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Excerpts and Highlights from the
Twenty-sixth Regimental Reunion
16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Cleveland, Ohio
September 12, 1901
Web Author's Notes:
Below is a transcription of the recorded proceedings of the 16th Ohio's twenty-sixth reunion at Cleveland, 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.

The location for this reunion was chosen to be in conjunction with the 35th G. A. R. National Encampment, at Cleveland, where over 30,000 Union Army veterans gathered for a national reunion of Civil War soldiers from September 9 to 14, 1901. The official reunion of the 16th Ohio took place on Thursday, September 12, and consisted mainly of business actions required of the reunion committee, as most members preferred to spend their time enjoying the events of the National Encampment.

In a sad coincidence, President William McKinley, who had been shot in the abdomen by an assassin a week earlier on September 6, but who doctors thought would fully recover from his wounds, became gravely ill on Thursday the 12th, and as his condition worsened, was not expected to live. Some information indicates the G. A. R. closed the National Encampment earlier than originally planned, at noon on Friday the 13th, with respect to the expected death of President McKinley. In photos of the reunion you can see black mourning ribbons fixed to many objects in the area of the reunion, some with an M monogram, paying tribute to the president. [These funeral ribbons were likely applied after the President's death on Saturday and after the reunion had closed.] McKinley died at 2:15 a.m. Saturday morning, just 14 hours after the National Encampment was officially closed.

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



O. V. I.


SEPTEMBER 12, 1901

The 26th Annual Reunion of the 16th Regiment, O. V. I., was to have been held in Akron, O., in August, 1901, but owing to the fact the National Encampment, G. A. R., was arranged to take place in Cleveland, O., in September of that year, and owing to the fact that a large number of the 16th O. V. I. living at a distance, who wished to attend both, the Akron comrades gracefully yielded to many requests and the Reunion was changed, with the understanding that the 27th Annual Reunion would be held in Akron in 1902.

At the 26th Reunion only important business pertaining to the 16th O. V. I. was transacted, and the comrades gave the major part of the time, while in Cleveland, to the Encampment, which was a grand affair, notwithstanding the fact that a great sorrow filled the hearts of all, over the assassination of Comrade McKinley, the beloved President of the United States.

The Reunion was held in the office of our comrade, Capt. H. T. Fisher, located in the Society for Savings Building, which is a mammoth structure, located in the Public Square. (see cut of building on preceding page.) Here the Comrades were royally received and were at liberty to make the rooms their headquarters during their stay in the city. From these rooms could be seen the elaborate decorations of the Square, which at night was magnificently illuminated by countless numbers of vari-colored electric lights, producing a marvelous spectacle.

During the mammoth parade, one of the most pleasing features ever witnessed was The Living Flag. This was composed of the school children of Cleveland, arrayed in red, white and blue clothing and so arranged as to form a mammoth flag. At given signals the children swayed their bodies in a manner which was a perfect imitation of a waving flag. These children were arranged on tier after tier of seats at the head of one of the principal streets, where marching columns and the children were given a continuous cheer from the old veterans as they passed.

At this Reunion many of our old Comrades, whose faces are not often seen at our Reunions, were warmly greeted, and at the close, the parting was a sad one, as all fully realized that never more, until the glad reunion in the Great Beyond would all meet again ...

(full transcription forthcoming)

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