|from The Webster Times,
Memorial Exercises Fittingly Carried out
That Memorial Day is growing in public favor with the people of Webster and Dudley is the opinion generally held and freely expressed by many of the officers and members of Nathaniel Lyon Post 61, G. A. R. This has been very noticeable, not only by the large gatherings about the monument to listen to the public exercises but the people have turned out and are present in unusual numbers at the cemeteries where “Decoration Day” is actually celebrated. There are several reason(s) contributing to this growing observation which if considered carefully, will be given much credit for this increase in attendance.
Post 61 has among its members quite a number of the towns most honored and energetic business men. Several of them not only served a trying enlistment, but after returning to civil life have made the great war of 61-5 a study. They are not only well acquainted with their particular part in the war, but know the history of the rebellion in its different departments, and are capable speakers along those lines.
These veterans have faithfully visited the schools each year, just previous to Memorial Day, and their annual talks have been welcome events in the school life of our town, and have been an education. The value of present day citizenship, what it has cost to maintain, and the debt that the rising generation is a lesson that is taught to the pupils annually.
Perhaps these long continued and faithful efforts on the part of the veterans is beginning to bear fruit in a more loyal and general observance of the day, especially by the pupils of our public schools. Weather conditions and a well known and prominent orator of the day is another prime factor in the growing observance of the day. When the people don’t have to take hearsay, but know from personal experience that the speaker is all that the day demands, and when is added to this the regard that the people have for one of their own kith and kin, then there is another forceful reason for the growing observance of Memorial Day.
Public expression this year was not only manifest in relation to the exercises in connection with decorating the soldiers graves, but a general observance of grave decorating was evident on all sides. The local cemeteries never looked better, and then seeming increase in the number of graves decorated was very evident. This is a beautiful and most commendable custom. Instituted primarily for the veteran dead of the G. A. R., it has now become the annual custom of other organizations and societies, and many private individuals make annual pilgrimages to the graves of their departed loved ones, and place on the sacred mounds the rarest selections from the floral kingdom.
With the growing observance of Memorial Day apparent, it has been suggested that the day be celebrated by a general turning out of all the societies in town, and that during the exercises in the park seats be provided for the school scholars and all who may wish to be present.------------------------------------------------zen body of our community owe this to the G. A. R. as a mark of respect, and to the young people as a lesson in loyalty to country and general good citizenship.----------------------
-----------------------ed in favor of a more general observation of the day, let all join in making the coming years observation a noticeable step in advance of even the good showing of the past few years.
At the Memorial exercises held in the high school last Thursday, Commander E. B. Wakefield said in part:
“For 45 years the beautiful custom of placing flowers and flags on the graves of out fallen comrades has been publicly observed, and each year brings a more general observation of the day. If other hearts shall grow cold, and other hands slack in this solemn trust, ours, the remaining comrades shall keep it as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us, and on the morrow such of us as are able will visit the several cemeteries and garland the passionless mounds above them with the flowers of spring, and place above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor.”
“Tomorrow is the national day of memorial, the time when in mind and thought our glorious past is made to live again, and the noble men who molded and shared its destiny, though dead, are to memory once more clothed with life and being”
“It is a day when grateful people of a redeemed nation pay honor to the memory of its Soldier and Sailor dead, who gave their service and their lives that the nation might still exist, and whose sacrifices and brave deeds may be told to the rising generation that they may learn to love our country and its flag, learn what it has cost to make this nation what it is today.
This is a time when a nation awakes to the remembrance of deeds of heroism performed in its defense; the day when a loyal people, grateful for service tendered their country, unite to do honor to the memory of our country’s defenders, and to encourage by these services a more zealous and abiding patriotism in the heart and life of every American citizen.”
“These patriotic exercises are held yearly by all the schools to impress upon the minds of the youth the value and necessity of combining patriotism and loyalty with education. These exercises are not so much for the older ones, who have learned their lesson of patriotism ( or should have done long ago,) but to the youth in its youthful impressions and events that will remain long after the events of middle life have been forgotten. Let patriotism be a part of your education, that we may safely trust the well being of our country in your hands.”
MEMORIAL DAY EXERCISES
A General Observation of the Day---Large Percentage of Aged Veterans Participating --- Oration by dr. George L. Goodell of New York City--- Initial Appearance of Newly Organized Drum Corps.---Good Weather.
A number of fortunate incidents combined made the Memorial Day exercises of 1913 in Webster of unusual interest to veterans and people as well, and will long be remembered as one of the most successful ever conducted by Nathaniel Lyon Post, G. A. R.
The prime factor was the blessing of good weather, which not only brought out the people in large numbers, but the members of Nathaniel Lyon Post 61, many of them aged and infirm, were in line to do honor to their fellow comrades, and by their presence and participation in the exercises of the day present to young America a lesson in true citizenship and patriotic devotion.
Nathaniel Lyon Post 61 was instituted Friday, July 24, 1868, the same year that the first memorial day exercises were held, and during the past 45 years the Post has never turned out a larger per cent of its active members on Memorial Day. There are at present forty-three active members , and thirty-six were present, and took part in the day’s program. This is all the more remarkable when the average age and physical condition of these surviving veterans is carefully considered. Two were over eighty years old, and many more or less infirm, and notwithstanding this, a large number walked to the north Village cemetery, others continued to the East Village, and there were those who tramped the whole route. This was not necessary, as conveyance had been provided for any who cared to accept the privilege. Another contributory factor to bring out the people and assuring success was the announcement that Dr. Charles L. Goodell of New York city was to be the orator of the day, and the initiatory appearance of the new Drum Corps also had its influence.
Promptly at 7:30 a. m. the Post assembled with participating organizations in front of headquarters, in the following order:
Thomas L. Gray, Drum Major.
Nathaniel Lyon Post Drum Corps.
Henry Heald, leader, 15 men.
Nathaniel Lyon Post 61, G. A. R.,
Elias B. Wakefield, Commander,
Joseph W. Aldrich, adjutant, 36 men.
E. P. Morton Camp, S. of V.,
Reynolds, in charge, 45 men.
B. Co., Garda Nationale,
John B. Goulet, commander, 32 men.
Arriving at the North Village cemeteries fifty-four graves were decorated, and without any special ceremony the East Village was visited, where an invocation prayer was offered by Rev. Harry St.John Filmer, after which 124 graves were decorated.
During the day the post delegations also decorated comrades graves in the French cemetery, at the Gore, Perryville, West Dudley and Ram’s Horn.
Returning to the monument the order of exercises conducted by Post Commander E. B. Wakefield included:
Rev. F. D. Thayer, Dudley
Reading of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
Comrade Louis E. Pattison.
Singing by the High School Choir
Miss M. Bessie Love, Director.
Dr. Charles L. Goodell of New York.
by Rev. Richard H. Bennett
Tolling of Town Bells at 12 a. m.
for departed members of G. A. R. and uncovering of heads by all present upon request of Commander E. B. Wakefield.
In connection with the opening exercises at the monument, pupils from the public schools under the direction of Miss M. Bessie Love, supervisor of music, sang two selections that were much appreciated, the second number being worthy of special mention. Pupils composing he choir were: Janet Nash, Candice Wilson, Gertrude Blumpke, Margaret Stuart, Rose Hoenig, Stewart Jewell, Roy Jewell, Paul Vaka, Herman Bennett, Carl Filmer, Caesar Krasnowski and Francis Labonte. The selections given were “Prayer For Our Country” and “The Battle Prayer.”
Upon the return of the procession to the high school park, the veterans were greeted by the largest audience that was ever assembled there on a single occasion Undoubtedly the magnet of attraction was the address to be delivered by Rev. Charles l. Goodell of New York. Mr. Goodell was the speaker last year, is a native of our mother town, Dudley, and is looked upon by all citizens of this vicinity as being one of the most forceful and finished public orators in the New England and Middle States. The simple announcement that he is to speak in Webster brings out a large audience, and on this occasion the tribute paid to Mr. Goodell by the people was most unusual.
The entire park was filled with representative professional and business men, students, clerks, men and women from all walks of life, school boys and girls, the G. A. R, and organizations participating in the days ceremonies, and many others were seated in automobiles and carriages along the street line, all eager upon catching every word delivered.
Mr. Goodell’s address last year was commented upon for its many good qualities, but this years effort is declared to be not only a more scholarly production, but the choicest oratorical effort ever delivered in town on any Memorial Day. As usual the speaker swayed his audience through the tender and mirthful emotions to patriotic sentiment that frequently burst forth into spontaneous and general applause. Besides being a grand address to listen to, it has been highly spoken of as a scholarly effort, showing careful and extreme research, and it is for this reason that we publish it in full.
The Crisis of 1863
“It was a great delight to me last year to look into the faces of those old veterans who I knew as a boy in the long ago, and to rehearse with them some of the thrilling experiences which lifted them from shop and farm to the glorious ventures of heroism and cut their names in enduring bronze, where they will remain as long as “the earth bears a plant or the sea rolls a wave.” I have now come back to you after a short twelve month to speak once more of the great, brave days of old, and of those experiences that are forever embedded in our national life, whose glory we can never forget and whose splendid results multiply in scope and power with every passing year. The only reason why I venture on an experience unique to you and me, of two successive memorial addresses before the same constituency, is your opportunity and the yearning of my heart for the old friends and the old scenes. We sing in our national hymn---
“I love the rooks and rills,
Since I spoke to you last year I have visited once more historic fields across the sea. Armed with a letter from the mayor of New York, I went to England and presented my credentials to the mayor of Dudley. Under his direction I studied the archives of that famous old town, with the coal mines underneath it, with the frowning castle which stoutly stood for its king and was the last to yield to the Roundheads. I watched the great stretches of hill and valley, carpeted with greensward that had been a millennium in making, but beautiful as it was, I found myself thinking of a little New England village and its environments, and singing like a Highlander:
“Ken ye the lan’ o’ the heigh grey skies.
I journeyed again to Waterloo, and standing by the side of the crouching British lion, I heard the story of the awful carnage, saw once more the sunken road where the flour of the Old Guard fell to their death, saw the misty distance where Crouchy waited too long, and the silent road over which Blucher marched to bring victory to Wellington. I thought as I saw the sun sinking blood red in the west, how Napoleon’s sun went down in blood on that fateful field. And i(t), minded me of the white shafts of Gettysburg, where the awful tides of rebellion were rolled back and a nation rose from a threatening sea.
Whether I sailed down the storied Rhine, along whose vine clad slopes so many of you have climbed, or rode across German wheat fields, where some of you have wrought , or whether I breathed the free air of the mountains of Switzerland, where Tell’s name has echoed for many a century and today where every boy is taught to carry a knapsack and to handle a gun or whether I sailed over the blue Italian lakes, familiar to so many of you, where you see the snow capped alps mirrored in the lake, or wherever I strayed or whatever the storied hills and vales that I looked upon, nothing seemed quite so grand as this land of liberty, your land and mine. I caught myself saying with Van Dyke,
“Oh London is a mans town, there’s power in the air
My heart is turning home again, and there I long to be. In the land of youth and freedom beyond the ocean bars Where the air is full of sunlight, and the flag is full of stars.”
It is with this spirit of loyal devotion to our land and its history that (we?) come to bring to those old veterans and others who inherit the legacy of their devotion, a word of reminiscences. What we get out of our reminiscences will depend on what we put into them. Someone has factually said Edward Bellamy got a fortune out of “Looking Backward”, but that Mrs. Lot only got her salt. I trust we may draw today a richer dividend than sometimes comes to the dusty delver of the past.
The year 1863 was the crisis of the Civil war. It is true that the war continued a year and more after 63’ had closed, but during those months the Confederacy was nursing a mortal wound which was inflicted in 63’, and could end in only one way. I wish to call your attention to a few of the great peaks which stand out in the bloody mountain range of those terrible years like the Jungfraus., the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc among the Alps.
1. Let me remind you that the year opened with the application and enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation. Three million, one hundred thousand and twenty thousand souls, whom God called men and women, but slavery called chattels, were set free, and thereafter the slave drivers lash should never crack above their backs, and a colored mother should own her own child as well by the laws of America as by the laws of God.
The Emancipation Proclamation is one of the greatest state papers ever issued. First the Magna Charta, settled at Runnymeade, second the Declaration of Independence, third the ukase of Alexander II of Russia, giving freedom and land to the serfs, and fourth the Emancipation Proclamation. A great orator has said, “When the great war has shriveled to a spec behind he centuries, when the republic has crumbled from her niche in the walls of history, and the language of the Anglo-Saxon shall be mumbled by the tongue of the stranger, even then this great document will make radiant this martyr age of the Republic.
It was a great document that Lincoln wrote. It was a strong hand prompted by a stout heart that penned it. Of that hand Stedman wrote-
“The hand of Anak, sinewed and strong.
Jefferson Davis met the Emancipation Proclamation by declaring that persons executing the proclamation would be treated as criminals. The Confederate Congress passed a resolution that when officers of Negro troops should be captured they would be shot or otherwise punished, at the discretion of a military court.
II. It was the year of the culmination of the opposition to Lincoln. He was between the upper and lower millstones. He did not suit the Abolitionists, and of course he did not suit the Copperheads. The office seekers were so many and so persistent that he said he did not dare to go to bed at night without looking under the bed to see if there was someone there ready to spring out upon him. He said that “ If to be the head of Hell is as hard as what I suffer here, I could find it in my heart to pity the Devil.”
To destroy his prestige there was a wide spread and deep laid purpose to suspend hostilities, to force a compromise with the South, or allow the South to set up for itself. Perhaps nowhere was the culmination of this disloyalty more evident than in the case (of) Vallandigham. His treasonable utterances were so blatant that General Burnside caused his arrest. He was tried and convicted and sent to prison at Ft. Warren. The President commuted his sentence, and sent him, against his protest, within the Confederate lines. He was afterwards, even nominated by the democrats of Ohio for Governor, and from a place of safety within the Canadian lines continued to send forth treasonable utterances. The year had opened with the Confederate dollar worth twenty cents. It was to close with it worth two cents. The premium on gold was one hundred and fifty-two, and it was yet to rise to two hundred and eighty two.
III. So far as the prosecution of the war was concerned, the battle that marked the turn of the tide was the fateful field of Gettysburg. There are men here who fought upon that field, to whom the names of Culp’s Hill, Cemetery Hill, Little Round Top and Seminary Ridge are household words. The booming of the cannon has not ceased to echo in your ears through the myriad sounds of half a century have intervened, and you will never forget how when two hundred and thirty guns had vomited lurid destruction from shrill iron lips for two long hours. Lee launched Pickett, the Marshall Ney of the enemy, with a column of thirteen thousand men, to drive a wedge into the center of the Union lines. The history of human carnage has no mate to that awful charge. When the boys in blue rolled it back they sent the death stroke to the heart of the Confederacy. It had cost the Federal army of 93,000 men a loss of 23,000, and the Confederates out of 80,000 had lost 20,000, besides 5,000 prisoners. But the battle of Gettysburg had become the Waterloo of the South. The tides of invasion had rolled to within thirteen miles of the capital of Pennsylvania.
IV To still further illustrate the crisis which was upon us in 63’, let me remind you that it was only ten days after the battle of Gettysburg when those awful draft riots broke out in New York City. A great mob attacked and burned the colored orphan asylum at Fifth Avenue and 44th street. The offices of the New York tribune were dismantled by the mob. At 3d Avenue and 21st street the mob was fired upon by returning soldiers and thirteen killed and eighteen wounded. But for the returned soldiers it would have been hard to say. The mob was stirred up by the yellow journals of there day, and by the yellower politicians. The riots were not put down until two million dollars worth of property and a thousand lives had been lost.
In September came the awful carnage of Chickamauga, where 56,000 Federalists and 71,000 Confederates went into battle. Neither side won a decisive victory though both claimed success. The cost of it was 16,000 federal killed wounded and missing and 16,900 Confederates.
From Chickamauga the battle front was changed to Chattanooga. There at missionary ridge and yonder at Lookout Mountain the victory came to the northern troops. There was considerable justification for the Johnnie who said to the Yank “you uns never licked we’uns.’ “Oh didn’t we” said the Yank “I thought Lee surrendered to Grant.’ “Well” said the Johnnie “We just wore ourselves out tyin’ to lick you uns.” President Lincoln called for three hundred thousand more troops, mainly to take the place of those whose enlistments have expired and those who had been killed or wounded. It was 1863 that brought to the front a resplendent name which was at last to appear as the commander in that awful struggle. In 1863 Vicksburg fell and Grant was heralded as the invincible leader, and a little later took supreme command of all our forces.
V. Great as was the crisis on the battlefields of the South, it was hardly less acute and thrilling than the crisis across the seas. There was no shutting our eyes to the fact that England was the friend of the South. The mills of Manchester were bound close to the cotton fields of South Carolina, and all the business interests seemed to hinge upon the success of the Southern arms. There was no time in three years that Parlement would not have decided for the South, as against the North, but every member of Parlement had before him the fear of the common people. Most of these did not vote, but all loved liberty as against slavery. There was a plan on foot to hold meetings throughout the realm, to move the common people to the Confederacy. It was in this crisis that another name appears, and one to which scanty return has been paid for an incalculable service, single handed and alone Henry Ward Beecher defeated the Toryisn of England.
This year is the one hundredth anniversary of his birth, and next month it will be celebrated in New York. Eighteen hundred and thirteen was the year of a stout hearted, clear headed, heroic band, in this year were born Wendell Phillips, Charles Sumner, Horace Greeley, Edwin Stanton and many others, who were the hero’s of 1863.
When Beecher went to England in the summer of 63’, no one cared to see him. He had scant courtesy in street or hotel. But the crisis was so great that all within him was stirred to effort. He made five great speeches, and it is not to much to say, that they, more than any one thing changed the attitude of England from hatred to friendship, and possibly saved us from having to fight the Union Jack, as well as the Stars and Bars.
It was at Manchester, the home of the cotton industry, where the people were suffering terribly because of the war, and where they were anxious to do nothing to (help?, for that Beecher went to make his first address. The mob made up his mind that he should not speak and every expedient was adopted to conquer him. But standing up in his might with the blood of five generations of Puritans in his veins, he said “If you silence me here I will speak in every county of England.” He said in substance as Garrison had said before, “I will not equivocate and I will be heard.” For an hour and a half the duel went on. One minute his voice was heard and in the next it was drowned in the curses of the crowd.. But at length he got their ear, and he told them that slavery was the foe of manufacturing interests: that freedom gave opportunity to manufacturers and helped labor in a thousand ways.
At last he conquered and when his speech was over a vote was taken. With a roar like Niagara, it was voted by the vast crowd to stand by freedom and defend the North. One man in the gallery who could not get near enough to shake hands with Beecher reached his umbrella down and asked him to shake the end. he then exclaimed, “no other man shall ever touch this umbrella.”
From Manchester Beecher went to Glasgow. There they were building ships that were breaking the blockade. There Beecher showed the attitude of slavery against the working man, that it made labor disreputable and that in their defense of slavery in the South they were driving nails into their own coffins. he conquered Glasgow. From Glasgow he went to Edenborough, and there show the canny, scholarly philosophic Scot the relation between slavery and education, as seen in America. He spoke to the educational and moral element and in the face of great opposition he won his case.
His next address was in the hotbed of opposition, Liverpool. All the opposition that he had thus far experienced rolled into one, would not equal the powerful mob that he faced in Liverpool. Pistols were freely drawn. A few men of the North went into the boxes where pistols were flourished and told them if they wished for annihilation all they had to do was start something.
After nearly two hours of questioning and insults and mob rule Beecher got the floor. Then for three hours he rolled out a flood of eloquence, wit and wisdom, perhaps never equaled in three thousand years. Beecher described it himself as having felt “as though he was on a ship speaking through a speaking trumpet, with a tornado at sea and a mutiny on board. But at heart an Englishman likes fair play, and when he saw a man who had the grit to face all obstacles, he said, “Give him a chance!” When he had done the average man, the man of the street, went with him, and the magnetic needle of English life pointed North.
From Liverpool he went to London. It had been said that when a man was talked about one evening at the club and had one speech reported in the Times, he was famous. But no man was so much discussed as Beecher, and every speech of his had been reported, almost verbatim in the Thunderer, and all the chief papers in England and Scotland. London was the place of his last appearance. Liverpool had ruined his voice, but he still had enough for his message. It needed the police to get him into Exeter Hall. There he turned to the conscience of England, and England was true to her history. Exeter hall fairly rocked with the thunderous “Ayes” with which the populace of London gave their approval to the North.
But my friends I must no longer detain you. It is fifty years since the fateful year of which I have spoken. Another generation has arisen which only remembers Gettysburg as you might remember Marathon or Marston Moore, but you comrades of the dead, can never forget. There is a classic legend of the Alhambra, that on the stroke of the midnight hour life comes to each carved knight in shield and helmet. Again they march with conquering tread: again they shout for victory at the tournament. What an hour that would be if, at the stroke of the bell of liberty, or the blast of the bugle that called the charge at Gettysburg, the old guard would come forth from their dusty tents where they lie sleeping. If Grant could walk down the marble steps of his mausoleum, if Lee could pass once more over the threshold of Arlington, if Lincoln could go back to the White House, Sumner to the Senate and Henry Wilson to the House. What a day it would be for you if you could shake the snow of fifty winters from your hair, smooth the wrinkles out of your face, put the teeth back that bit the cartridges at Antietam and Gettysburg, throw away your spectacles and your cane and make your stooped backbone as straight as the ramrod in your old Springfield rifle Head of the column, for the dead! And next to them you march. Up with the musket, shoulder arms, forward, double quick, march! But ah no! The only march for you is the march of memory, the treasures of memory are yours forever, for memory is the only paradise from which man can never be driven out.
Comfort your hearts with the reflection that you fought a good fight and kept the faith.
As you look about you at a younger generation, realize that they have caught their step from you, and their children will march to the same tune which fired your hearts on the battlefields of old. This shall be forever the land of the free and the home of the brave. The only dynamite that can have a place here is the dynamite of ideas, the only aristocracy that is of worth and service. We face new exigencies, but the same courage that brought us victory in the past will give us victory for the day that now is and for the morrow which cometh. If we have any---------------- Ship of State, we will cast into the sea, but as far as the ship itself is concerned, it is well! Her timbers are sound; the Stars and stripes are still speak, undimmed and unstained, and her prow is to the open sea. She has weathered the storms of three centuries, she has passed the rocks of disunion and sectional strife in safety; storms may come but she puts hopefully to sea with God overhead and a true national conscience at the helm!
“Sail on, sail on, deep freighted,
The bells in the church towers about town commenced to toll a requiem for the departed members of the G. A. R., and Commander Wakefield requested all the audience to uncover their heads for a moment in recognition, which was cheerfully done. With he singing of “America” by the entire audience a most fitting days ceremonies was concluded.
At the close of the address the post, Sons of Veterans, drum Corps and Garde National were all entertained at a substantial luncheon provided by the Woman’s Relief Corps in G. A. R. The bill of fare comprised : Meat potatoes, beans, brown bread, salads, pickels, coffee and pie. Woman of the W. R. C. were: Mrs. Annie Hill, Mrs. William McGeary, Mrs.Fred Sandman, Mrs. Herbert H. Hall, and Miss. Angie Adams, assisted by Mrs, Mary Walker, Mrs. Charles Prince, Mrs. Martha Nuttle, Mrs. B. B. Murdock, Mrs. Henry Brandes, Mrs. Viola McCausland, Mrs. George Authier, Mrs. Bishop, Mrs. Henry Russack, Miss Annie Russak, Miss Carrie Wakefield, and Miss Elizabeth Pengally. The luncheon was one of the most substantial and bountiful ever served by the W. R. C., and was most favorably commented upon by all participants
In the afternoon the Post, Sons of Veterans and Drum Corps went to Dudley, where the usual exercises were held, the veterans being assisted by scholars from the public schools and citizens.
B Co., Garde National Highly complimented.
Members of Post 61, G. A. R., and Sons of Veterans were very much pleased by the timely appearance of the Garde National, and it was with pleasure to all concerned that they were given a place in the line of march. This civic military organization came into the exercises of the day all unannounced, and was an agreeable and pleasant surprise. They are a fine looking lot of young men, fully equipped and uniformed, and most creditably representing the French speaking part of our population. there is a bright active look to their bearing, and their general military appearance was most attractive, and lent an added appearance to the line of march that was appreciated by the veterans and the public. Capt. Goulet and his company are to be congratulated upon their interest shown in turning out and adding materially to the success of the day.
The full roster of officers and comrades attending Memorial Day exercises follows:
Commander, E. B. Wakefield.
Thomas Whalen, Loren Waters, Hiram P. Emerson, John Raymond, Henry Heald, Hubert Authier, William N. Leavens, M. W. Ide, James G. Adams, William Hyland, Frederick W. Pengally, Vernon M. Jepson, R. L. Day, H. J. Raymond, George Heald, William Moore, Christian Holley, Ezra Spencer, Samuel P. Morris, Thomas Scott, H. J. Ball.
Nathaniel Lyon Post 61, G. A. R. Fife and Drum Corps.--- Henry Prandees, President: Stuart Wallace Secretary: Ralph Balcom, H. Brandes, W. Wilson, H. Rusack, E. Forand, and B.Wallace. The Drum Corps are: G. Authier, O. Authier, R. Russack, H. Hyland, G. Forand, W. Forand, W. Moore,; bass drum, Paul Marshall.
For a number of months this organization has been in constant practice under the able tutorship of Henry Heald, and their initial appearance was most creditable in every particular. The uniformity of time, accent and rhythm were very noticeable, and assisted the men in line to the extent of bringing out many compliments. Their appearance as well as their work, adds to the procession, making their first appearance a complete success. This “Fife and Drum Corps idea” originated with Comrades F. H. C. Berger and Joseph W. Aldrich, both having serves as musicians in the army.
Pulaski Brass Band vs Nathaniel Lyon Drum Corps.
A peculiar, if not questionable incident happened about 7:30 on the morning of Memorial Day that has caused some adverse criticism in connection with the deportment of the Pulaski Brass band just before taking their car from in front of the Joslin House to fill their engagement with the Post in Oxford. The newly organized Drum Corps had formed in line in the vicinity of the Merino bridge, and were coming up Main street in fine form. The Fife and Drum Corps in bright new equipment and uniforms were naturally the center of attraction; it was unfortunate that the band should “strike up” just at this time and distract the attention of the people. This seeming discourtesy may have been unintentional, but it could not have been overlooked by the drummers and fifers, and by their friends was classed as a thoughtless breach of public etiquette.
The Nathaniel Lyon Relief Corps, assisted by members of Nathaniel Lyon Post 61, and Camp E. P. Morton, No 35, performed the Memorial service for the unknown dead at the east Village cemetery, in the soldiers lot on Sunday, June 1, in the afternoon The service was a very pretty ceremony with its floating silken flags. Wreaths of evergreen and flowers were placed on the canon which stands at the center of our soldiers lot. The Relief Corps will have their annual rummage sale in October and the Corps hopes all who have remembered them in past years will save their things for them this year.
Henry J. Ball of Marlboro, a member of Post 61, G. A. R.., was present in his place in line on Memorial Day. Mr. Ball has for a number of years lived in Marlboro, but always retains his interest in Webster and Post 61. Mr. Ball is one of the original members of the famous old G. A. R. quartet, E. D. Clemans, First Tenor; G. F. Keith, Second Tenor; H. J. Ball, Baritone; and James Bracken, Bass.
Members of Post 61 organized Fife and Drum Corps feel greatly indebted to Henry Heald for his untiring zeal in bringing about the good results attained on Memorial Day. the constant drill of the organization, as well as the special attention given to each individual has been most faithfully attended to, and the final result is a great credit to Mr. Heald’s ability, as well as his persistency. it is an organization that the Post, affiliated societies and the public are justly proud of.
Thomas L. Gray, swinging his new baton at the head of the procession never felt the honor of his position more keenly. Mr. Gray has led the procession for years, and the presentation of the baton was a timely recognition of his faithful services. “Tom’ went through the entire days march in fine form, and said “ I never felt better in my life.”
Among the prominent Memorial Day visitor in town and at the East Village yard were: Mrs. Mabel Hunt Slater, daughter Ester and son H. Nelson Slater. Mrs. Slater was attentive to the services as conducted and mingles among the people, chatting with the ladies of the W. R. C., and showed a personal interest of the day and occasion that was favorably commented upon by the people.
Samuel P. Morris, a member of Post 61, living in Worcester, although not in the best of health, was present, and took part in the days duties as a veteran.
Ezra Spencer of Spencer, a member of the Post, 84 years old, deserves much credit for his effort in being present. He was the oldest member participating.
Comrade Elias P. Morton of Augusta Maine, for many years a resident of Webster, and one of the most active and influential members of Post 61, was not present. Mr. Morton is usually in the ranks Memorial day, and to him is given the reading of the Gettysburg Address, which, in his absence was given by a equally active member, Comrade Louie E. Pattison. “ The boys” missed Mr. Morton, but hope to see him in 1914 in his customary position.
Rev. Dr. Charles L. Goodell, the orator of the day, was for nine years pastor of Calvary Methodist church, Seventh avenue and 129th street, N. Y.. His new pastorate is St. Paul’s Methodist church, 550 West End avenue, New York. Mr. Goodells popularity and efficiency at the head of the big church is attested by a big membership of 3400, that being the figure when he left his former parish. his new position is said to be in possession of one of the finest churches and parish houses in New York City.
Comrades graves decorated for the first time having been “mustered out” during the past year, were, Capt. Amos Bartlett, Capt. Thomas K. Bates, John M. Clarke, Dexter F. Gleason; William R. Griffin, Charles A. Howard died previous to Memorial Day 1912 and Joseph E. Marcy, in Los Angeles, September 7, 1912; Darius Moore, died Jan. 2, 1913.