(Note: The following was contributed by Michael R. Cunningham.)

Reunion Program of the 15th Regt. Association

Fifteenth Regiment Association.





When the Fifteenth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was mustered out, at the expiration of its term of three years' service, the past officers formed a "Fifteenth Regiment Association," and organized, with the following gentlemen for officers :

President, -- Colonel John W. Kimball, Fitchburg.
Treasurer, -- Captain Leonard Wood, Leominster.
Secretary, -- Captain Amos Bartlett, Webster.

The Association propose to meet annually on the 21st of October, and keep alive the good feeling which always existed among its members while comrades-in-arms, in eating a dinner, in making speeches, in giving toasts, drinking to the health of the living, and to the memory of the dead. During the month of September a card of invitation was addressed to each officer of the Regiment, requesting his presence at the Bay State House in Worcester [see photo at bottom of this page], on the 21st of October. In obedience to a vote passed by the Association at that time, the Secretary publishes this report.


Early in the afternoon, gentlemen began to assemble in the rotunda of the Bay State. The meetings were pleasant, and the greetings cordial.

Present, -- Colonel John W. KIMBALL;
Lieutenant-colonels George C. JOSLIN and I. H. HOOPER;
Surgeons J. N. BATES and L. B. MUNROE;
Chaplain SCANDLIN;

Battles were fought over, picketing was done, marches made, and each one present reminded the others of many things said and done, which otherwise would have been forgotten.


The dining-hall, through the exertions of Captain HOWE, was tastily decorated. Portraits of the familiar faces of Sumner, Sedgewick, Devens, Ward and Grout, were suspended from its walls, with a photographic view of Camp Foster, at Poolesville, Md.

President KIMBALL addressed the Association in a few well-timed remarks, and the Divine blessing having been asked by Chaplain SCANDLIN, the company proceeded to serve their appetites by selections from the following


Mock Turtle.

Baked Bluefish - Wine Sauce.

Leg of South Down Mutton - Caper Sauce. Phipps Ham.
Turkey-Oyster Sauce. Fulton Market Tongues.
Chicken-Egg Sauce.

Turkey-Cranberry Sauce.              Sirloin of Beef.
Lamb-Currant Jelly.        Goose-Apple Sauce.
Pork-Apple Sauce.           Ribs of Beef.
Domestique Ducks, Chickens, Veal

Boned Turkey,      Ham,       Beef Tongues.

Mallard Ducks-Port Wine Sauce,
Roast Partridge-Currant Jelly,      Roast Quails-Guava Jelly.
Stewed Squirrel-Madera Sauce.

Oysters Roasted in Shell,
Tenderloin of Beef, and Spanish Olives,
Spring Chickens Broiled,
Partridges Broiled on Toast,
Chicken Liver en Crusted au Rice,
Queen Fritters, Vanilla flavor,
Macaroni a la Napolitan,
Oysters en Vol au vent,
Lobster Salad,

Pickled Beets,      London Club Sauce,       Pepper Sauce.
Cumberland Sauce,      Worcestershire Sauce,
Celery,      Pickles.

Sweet Potatoes,      Boiled Potatoes,       Mashed Potatoes,
Turneus,      Tomatoes,      Squash,
Fried Egg Plant,      Onions,       Beets,      Rice.

Birds' Nest Pudding,      Mince, Apple and Pumpkin Pies,
Gateaux aux Confiture,      Lady Fingers,
Gateaux aux Citron,      Bisquets de Dame,
Cocoanut Candy,      Nougat,      Madera Jelly,
Charlotte De Russe,      Lemon Merringues,
Merringues de Pomme.

Paradise Nuts,      English Walnuts,
Walnuts,      Pecan Nuts,      Almondes,       Raisins,
Apples,      Pears,      Grapes,
Lemon Ice Cream,


Colonel KIMBALL first addressed the meeting, indicating by his remarks feelings of much pleasure in greeting so many of his old companions. He deemed it desirable that the organization, of a connection with which all might well be proud, established under such happy auspices, and the promoter of such good feeling, should be continued during the life of its members. He spoke somewhat at length of his history in connection with the Regiment; how he marched his Fusileers into Camp Scott; of the days of drill and discipline which followed; of his pleasant connection with the lamented Colonel WARD; of his early and lasting respect for Colonel (now General) Devens; of the transportation to the front; the pleasant memories connected with Camp Foster, at Poolseville; the battle of Ball's Bluff, of which so much has been said and written, and of which so little is known; how the morning skirmish was conducted; how Baker formed his lines; of the mistake of transferring the Fifteenth from the right to the left, when Coggswell took command after Baker's death; how he then ordered a retreat; how particular Colonel DEVENS was that the order should be given before a witness; how the defeat came; how it might have been otherwise; of the dreary days of drill and picketing which followed through the Winter; of the march up the valley; the transportation to the Peninsula; of the long days and tedious nights at Yorktown; the marches up the Peninsula; the engagement at Fair Oaks; the Seven Day's Battle; the camp near Harrison's landing; of the return to Fortress Monroe; of once more reaching the Potomac; of the second Bull Run; of marching again on the road from Georgetown to Poolesville; of Antietam, with its terrible per centage of killed and wounded; of Harper's Ferry and Bolivar Heights; of the march toward Warrenton, and the arrival at Falmouth.

He portrayed vividly the indelible impressions which these things had left upon his mind, how they had served to make the most eventful part of his life, and how his thoughts were with the Regiment day and night, after he was transferred to another field of action in the Department of the Gulf. Colonel Kimball then closed his remarks and proposed,--

"THE MEMORY OF THE DEAD." (Drank standing.)

Chaplain SCANDLIN having been called upon, prefaced his remarks, at the suggestion of Colonel KIMBALL, by relating what an officer in the uniform of Captain of Cavalry did on the day of the battle of Ball's Bluff. He desired to cross the river to the place where the Regiment was engaged, but found that his services were needed more among the wounded on Harrison's Island. He assumed to superintend the transportation of the wounded from the Island to the Maryland shore. He spoke of his endeavors to keep stragglers from the scows until the wounded had been cared for, and acknowledged that at one time, forgetting he was a clergyman, he caused a man much larger than himself, who persisted in stepping into the scow, to leave a full length profile in the mud. Mr. Scandlin then proceeded, in his very earnest manner, to impress upon the mind of the Association the importance of its organization. He believed that more of interest would attach to it in coming years, until its members should have finally passed away. He said that the struggle in which we had been engaged was still going on, the cause was still as holy and just as ever, and urged upon the members of the Association that they should act well their parts as citizens, even as they had as soldiers.

Colonel KIMBALL then offered the toast,--


and called upon Captain Baldwin to respond. Captain BALDWIN spoke of his long acquaintance with General Devens in civil and military life. He was associated with him at the time of the breaking out of the war, and knew him to have been prompted by the noblest motives in accepting a commission in the military service of the United States. He stated further that in all the hardships of the camp, the bivouac and the field, ant the varying fortunes of our arms at different periods, the General had a firm faith in the justice of the cause, and the confidence in the final result. He said that his position gave him an opportunity of knowing the great interest which he always felt in making his Regiment an efficient one. His standard was a high one, and he labored earnestly to bring officers and men up to it. His interest did not cease with his promotion to another command, and in the many actions in which the Fifteenth was subsequently engaged, he was always anxious to know how it had fared with "The Regiment." Captain Baldiwn then spoke briefly of his own connection with the Regiment, and closed by proposing,--


which was drank heartily.

Colonel JOSLIN and HOOPER each then briefly related the history of the Regiment while under his command, after which Major ELLINGWOOD explained at length the circumstances of the affair which caused the order of his dismissal from the War Department. He spoke of the efforts which he and his friends had made to procure a revision of the order, and felt sure that it would shortly be accomplished.

The Secretary then read the following


Southborough, Mass., Oct. 19th, 1864

Capt. Amos Bartlett,
Cor. Sec. 15th Reg't Association,
Webster, Mass.

My Dear Sir:
I have had the honor to receive your esteemed favor of the 24th ult., (which had been forwarded to me from the Army of the Potomac,) with the enclosed card of invitation to attend the annual meeting of the "Fifteenth Regiment Association" on the 21st instant. It gives me sincere pleasure to know that the surviving officers of your gallant Regiment have formed such an Association : and I could not feel otherwise than deeply moved and gratified that I should be kindly remembered in the arrangements for the first of your annual meetings. I returned from the army in September, suffering under severe illness; and although happily recovered therefrom, my strength has not yet returned sufficiently to permit me to join the proposed festivities; otherwise it would give me much pleasure to attend, and renew my acquaintance with officers who so completely won my esteem and affection when I had the honor to number them in my command. I beg you, my dear sir, to present me warmly to your associates, and to give them and take also for yourself, my best wishes for their and your future welfare and happiness; and at the same time please receive for yourself my hearty thanks for your graceful communication of the invitation of the Association.
With much respect,
I am, Dear Sir,
Your Ob't Serv't,

(Three cheers were here given for General Stone.)

Fortress Monroe, VA., Oct. 17th, 1864

I have just received the invitation of your Committee to meet you on October 21st, at Worcester; it finds me at this post, temporarily engaged as President of a Military Commission; but before the 21st I shall be at the "front," so that it is of course utterly impossible for me to accept, as I would gladly do. Although the invitation does not inform me of the precise objects of your Association, yet if it be (as I doubt not it is) intended to maintain among those who have been old companions-in-arms the same spirit of harmony which marked their career as a Regiment; to cause them to stand by each other in their various walks of life hereafter, with something of the same love and devotion that banded them together in the shock of so many battle-fields; to guard and keep alive the memory and fame of their dear comrades who have given their lives in proof of their fidelity, and to strengthen the hands and encourage the hearts of every one of the soldiers of the Union whose duty it still is to struggle in the great contest in which you have borne so noble a part,--I trust you will consider me among the members of the Association. Willing would I be with you to recall the recollections that will be awakened at your meeting, although I know well how deeply tinged with sadness many of them must be. Scenes long passed away will seem to re-enact themselves before you, brave men will seem to rise among you who are numbered now among the departed, yet of whom, they did their work in life so well, we are entitled to believe,--

"That somewhere out of human view, Whate'er those hands are set to do, Is wrought with tumult of acclaim."

You will remember the night march, the day-break and the noontide skirmishes of the Fifteenth, and the final desperate conflict known so well to us as the battle of Ball's Bluff, and to the enemy as the battle of Leesborough, when valor and determination did their utmost to wrench victory from overwhelming numbers; and you will remember with pride, also, that, disastrous as was the struggle for our arms, it was tarnished by no dishonor , and that when the long day's work was done, the rushing river itself could not bar the retreat of men determined not to yield. You will recall the brave who there sealed with their lives their devotion to duty on the field and in the flood; nor these alone, but those who lie on so many battle-fields of Virginia, who sleep on the slopes of Antietam, who fell by the side of their gallant and unfortunate Colonel among the hills of Gettysburg, or whose precious lives were wasted away by the slow diseases of camps and prisons. They rise no more at the drum-roll or the bugle-call, yet their memory will be sacred as long as bravery and courage are honored or patriotism and self-devotion revered. Would that I could hope that all our survivors might be with you except those who are still in the active service of the country; but I know some linger still in Richmond as prisoners of war. You will give them I know as freely of your sympathies as you would of material aid could you but reach them; and you will be consoled by the knowledge that the victorious Grand is now thundering at the very gates of their infernal prison-house. Comrades-you are bound together by no common or vulgar ties. The sword has never been lifted nor the arm bared in any cause more grand than that in which our Regiment strove so manfully during its organization-the cause of law and order against anarchy and violence; of liberty against oppression. That you did your work faithfully and well you have a right to believe, and the just reward of public approbation has not been withheld from you. All or nearly all of you who will meet together, will have returned to your various callings and occupations in civil life by honorable discharge from wounds or disease contracted in the line of duty, or from the expiration of the term of your enlistment. With thankfulness to Almighty God for his mercy in sparing you through so many dangers, resolve now and always to be true to the generous and patriotic impulses which animated you when you freely offered your lives in the service of your country. In times past you have listened kindly and respectfully to the counsels of the other commanders of the Regiment and myself, and whether these were always good or not, your conduct entitles me to believe that they were over-ruled for good. Will you allow me to conclude with a suggestion, not of my own, but of the wisest and best soldier whom the world has ever known. These were the words of Washington in his farewell to the army. They are as appropriate for us as for the troops to whom they were addressed. "Let it be known and remembered," said he, "that the reputation of the federal armies is established beyond the reach of malevolence; and let a consciousness of their achievements and fame still incite the men who composed them to honorable actions, under the persuasion that the private virtues of economy, prudence and industry will not be less amiable in civil life than the more splendid qualities of courage, perseverance and valor in the field. Every one may rest assured that much, very much, of the future happiness of the officers and men will depend upon the wise and manly conduct which shall be adopted by them when they are mingled with the great body of the community." With the sincerest wishes for your success and happiness,
I remain most truly and devotedly,
Your Friend,
CHAS. DEVENS, Brig. Gen.

Sioux City, Iowa, Oct. 19th, 1864.

Capt. A. Bartlett,
Webster, Mass.

Dear Sir:
On my arrival here last night from Idaho with my command, your kind invitation to meet the Fifteenth in Worcester was handed me. Nothing would afford me greater pleasure than to meet again the gallant old Fifteenth, but my duties here prevent me. Please state to the Regiment this, and that though I cannot be with them on the 21st, I will drink their health and prosperity here in Sioux City. Hoping to meet them at some future day,
With much respect,
Your Ob't,
Bring. Gen.

New York, Oct. 21st, 1864.

Capt. Bartlett:

Dear Sir-
Your kind invitation to attend the meeting of the "Fifteenth Regiment Association," was duly received. I hoped to be present on that occasion, but for several reasons am obliged to forego the pleasure I should experience in meeting my friends and former companions-in-arms. Although I have been connected with another Regiment, the friendship formed and cemented during the fifteen months' service in camp, on the march, on the field of battle, and in some cases within the walls of a "tobacco warehouse," can never be forgotten. I assure you, Captain, it would be very gratifying to me to meet my old associates, and with them gather around the festive board; but the heart is saddened by the reflection that so many of our comrades have fallen the bloody strife,-- Ward, Gatchell, Simonds, Jorgenson, Derby, Spurr, Grout, and many others brave and noble,-- all gone; yet not forgotten, and while we mourn them dead, we have the satisfaction of knowing that they fell with their faces to the foe, nobly battling for their country, and that their names and deeds will ever be held in grateful remembrance. With feelings of the greatest respect for yourself and associates.
I am.
Yours Truly,

In the Field, 57th Mass.,
1st Div., 9th Corps,
Oct. 10th, 1864.

Capt. Amos Bartlett:

Dear Sir -
I received your notification of the meeting to be held by the "Fifteenth Regiment Association," and should be very happy indeed to be present if possible. How like old times it would seem to see those old veterans of the Fifteenth once more together. I cannot help thinking of the past; how many of our old comrades are lying in their graves, who have died for their country. I think you for your kind invitation, and regret very much that I am unable to be present at the meeting.
With much respect,
I remain your
Ob't Serv't,

In the Field, 57th Mass.,
1st Div., 9th Corps,
Oct. 10th, 1864.

Capt. Amos Bartlett:

Dear Sir -
I received your notification of the meeting to be held by the "Fifteenth Regiment Association," and should be very happy indeed to be present if possible. How like old times it would seem to see those old veterans of the Fifteenth once more together. I cannot help thinking of the past; how many of our old comrades are lying in their graves, who have died for their country. I think you for your kind invitation, and regret very much that I am unable to be present at the meeting.
With much respect,
I remain your
Ob't Serv't,

Memphis, Tenn., Sept. 26th, 1864.

My Dear Captain:
I received today your invitation to be present at the first annual meeting of the "Fifteenth Regiment Association," and regret exceedingly that I cannot be present on that occasion. The anniversary of Ball's Bluff will never be passed by me without a frequent recurrence to the scenes of that day. Although not with the Regiment on the battle-field, I have a very vivid recollection of my feelings upon learning the sad news. Please remember me kindly to all who may be present.
Very Respectfully,
Your Ob't Serv't,

Fort Craig, Arlington Heights, VA., Oct. 17, 1864.

Capt. Bartlett:

Dear Sir -
I received a circular from you a few days ago, informing me of a meeting of the Fifteenth Regiment Association. I should be happy to be present, but cannot this year, as I am in the service again. I am in the Twenty-Fourth Unattached Heavy Artillery "Coast Defense." We are pleasantly situated at this Fort, busy drilling in Infantry and Artillery tactics. I like the Artillery drill very much, as it is something new. Captain Rockwood sends his best respects; is Orderly Sergeant of the Company. We have four ex-Captains, and four ex-Lieutenants, besides a large number of old soldiers. There are quite a number of the old Fifteenth in this Company. If nothings happens to prevent, I shall try and be present at the meeting next year.
I am
Your Ob't Serv't,
Serg't Twenty-Fourth Co.
Unattached Heavy Artillery, M. V.


It was moved by Captain Baldwin, that the present Board of Officers be re-elected by acclamation : carried. Moved by Chaplain Scandlin, that each member of the Association send to the Treasurer a photograph of himself, to be kept by the Association : carried. Moved by Captain Baldwin, that Chaplain Scandlin be instructed to prepare a History of the Fifteenth Regiment : carried. Moved by Doctor Monroe, that A. K. Know be elected an honorary member of the Association : carried. Moved by Captain Bartlett, that Captain Church Howe be instructed to arrange for the next annual dinner : carried. Moved by Captain Baldwin, that the Secretary be instructed to prepare and publish a report of this meeting : carried.


At ten o'clock the company passed from the dining Hall to the parlor, where a pleasant hour was spent in social conversation. The work of other days was talked of, future plans discussed, good wishes exchanged, and at twelve o'clock,-- all feeling that-

"Hereafter it will delight us to remember,"

the Association adjourned, to meet again in one year.

The object of publishing this Report is twofold : It will serve as a moment for those who were present at this First Annual Meeting; and it may be pleasant for those who were absent to know what was there said and done.

Bay State House (52800 bytes) The hotel in Worcester called the Bay State House where the First Annual Meeting of the Fifteenth Regiment Association was held.  It was located at the intersection of
Main and Exchange streets in Worcester.