DeKalb County G. A. R. Camp-Fire and Reunion Association.
G. A. R. Camp-fire and Reunion
Arnold & Nichols, Steam Printers, Sycamore, ILL.
G. A. R. CAMP-FIRE
The first annual meeting of the DeKalb County G. A. R. Camp-Fire and Reunion Association, was held at DeKalb on Thursday and Friday, September 11 and 12, 1885. It was called on the authority of a preliminary meeting made up of representative Grand Army Comrades from the various Posts of the county. At this annual meeting a constitution was adopted and the organization perfected. The following named comrades were duly elected officers of the association;
Daniel Dustin — President.
M. V. Allen — Vice President.
H. B. Gurler — Treasurer.
A. S. Kinsloe — Secretary.
An Executive Committee was elected, whose duty among other things is to fix the time and place of the next meeting as follows:
A. J. Driver — Post, 12.
J. C. Spriggs — " 124.
Elijah Curtis — " 283.
F. L. Campbell — " 395.
A. L. Wells — " 463.
W. E. Hill — " 478.
F. S. Mosher — " 510.
D. T. Sherman, (subsequently added) — " 580.
About the 1st of April, 1886, the Executive Committee met at Sycamore, and after due deliberation instructed the Secretary of the Association to issue the following notice to the Grand Army Posts of the county:
Malta, Ill., April 15, 1886.
To the G. A. R. Posts of DeKalb County:
COMRADES: I am instructed by the Executive Committee of the DeKalb County G. A. R. Camp-fire and Reunion Association, to notify the several posts of the county that the next meeting of the Association will be held at Sycamore, Thursday and Friday, Sept. 2nd and 3rd, 1886, and that a full attendance of all the Posts is earnestly hoped for. For the purpose of creating an association fund, a register will be provided, and each soldier is requested to register his name and pay on so doing the sum of twenty-five cents, the fund so derived to go in payment of any expense that may become necessary, such as books, postage, stationary, &c. Each post is requested to bring as many guns as they can possibly procure. The Woman's Relief Corps of Sycamore will furnish rations, the charge to be twenty-five cents per meal, while theirs is a fund to which any old soldier can cheerfully contribute. Nothing in this will be construed to debar comrades who wish to, from forming a mess and supplying themselves. A competitive drill will be one of the features of the meeting, open to all Posts in squads of not less than eight, all of whom must be members of the posts with which they drill. The commands to be used in the drill will be arranged by Gen. Dustin, and will be furnished each Post soon. A prize, to cost not less then five dollars will be given the winning Post. The program, and all things not Com. A. J. Driver, C. J. Greenwood and W. F. Peters on general arrangements, and J. W. Burst on tents and ordnance. Be sure to be on hand; you may have been guilty of something that will render the convening of a court martial a necessity.
Yours in F. C. & L.,
A. S. KINSLOE,
Comrade Daniel Dustin to whom was referred the matter of rules governing the Competitive drill, reported the following:
Rules governing the Prize Drill, at the DeKalb County G. A. R. Camp-Fire and Reunion Association, September 2nd and 3rd, 1886.
These Rules were reported to and approved by the Executive Committee of the Association.
1st. While it is quite desirable that those who participate in the drill should wear the GRAND ARMY UNIFORM, yet it will not be taken into account by the awarding committee.
2nd. The order in which the several squads shall be called for drill will be determined by lot, under the direction of the executive committee.
3rd. This Committee will also designate a certain LINE, on which, all the squads in their order, shall form; and prescribe the grounds upon which the movements shall be made.
4th. The drill shall be governed by Casey's Tactics so far as applicable.
5th. The drill of each squad will be conducted by its own single officer or drill master, without file closers or cover sergeants.
6th. The movements will be in two ranks, and the march by the right or left flank, and the facing to the right or left, shall be understood to mean, "without doubling." The march will be in quick time, and shall consist of: The direct march to the front, to the rear, by the right flank, by the left flank, and wheelings under the commands given.
7th. At the bugle call to attention, the squad about to drill will be scattered in different directions, and not less than ten paces from the line of formation; each man equipped with muzzle loading gun, cartridge box and ammunition, bayonet scabbard belt, bayonets fixed.
8th. At the last note of the assembly call, the squad will form on the line in two ranks, and assume the position of the soldier at shoulder-arms.
9th. The time for drill is not to exceed fifteen minutes, reckoning from the last note of attention, and ceasing at the bugle-call halt, provided if the squad is executing a particular movement
4at the time, it shall he allowed to finish it.
(The commands indicating the movements, manual of arms etc. are omitted.)
On the 16th day of August, 1886, the following circular notice and program was issued:
HEADQUARTERS G. A. R. CAMP-FIRE AND REUNION ASSOCIATION.
Sycamore, Ill., Aug. 16, 1886.
To the Grand Army Posts of DeKalb County: —
You are hereby notified that the second annual reunion of our Association will be held at Sycamore on Thursday and Friday, September 2nd and 3rd, 1886. The Grand Army Poets are requested to invite all soldiers within their respective jurisdictions, whether they belong to the G. A. R. or not, to join them in this reunion. Potter Post No. 12, G. A. R., proposes, through the substantial aid of the citizens of the city of Sycamore, to receive and entertain all soldiers who may attend.
A military camp will be established in the Court House square to be used as headquarters for the several posts.
All posts are earnestly requested to be present in full force, and especially come prepared each with a squad of not less than eight men to participate in the PRIZE DRILL provided for by the executive committee, not expecting perhaps to give an exhibition of artistic drill, but to give the people an idea of what was a part of the almost daily discipline and work of the soldier during the war. They are further requested to bring all guns in their possession and thereby assist each other in the way of guns and accoutrements for the drill.
|PROGRAM FOR FIRST DAY.|
|8:30 A. M.||Potter Post with the Sycamore Band and Young America Drum Corps, will escort the soldiers who may arrive at that hour from the depot to their quarters in Court House Square.|
|11 A. M.||The same escort duty to those arriving at that time.|
|11:30 A.M.||Business Meeting|
|12 M.||Dinner Call.|
|1:30 P. M.||Assembly call, at which time all are invited to participate in the reunion of the 105th Regiment III. Vols. The exercises will consist of vocal and instrumental music, short speeches, recitations, etc.|
|4:30 P. M.||Dress Parade, after which the Posts will have an opportunity to prepare for the prize drill.|
|7:30 P. M.||Assembly call, business meeting of the Association, Music, Speeches, General Love Feast, Camp Fire, etc.|
|10 P. M.||Tattoo.|
|10:30 P. M.||Taps.|
|Sunrise||Morning Gun and Reveille.|
|8 A. M.||Sick Call.|
|9 A. M.||Guard Mounting.|
|10 A.M.||Prize Drill.|
|12 M.||Dinner Call.|
|1:30 P. M.||General Business.|
|2 P.M.||Love Feast.|
|3 P. M.||Court Martial.|
|4:30 P. M.||Dress Parade.|
|5:30 P. M.||Grand March and Review.|
|CAMP DETAIL FIRST DAY.|
|Officer of the Day||Comrade M. V. Allen.|
|" " " Guard||Willis Case.|
|Officer of the day||Comrade M. V. Allen.|
|" " " Guard||" M. V. Eames.|
|In F. C. and L.,|
|A. S. Kinsloe,||Sec. and Adjt.|
And again on the 1st day of August 1886, the following order convening a court martial was issued to wit:
Headquarters DeKalb County G. A. R. Camp-fire and Reunion Association.
Sycamore, Ill., Aug. 1, 1886.
A general Court Marshal is hereby ordered to convene at Sycamore on the 3rd day of September, 1886, 3 o'clock a. m. for the trial of Comrades S. D. Wesson, on charges and specifications duly preferred, and for the trial of such other offenders as may be brought before said Court.
Detail for the Court:
Comrade Geo. B. Gurler, President — Post 283.
6" A. J. Upham — " 12.
" J. C. Pierce — " 124.
" Elijah Curtis — " 283.
" S. D. Whitney — " 395.
" A. L. Wells — " 463.
" A. S. Hollenbeck — " 478.
" E. G. Coe — " 510.
" D. T. Sherman — " 580.
" M. V. Allen, Judge Advocate — " 463.
" M. V. Tyrell, Clerk — " 283.
A. L. Kinsloe, Secy. and Adjnt.
Daniel Dustin, President.
The local executive committee of Sycamore, charged with the duty of making all necessary arrangements for the successful management of the reunion, having concluded their laborious duties, present their report of the proceedings, including settlement of accounts, etc., as follows:
The undersigned, members of the local executive committee on the DeKalb County G. A. R. Camp-Fire and Reunion Association, the annual meeting of which was lately held at Sycamore, beg leave to make the following report:
It having been decided to hold the reunion at Sycamore, on Sept. 2nd and 3rd, and considering that the reunion of the 105th Illinois was to be held at the same place on the 2nd of September, your committee appointed to make all necessary arrangements for these reunions, after a careful consideration of the matter thought it a proper thing in behalf of Potter Post, to ask the citizens of Sycamore to entertain all soldiers who should attend, the whole number likely to attend being estimated at about three hundred. With this object in view, by a vote of the Post, the Womans Relief Corps, of Sycamore, was invited to assist in canvassing the city for places of entertainment. And most nobly did they respond to the invitation, in no way relaxing their efforts until they had secured places for about two hundred soldiers. Your committee also raised by subscription, the sum of two hundred and sixty four dollars to meet other and all expenses that might accrue.
Potter Post took occasion to furnish itself at its own expense, with twenty-four muskets and equipments complete, costing near seventy dollars. These the Post now have on hand to be used on Memorial day, Fourth of July or on any other proper public occasion.
On the day before the reunion, the several committees were busily at work in the performance of their various duties, so that on the morning of the first day, tents had been pitched and a military camp regularly laid out in Court House Park. A battery of artillery from Batavia, was planted in the northeast corner of the park under the command of Captain Ed Newton and Lieut. Will S. Reade, both of Batavia.
A platform and seats were erected on the east side of the Court House capable of accommodating one thousand persons or more.
Two large garrison flags were swung across Main Street, on one of which were the words "Welcome to the 105th," and on the other "Welcome to the G. A. R." Innumerable smaller flags and other decorations were tastily displayed on the principal streets.
At 8:30 o'clock a. m., Potter Post led by the new Sycamore Band and Young America Drum Corps marched to the depot and received Edward Bridge Post, 124, of Malta, Merritt Symonds Post, 283, of DeKalb, and Thos. S. Terry Post, 463, of Shabbona. These posts were escorted to the park and assigned to quarters Subsequently Lieut. Barnes Post, 395, of Kingston; Resaca Post, 478 of Genoa led by the Genoa Band; Sandwich Post, 510, of Sandwich, and Thos. W. Humphry Post, 580, of Kirkland, led by the Kirkland Band, entered the city, reported at the park and were assigned to quarters.
At 11 o'clock a. m. the column was formed composed of all the Grand Army Posts present, and marched to the depot. Here they received other soldiers of DeKalb county, but more especially the soldiers of the 105th Ill., and their friends from Du Page and other counties.
These guests were escorted to the park, marching through Main Street in open order, bands playing, drums beating and colors flying. Assignments for entertainment were then made
8and after a preliminary business meeting, the entire assemblage under personal escort was then scattered throughout the city for dinner.
At 1 o'clock p. m. the assembly was sounded when soldiers and citizens joined together in the exercises of the afternoon, the same being especially set apart for the reunion of the 105th Ill. Vols. After music by the Sycamore Band, the audience was called to order by Comrade Daniel Dustin, president of the Association, who announced that while the venerable Chaplain of the 105th, the Rev. Daniel Chapman, now eighty years of age was expected to be present, a letter had been received saying that he was unable to attend. In his absence the Rev. Mr. France, of the United Brethren Church, by invitation, opened the exercises with prayer.
The address of welcome delivered by the Rev. Lewis Curts presiding elder of the Dixon district and Chaplain of Potter Post, G. A. R. was a model of wit and humor, permeated through and through with the earnest, sincere and patriotic impulses of a Christian soldier. He spoke the language of the public heart of Sycamore in a cordial welcome to the soldiers present.
The address was responded to by several comrades, among whom was Maj. S. M. Randolph, of Chicago, architect of the Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors Home at Quincy. He expressed his pleasure at being present, and his thanks in behalf of all soldiers and their friends for the hospitalities accorded to them by the people of Sycamore, the Womans Relief Corps and Potter Post No. 12. Maj. Willard Scott also spoke in the same spirit and emphasized the fact that while soldiers should stand together in their own true interests, so will they always stand together in expressions of gratification and thanks for all favors bestowed on them, and in appreciation of such kind attentions as were shown them by Sycamore on this occasion.
Col. H. F. Vallette, of Chicago, said that on account of business engagements, he had sometimes been denied the pleasure of attending some of the reunions of the 105th. But he could bear cheerful testimony to the happiness it had given him whenever he was fortunate enough to be present. He should ever remember
9with gratitude the kindly feeling with which he had been received at these gatherings, and the great good it had done him to mingle with the boys in their enjoyments. And on this occasion more than ever he was peculiarly impressed with the cordial greetings among the soldiers and the hospitable welcome on the part of the citizens of Sycamore.
An interesting feature of the afternoon program was a recitation by Mrs. C. D. Rogers, of Sycamore, entitled "Why the Farm could not be sold." Her powers of elocution are quite remarkable, and her pathetic utterances are very fine. While she may not have been heard on the outer circle of the immense audience, yet it was a picture of rare interest to note the intense earnestness depicted upon the countenances of those within the radius of her voice, and especially those veteran soldiers, with eyes riveted upon the speaker, with quivering lips and with tears rolling down their cheeks as she told the story that "the farm could not be sold," because those who went out to battle for their country and their home were now sleeping in the family burial ground on the old homestead. Mrs. Rogers was heartily applauded and she stands marked a round one hundred in the estimation of those who listened to her recitation.
A business meeting of the 105th was now held in which it was voted to hold the next annual meeting at Downer's Grove, in DuPage County.
Officers were elected as follows:
Daniel Dustin — President.
H. F. Vallette — 1st Vice President.
Willard Scott, Jr. — 2nd Vice President.
T. S. Rogers — Secretary and Treasurer.
The afternoon exercises were enlivened and made interesting from time to time by vocal and instrumental music for which the audience was indebted to the Sycamore double quartette under the lead of Comrade Frank E. Hills; the Kirkland quartette led by Comrade Marbell and the three Brass Bands heretofore named. The comic pieces as sung by Mr. Marbell afforded great amusement and laughter. His mimicry was first-class and provoked great applause.
The artillery also gave emphatic endorsement to everything that was said and done, in true dynamite order all can testify. The hour of dress parade having arrived, by a vote of the comrades of the Grand Army, the muskets were passed over in F. C. & L. to the 105th Ill., who were accorded the center of the line, all other soldiers forming on the right and left in equal numbers. Comrade Charles G. Culver, was appointed adjutant, and under his direction the lines were well formed with his characteristic old time military precision. Considering that more then twenty years has passed since at least a part of these soldiers had used had used the musket, the manual of arms of the 105th was very good. The dress parade was a success and of much interest to all present.
The evening's entertainment was held at Ward's Opera Hall and was presided over by Past Department Commander John W. Burst. Excellent speeches were made by Comrades E. G. Coe, Editor of the Sandwich Free Press, Colonel L. W. Sheperd, Secretary and Superintendent, and Colonel L. T. Dickason, Trustee, of the Illinois Soldiers and Sailor's Home.
Comrade Coe referred to the real enjoyment connected with these reunions — when soldier meets soldier eye to eye, when a look, a word, a touch of hands instantly carries them back to the time when side by side they marched in line of battle to the music of whistling bullet and shrieking shell. It is no wonder that founded upon such an acquaintance and such fearful associations, and abiding friendship should spring up between them, and that soldiers should be banded together as Grand Army men, and they are right in doing so and should be commended for it.
Colonel Sheperd in his speech was inspired by the events of the war, the results of the war, and the interests of the G. A. R. It was particularly interesting as he spoke of his personal and intimate acquaintance with Abraham Lincoln, instinctively disclosing the fact that he was a sincere and enthusiastic devotee of the martyr President, picturing him as he looked over the shoulder of the Secretary of State, in November 1860, and counted up the immense majorities that were rolled up in Northern Illinois for him, neutralizing and overwhelming the counter majorities down in
11Egypt. Ever since that time he had wished he had been born in this splendid country, and it all added interest to this his first visit to DeKalb county.
Colonel Dickason is a Past Department Commander of Illinois G. A. R. and one of the wounded veterans of Chicamauga. His intercourse with the boys is a part of his existence, and a soldier's camp-fire sociable is his regular communion service. Considering his well known modesty, the Colonel surprised his most intimate friends by making an excellent speech, embracing incidents of the army life of himself and comrades, and the noble work now being done by the State of Illinois for disabled soldiers. The Colonel was one of the solid Grand Army men who secured the passage of the law providing for the building of the Illinois Soldiers and Sailor's Home.
"The Charge at Chicamauga" was then finely rendered by Master Frank Sudoth, a boy of rare oratorical ability.
The Sycamore Double Quartette gave some of their best war songs and Comrade Marbell again furnished a comic dressing to the entertainment, without which it could not have been complete.
Miss Zada Belle Dustin gave the following recitation delivered in a clear tone of voice, and in a manner fully appreciated by the entire audience.
"It is said that war has been one of the most potent and effectual agencies in reforming, enlightening and even evangelizing the world.
However this may be in its remote consequences, its immediate effects are such as make the word "war" another name for horror. It is a huge compound word embodying more inhumanity than any other. Its track is that of desolation and death, of demoralization and sorrow.
And yet the world of mankind has not yet learned to make the journey of life without encountering this bloody monster in its way. Indeed at the present stage of the world's progress there seems to be a necessity of waging war however terrible to break down for instance, and ungodly and wicked nation, or as in our great war for the Union, to accept the challenge thrown out at
12Fort Sumpter and rally on the field of battle in defence of civil liberty, of home and country, as against the despotic power that would make slavery instead of freedom the bulwark of our nationality.
The man who in self-defence shoots down the highwayman or the midnight burglar is universally justified, yea, applauded for the act, and so the Union Soldiers, who in defence of their country, shot down its enemies, blotted out the rebellion and saved the Union. Ah! they received justification from high heaven and the applause of every patriotic man, woman and child in the land and the broad seal of approval from the world at large.
But what about this demoralization that comes from army life? Judging from other wars, it was feared that when the Union Soldiers returned the very foundations of society would be broken up; that every man would become a wholesale forager on his own account; that law and order would be set at naught, and that general chaos would come again as the presiding genius of the hour. And have any of those fearful forebodings been realized? No, no thank heaven! and thanks to the system of common schools, academies and colleges at the north, the Union Soldiers went into the army with intelligence and true manhood, and instead of losing these qualities during their soldier life, they grew with their growth and strengthened with their strength, until now it is the great boast of the country that its citizen soldiers are a part of the best blood and bone and sinew in every community.
Of course you soldiers have no faults — not many. You never get switched off the straight line — you never get side-tracked — not often. You never get on a bum — never! That is, hardly ever. For it is doubtless too true that, while each soldier was a constituent element of the grand army that controlled the rebellion, it should not be surprising that some of them sometimes may not be able to control themselves.
And you and I, friend, who were not soldiers, should have a care how we indulge in harsh condemnation when the faults of one of these soldiers come to the front, varying but a little from the faults common to us all; for it may be that in that soldier's record some gallant deed has been performed that would cause us
13to withhold our criticism and let the Divine Spirit of forgiveness have its perfect work. Listen to the story of one of these:
Go with me into one of the police courts in the city of Chicago. The judge is on the bench and a soldier in the prisoner's box.
The judge bids him stand and informs him that he is now brought before the Court on the charge of being "drunk and disorderly," and asks him what response he has to make. With a thoughtful, manly and earnest countenance he looks the judge square in the face, and in tremulous tones, replies, "Your honor, whether drunk and disorderly or not, I have no doubt that I had been drinking too much, and if, on what account, the peace and dignity of the state has been somewhat disturbed, I confess I am not surprised." The judge saw before him an intelligent man, clothed in army blue and brave enough to tell the truth, and he says, "If I allow this offence to pass without punishment, may I have the assurance that you will try and refrain from such conduct in the future?" Firmly and frankly the soldier speaks.
"Your honor, I can readily see how easily I can win this engagement between you and me this morning by giving you the assurance you ask. But sir, when I again go down among the busy throng and engage in the battle of life, I shall be sure to meet my old enemy and he will as surely bring on another general engagement, and, as usual, I fear it will be an inglorious defeat upon my part."
The judge released him without punishment, and subsequently learned his history, which is as follows:
It was during one of the most important periods of the war and at one of the most important points in the Union lines that this soldier, with others, was detailed upon the picket line in the night-time, with instructions to watch closely the enemy and report all extraordinary movements.
In the dead of night, listening intently, he overheard strange sounds and suppressed voices from the rebel lines. Promptly and silently he creeps out far beyond his beat and close in upon the rebel works, and there again he listens, full of intense emotion to the movements being made.
He hears voices with distinct utterance, the rumbling of wheels, the tramp of infantry, the rattle of horse's hoofs and cavalry trappings — and suddenly the terrible fact rushes upon him that a night attack upon our troops is premeditated, that the slumbering multitude of Union Soldiers are in danger of being surprised and captured. Quick as thought he turns upon his heel, and with lightning speed he makes his way back to the Union lines. He gives the alarm to the guard, to the officers, to the rank and file. He rushes from line to line and from camp to camp, and what was just now a sleeping host is quickly transformed by the long roll as by magic into life and activity, into thoroughly organized lines of battle, with glistening steel and shotted gun, ready for the fearful emergency of the hour.
And the rebel hordes as they come rushing down upon our troops are received with bloody welcome. They are gallantly repulsed and sent howling back to their entrenchments.
And thus this faithful soldier saved the Union army from destruction and what might have been a turning point in favor of a Southern Confederacy. And now I appeal to you, should this soldier who could not always control himself, should this soldier die in your midst, what emotions will come rushing up from your hearts? Ah! You will all come together to do honor to his memory, you will widen out the mantle of charity, fold it lovingly about him and tenderly lay him down to sleep.
You will cover his grave with the choicest flowers, and as their fragrance rises to heaven, so will your prayers go up to God that this soldier, brave and true, may be enlisted in the Grand Army above, there to answer to the reveille in the Grand Encampment on the plains of Paradise."
At the close of the above recitation, the meeting was dismissed, but only to assemble with the boys in large numbers around a huge Camp-Fire on Main Street, whose lurid flames recalled "the light of other days." And now again they repaired to the platform in Court House park, and interested each other in song and story until a late hour of the night. Taps were then sounded and Sycamore with her guests retired to the land of nod.
The morning of the second day of the Reunion was ushered in by a salute from the Batavia Artillery.
At 9 o'clock a. m. the formalities of guard mounting were performed, the officer of the day being Comrade M. V. Allen and the officer of the guard Comrade M. V. Eames.
At 10 o'clock a. m. the crowd began to assemble to witness the competitive drill to commence at that hour, and great interest was manifested in the event. The awarding committee consisted of Colonel L. T. Dickason, Colonel L. W. Sheperd and Major S. M. Randolph. It was a disappointment that the several posts present did not all participate in the drill. Only the Shabbona post with a squad of eight comrades and the Sycamore post with sixteen comrades appeared upon the grounds. The prize was awarded to the squad from Shabbona, Comrade M. V. Allen being drill master.
The afternoon session of the reunion brought a still further increase in attendance and a still greater interest in the exercises. All seemed eager to see and listen and take it all in. As soon as the multitude was called in order, the Rev. Mr. Ralph, of the Universalist Church of Sycamore, by invitation, responded in a short address, recounting in choice and elegant language, the sacrifices made and the immense benefits derived from a prosecution of the war. While thousands of hearts were wrung with anguish as their friends by the hundred went down to death or were crippled for life; while the government in its financial standing was racked to its very foundations, and put to its highest tension in keeping the army in good fighting order, yet in considering the untold and incalculable advantages to the country present and prospective on account of the successful prosecution of the war, who shall deny that the rents issues and profits in the great future will be far beyond the investments terrible as they may appear.
The Rev. Mr. Atchison, of the M. E. Church, of Sycamore, gave the next address, and while he always speaks well, his effort on this occasion was one of the very best. Being himself a soldier the manner of relating his experiences was equal to that of the brightest convert who has successfully passed his period of probation
16and has long since been received into full membership with the G. A. R. He exhorted all to make the best of life in the interest of God and humanity, and more especially did he remind the soldiers of a sacred duty resting upon them in memory of their dead comrades, to turn the glorious achievements of the war to the highest and best account.
A business meeting of the Grand Army Posts was now held and officers of the association were elected for the year ensuing as follows:
A. S. Kinsloe, Malta, President — Post 124.
M. V. Allen, Shabbona, Vice President — " 463.
A. J. Driver, Sycamore, Secretary — " 12.
H. B. Gurler, DeKalb, Treasurer — " 283.
W. F. Peters, Sycamore — Post 12.
A. B. McCrea, Malta — " 124.
B. Snow, DeKalb — " 283.
F. L. Campbell, Kingston — " 395.
S. D. Wesson, Shabbona — " 463.
H. H. Slater, Genoa — " 510.
W. M. Burroughs, Kirkland — " 580.
On motion it was voted that hereafter in attending all reunions of the association, each post shall furnish its own tents, cooking utensils and commissary stores, so that all posts, while encamped together in F. C. & L., as an association, will be independent each of the others.
On motion of — the thanks of the association were cordially tendered to Potter Post No. 12, to Potter Womans Relief Corps and to the citizens of Sycamore for the preparations made and hospitalities extended at this reunion.
|Grand Army of the Republic
S. D. Wesson
|ss Unmilitary Conduct.|
And now comes the military Court heretofore ordered by the
17president of this association, and the officers and members of said court in their own proper persons, and in answer to their names also come to wit:
And the said Court being now fully organized and sworn, and it appearing that charges and specifications have been preferred by the judge advocate of said court, against one S. D. Wesson, on two counts to wit: First, stealing chickens, and second, stealing watermelons. The court by the president thereof, orders that the provost martial, Comrade T. B. Lucas, with his deputies, bring the prisoner before the court which is done accordingly.
And the said defendant now being arranged, and the charges and specifications having been read by the judge advocate, for a plea, answers and says that he is not guilty in manner and form as charged. Whereupon the court proceeds to hear the testimony as well upon the part of the defendant as upon the part of the G. A. R., and the law having been fully expounded, and the testimony having been profoundly argued by the judge advocate Com. M. V. Allen and the learned counsel for the defendant, Com. J. W. Burst, under the instructions of its president, the court retires to consider of its verdict. And subsequently the court returns and renders its verdict in words and figures following to wit:
We, the court find as follows:
That the said defendant, S. D. Wesson, is not guilty as set forth in said charges and specifications.
That the judge advocate M. V. Allen is guilty of improper and unmilitary conduct.
That he, the said M. V. Allen, be publicly reprimanded on dress parade by the commanding officer of the association.
Signed by the Court.
The time for dress parade having arrived, the lines were formed under the direction of Comrade A. S. Kinsloe, as Adjutant, and the Rev. Wm. Tasker, acting as Chaplain.
At the close of the dress parade and before the lines were dismissed, the Adjutant, A. S. Kinsloe, advanced to Captain M. V. Allen, and requested that officer to surrender his sword, which demand
18was gracefully complied with. The captain was then conducted to the commanding officer, Comrade Daniel Dustin, who addressed him as follows:
Comrade M. V. Allen: It becomes my duty to inform you that the military court lately convened for the trial of S. D. Wesson has rendered its verdict declaring as follows:
First. That the said S. D. Wesson is not guilty as alleged in the charges and specifications.
Second. That from the evidence in said trial, the judge advocate, M. V. Allen, is guilty of improper and unmilitary conduct.
Third. That he, the said M. V. Allen, be publicly reprimanded on dress parade, by the commanding officer of the association.
I now proceed to execute the mandate of the court.
It appears that the defendant was a gallant soldier of the 8th Illinois cavalry, and that you and he were members of T. S. Terry Post, G. A. R. It also appears that from your prejudice against the cavalry arm of the service, you have sought to bring this cavalry soldier into disrepute, and to humble him as of inferior rank to the infantry members of your post. These charges and specifications therefore having been dictated by the sprit of prejudice, they must be denounced as fowl play and weak as water. You must understand, sir, that the rules of your army life, when you and your comrades were so successful in the yellow legged poultry business, do not apply to the present day. It should further be borne in mind that you have been particeps criminis in encouraging the taking of the melon in controversy, and then become indignant at not being recognized in the distribution of the spoils. This was a grievous disappointment to you no doubt, for while it may be true that you have not been especially distinguished for refusing anything stronger than water as a common beverage, it is well known that your countenance is never lighted up with more joy, than when your graceful nose is plowing through a forty pound watermelon.
But sir, I would have the reprimand bear lightly upon you, in consideration of the gallant service you have rendered the country, the wounds you have received in the fiery line of duty, your efficient work in behalf of the G. A. R., and your final triumph in
19being awarded the prize for the best drilled squad of comrades in the association.
Trusting that the lesson of the hour may put you in training as the model judge advocate for the next reunion, let us shake, and in the language of the "Wauhatchee Nigger," declare "it is a whack!" Go my comrade and sin no more.
The dress parade was then dismissed, and the post reformed into column and marched to the depot, where the comrades took leave of each other in F. C. & L., and as the train moved out bearing the visiting soldiers away, a parting salute was fired by Potter Post in a volley of musketry. And thus ended the second annual meeting of the DeKalb County G. A. R. Camp Fire and Reunion Association.
Your committee consider it a matter of sincere congratulation that so much of good deportment and good order was everywhere prevalent during the two days of the Reunion.
And finally your committee recommend that this post extend its hearty thanks to the Womans Relief Corps for prompt and substantial assistance at a time when most needed; and to those citizens of Sycamore who responded so generously in the work of entertaining the soldiers and in contributions for meeting the necessary expenses of the reunion.
Respectfully submitted in F. C. & L.,
Warren F. Peters, Chairman.