from The Worcester Spy, 15 July 1863 (Volume 92 #28),
|FUNERAL OF COL. WARD
The great sorrow at the death of Col. Ward and the general sympathy with his mourning relatives, were manifested by the attendance of a large concourse of people at his funeral Wednesday afternoon. The streets, too, were filled with people who, from whatever motives they may have collected, could not fail to be most deeply impressed with the solemn spectacle of the funeral procession, with its mournful music, the brave heroes following their comrade to his last resting place, the riddled colors of the regiment, and the long train of relatives and friends.
The funeral services were held in the Salem street church, which was crowded to its utmost capacity. the church was appropriately decorated. The galleries were draped with black and white, and opposite the pulpit was suspended the word “WARD,” surrounded by a floral wrath of white lilies and other white flowers, and opposite each other on the side galleries were also similar wreaths encircling the names of “JORGENSEN” and “MURKLAND.” On the pulpit were several large bouquets of white flowers, and in front of it a large floral cross, flanked on each side by two floral crosses and two floral wreaths.
The coffin on which were two swords, the cap and other military equipments of the deceased, was draped in the American flag, and covered with a profusion of white wreaths and bouquets. Surmounting the pulpit, on each side, were displayed the tattered and battle-stained standards which the Fifteenth bore so proudly through our streets two years ago, the gift of the ladies of the city.
The body had lain in state during the forenoon, in the Mayor and Alderman’s room in the city Hall, with a guard of honor, composed of past members of the City Guard, in full uniform.
The services began in the church at half past four, rev. Mr. Richardson reading a portion of scripture and offering a prayer. Rev. Dr. Hill gave out the hymn, commencing:
The sermon was delivered by Rev. Mr. St. John, who, after an appropriate introduction touching the great doctrines of immortality, gave a brief sketch of the life of the deceased, from the time of his first joining the City guards, June 19, 1846, till his death. He rapidly rose from a private to be commander of that corps, and was subsequently chosen to the position of general of the Fifth Brigade, M. V. M., which he held at the time of his appointment as Lt. Colonel of the 15th regiment. As a man an officer, the deceased was brave and generous by all his comrades, and the speaker was glad to add his own testimony to that of others, as to his eminent worth. The disasters through which the brave 15th had passed, in its march to glory for the country’s defense, from the battle of Ball’s Bluff to the present time, were recounted, and the honorable part borne by the late lamented Colonel.
In closing the speaker said: Let the blessings of Heaven rest upon him. Bright in the galaxy of names making glorious our country’s history, shall forever stand proudly the name of Ward. Well might Gen. Sedgewick say, “When I wanted anything done, and could not go myself, I sent the 15th Massachusetts, and everything was well done.”
The best of their bravery was the fact that in the several battles in which they won such immortal honors, their ranks were so reduced that at their first roll call after the battle of Gettysburg, but fifty-six were found to answer to their names.
Rev. Mr. St. John concluded his excellent discourse with an earnest prayer. In the pulpit, besides the clergymen named above, were Rev. Messrs Shippen, Baynard, and Chapin. After the services in the church, the funeral procession was formed, and moved to the cemetery in the following order, city marshal Pratt acting as chief marshal, with Wm. A. Smith, Nathaniel Paine, Andrew McF. Davis and George H. Spaulding, assistant marshals: escort duty was performed by the State Guard, commanded by Col. Philips, and the Highland Cadets, Capt. Anthony, preceded by the Worcester Cornet Band. Then came the old City Guard, in full dress uniform, commanded by C. B. Whiting, and acting as a guard of honor, surrounding the hearse with the pallbearers. The pallbearers were Capt. Church Howe, Capt. Amos Bartlett, Capt. Walker Forehand, and Lieuts. A. L. Fuller, Frazer, Polley, and James Taft, all late of the Fifteenth regiment. With two exceptions, all these were commissioned officers with Col. Ward, when it left Worcester, August 8, 1861.
The hearse, drawn by four horses, was draped in the American flag. Immediately following it came carriages with wounded officers and soldiers, among whom we noticed Gen. Devens, Capt. Prince, Lieuts. Bigelow and Dudley of the fifteenth, and Sergeant Plunkett of the 21st regiment.. Prince and Lieut. Dudley were in the Gettysburg fight. Next marched the past members of the Fifteenth, fifty-seven in number, under command of Sergeant Murray, the war worn colors, tattered and battle besmeared, being borne by sergeant O’Neil and private Sullivan, both of whom lost an arm at Antietam. Following these were the Morning Star Masonic Lodge, R. N. Start, marshal. The ex mayors of the city followed, conspicuous among whom was the venerable Ex-Gov. Lincoln, marching with firm tread, notwithstanding his four score years, the whole distance on foot. The mayor and other officers of city government, with county officials came next. A large body of citizens, on foot and in carriages, with the relatives of Col. Ward, made up the rest of the procession.
The church bells tolled, and minute guns were fired as the procession moved to the cemetery. The free Masons held their usual burial service at the grave, and three vollies were fired by the State Guards.
During the passage of the procession through the streets, all places of business were closed. Main street was kept clear of vehicles by the exertions of the police. Many of the buildings upon the street were decorated with white and black festoons. The City Hall, Mechanics , and Brinley Hall were conspicuous in this particular. A large American flag, hung across the street in front of the armory of the City Guards, (Brinley Hall) was draped in black. In the midst of the elaborate decorations on the front of the Bay State House, were the following inscriptions:
“The Glorious old 15th. Faithful but Unfortunate.”