on the program was one that has been observed by the regiment at each of its reunions, that of joining hands and in unison singing "Auld Lang Syne." Keeping time to the music by the waving of tightly gripped hands, the vetersn swelled the chorus and parted as brothers, hoping to meet again another year.
The project of having the next reunion come at the battlefield at Balls Bluff was brought up again at the after-dinner session, and a motion made that Col. Earle have the matter in charge; but during the discussion the motion became lost, and the only exhibition of sentiment taken was the request that all who would promise to take in the excursion should stand up.
Nearly 30 rose to their feet. Gen. Kimball expressed himself in favor of the idea, providing the reunion could be Oct. 21, as that would be the anniversary date of the battle.
Action was deferred, and just what move will be made could not be told by those in favor of the movement. The meeting adjourned at 4 o'clock.