News & Newspapers
August 29, 1895
The Weekly Burtonian
Active Efforts of the Various Committees to
Make it a Complete Success
Have Not Been in Vain.
Attended by People From All Parts of the County and Many from Abroad
Notes Gleaned From the Camp Grounds.
The eleventh annual reunion of the Burt County Veterans' Association and the fourth held successivey at Tekamah, convened yesterday and is now in full sway.
For weeks the several committees were busy preparing for it, sparing neither labor nor money, and the result is the brightest prospects for the best reunion ever held in the county. Even the weather seemed in sympathy with the boys in blue and their many friends who so anxiously looked forward to the pleasures of re-uniting at the reunion. It had been unsufferably warm for several days, Tuesday being, perhaps, the most uncomfortable day of the summer, but a grateful shower Tuesday night laid the dust and cooled the air. Wednesday morning saw the finishing touches put to the camp grounds. Some twenty white tents were ready for occupancy; there were wood and hay and water and ice in abundance. The W.R.C., true to its name, is ensconced in the agricultural hall and is ready with lunches to relieve the hungry.
A leading interest is centered in the art hall in which is displayed relics of the war. This is a new inovation, and so many objects of interest are found here that one can look and dream for hours over the souvenirs of the past; can breathe the atmosphere of the 60's and be brought closer in sentiment to the innermost feelings of the soldier boys than anything else can bring them. The campfire talks will awaken the tender feelings for the brave men and a pride for their daring deeds, but to see and handle the relics that actually went through the war, were brought home and have since been treasured in the homes of their possessors, touches the most tender chord of all.
Fred L. Snyder for ten months languished in Andersonville prison. While there he cut with his knife from hard wood the material to make two picture frames each ornamented with a long wooden chain from which is suspended a cage with a parrot inside. Mr. Snyder also has a small bible given him by his sister and which he had carried through the war.
Another object of much interest is a coat worn by C. E. Barker on the famous march from Atlanta to the sea. The coat is in good condition also the red sash that he wore with it. The coat cost $45. He also has on exhibition the sword and its scabbard that he carried. A picture that attracts much attention is exhibited by S.S. Skinner, "The Battle of Atlanta", in which General Logan led the charge. Also one of Libby prison said to the the only one in existence, by the W.R.C.
A rebel canteen, the property of W. R. Davis, attracts much interest. It is awkward looking, made of dark wood and will hold about a quart.
A union canteen carried through the war by Alfred Taylor is of metal, lighter and more modern than that of rebel origin.
E. Tuttle displays a pocket-book he carried when he went with Sherman to the sea.
A quaint old tin cup, bought August 22nd, 1862, went with L. L. Colby through the war.
A little, ragged. faded book with the following inscription attracts a big share of the notice and could it talk would, no doubt, tell the most pathetic tale of all. "This New Testament and Psalms found on the battle field by Comrade Daniel Frank of second Bull Run and presented by him, just before dying, to Comrade Daniel Fisher." Could anything be more pathetic?
An enlarged picture of Comrade Fisher taken while in the service reveals a youthful stripling, beardless and too boyish looking to enter the hard life of a soldier. If Mr. Fisher was not now so old he might be spoiled by the universal vesdict of the ladies that he was an awfully handsome boy. And so he was. E. P. Worcester, S. C. Brooks, A. P. Mason and I. N. Bramhall have small pictures of themselves and they all represent handsome, boyish youths, but they never speak with regret of the hardships they bore on their shoulders.
A pretty souvenir is a silver cup captured by young E. P. Worcester from Col. Evans at the battle of Upperville June 19th, 1863. C. B. Telya has a sword from the revolutionary war.
Frank Force, a six-pound cannon ball from Vicksburg.
Two cannister shots from Fort Pillow; a wooden ink bottle taken from a dead rebel and a Testament carried through the war by J. Atherton were in the same case.
A silver spoon from Mission Ridge by Henry Gates.
A pretty glass paper weight with a lily inside was taken from Gen. Robert E. Lee's table by Jos. Cullen when Lee surrendered to Gen Grant.
There are many other interesting things but space prevents furthur mention.
The room is draped in the stars and stripes and "Old Abe" majestically looks down on it all.
In the evening a goodly number assembled and listened attentively to the program. "Marching Through Georgia" opened the exercises. Adjutant S. S. Skinner made an address of welcome; talked a short time of war reminescences, paid a glowing tribute to the W.C.R. for their aid and encouragement and turned the meeting over to C. E. Barker.
Mr. Barker warmly welcomed all and told of the plans for this reunion and how at last everything was in readiness, and he repeated his warm welcome.
Song, "In the prison cell I sit," followed by prayer by Elder Musson of Missouri Valley.
Captain Henry of Fairmont, then arose and addressed the audience. His speech was mostly of humor and he has a rare knack of knowing how to tell a good story. The people heartily enjoyed his talk and will look forward to another he has promised.
Elder Musson was next to speak. He spoke at length, at times humor but mostly dealt with cold facts. He gave much history and is a good statistician.
The music is furnished by Mr. Morrow's drum corps of Golden Springs. It consists of twelve pieces.
No gambling is allowed on the grounds.
The following had registered at noon today: W. J. Wilson. S. S. Skinner, H. H. Gates, E. V. Harris, Alfred Taylor, Elisha McClanahan, O. B. Lewis, Chas. Haney, E. Tuttle, S. C. Brooks, B. L. Bean, Daniel Fisher, Henry Austin, H. Orr, R. Murrow, I. N. Branhall, F. Fletcher, J. J. Weldon, C. E. Barker, W. L. Ireland, E. W. Cornish, Samuel Dorsey, D. S. Fuller, Jas. Palmanteer, Elisha McGuire, E. P. Worcester, I. C. Jones, Jas. McDaniel, I. R. Johnson, Jas. Gill, J. W. Latta, T. M. Roberts, P. L. Rork, P. D. Williams, Isaac Wood, L. L. Colby, E. Stoddard, D. Fisher, John Clarkson, Lewis W. White, Saul Christopher, G. A. Blodgett, T. H. Gill, H. C. Stewart, W. S. Roberts, H. L. Gill, H. C. Fisher, Peter Lemon, H. Phillips, A. P. Job, Geo. DeTemple, Oscar N. Brown.
The conclusion of the program will appear in next week's Burtonian.
The Merry-go-round is on the grounds and supplies its harmless sport at a nickle a ride.
The W.R.C. will serve one of their splendid dinners to the G.A.R. tomorrow, relief corps day.
Mrs. Morgan who is to speak on relief corps arrived last evening.
Captain Henry says there are many funny incidents connected with war life. The fact of the matter is the Captain has a large vein of humor that enables him to see the funny and rediculous (sic) side of everything. When gaunt hunger drove him to seek another man's smokehose the wherewithal to supply a painful vacum and thereby fill his heart with joy and other internal organs with joy and something more substantial, and he carried to camp a sack of bacon he thought, but which proved to be an old rope, he saw only the humorous side of the sad affair and it is now one of the best stories he relates of war times.
The fiends of Burt county that try to, in some cases deprive the faithful old soldiers of their pensions, surely enjoyed, if they were present, Elder Musson's remarks on what the soldiers did for their country.
Many visitors from abroad are in attendance and more wil arrive today and tomorrow.
Miss Addie Merrell of Central city, is here and beautifully assists with the singing. Miss Merrell is a daughter of Comrade M. G. Merrell formerly of this place. Mr. Merrell is missed here in the reunion, for he carries with him a love for the G.A.R. and an enthusiasm for their work that makes him a strong prop wherever he is. Last year Mr. Merrell gave one of the best speeches made.
Mrs. Dena Hendricks, of Lincoln, one of Comrade Fischer's daughters. adds another sweet voice to the singing.
The old cannon, the property of Boomer post. is on the grounds and a terrific bombardment took place Wednesday evening.
Elder Musson can tell of a process of raising chickens and vegetables that puts to shame incubators and irrigation. One hour was time enough in the 60s for the Elder to raise full-grown chickens and mammoth vegetables. To free the Elder from suspicion we will say that he performed this feat near Cleveland, Ohio, where the conditions for rapid animal growth and vegetables are much more favorable than they are in Nebraska.
The most beautiful and the richest object on the ground is the large silk flag that belongs to the W.R.C. and which was presented to them by the G.A.R.
About a score of the dearest, old women go year after year-not only in reunion times, but on every needed occasion-and cook and wash dishes and tire their frail old bodies to make the occasions what they should be. And nobly do they succeed. Adjutant Skinner was right when he said Boomer post has the best relief corps in the state. Don't forget that these same dear old ladies with their gray hair, wrinkles and dim eyes were the same pretty young wives and sweet-hearts who were pretty enough then to hold the love of their soldiers brave through the war, and who so anxiously awaited the return of their heroes-remember this, and let the bonds of love and goodwill be, again cemented by the help they still extend and the sympathy and love they still bear for the boys in blue.
The several pictures of battles in this art hall are great attractions for the small boys who study them and assess the situation with the gravest interest. To their childish but loyal minds the greatest men of the war were supplied by Burt county veterans and invariably recognize S.S. Skinner and C.E. Barker as the mounted generals leading the charge.
September 5, 1995
The Weekly Burtonian
(continued from last week)
The reunion continued from the beginning to the end one continual round of success wherein good-will and brotherly love prevailed. At no time did the interest lag. The grounds were at all times well filled and at the appointments for the speakings crowded.
Hon. E. K. Valentine spoke Thursday afternoon to an immense crowd. His was history from the first to the last, covering the period from the independence of the colonies to the war. To such as was familiar with this part o the country's history the speech was a disappointment, but to those who had never known it or had grown rusty it was very interesting and instructive.
Thursday evening Captain Henry opened the campfire. His talk on this occasion was more of history and less of humor than his preceding talks. But it mattered not what the Captain chose as his subject he held the undivided attention of his hearers and his talks were all too short. On this occasion he told of the sad fate of his oldest brother who with nearly 13,000 prisoners starved to death at Salisbury, NC; of the anguish of his mother who for ten years after the close of the war cherished the hope that somehow he would return home; of how he (the speaker) went to Salisbury and learned they had all died and saw the ground whereon they are buried and on which the government erected a handsome momument. The Captain led round to a few of the hard times the old boys have found themselves; he paid his respects to "Hon. Hoke-Poke-Smith," and if his comrades do as he wishes them to they will "turn the rascals out" just as fast as the opportunity occur.
Mr. Patrick Fletcher followed. He talked of the influence the American republic is exerting on the governments of the world and said it would level them all.
A solo was now sung by Mr. Moore of Golden Springs. He responded to the hearty applause with another song.
Elder Musson closed the campfire. The Elder is a walking encyclopedia of history and dates and judging from the time he consumed he likes to recite his knowledge.
On Friday there was a little added interest because it was W.R.C. day, and as they generally excel something good was expected.
In the forenoon the program as published in the BURTONIAN was carried out, the principal feature of it being a talk by Mrs. James Shaw, president of the order. Mrs. Shaw is heart and soul with the work and fills her office with great credit.
At twelve o'clock the soldiers were invited to partake of a dinner furnished by the W.R.C. and served in their quarters, the agriculteral hall. The invitation was readily accepted and soon the large building was full of "boys in blue eating a good dinner of fried chicken, boiled ham, vegetables, pickles, cake, pie, fruit and watermelon. As a souvenior each was presented with a wooden dish painted in red, white and blue with "W.R.C. 1895" in the center. A bouquet was also presented to each.
The treat of the day was the speech by Mrs. Morgan of Alma, and who had arrived on Thursday evening. Promptly at 2 o'clock-women are always prompt-after having music by the choir and prayer Mrs. Shaw presented to the audience the speaker.
Mrs. Morgan looks scarcely middle age, but from the data she recited she must be about 47 years old. She will weigh probably 100 lbs. and is a picture of health, prosperity and happiness. As she acknowledged the introduction her pretty, brown eyes took on a mischevous twinkle and she said: "Yes, I am from Harlan county where people starved to death last winter. Don't I look like I starved?" She talked at length and did not say a dull or uninteresting thing. The people would have gladly heard her talk longer. She gave the history of the W.R.C., it purposes and what it has accomplished. She told of some experiences and observations during the war and the girl of sixteen was as loyal to the union cause as is now the mature woman to the W.R.C. and the old veterans. Much of her talk was very sad and touching and of course everybody shed tears, but the way tears streamed from the eyes of the "old boys" showed that her way of telling what was to them in the '60s an every-day experience brought out the realism better than when told by each other.
Miss Jennie Johnson, a blind girl, read a poem: a recitation by Miss Letta Bean and Miss Snyder and a very able paper by Mrs. S. C. Brooks closed the program.
The highest praise was heard on all sides for the splendid attainment of the W.R.C. and especially was Mrs. Morgan complimented. People not only liked her talk, but everyone fell in love with the woman, feeling that she was just as good as she was pleasant to look upon and to hear talk.
After the usual musical program Friday evening Rev. Williams of Blair, addressed the people. Mr. Williams is a scholar and fine historican and he made a splendid speech. He was followed by Captain Henry and Rev. Bennett. While Mr. Bennett was speaking, an attack which had been planned by the boys was made on the camp. While none were killed nor wounded the people were completely taken by surprise, and but for Captain Henry would have rushed out of the ampitheatre.
Saturday the crowd was as large as it had been at any time since the opening. Reverends Wilson and Wright and Bennett addressed the people and then came the sham battle, which closed the reunion. The old vets lay behind a fort which Company H assaulted and finally captured, going through the usual manuevers of flanking, retreating and charging in so doing.
This reunion of "95" is said to be the best ever held in the county. It lasted four days and the interest was unabated and the crowd undiminished from the beginning to the end. Money was liberaly subscribed by the citizens to defray the expense and a hearty welcome to the boys who came to mingle with them. Each reunion is an occasion of awakening and kindling anew the love and veneration of the people for the gallant soldiers of the union cause, but this one of '95 stands out as the one that surpassed all others of Burt county reunions. Captain Henry said of the many reunions he has ever attended this one was the very best.
By inquiry we learn that Comrade S.S. Skinner is the Burt county veteran who lay imprisoned at Salisbury, N.C., at the same time Captain Henry's brother died there with thousands of others of starvation.
Mr. Skinner, with the other prisoners, was offered freedom if he would swear allegience to the confederate government. The offer was scornfully refused each time.
Following are the names registered after Thursday noon, which makes an aggregate one hundred and twenty-five: C. J. Hale, John Patrick, N. A. Bovee, G. W. Pate, Conrad Giltner, Jefferson Force, W. H. Eby, H. B. Stoner, E. K. Valentine, A. S. Jewell, H. H. McGill, John R. Butler, Bert Gilbert, J. T. Mundorf, T. McFarland, H. Colman, W. W. Lester, H. C. Lydick, W. A. Clark, Geo. Peterson, M. V. Austin, W. R. Davis, W. M. Bean, M. R. Kindred, J. T. Woodard, Geo. Buffington, Wm. Gregg, Solomon sheets, James Carruthers, James Macaloster, John Rasch, Joe Teahon, Matthias Austin, James Allen, F. L. Snyder, J. K. Hancock, G. W. Morgan, Josiah Morgan, Tom Matthewson, J. L. Wilson, Thos. R. Wilson, M. Evans, A. P. Mason, Elzy Triplet, Len N. Thorton, Henry S. Cooper, Benjamin Standeffor, S. G. Haller, W. A. Harding, John Atherton, J. N. Holman, Thomas Akens, Joseph Hall, Solomon Paddock, James Thomas, Peter S. Honts, Stephen Davis, Edwin Higley, John S. Stork, John Price, C. W. Herlocker, W. E. Chase, Lee J. White, W. C. Henry, Joel Gatewood, D. E. Morely, R. B. Hennen, W. W. Monroe, N. M. Holaday, Peter Kesler.
About ten or more members of Boomer post contemplate attending the reunion at Missouri Valley, Iowa on the 26th and 27th. It is expected that this will be a grand occasion, as the association is comprised of eight counties and they enthusiastically strive to have a good time.
Company H will leave Saturday for Hastings to attend the reunion. This reunion is four strong, being the regular state reunion, the band reunion, the reunion of the National Guard and the iter-state reunion of Kansas and Nebraska. It will hold from Monday, September 26 to 30 inclusive.
A laughable scramble took place Saturday afternoon between about ten of the W.R.C. and Elisha McGuire over a piece of ice which Mr. McGuire had put for safe keeping in the W.R.C. quarters and which the ladies considered theirs by rights of possession. After a rough and tumble fight the ice suddenly disappeared and the new woman had again triumphed.
A business meeting was held by the Burt county Veterans' Association at headquarters Saturday afternoon at which the following officers were elected: Colonel, Chas. E. Barker; Lieutentant-Colonel, W. L. Ireland; Major, S. S. Shinner; Surgeon, E. McGuire, Chaplain, T. C. Jones.
The old soldier boys can learn the young fellows of Company H a thing or two yet. When the latter left their arms unguarded just before the sham battle and the old fellows crept up and stole them there was fun and excitement in camp, and had the situation been real the young warriors would have made an "unconditional" surrender then and there without striking a blow for their cause.
CAMP CHURCH, TEKAMAH August 17, 1895
At the regular meeting of the Burt County Veteran Association the following resolution was passed by a unanimous rising vote:
Resolved, that we tender our most sincere and hearty thanks to our esteemed townsman W. W. Latta, for uniform courtesy and kindness to the Veteran association, which is very much appreciated by the old boys.
CHAS. E. BARKER
S. S. SKINNER