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Excerpts and Highlights from the
Eighth Regimental Reunion
16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Wooster, Ohio
August 1-2, 1883

Web Author's Notes:
The text below was taken from the 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 text has been transcribed exactly as it appeared in the original document.

Eighth Reunion

The Eighth Annual Reunion of the 16th Rgiment of Ohio Volunteers began at Wooster, O., on Wednesday, August 1st.

Early in the morning trains on the P., Ft. W. & C. R. R., from the east and west, and forenoon and afternoon, brought the veteran members of their scarred and decimated ranks from adjoining and distant counties and some from other States. From the surrounding country the boys came in wagons and buggies and on horseback. Large knots of these soldiers were seen on the streets all day, and the G. A. R. Hall was the rendezvous where all gathered. The hall was beautifully decorated with flags, evergreen, flowers and pictures. One picture represents Chickasaw Bluffs, where the 16th regiment severely felt the results of war, and is one of great interest to everybody. The spot where G. U. Harn, Captain of Co. I, was killed, is pointed out; and the story of how nobly Col. DeCourcey let his Brigade, which included the 16th Regiment in the lead, over the Bayou across the 100 yards space between the bayou and the first line of rifle-pits of the rebels, under a heavy entilading fire; the position of the 16th Regiment was severely shelled and where they lost 340 men and 11 officers. The picture shows General Blair's Brigade in the swamp between two arms of the bayou, and cut off from rendering any assistance to Col. DeCourcey; also the Brigades of Col. DeCourcey, Col. Sheldon and Col. Lindsey; all the Union batteries, rebel field and masked batteries, the different roads leading to the Bluffs, and particularly the road along which were marched the 16th and other regiments as Prisoners. Visitors to the Hall were very much interested in hearing the "boys" relate their experience at this place. The picture is the work of Lieut. W. H. Woodland, of Co. I, 16th O.V.I., painted in oil from a pencil sketch taken just before the fight in December, 1862. All who were there recognize every detail as given and live over again in memory the terrible struggle and slaughter of Chickasaw Bluffs on Dec. 29, 1862. Lieut. Woodland also had two pictures in oil of Cumberland Gap, showing both sides of the mountain.

By 8 o'clock p.m., the Hall was densely packed with the old veterans and their families and friends, to listen and participate in the exercises of the camp-fire sociable. The program was carried out as follows:

1. Song -- "Auld Lang Syne," by the Glee Club.
2. Prayer by the Chaplain, J. Matlock.
3. Welcome address by Capt. Lemuel Jeffries.
4. Response by Sergt. S. N. Coe.
5. Song -- "Rally Round the Flag," by the Glee Club.
6. Toast -- The Ladies' Auxillary of Given Post G.A.R., by Chaplain G. W. Pepper
7. Replied to by the President, Mrs. H. H. Jeffries.
8. Song -- "My Country 'Tis of Thee."
9. Camp stories and army jokes by the comrades.

Web Author's Note: The following original poem references Catherine W. Brashear, the wife of the Regimental Surgeon, B. B. Brashear. Mrs. Brashear traveled with her husband and the Regiment through much of the war, acting as a nurse and "mother" to the soldiers.
Rabbi Fleischman then read a poem, "Mother of the Regiment." as follows:

The moon has passed from the clouds that massed
A fun'ral pall o'er the battle array,
Its rays are cast where the brave fell fast
Like the garnered grain on the harvest day,
Where sabres flashed and the bullets crashed,
And the ranks were mowed by the burning shell,
Where officers dashed and bay'nets flashed
While the men stood firm in the cauldron of hell;
The mellow light wraps a halo bright
Round the ranks of the dead who calmly sleep,
The stars of the night, grow dim at the sight
And the low'ring clouds are longing to weep.

The flags are furled and the smoke has curled
Away from the cannons that roared so wild,
Where grape was hurled while a trembling world
Saw the dead and the dying multiplied;
The wounded lie 'neath the starry sky,
While the shadows of night are gathering thick,
The winds that sigh waft the mournful cry
Which comes from the lips of the fevered sick.

On the gory field where each flash revealed
The angel of death as he swiftly passed,
Where his trumpet pealed, and his harvest yeild
Lay strewn like the leaves of the autumn blast,
On the furrowed field, where thunder pealed
While the hopes of years were nipped in the bud,
When chargers reeled and their riders sealed
Their record of strife with their heart's best blood;
When passions were hushed and hopes were crushed,
And the spirit of man 'neath woe was bent,
As tears she brushed and the moans she hushed,
We found the "Mother of the Regiment."

When our soals were sad and wounds were bad,
And we longed for the faces far away;
When the dead were clad or prayers had,
Or the dying folded their hands to pray;
When the lips so white, moved ever so slight,
And the spirit of life seemed almost spent,
The sick gained might, our spirits grew bright,
Cheered by the "Mother of the Regiment."

The battles are won and sire and son
Returned to the homes their valor had saved;
At setting of sun when work was done
They told of the dangers they oft' had braved;
Their eyes grew bright as they spoke with might
While the people cheered to their heart's content
How bravest by right throughout the flight,
Was their dear "Mother of the Regiment."

And when the band dispersed through the land,
At ev'ry muster was wont to apper;
The one to command both heart and hand
Was the pet of her boys, Mother Brashear.
But the kindly face and queenly gaze
Are vanished and gone from the soldier's tent,
Empty the place where we loved to trace
Deeds of the "Mother of the Regiment."

The flags are furled and our tears are pearled,
On the bier of the one we loved so well;
A grateful world its love has curled
'Round the mem'ry of her who bravely fell,
When birds shall sing and the years shall bring,
Still sweeter fruits on the charlot of time,
When souls shall swing as an eagle wing,
To the loftiest realms of thought sublime,
On grandest height, where our Nation's light
Shall shine like the stars on the vaulted tent
Like a sacred knight with banner bright,
Shall stand the "Mother of the Regiment."

The above poem was read with great feeling,...

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