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A Transcription of the
Twenty-third Regimental Reunion
16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Zanesville, Ohio
August 3, 1898
Web Author's Notes:
Below is a transcription of the recorded proceedings of the 16th Ohio's twenty-third reunion at Zanesville, Ohio. It was taken from an unidentified source, assumed to be an addendum to the original Proceedings of Eleven Reunions Held By the 16th Regiment, O.V.I, compiled by Enos Pierson, Secretary of 16th O.V.I. Reunion Association, in 1887. This document was provided by fellow 16th OVI descendant H. Arlan Heiser of Ohio.

Certain misspellings from the original document, believed to be accidental, were corrected, while others were transcribed as recorded.

Proceedings of Eleven Reunions Held By the 16th Regiment, O.V.I



16th Regiment, O. V. I.,

Zanesville, Ohio, August 3, 1898.

The Regimental Association of the 16th O. V. I., met in their Twenty-third Annual Reunion in Hazlett Post Room at 9:30 A. M. and was called to order by Geo. H. Playford, President of the Association. After a few remarks by the President, Secretary Enos Pierson read the proceedings of the last reunion, which was held at Buffalo, N. Y. On motion, the Secretary's report was approved. Treasurer Harry McClarran then reported as follows:

August 26, 1897, Dues received at Buffalo,$13.50
August 1, 1898, Postal Cards and Printing $4.00
August 1, 1898, Ribbon for Badges and Printing,3.507.50
Balance on hand,$6.00

On motion, the report was adopted.

The next business was the selection of a place for holding the Twenty-fourth Annual Reunion. A communication from Akron asking for the reunion was read by the Secretary. Wooster was placed in nomination, and as Akron sent no representative to present her claim, Wooster was the unanimous choice of the Association present.

Election of officers being in order, the following were elected for the ensuing year: President, D. C. Curry, Wooster; 1st Vice President, Geo. H. Playford, Zanesville; 2d Vice President, Thos. Ulrich, Dresden; 3d Vice President, Theo. D. Wolbach, Wadsworth; Secretary, Enos Pierson, Wooster; Treasurer, Harry McClarran, Wooster.

On motion, an assistant secretary was appointed from each company that the reunion may be more thoroughly advertised and the members brought out to the reunion from the different localities.

The assistant secretaries are: Co. A, James Hannum, Zanesville; Co. B, M. D. Force, Millersburg; Co. C, A. Branstetter, Wooster; Co. D, Thos. McFarland, Conesville; Co. E, Theo. D. Wolbach, Wadsworth; Co. F, Geo. Jackson, Akron; Co. G, S. N. Coe, Orrville; Co. H, B. F. Clark, Akron; Co. K, Mrs. W. P. VanDoorn, Wooster.

The matter of selecting a committee of general arrangements was left to the officers and resident members of Wooster.

The President appointed the following committee on resolutions, to-wit: Harry McClarren, Samuel Metzler and James Hannum. Pending the report of the committee short speeches were made by Comrades C. W. McClure of the 4th Ohio, D. C. Curry and W. H. Woodland of the 16th and Past Post Commander Speer of Hazlet Post, Zanesville.

The committee on resolutions then made the following report, to-wit:

WHEREAS, It has pleased the Great Commonder of the Universe to remove from out Association by death our comrades, James Robison, of Co. B, John McCluggage of Co. E, Thos. Ford of Co. F, Abraham Landis of Co. H, Jos. Nihoff of Co. K, John Thomas, Jacob Inglehart and Lewis H. Ferrell of Co. A and Samuel Shank of Co. I. Therefore be it

Resolved, That we bow in humble submission to His will, knowing that He doeth all things well.

Resolved, That we extend to the families and friends of our deceased comrades the heart-felt sympathy of our Association.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be spread upon the records of the Association.

Harry McClarran,

Samuel Metzler,

James Hannum,


On motion, the Association adopted the report of the committee.

Letters of regret were read from absent comrades as follows;

"WOOSTER, O., August 1st, '98.

Mr. Enos Pierson and Comrades of the 16th in Reunion at Zanesville;--

It is with many regrets that I am compelled to forgo the pleasure of attending this reunion. I fully realize the good time I will miss and am sure it will be to you all a grand meeting and although I shall not be with you in person, I shall be with you in mind; but my work is just now in such shape that I cannot leave it, but I am trying to arrange so as to go to Cincinnati in next month and there I hope to meet at least a part of the boys. Remember me kindly to all comrades, for well I know that the 16th was very prominent in putting down the Rebellions and many were the gallant deeds accomplished by them, and while life shall last I shall ever cherish the pleasant memories of past reunions and pray God that we may meet in many more and when the last roll call comes e may meet in one grand reunion. Wishing you all a most enjoyable time, I am your comrade, WILLIAM HUMMER, Co. H, 16th O. V. I.".

"EL DORADO, KAN., July 18, 1898.

Enos Pierson, Secretary, Wooster, O., and all Comrades of the 16th O. V. I.:--

DEAR COMRADES--How I would like to be with you and have the pleasure and privilege of grasping each and every one of you by the hand, but, comrades, circumstances prohibit me from that pleasure. I am nearly 60 years old and completely broken down, but if I were able to I would enjoy myself more to meet you all than anything I know of. I saw Major Muse just a short time before he died in Newton, Kan. J. R. Norris of Co. D has gone to Arkansas and now I am alone and by myself. I went to the Southwestern Association held at Arkansas City last fall, expecting to meet some of my Regiment, but none were there. I did meet one man of the 114th O. V. I. and heard one of the 22d Ky. was there, but I did not meet him or see his name on the Register. Therefore, comrades, you see we are badly scattered, but hope we will all meet at the last roll call above.

On the 7th of last May I went down to the train to bid my son Charles and 83 others farewell, just as our parents did for us 37 years ago. It reminded me of our friends when we were boys going to the war 37 years ago, but there were very few in that crowd--only one, my wife--that saw the boys that made up the 16th in 1861. My wife was there to see the 16th start--she was only thirteen years old; and she was at the depot in El Dorado to see her son go to help free Cuba, which is being done as fast as shells and bullets can be thrown in the Spanish army, and thank God they (the Spanish) are getting just what they deserved. Dewey and Schley are too much for them, and we must remember Hobson and his little crew of seven men. If there is any one listening to this letter who wants to write to my boy, his address is Charles. M. Ruckle, Co. H, 21st Kan. Vol. Inf., Chickamauga, Ga.

Well, comrades, one and all, I'll bid you good-bye and hope to meet each one of you at the last roll call above. Please send me a copy of Report of Reunion, 16th O. V. I. Yours in F. C. and L.,W. H. RUCKLE, Late 1st Lieut. 16th O. V. I.".

The roll was called and the following comrades were noted present:

Co. A--Geo. H. Playford, Jas. G. Hannum, Jas. Adams, Fred Rushey, Anthony Trost, Alonzo Fleming, Jas. H. Ford, C. A. Wilkins, Wm. Day, David Hazen, J. W. Purseff, R. Adams, Henry Fletcher, J. P. Murry, Samuel Murry, Jordon Pritchard, Zanesville, O.; Daniel Rushey, White Cottage, O.; H. H. Ross, Sonora, O.; Lieut. W. H. Woodland, Wooster, O.; Harvey W. Hahn, Canaan, O.

Co. B--I. K. Donald, Loudonville, O.; B. R. Baughman, Ashley, Ind.

Co. C--Enos Pierson, Samuel Metzler, A. Branstetter, J. Shelley, Wooster, O.

Co. D--Thos. McFarean, Conesville, O., Wm. St. Clair, Thos. Ulrich, Dresden, O.; John Panzler, Zanesville, O.; Wm. McGee, Trinway, O,

Co. E--Lweis A. Helwick, Bolivar, O.

Co. G--Joseph Heller, Orrville, O.

Co. H--Harry McClarran, D. C. Curry, Wooster, O.

Honorary members present were Mrs. G. A. Playford, Mrs. D. Rushey, Miss Rushey, Miss Josie Playford, General R. B. Brown, Zanesville, O.

The following perrons were elected associate members of the Association: Miss Mary Judkins, Columbus, O.; Miss Sherry, Comrade Jas. A. McElroy, Zanesville, O.

Pursuant to adjournment the Association convened at 1:30 o'clock; after being called to order the exercises were opened with prayer by Rev. Dr. Richards, which was followed with a song by the comrades, after which Secretary Pierson read the following Welcome Address from the Mayor who was unexpectedly called away from the city.

"ZANESVILLE, OHIO, July 30, 1898.

Captain George Playford, City:--

DEAR SIR:--Through you I desire to extend to the 16th Regiment, O. V. I. and the First Call Troops a most hearty and cordial welcome to Zanesville, your visit coming as it does during a year when this country is again engaged in a conflict at arms, but in this conflict there is no division of country--there is no North, no South--but one country, under one flag, united now and forever. The citizens of Zanesville are always glad to welcome the visitor to our gates. We are always glad to extend the glad hand to the stranger. We believe that if we can get the stranger to sample our hospitality that he will want to indulge in more of it, and the more of it he wants the better we like it.

We hope that your stay in the city will be a pleasant one. The committee having this reunion in charge has been untiring in their efforts to make you stay enjoyable and as you exchange your greetings with your comrades of the '60s, remember that the boys of 1898 are engaged in like acts of heroism and that they too are alike singing that stirring, patriotic sentiment,

The Union forever, hurrah, boys, hurrah!

Very truly,


In the absence of Comrade Wolbach, Comrade D. C. Curry responded on behalf of the Association. The next in order was calling the roll of deceased comrades since the last reunion, one of the saddest duties the Secretary has to perform. As each name was called the answer was the muffled roll of the drum.

The muffled drum's sad roll has beat
The soldier's last tatoo;
No more on life's parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.

Comrade Rev. Snodgrass was called on and responded in a short speech which was well received. Some rousing speeches were made by a number of comrades. Past Department Commander R. B. Brown's speech was listened to with marked attentions and elicited hearty applause. Among others who spoke was Rev. Dr. Richards, who was a soldier from Pennsylvania. Comrade Neff was called on and as usual put the boys all in a jolly mood by his humorous talk. Comrade Neff is quite a character and never misses a chance to attend a reunion and make things lively of the boys. Past Commander Speer of Hazlette Post also gave us a good talk.

The following additional report from the committee on resolutions was submitted:

Resolved, By the members of the 16th O. V. I., in reunion assembled that the grateful thanks are due and are hereby extended to the citizens of Zanesville for the cordial welcome and magnificent hospitality received at their hands, and will carry with us to our homes the kindliest remembrances of their generous treatment.

Resolved, That the same hearty welcome and royal entertainment be extended to visiting comrades at the city of Wooster in 1899.

Harry McClarran,

Samuel Metzler,

J. G. Hannum.

On motion the report of the committee on resolutions was adopted.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent in visiting and recalling scenes and incidents of the past, when we wore the blue and touched elbows in Dixie.

Camp Fire.

The Association and their friends assembled in Hazlett Post Hall at 7:30 P.M. Captain Playford presided and drafted speakers as he needed them. The first was W. H. Woodland, who commanded Co. A, which he designated as at once the friskiest and best military organization ever got together. Comrade I. K. Donald of Loudonville was called out and spoke briefly. He was followed by Miss Alta Ramsay, who recited a poem, composed by W. K. Ramsay, entitled The Gallant 16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

General R. B. Brown spoke at some length of the Ohio soldier in the late war; of his prominence and his bravery. He also paid an eloquent tribute to the flag. He was listened to with marked attention, being frequently applauded.

Miss Judkins of Columbus gave a fine recitation, entitle The Fourth of July at Ripton, which was delightfully rendered and thoroughly appreciated. Miss Judkins was made an honorary member of the Association. Short speeches were made by Comrades D. C. Curry, Neff, J. A. McElroy and others, followed by recitation by Miss Sherry.

An interesting and touching feature of the closing session of the reunion of the 16th Ohio Volunteers, held at Hazlett Post Hall was the presentation of a tattered, blood-stained guidon by James A. McElroy. In a letter which accompanied the gift, Mr. McElroy explained that the guidon was brought back from the war by his brother John and had been in the family ever since. At Chickasaw Bayou where the 16th was in the midst of the fight, John McElroy was wounded. As he was being carried off the field he saw the guidon fall, the sergeant who was carrying it having been shot. He broke away from the hospital corps and picked up the flag and kept it. When the story of the tattered relic was told last evening there was scarcely a dry eye in the audience. The gift was accepted with profuse thanks, and is regarded as the most precious property of the Association.

On motion a vote of thanks was tendered the press of Zanesville for courtesies shown the veterans. America was then sung and the Association adjourned to meet in Wooster in 1899, the time to be fixed by the Executive Committee.ENOS PIERSON, Secretary.

"ZANESVILLE, O., Aug. 3d, 1898.

To the Survivors of the 16th O. V. I.:----

My brother, John McElroy, was a member of Co. A of your regiment, and on the retreat from the battlefield of Chickasaw Bayou, Dec. 29th, 1862, he picked up a guidon belonging to the regiment and brought it home with him. It has been carefully preserved in our family ever since. I now take pleasure in presenting you this old and tattered memento of your service. Yours truly,

The following comrades have been reported dead since the last reunion:

James A. Robertson, Co. B, died November 18, 1897, in Florida.

John McCluggage, Co. E, died at Shreve, O., January 18, 1898.

Abram Landis, Co. H, died at Wooster, April, 1898.

Joseph Nihoff, Co. K, died at Friendsville, O., 1898.

John P. Thomas, Co. A, died at Zanesville, O.

Jacob Inglehart, Co. A, died at Zanesville, O.

Lewis H. Fehrell, Co. A, died at Springfield, O.

Thos. Ford, Co. F, died at Springfield, O.

Samuel Shank, Co. I, died at Canton, O.

Fourth of July at Ripton

Old Ripton is a Yankee town, amid the fair green mountains,
Where woodland streams come leaping down from sparkling springs and fountains;
Where seldom with the world outside her rustic genius mingles;
Where men are mostly occupied in making staves and shingles.
It is a patriotic place, though in an obscure corner.
The grandsire talks with radiant face of Allen, Stark and Warner.
The glorious Fourth of each July is made a grand occasion;
Each patriot puts his business by to swell the celebration.

The three selectmen of the town, Old Elder, the preacher,
Young 'Squire Epaminondas Brown and Hiram Todd, the teacher,
Met at the store of Levi Lunds--no patriots could be prouder--
To lay the plans and raise the funds for fireworks, flags and powder.
Old Elder Dean sat on a keg of New Orleans molasses,
And, hitching up his trousers leg, put on his big-bowed glasses,
Then said: I ruther think 'twill pay an' save us some confusion
To pass the box next Sabba'day an' take a contribution.

The first selectman of the town, a hand and fist extending,
Arose with a forbidding frown, and o'er the pastor bending,
Said, with a feeble, piping voice, suggestive of a pigeon:
I ain't a-goin' to give one cent, fur other folks' prancin';
We shall not break the Sabba'-day, nor get it by taxation,
The prop'rest way is, let 'em pay who want the celebration.

Then Squire Epaminondas Brown said: Don't hev' a conniption,
I'll go myself about the town and raise it by subscription.
My part I'll never try to shirk!
As might have been expected,
The man who wants to do the work is sure to be elected.
The work was done, the money found, the cost was closely counted,
The cannon dug up from the ground and on two cart wheels mounted;
A flag-pole raised upon the green, the old church decorated,
And every patriot to be seen looked very much elated.

Boom, boom, boom! in the early morning gray;
Boom, boom, boom! It is Independence Day!
Hurrah! The crackers fizz and pop;
The anvil roars by the blacksmith shop.

Boom! The pounder flashes!

Boom! The cannon crashes!

A sudden hush by the hollow falls--

Somebody calls:
"The cannon's bust, an' Issachar Drom"

Hez lost his thumb!"

What is a thumb or a finger or two
To the soul of the patriot, tried and true,
Or the loss of a limb, an arm or a head,
Or weeks of pain in a feather bed?
Whatever befalls our flag must fly,
And one and all in the crowd will cry:

Hurrah for Ethan Allen!

R-r-rub, r-r-rub, r-r-rub-dub-dub!
R-r-rub, r-r-rub, r-r-rub-dub-dub!

The sun is high,

Within the sky,
The proud procession is passing by;

With horn and drum,

A thousand come
A r-r-rub-a-dub, dub-a-dub, bum, bum bum!

Before the band

Rides Captain Rand
On a bob-tail bay with his sword in hand,

And, undismayed,

The home brigade
He marshals on to the dress parade;

Then come in sight

A chariot bright
And thirty-eight girls in gowns of white;

Behind them streams

A mile of teams;
A cloud of dust in the roadway gleams;

With mighty hum

Hurrah! they come.
A r-r-rub-a-dub, dub-a-dub,bum, bum, bum.

Along the line the Captain flies, his charger snorts and prances,
The object of a thousand eyes, as onward he advances.
He waves his sword, then stops his nag and shouts in tones of thunder:
Break ranks, break ranks to raise the flag! hip, hip, hurrah! out yonder!

With faces stained by sweat and soil, upon the green all cluster,
For patriotism lends to toil a most delightful luster.
They sing My Country, 'tis of Thee, with clear and tuneful voices,
For every soul loves liberty and every heart rejoices.
A maiden by the flag-pole stands, of charming grace and manner,
Who, with her brown but handsome hands, runs up the starry banner.
Above the rustling maple trees it proudly rises o'er her;
It floats upon the balmy breeze, and all who gaze adore her;
With rosy cheeks and radiant eyes, in which the teardrops glisten,
She speaks these lines which freemen prize, while all, attentive, listen:

"When Freedom from her mountain height

Unfurled her standard in the air,

She tore the azure robe of night

And set the stars of glory there;

She mingles with its gorgeous dyes,

The milky baldric of the skies,

And striped its pure, celestial white

With streakings of the morning light;

Then from this mansion in the sun,

She called her eagle bearer down,

And gave into his mighty hand,

The symbol of her chosen land."

Then to the church the people pass, to hear the Declaration
Read by old Doctor Cyrus Crass, and Elder Dean's oration.
With evergreen the walls are hung, the pulpit draped with bunting,
The work of Arabella Young and Ann Eliza Hunting.

O grand old men of darker days, resistless as an ocean!
What words can fitly speak your praise, the depth of your devotion.
More fair your honest fame shall glow in Freedom's song and story;
With bloody feet o'er frozen snow you marched to deathless glory!
O patriot band of Bennington, by strong and fierce endeavor,
A mighty victory you won, whose force will last forever
Your dear-bought triumph was complete, O brave New England yoemen,
You turned the torrent of defeat forever on your foemen.

The patriotic service done, the hungry congregation
Goes to the green with mirth and fun to eat a cold collation.
It is a charming afternoon, with rustic games it passes;
It slips, it slides away too soon for loving lads and lasses.
The night draws near, the darkness lurks in every shady corner.
They're fixin up the big fireworks! Hurrah, fur old Seth Warner!
Hiss-s-sh-h-hu-u-uo-o-o! See that rocket in the sky!
Pop! See the brilliant fire-balls fly!
Pop, pop, pop! See them leap about the air!
Pop, pop, pop! From the Roman candles there!
Pop, pop, pop! Blue and yellow, red and white!
Pop, pop, pop! Are they not a splendid sight?
Bank! Pop, pop, fizz-z-zs-sh-h-hu-u-uo-o-o!
Somebody crics: Look out fur your eyes!
Timothy Hatch hez dropt a match
Into a box of rockets and wheels.
Take to your heels! Take to your heels!

Bellowing boys for their fathers call;
Women scream and their babies squall,
Children are crushed and cry with pain,
Pandemonium seems to reign,
Dresses are torn and trampled in dirt,
All are frightened, but few are hurt.

Thus ends the day; with many a shout the crowd does home excited,
Sunburnt and soiled and all tired out, but perfectly delighted.
The maples rustle on the green, the night grows dark and dreary;
The dew descends upon the scene and sleep upon the weary.
O Natal Day, whereon was born our Independent Nation,
All patriots greet your glorious morn with joy and exultation.
O mountain peaks, that look with pride on vales of verdant beauty,
For you a thousand heroes dies, in brave defense of duty.

--Eugene J. Hall.

Recited by Miss Mary Judkins.

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