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Certain misspellings from the original document, believed to be accidental, were corrected, while others were transcribed as recorded.
AT ODELL'S LAKE, O., AUGUST 2d and 3d, 1882.
HEADQUARTERS, 16TH REG'T O. V. I.
CAMP AT ODELL'S LAKE, Aug. 2, '82.
According to previous arrangements, tents were pitched, and as fast as the comrades arrived they were assigned to quarters.
Quite a number of the comrades were present who had not attended the reunion for several years. Many of the old 16th three months 1861 men were there, having been invited and voted in as members of the Regimental Association at Mansfield a year ago: and consequently sixteen of Capt. Wiley's old 16th, Company C, were on the ground. The hand shakings, greetings and old stories told among the boys consummated the purpose for which the reunion was intended.
Many of the officers and privates were accompanied by their wives, and quite a number by their entire families. Col. Philip Kershner, wife and daughter of Detroit, Michigan, delighted the association with their presence. The Colonel has lost none of his vivacity and vim; his appreciation of a joke or an old camp fire story has not abated in the slightest degree; lithe and agile, memory as fresh as it was in his schoolboy days. The Colonel was a Captain of the old 16th. Mrs. K. made it exceedingly pleasant for all who visited their headquarters. Their little daughter entertained the comrades in her beautiful, gentle manner, winning lovers at an early age.
Dr. and Mrs. Brashear were there, of course, as they never miss a reunion. The boys had frogs in their throats and
big steers in their eyes when they rushed up to greet that good and noble woman, who might appropriately be named
mother of the Regiment. Not a single soldier was overlooked by her, each receiving a kind word, her eye constantly on the alert for a 16th boy, no matter to which of the old 16ths he belonged. With her own hands on the lappel of each coat she pinned a rosette. Very voluble and quick at repartee, always ready to answer a question and propound one. She has borne age remarkably well, yet the lapse of 20 years has made a visible impress. May she live long to enjoy the kindness and love of the 16th Regiment, and when through with her labors on this earth may she be conveyed by angels to a heavenly home.
The exercises of the evening were abandoned, on account of the heavy rain that visited us about 4 o'clock p.m., and seemingly not in any hurry to leave. The night was passed very much like those of by-gone days, when we wore the blue, with a tallow candle fastened on a cracker-box, in the center of the tent, while circled around it were the old veterans, living over again the time of 1861-4. Thus passes the first night in camp.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 3d.
The rain having continued most of the night, with a prospect for more rain this morning, it was decided to postpone all business laid down in the program until after dinner.
At 2 o'clock p.m. the Association was called to order by Capt. Wm. M. Ross, President pro tem., and, as far as it was possible so to do, the order of business proceeded with as follows:
Music by Independent Band of Wooster.
Invocation by Rev. I. N. Kieffer.
Welcome address by Capt. Wm. M. Ross.
CAPT. ROSS'S ADDRESS.
Comrades, I hail you as the Nation's benefactors. You who in the hour of danger to our Nation stepped boldly forth, and by your wisdom, devotion, activity and labor, assisted in rescuing her from peril. No need to go to the ashes of the dead, or make inquiry of the voiceless graves of those who fell by your side a sacrifice to liberty, during that dreadful strife. you are living witnesses who have narrowly escaped death on those death-deluged and fire swept fields. The air was sick with the death of those who saw your valor on Chickasaw's fated fields, and swept the wood crowned summit of Champion Hills, and were on every field from the beginning to the close of the war. If such deeds, such devotion and such valor as were manifested by you in the defense of our country do not make you your country's benefactors, then may such names as Tell, and Kossuth, and Garabaldi, be forgotten.
A grateful government has made acknowledgement of your meritorious services; and now that the struggle of war has passed, you have returned to enjoy the relaxation and pleasures of home, a grateful people hail your return and welcome you to their hearts and when the last long leave of absence from this world's duties shall come to you, when you shall have filled up the measure of your days with deeds of beneficence to your fellows, then a grateful Nation shall gather your remains to an honored grave and encircle your memory with the evergreen of remembrance.
Music by the Band.
Reading minutes of last reunion.
After music by the band, Capt. W. P. Van Doorn stated that, while visiting the National cemetery; at Vicksburg, Miss., he had made a list of the names of all of our fellow-comrades that are buried in that cemetery. The list does not embrace half of the number of the 16th boys who are buried in and around Vicksburg, as a great many have no name on the stone that marks their last
The first toast--
The 16th Regiment in the Three Month's Service--was responded to by Gen. Aquila Wiley, who was frequently interrupted by rounds of applause.
The Philharmonic Club of Millersburg, then sang
On Gallant Company, which was well received.
Owing to the fact that Col. Kershner was very much indisposed the 2d toast,
The 16th O.V.I. in the Three Years' Service, was not responded to.
Grand Army of the Republic, was responded to by District Mustering Officer, I. N. Kieffer, arter which the Philharmonic Club sang
Rally Round the Flag.
Next order of business being selecting a place for holding the next reunion, the President appointed G. W. Littell, Capt. R. W. Liggett, Harry McClarran, H. G. White and S. N. Coe a committee for that purpose, with instructions to report at 10 o'clock a.m., August 4.
The hour having arrived for more rain, it began coming in torrents, so that the transaction of further business was out of the question, and nothing was done but the pyrotechnic display on the lake which took place at 8 p.m.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 4th.
At 10 o'clock A. M. the Association was called to order, for the purpose of hearing the report of the committee, and the transaction of any business that might be brought up.
George W. Littell, from the committee, reported that they had selected Wooster as the place for holding the next reunion.
The election of a Vice-President being in order, on motion, J. H. Morrison, of Akron, was elected Vice President of the Association for the ensuing year.
A telegram was then read from Captain A. S. McClure, regretting his inability to be with us. The following letter was also read from T. B. Linn, which was ordered spread on the records:
INDIANAPOLIS, July 12th, 1882.
Enos Pierson, Secretary 16th O. V. I. Reunion Association:
DEAR SIR AND COMRADE:--I Exceedingly regret that my duties will prevent me from sharing the pleasures of the grand encampment, and living over again the scenes of 186-'64, with my old comrades. The eighteen years which have passed since the last gallant old 16th marched to the music of the
Woodpecker Bank, stacked their arms and carefully folded away the tattered remains of that dear old flag, have silvered o'er the heads of even the youngest of us. We were young then, how we are old men, and upon many of us the weight of years press heavily, yet our hearts are still young as when we shoulder to shoulder charged through the swamps of Chickasaw, stormed the forts of Vicksburg or tramped through weary miles of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas. Then together, our ranks thinned by shot and shell, now scattered, vacant places are still made by the scythe of the remorseless destroyer time, until soon all names of the
old 16th, the pride of Wayne, Holmes and Muskingum, will have been transferred to the muster-roll of the Great Army above.
But excuse this moralizing and accept my best wishes for a grand and successful meeting of the
boys in blue, on the peaceful shores of the beautiful little lake you have chosen for the reunion.
Give to all our comrades the heart-felt greeting of the Bass Drummer of the
T. B. LINN
Remarks and suggestions were offered by several of the comrades in reference to the purchase of a part of the ground known as
Camp Tiffin, the place of rendezvous and organization of the 16th Regiment. On motion of William Hummer, a committee of three members of the Association, and two citizens of Wooster, were appointed to ascertain whether the ground could be purchased, and at what price. The committee consists of Captain A. S. McClure, D. C. Curry, Harry McClarran, Jacob Frick and D. W. Immel.
On motion of Col. Kershner, a committee of two from each Company was appointed to solicit funds for the purchase of the grounds and the erection of a suitable building. The committee consists of the following comrades:
Co. A--Daniel Rushy, Zanesville; Fred Rush, Zanesville.
" B--Wm. Anderson, Monroe; Capt. R. W. Liggett, Nashville.
" C--Jacob Shelly, Wooster; A. Branstetter, Wooster.
" D--Charles Roney, Zanesville; Thomas Ulrich, Dresden.
" E--R. W. Taneyhill, Millersburg; S. Chapman, Killbuck.
" F--J. A. Phillips, Richwood; B. H. Wile, New Pittsburg.
" G--S. N. Coe, Orrville; A. H. Sweitzer, Holmesville.
" H--E. W. Smith, Wooster; Elmer Funk, Wooster.
" I--H. H. Reed, Orrville; S. S. Everhart, Apple Creek.
" K--Wm. P. Van Doorn, Canaan; Monroe Slater, Navarre.
Field and Staff--Col. Philip Kershner, Detroit, Mich.
The Secretary was instructed to notify the committee as soon as it was ascertained that the ground could be purchased, so that they might enter upon their duties at once. The committee were instructed to make the necessary arrangements for the transfer of the ground to the association, provided the same can be purchased at a reasonable price; also to accept plans for a building. On motion the following was adopted:
Resolved, That upon the payment of the annual assessments, the wives, sons and daughters of all regular members may be admitted as contributing members of the Association.
On motion a vote of thanks was tendered to the proprietors of the grounds, also Col. Conger for the use of tents; the Secretary and committee of arrangements for the efficient manner in which they have conducted this reunion, which but for the inclement weather, would have been a grand success; also a vote of thanks to the Philharmonic Club of Millersburg for the splendid music rendered by them during the afternoon and evening.
The following is a list of the comrades present:
(reunion attendance pages to be developed)
On motion the Association adjourned to meet at Wooster on the first Thursday of August, 1883. ENOS PIERSON, Secretary.
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