History of the National Home for Disabled Soldiers
How Anniversaries, Days of Rejoicing are Observed

HOW ANNIVERSARIES, DAYS OF REJOICING, ETC.,

ARE OBSERVED AT THE HOME

 

               The national clays of rejoicing and thanksgiving are observed at the Home in an enthusiastic manner. On these days work is suspended and an extra dinner is provided for the inmates. Each anniversary of the organization of the Home is kept in the same way, and the days of rejoicing are usually concluded with a concert at Music Hall.

 

THE FOURTH OF JULY.

 

               In no section of the country is the nation's birth-day celebrated with more ardor and healthful patriotism than at the central branch of the national homes. Visitors in large numbers come from all sections of the country to enjoy the festivities, and the leading journals send their best reporters, to enable them to present to their readers a full report of the interesting proceedings. From these reports we make a few extracts relating to the last celebration of the national anniversary which transpired at the Home:

 

               "At early sunrise the national salute fired at the Soldiers' Home sounded throughout the entire Miami valley, reminding as it awakened the slumbering community of the glorious day they were to celebrate, and of the universally interesting programme prepared by the veterans for the enjoyment of all. Every railroad coming into the city brought in one or more heavily -loaded excursion trains, and by six -o'clock in the morning the travel toward the Home began. The various street railroads leading there were taxed to their utmost capacity, notwithstanding a large number of extra cars had been placed on for the occasion. The pikes leading to the Home from all directions presented one mass of humanity, in fact every style of vehicle imaginable was brought into requisition, and hundreds were traveling on foot, the recent heavy rains having completely laid the dust, thus making this part of the travel more pleasant, while it also gave the lawns and foliage an exquisite freshness,, presenting the Home in its loveliest aspect.

               "By eight o'clock, the hour set for the commencement of the day's exercises, the crowd by far exceeded that of any previous occasion in the history of the institution.

               "The programme opened with the amusing and laughable drill of 'The Bummer Brigade.' This occupied about one hour, and was greatly enjoyed by spectators. At the conclusion of this the grand review of the veterans, who were drawn up in lines on the lawn in front of head-quarters, was made by his excellency Governor Noyes, Hon. T. W. Ferry of Michigan, Hon. Stanley Matthews of Ohio, and a large number of invited visitors. These lines of war-worn veterans some on crutches, others with one arm and otherwise mangled, was an impressive spectacle.

               "At the conclusion of the review the formation of a procession began in the following order: Home Band, grand marshal, veterans of the army and navy and escort, president and orator of the day, vice-presidents and invited guests, ladies, citizens on foot, fire company, artillery company, followed by citizens in carriages, etc.

               "The procession slowly moved to the city of the dead, which is situated in a small grove just west of the hospital, where sleep the last sleep, representing almost every state in the Union, several hundred veterans. Upon arriving at this truly sad yet unusually interesting part of the Home, the band discoursed 'America' in its sweetest strains. Following this the Rev. Mr. Herman, of West Alexandria, Ohio, offered up a most fervent prayer, after which Governor Brown introduced the orator of the day.

 

THE AFTERNOON.

 

               "It was hot in the sun, although there was a pleasant breeze going. The corridors in front of head-quarters and the row of barracks and Music Hall were delightfully cool and pleasant. Everybody was in good humor. The young girls with their beaus were among the marked features of the scene. They promenaded along the corridors, visited the ice-cream saloons, the grotto, the greenhouse, and seemed to enjoy everything. Sensible people who had passed that interesting period of flirtation and courtship were seated with their children in the cool, shady places, quietly enjoying the beautiful scenes within reach of their vision. Everybody wore a satisfied look, as if their visit to the Home thus far had brought them far more pleasure than they had anticipated.

 

THE OUTDOOR SPORTS.

 

               “The ring for the races had been formed on the lawn in front of the barracks. A cord attached to stakes marked it definitely. There were to be trials of speed between contestants who were not in first-rate condition for the turf, owing to the fact that one leg was natural and the other artificial. Then there were one-armed veterans who were to contend for the prizes to be awarded to the fastest men; but these athletes had two good legs, and the absent arms hadn't much to do with running, save as pendulums to swing the racers forward. Then there were races for men on crutches and men in sacks, and men blindfolded with wheelbarrows to trundle. Of racing there was a variety of damaged hampered humanity, which covered all possible and impossible conditions of success, so far as speed was concerned.

 

THE INTEREST MANIFESTED.

 

               "The oblong ring in which these variegated races were to take place was surrounded by deeply interested spectators long before the sports commenced. The American appetite for fun is strong. There, around that rope, were a thousand or more men and women, boys and girls, standing three deep, awaiting the coming athletes. The sun was shining, and it was hot of course; but for more that an hour those who had 'good places ' stood fast, waiting for the contestants. It was a manifestation of endurance worthy of veteran sight-seers. Others more thoughtful and prudent of their comfort were seated in chairs upon the flat portions of the roofs and porticoes, sheltered from the sun's rays by the towering Mansard behind them. The anxiety to get good places a full hour before the races were to begin showed a degree of enterprise which was hardly expected, even on the ninety-seventh anniversary of the nation's birth. The compensation for this exposure to the heat was afforded by the band, which from its pagoda diffused enlivening strains of music over the beautiful lawn.

 

THE CROWD INCREASING.

 

               "Just at this time there was a large influx of people from the city and surrounding country. Carriages, buggies, and wagons were seen in every direction making a tour of the grounds. There were at that time nearly five thousand visitors enjoying the pleasant sights which met their view on every

side.

 

THE MULE-RACE.

 

               "This was the first entertainment on the programme of sports for the afternoon. The animals were in fine condition and the riders enthusiastic. There was no garish display in the trappings of these sure-footed animals. The jockeys made no show of costume except that which was worn on week-days. Four started. The mules all 'got off well,' as the patois of the turf has it, and after an exciting contest for the lead, came down the home stretch in a string, making the mile inside of ten minutes, They were lustily cheered by the crowd as they 'passed under the wire' at head-quarters. The first prize, $5, was awarded to George W. Scott; second, $4, to Frank Cox; third. $2, to Henry Dekel; fourth, $1, to George Parris.

 

THE SPORTS OF THE RING.

 

               "The referees for the sports were Colonel D. B Corwin, Samuel Stevenson, Esq., and Major J. B. Thomas. It is universally conceded that they discharged their arduous duties with dignity and fairness.

               "One-armed veterans made the first foot-race. The loss of an arm placed them a little out of balance, but they made first-rate use of their legs. William Blair won the first prize, $4, and R. H. Jones the second, $2.50.

               "The second race, for men with one leg off below the knee, was a curious affair. One of the contestants wore an artificial leg, and the other scudded with a bare pole. He stumped it. The ground had been softened by the rain, and before he had reached the center of the track the stump sunk into the mellow sod and he pitched forward measuring his length on the grass. He regained his perpendicular in an instant after he had stopped sliding and dashed forward at a killing pace, but his antagonist came in ahead on an

easy trot, magnanimously slackening his speed when his opponent went to grass. The first prize was awarded to I. W. Fat, $4, and the second, $1, to the stumper, John Baker.

               "The race 'for men with leg off above the knee,' as the programme has it, was well contested, and Silas Crowell won the first prize, 5, and William H. Miller, second, $3.

               “The sack-race was a fanciful affair. The contestants, who were tied up in sacks, from which projected outlandish masks, looked as if there was no speed in them, although there was plenty of bottom in the sack. It was an awkward run; and George Parris won the first prize, $4, and James Jackson the second, $2.

               "The wheelbarrow race was one of the most amusing of the series. The veterans who propelled these useful implements were blindfolded. The barrows were to be wheeled against the flag-staff at the opposite limit of the inclosure from which the start was made. Among the starters some made for the staff, while others only circled around the immediate vicinity from which they started, straggling at times into the crowd at the ropes. Of those who got the right direction, William Gleason, a blind man, struck his wheel against the staff, and won the prize, $4. Eugene Smith took the second money, $2.

               "Then came striking the bottle. It was an empty bottle of course. If it had been full the blindfolded veterans would have struck it with more certainty. The magnetism of the exciting fluid would have drawn the rods to the right spot, as the pure water far below the surface attracts the witch-hazel as it lies upon the hands of the skilled worker. There were a good many awkward blows given by the blindfolded contestants; but a few of them struck the bottle, empty as it was. William Gleason, William C. Smith, Charles Linden, James McCarin, and Thomas Heffner took the prize of $1 each for successful strikes.

               "The classical feat of the 'goose-hunt' was the next in order according to the programme; but by this time the sky was overcast, and the clouds, as if sorrowing for the intermission which shut out the 'goose-hunt,' were dropping tears of contrition all over the multitude on the lawn. Hardly appreciating the grief of the upper strata, the crowd dispersed for shelter under the porticoes, mourning the deprivation of the pleasure which was promised by the 'goose-hunt.'

 

THE NIGHT-BLOOMING CEREUS.

 

               "Many persons cheerfully remained at the Home after nightfall to see the promised opening of the night-blooming ceres at the conservatory. It was regularly advertised in placards all over the grounds, and it came off in accordance, with the programme. Mr. Mundt understands the peculiar habits of the ceres. He can tell a day beforehand that it is the pleasure of her ladyship to expand and display her luxuriant glories, and he prints it accordingly. So the crowd gathered around the night-bloomer, and she came to time without any hesitation. The people watched the swelling bud until it expanded to the full proportions an immense lilly a foot or more in circumference at the outer lines of its beautiful leaves; but of the depth to its delicious recesses, from which were exhaled the verbena-scented fragrance, no one dared to take account. It was a sacred fount from which were wafted the odors of 'Araby the Blest.'

 

THE FIRE-WORKS.

 

               "The rain had filled the sod with moisture, and the air was charged with dampness. It was believed that fire-works could not be a success with such unfavorable surroundings. But Colonel Brown was not to be deterred by any such draw- backs. He said that fire-works had been procurred for the celebration of the Fourth, and that in spite of all the unfavorable influence outside they should accomplish just what was intended by their purchase. These old soldiers do not take stock in discouraging circumstances. They will not succumb to what other people consider impossibilities. So the colonel ordered the boxes containing the fire-works to be hauled down to the locality below the lakes, where the frames had been erected upon which to burn them. And then, at the appointed hour, they were offered up. And such a display! It is unnecessary to go into detail. In fact there is not room to do it. Nothing so brilliant has ever been witnessed here. The rockets, which ever and anon darted skyward, were the very perfection of skylarkers, some of them, as they burst in the upper air, resembled in the scattering of their fires the tail of an immense peacock, with its indefinable treasures of silver figures and jets, and its fringes of gold. Others would cast into the air a magnificent profusion of golden rain. The 'set pieces,' it is not possible to describe; science vied with patriotism in the fiery disclosures which followed the touch of the torch to the explosive material. It was a grand finale to the entertainments of the day.

 

THE DINING-HALL AND REFRESHMENT-ROOMS.

 

               "Every arrangement was made at the Home for the entertainment of visitors who remained through the day and were not prepared for a picnic. Music Hall was converted into a dining-room, and a comfortable meal could be had there at any time during the day. Besides this, there were rooms and rustic cottages at which ice-cream and delicacies of that sort could be had on call.

 

THE CLOSING SCENE.

 

               "After the fire-works there was a general desire to get home; but to do that was not an easy matter, except for those who had their own conveyances. The dummy train went out full, crowded, jammed with people, and continued its trips till a late hour. The Third Street line of cars could not carry the passengers into town as fast as the dummy brought them to the station. The upshot was that at midnight they were compelled to walk from the station, and

some all the way from the Home to their residences in the city.

 

RECEIPTS FOR THE DAY.

 

               "At the gates, $1,100.65; refreshments, etc., $651.97. Making a total of $1,752.62. The net proceeds, it is believed, will complete the work on the monument, making it all ready for the bronze figures by which it is to be surmounted. So that the celebration of the Home was a complete success

in every respect."

 

WASHINGTON'S BIRTH-DAY.

 

               Washington's birth-day is usually celebrated at the Home with great spirit. On a late occasion a festive banquet was prepared at twelve o'clock, noon, and it was a commemorative report which served to fix the event on the minds of the hundreds of veterans who sat down to the well and luxuriously filled board. At two o'clock the fire-department was marshaled out in parade. The magnificent steam fire-engine was drawn by four splendid horses handsomely caparisoned, under command of its officers, and an excellent hose company under the direction of its officers. The entire force, elegantly uniformed, were brought out for inspection, and were reviewed by the officers of the institution. Their companies formed a very attractive pageant, and the force was very much admired. The immense dining-hall of the institution was put in the gayest possible holiday attire for the commemorative occasion. The large platform at the west end of the hall was overhung with [miniature flags and innumerable stars. Muskets were stacked at either end of the line of chairs, and these were flanked by other insignia of war. A piano occupied a prominent position on the platform, and the elevation was flanked by huge cannon. The entire hall was ornamented with handsome pictures, and everywhere flags fluttered; and the stars of silver and gold glittered in every direction, while the blue stars decked the walls and support to the ceiling.

Everywhere in the ample hall were evidences of the festive character of the celebration; and prominent, overlooking the entire audience, were the portraits of George and Martha Washington. Altogether, it was a magnificent place. At three o'clock the admirable band of the Home called together the vast audience by their charming music. Hon. L. B. Gunckel, local manager, presided. The musical programme was extended by a song from the German glee-club. Chaplain Van Home invoked the divine blessing upon the audience and the occasion. The English glee-club followed in an admirable song, Professor Fisher being musical director. Major-general T. J. Wood was then introduced, and addressed the audience at some length. He was followed by the Rev. Mr. Colby and the Hon. L. B. Gunckel, and finally all ended in a feast of reason and a flow of soul.

 

DECORATION-DAY.

 

               The annual decorative ceremonies in honor of the memory of those who after nobly defending the country in the field had passed from earth and the peaceful and beautiful home furnished by a grateful nation, are striking and appropriate. As these ceremonies vary but little in their general character the following synopsis from a newspaper report will suffice:

 

               "Every preparation had been made by Colonel Brown for successfully carrying into effect the ceremonies of decoration-day. The morning was delightful. And as the hour arrived for forming the procession, the lines of the veterans in blue were arranged with military precision, and the different companies stationed in various positions, so as to take their places in the procession in proper order. There was no stir, no noise, no confusion. All was quiet, orderly, and solemn. When the order was given to form the procession the band moved forward; then came a detail of men with muskets and accouterments, whose duty it was to fire the funeral volley over the graves in the cemetery; then the orator of the day and a portion of the officers of the Home, the representatives of the press, and other invited guests. After these the companies marched into line in accordance with the programme. They proceeded to the beautifully located cemetery of the Home, where the exercises which had been inaugurated by Veteran Post No. 5, G. A. R., were most impressively performed.

               "The procession formed a hollow (oblong) square around the compact little cemetery, the officers of the asylum, orators, reporters, and invited guests, with the Excelsior Musical Society of Cincinnati occupying the center. The cemetery contains five rows of graves, with about fifty in a row, each with a neat head-board painted white, containing the name, age, and rank of the occupant. On one we noticed the words, 'Name unknown.' Poor fellow! It was enough that he wore the national uniform and marched and fought under the flag of his country. Though unknown, he was not unhonored, for he shared with his silent comrades the gratitude and sympathy of those who gathered there to

strew flowers upon the hallowed spot.

               "It was a solemn and beautiful sight to look upon such an assemblage. While there were orderly ceremonies to be gone through with, no one could look upon the serious and sympathetic faces surrounding the cemetery without feeling that it was not mere idle formality, but real and genuine heart-work.

               "The order of exercises were opened by Chaplain Earnshaw with an appropriate prayer to the God of armies and battles and nations, invoking the divine blessing upon all present. Then followed the memorial address of Chaplain Link, of Veteran Post No. 5, G. A. R.

               "The strewing of flowers, being the next thing in order, was done by a detail of one-armed soldiers, who formed along one side with their baskets, and marching across the cemetery in military order, covered each grave with fragrant memorials. It was indeed a touching sight. Thus, as it were, to hold communion with unseen comrades through the unseen fragrance of flowers. It was the language of the heart speaking louder and better than the tongue.

               "The memorial salute from a detail of veterans, three times repeated, was another mode of expressing the respect of the living over the sleeping comrades beneath the sod. These exercises were interspersed with sweet, solemn music from the members of the Excelsior Musical Society, of Cincinnati, and a dirge from the Home Band.

               "The oration was delivered from a platform adjoining the cemetery by Major-general M. F. Force, whose eloquent and touching words deeply impressed all within the sound of his voice."

 

               In this connection it is proper that we should mention that for some time past it has been the custom, previous to the appointed day, for the ladies of the Home and of Dayton to furnish committees to carry out the purposes of Decoration. This beautiful tribute to the memories of the dead forms one of the great days at the Home, and a very large number of visitors from the city and neighborhood take part in the proceedings.

 

ANNUAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF MANAGERS.

 

               It is said that there never was anything so brilliant as the reception given to 'the Board of Managers on the evening of September 27, 1872. Unlike ordinary illuminations of rejoicing, the occasion, the place, and the surrounding circumstances of the Central Home illumination make it impossible to describe the scene of its heart-felt effect. This much, however, may be said, that the dazzling splendor of an eastern romance or the poet's dream of the region of fairy- land are pale before the reality of beauty then exhibited. Many were there who had witnessed fetes and illuminations in the palace gardens of the crowned heads of Europe, and they had no hesitation in declaring that the scene at the Home in beauty and splendor excelled them all; and there is no doubt that it is unrivalled in the world's history.

There was not a cloud in the sky, and it was so dark that all the effects of light upon a broad and variegated landscape were fairly developed. Every building at the Home was dazzlingly illuminated with bright lights, Chinese lanterns, and glittering lamps. All around the lawns, the various avenues, the grottoes, springs, and lakes, there were rows of blazing lights, and each sheet of water multiplied the illumination most brilliantly. The "Martindale Conservatory" was ablaze of light. Over on the slope opposite the veterans had inscribed in letters of living light the initials

U. S. G.

L. B. G.

               Which everybody could read as they ran. Standing on the crown of the hill which looked down into the garden it appeared that the conservatory was blooming with blazing meteors, and that the lakes were flaming. Governor Brown's quarters seemed to be on fire, and the barracks on the main avenues, the head- quarters, and the hospital, were as brilliant as a glaring illumination could make them. The circle in front of the hospital was a glare of fire. The lakes were lurid and reflected back the light of thousands of blazing torches. Everywhere you went there was a glow of glittering beauty.

 

ARRIVAL OF THE MANAGERS.

 

               General Butler, General Martindale, General Osborn, General Cavender, Judge Bond, Ex-governor Smythe, and Dr. Wolcott arrived at the northern gate of the Home about 8:30 p. M., escorted by Local Manager Gunckel. They were received by the band and some hundreds of veterans, facing inward on Main Avenue, each veteran bearing a torch. Then the battery fired the customary salute, and the procession moved around the grounds through the various drives, admiring the brilliant spectacle. At the bridge on the east side, by the lakes, the old bugler sounded a salute, to which the band on the hill responded eloquently. The people meantime were promenading all through the gayly-lighted grounds, enjoying the glittering scenes, which were made more beautiful by the variegated fires red, white, and blue, which reflected a sort of weird light upon the changing foliage of autumn in the groves.

 

HEAD-QUARTERS.

 

               There was a stand erected in front of head-quarters, and there the procession halted. Colonel Brown, with his usual promptitude, called the meeting to order, the veterans with their torches and a large concourse of people assembling in front, and many ladies and a number of strangers occupying the porch of head-quarters.

               Colonel Brown then delivered an appropriate address of welcome to the Board of Managers, which was responded to by General Butler. General Martindale, of New York, followed in a brief and beautiful speech, referring to his comrades who had served in the army with him. Judge Bond, of Maryland, followed in one of his happiest impromptu speeches. Ex-governor Smythe, of New Hampshire, made a few remarks, giving something of a history of the Dayton Home, which were heartily applauded. Dr. Wolcott returned his thanks for the interview, and General Cavender indorsed what was said by other speakers. General Osborn gave a promise to the ear which he broke to the heart. Everybody knew that he could make a big speech, and he started out that way when he suddenly concluded, disappointing everybody. Mr. Gunckel was frequently called but excused himself.

               After the speaking the audience was dismissed, when the managers and other guests after ten o'clock made a night inspection of the illuminated grottoes and gardens, and then everybody responded to taps.

               At a subsequent meeting of the Board of Managers the Rev. Richard Smythe, D. D., of Ireland, now a member of parliament, made the following speech:

 

               "Mr. President and gentlemen of the Board of Managers of this institution, soldiers, and citizens of America: I thank you very sincerely for the courtesy which has been extended to me in asking me to take ever so humble a part in the proceedings of this festive occasion. But I can assure the gentleman who has introduced me to you that he has brought an old house over his head in presenting me as a substitute, and I am well persuaded that he will never repeat that experiment during the term of his natural life, after he has heard the statements which I have to make. [A laugh.]

               "I have had to travel four thousand miles to stand upon this platform, and I am about that distance from my home, and I think the orthodox feeling, in my mind, ought to be that I am a stranger I am a foreigner at any rate. But somehow I must make this confession, that under the call and enjoying the hospitalities of my kind and respected friends, Doctor and Mrs. McDermont, and enjoying, also, as I have done since I came here, the courteous offices of the governor and chaplain and others in this Home, I must admit that I feel just about as much at home as any other disabled volunteer in this room. You have made me feel so, and I do not regret that I feel so.

               "I have witnessed the greatness of your country from Sandy Hook to the Clift House beyond San Francisco, for it is some miles beyond that city, and every new phase of American progress and resources has struck me with a new wonder. But my admiration, I confess, has culminated in witnessing the splendid comforts that have been provided here for the men who bear the scars and wounds which they have received in fighting the good and loyal fight for their country. During the great conflict of the American war ten years ago I always thought for I thought a great deal about it then; I was ten years younger than I am now, and perhaps my thinking powers were greater than they are now I used to think about that American conflict that it represented two things. It represented a policy and a principle, and with both of these I sympathized. The policy was Union and the principle was liberty. [Applause.] The policy I always thought perfectly defensible a policy that could be defended not only by revolutionary Americans, but by all who were able to appreciate true policy, that this great country should remain one and indivisible. But I see in it something even more elevated than that the principle of liberty for all the people of this country, the object being the realization of that which had been, I think to some extent, before that time only a theory that all men are born free and equal. And, Mr. President, I had thought this, that the nation which constructs her action and her life out of two such threads as those has formed for herself a net that ought to catch the sympathies and approbation of the civilized world. [Great applause.]

               "Sir, this nation was powerful in war; but, surrounded as I have been here for the last few days by the evidences which this Home affords of the gratitude and the kindness of this great country to those who have fought her battles, I am bound to say that America seems to me as great in peace as she was great in war. [Applause]. We have an expression in a hymn of ours in the old country which we sing sometimes, setting forth two great characteristics of the divine being whose supremacy we acknowledge, and whose character sets forth what ought to be found in. nations as well as individuals. The couplet is this:

 

               "'Tho' his arm is strong to smite

               “Tis also strong to save.'

 

               "Nobody doubts, or if any one did doubt of it his doubts would be dispelled by refreshing his recollection by the names I see printed around these walls. I am glad to think that in this hall you have placed Bull Run and Appomattox side by side. [Applause]. You are not ashamed to do that, for whether it was one side or the other that gained the victory, either Bull Run or Appomattox,as I take it you were Americans that fought in both. [Applause]. I say surrounded by these memorials and the gallant generals who sit on this platform at this moment nobody can doubt that America is strong to smite. She did hit hard when she smote at all. But then America is something more. The disabled soldiers in this room and who surround these windows can surely bear testimony to this fact, that though her arm is strong to smite it is also strong to save; and I trust that the gratitude which America shows to her soldiers will cause to spring up in every one who enjoys the benefits of this splendid home a gratitude commensurate with that.

"Sir, in going or being taken around by my friend Dr. McDermont through this Home there were several things that struck me very much. Perhaps that which interested me most was that splendid library and reading-room associated with the name of a lady who gave a gallant son to her country, [cheers] and, having given her son to her country, is now making the disabled soldiers of America the heirs of that son's fortune. Oh! if that lady were in the Old World we would never think of her as anybody but a princess. But she is better still, for I believe, in the language of our English poet laureate Tennyson,

 

               "'Tis noble to be good,

               Kind words are more than coronets,

               And simple faith than Norman Wood.’”

 

               [Applause.]

               "I saw one thing that tickled my fancy and interested me very much, and that was a deer-park round here. [A laugh.] There are some of you who came from England, Ireland, and Scotland, and you know this, that no man lower down in the social scale than a duke would have a deer-park like that. [Laughter.] But there is just this difference between the old country and the new; we can make a noble very easily there. The queen has only to take her pen and write her name to a certain document of a few lines in length, and she has turned a common man into a noble. Now you do not do it so easily here, for you carve your nobility for yourselves by your bayonets and your wounds; and, as I take it, in this country the nobles are the disabled volunteer soldiers of America, and they are having their deer-park.

               "There is just one other thing, but I do not wish to detain you. [Cries of 'go on,' 'go on.'] As I said before, I was taken into that beautiful library and reading-room and I saw there President Grant's saddle. Well, I suppose that saddle is kept there as a memento, as a memorial of a distinguished hero on the field of battle; and I dare say, or perhaps this is a fancy of my own, it is kept there as a symbol of American government. General Grant, I have no doubt, rode his horse well on the battle-field, was a brave horseman there; and we of the old country have got an impression to the effect that he has had a very firm seat as President of the United States, and that it has been rather a difficult thing to unhorse him. [Laughter and applause.] And so they have President Grant's saddle very well fixed in the reading-room. And how is it fixed? Well, I noticed this, that there were two chairs, back to back, and the saddle was put over the two fronts, because if they had put it on only one chair it would come down, and therefore they have two, back to back, for security. Well, I think that is a symbol of American government. It does not do to put the symbol of government over the northern states; you must have it over the southern states as well. [Tremendous applause]. You can not go in that way. I believe the American government would be unstable if it were merely sectional in that way; and not only so, but the northern states themselves would suffer by attempting to govern them alone. They must be placed back to back, shoulder to shoulder, to save them... I am a loyal subject to Queen Victoria; and though I am attached to the government of my own country, which has very nearly as much republicanism in it as you have in this country; although we have the noble element as head of government in our queen; although I am a loyal subject of Queen Victoria, I rejoice that the American Union has been declared- declared on battle-fields, declared in cabinets, declared in congress, to be one and indivisible. [Great applause.] I rejoice as a Briton in the consolidation of your strength and the development of your national resources. If England and America I beg pardon if America and England will remain true friends, as I trust and pray they ever will, [applause] then, sir, I think they will be able to keep the peace of the world; and then the eloquent prediction of General Osborn will be true. And I have faith enough in the future of this and other lands to believe that it will; that you have been instrumental

in making the last veterans on battle-fields that ever shall be made.

"I thank you once more most sincerely for giving me this opportunity of saying one or two words, and I can assure you, president, soldiers, and citizens, that among the most pleasant and most prominent of my recollections will be this My visit to the Disabled Volunteer Soldiers' Home in this place where I now find it." [Loud applause.]

 

               Amid repeated cries for General Butler, the general, although suffering from the effects of a recent cold, came forward and addressed the veterans as follows:

 

               "War-worn veterans of the great conflict of the rebellion: I had thought to excuse myself from speaking to you, not from want of any desire to do so, but from fear of inability from the condition of my lungs to make myself heard without such effort as would be painful to us both. But, comrades of a hundred well-fought battles, I greet you once more; and although I may not address you in the eloquent language of the senior vice-president (General Martindale], or that of my associates, nor in that well-put address for which I thank the gentleman from Great Britain, yet you will allow me, while I have strength to do so, to make a few suggestions that he, among others, may take away with him to his home.

               "The rise of these soldiers homes is not well understood, even by you. In the year 1865, in March, a corporation was established by congress of one hundred of the principal gentlemen of the country who incorporated it into an institution known as the National Soldiers' and Sailors' Home for the disabled volunteers of the army and navy. There were five several attempts made to get that hundred men together or fifty-one of them, which it was necessary to do under the law for organization. Those attempts failed. A

citizen of Dayton, now representing our country at the first court in the world, General Schenck, was chairman of the Military Committee of the lower house of congress. Coming disheartened from that meeting which I had three

times attended because I had said to those soldiers who went out with me in 1861 without bounty or hope of reward that, God sparing my life, I would see to it that they were taken care of so long as they should live [applause,] and that promise I was bound to fulfill, and therefore was present at each of these meetings, I said to General Schenck in despair, 'What shall be done? These men who have fought my battles, who have been disabled by shot and shell, and bayonet and saber-cuts, and worse than all those who have been disabled by the fell diseases of the swamps and fens of the southern climate, and worse still those who have been disabled by starvation in prisons where they have been found, what provision can be made for their future support and comfort?' Entering with great heartiness into the matter, he said to me: 'Come to my room this evening and we will endeavor to draw some plan by which a soldiers' home can be organized.'

               "Thereupon the present plan was drawn. An establishment known as the National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and Sailors was made, consisting of nine active members of the Board of Managers and three members ex officio, consisting of the president, secretary of war, and chief-justice; and in order that the Board of Managers might be a perpetual body, always having some members in it, the Board was chosen for six years two for four years, two for two years, and two for one year, so that one third of the active members should go out every two years; and congress every two years renews our Board.

               "In 1866 that Board met, but before the act went through congress the secretary of the navy desired congress to amend it by striking from it the words volunteers of the navy and taking away all the revenue derived from prize money or for naval fines and forfeitures. So that you will now understand why it is that you have substantially no navy men among you. When we first began and found a navy man, a volunteer seaman who was disabled, while we had plenty of room and apparently a great plenty of funds we took him in. But I am sorry to say that the opinion of the secretary of the navy as well as our own, upon reflection, was that we had no right to do so; and that will account to you why some of the older beneficiaries who were sailors you do not now see among you.

               "Again: we desired that there should be as there was but one government, one war, one enemy, one disability, one glory, no distinction made between the soldiers of the regular army and the volunteer soldiers ; that the Home should be as well for the volunteers as the regulars. But the officers of the regular army, asserting that this institution would die out so far as the volunteers were concerned, because but a few years more must close over us all, officers and soldiers, beneficiaries and managers, and therefore as the regular army was to be perpetual forever as the right arm of the nation it was best that the soldiers of the regular army should have their soldiers' home separate and distinct, as you know it is at Washington. Therefore, my friends, they struck out that portion of it; and that is the reason why we are not now by law allowed to take any soldier of the regular army into our homes. When we find a soldier of the regular army who is starved and destitute, I am sorry to say for myself, I do not look so critically at his discharge paper to see what company he served in as I ought to, and sometimes a soldier or two of the regular army slips in. But by law we can have nobody here but disabled volunteer soldiers of the war of the rebellion, with two exceptions. Congress two years ago added that the soldiers of the Mexican war and the soldiers now scarce almost as angels' visits of the war of 1812 should find an asylum here.

               "I have been thus careful, my friends and comrades, to give you this history of the institution for the first time in order that you may understand exactly who are entitled here and who are not, and how we of the Board of Managers are entirely confined in our action by the law of the land; and while in many cases we should be glad to take in those who have become disabled since for instance, a man who was in the war and served his country faithfully but fortunately having come out unscathed, but yet who now has lost an arm or a leg by railroad accident can not by law be taken in here, however much we may wish. He must have been disabled in the line of duty; that is, while he was actually engaged in the service of the United States in the war of the rebellion. Another case I will give you: Take a soldier who fought in the volunteer army and disappeared by leave, or left and went and enlisted after he left the regular army and was wounded in fighting, he can not have place among us by law.

               "Our only source of revenue is fines, forfeitures, and unclaimed pay of volunteer soldiers. That pay due to some poor volunteer probably whose only record is an unknown grave in the green mounds of the South comes to us. The forfeitures of soldiers who deserted their post nay, not soldiers who deserted their posts, but those who for bounty said they wanted to become soldiers and ran away before they ever saw a gun or smelled powder 'their pay and their bounty we have for the purpose of sustaining this institution. Now so long as the support of the institution is from the volunteer service you will see how unjust it would be if we took that to give to the regular soldier or seaman.

               "Now then this organization took place seven years ago. And let me premise that there is no other institution like this on earth. We may have made mistakes. We had neither precedent nor guide. We read the charters and ordinances of the Greenwich Hospital; they gave us no light. We sent and got the envoi of the Hotel des Invalides at Paris where Napoleon put his veterans, and that gave us no light. The soldiers' regular home at Washington gave us but very little because it was simply almost a toy, as before the war our regular army seemed to be a costly toy of the nation. Therefore we had to begin organization from the beginning. We were told in the beginning by well-judging, clear-headed men over and over again that we need make no provision for these soldiers, as we never should find any to come to our home. My answer was ' if you make a home for the soldier there will be soldiers to come to it; if you make a very bad pen you will catch very few in it.' [Applause.]

               "Under these circumstances it was determined to build three homes, one at Milwaukee, one at Dayton, and one in the eastern part, in New England; and we found this trouble, that the soldiers came faster than we could get ready for them. Then we lost by fire one of our homes in the East, and had to sustain our soldiers at state and city institutions.

               "Now, my comrades, I am going to talk plainly, because plain frankness is a speech all understand with each other. One great trouble we found with our first soldiers was that they had been staying at benevolent institutions and state homes where unfortunately there was not the semblance of discipline, and where a great many having contracted a disease in the army for strong drink were allowed to go uncontrolled either by the officers of the home or by the soldier himself. Now there is not a man of you here and I am speaking to the man who drinks the most there is not a man of you here who does not wish, as he turns up the cup to his lips, that there was no such a thing as whisky on earth; and without it, my friends, we should have no more trouble at any of our homes than there would be in the best regulated family in the country. We have but little more now than that; but when our Home first started we had that trouble, because the desire to drink liquor, which is a disease contracted in the army, had broken out and had been nourished by men who had nothing on earth to do but to drink in the state homes and the city homes, where they were petted by ladies who thought they were doing God's service, and who were because they thought so, but were doing no service to man.

               "Now they come here, and the change is wonderful; and I am not going to give you any generalities, but facts and figures. You see I, as executive officer of the Board, am in the mouth of the tunnel; all that comes in at the top comes to me at last. So I hear all that is done that is wrong, and yet I know but very few of you. Who are those I know best? They are the poorest and worst men among you. [Laughter.] Those are the very men I hear of. Let us see how large a percentage there are of those that complain that we make rules and regulations, and some of them are irksome to them. They say, 'Why can not I be allowed to go out when I please? 'Well, I will tell you why. Because there are just about two in a hundred who can not be allowed to go. [Laughter.] For instances, of all the instances that have been brought before the Board for examination of bad men for bad conduct, there averages just about two and a half in a hundred, and because of those two and a half ninety-seven and a half must be put under restraint. Now that is the exact fact. Of the applications for re-admission of men who are trying to get back from misconduct, and an uneasy desire to wander away from Home to Home, and desert and go this way and that way, there is only two and a half in a hundred. Then there is about one in a hundred who tries honestly to get a home if they can, but fail and come back. And I want to say to you, so that you may understand it, that the rule of the Board is that where a man honestly tries to go out and get a living and fails we re-admit him unconditionally. But if he gets a miff, or gets cross, or gets punished, and then suddenly comes to the conclusion that he can support himself and demands his discharge we mean to make it uncomfortable enough for him to get back, so that he will stay where he is when he gets back. [Laughter.]

               "I want to say again to you, for you will keep it with you now, that where, suppose, a man goes down into Dayton and there is overtaken by liquor, what is the consequence? Why, it is that you are brought into disgrace by your enemies for you have got some here, although God knows why you should have them. But the enemies of your Home will at once say, ‘Why, there is a drunken soldier from the Home,' not reflecting that there are fourteen hundred and ninety-nine sober, honest, industrious, quiet men here, and one there only. And if you should look at that enemy's grandfather or grandmother, or other relatives, you would find them a much greater per cent than this. [Laughter.] That is why we have to have regulations in that regard.

               "Now, then, there is another matter. When you were small in numbers we had an excess of revenue over our expenditures, and we run up quite a fund because we had three or four hundred men for the first three or four years. But now you see what a large number you have. You have two thousand on your roll. There are two thousand more immediately and immediately with the other institutions, and for which out-door relief is afforded. Think a moment how much it costs to feed those four thousand men as economically as we strive to do it. Think how much it costs to clothe them at fifteen or twenty dollars a suit as the case may be; so that we find that our funds are being drawn upon, and therefore it is that we are practicing rigid economy. What may happen when our funds run out? Because it will take four or five years to bring the account of these forfeitures to a close. We shall have to go to congress and ask appropriations year by year to support you. And although I have a very high opinion of congress, yet I do want to put off the day when we shall have to ask congress to appropriate as long as possible. And therefore the Board of Managers, agreeing with me, are trying to husband the funds every way and make them last as long as they will, because I see one fact: When we go to congress for funds they will say, 'You support these men, don't you?' 'Yes.' 'You take care of them in sickness and in health?' 'Yes.' 'Clothe them, feed them, doctor them?' 'Yes ; we even pay the last sad rites of sepulcher.' ‘Very well, then some man gets up and says who slept on soft cushions during the war, ' if we have got to appropriate money for these soldiers let us take away their pensions. There is no reason why we should give pensions to men who have all these things furnished by the Government,' ignoring the idea on which the Board has acted.

               "And I want to explain to you this matter about pensions so that you will understand it. The law, when passed by congress, looked to our taking all the pensions of the men, and gave the right to the Board to take them; and the question came up early in the discussion, what shall we do about this? Because we saw that the men looked upon the pension as a little more than the value of money; they looked upon it as a reward of merit, and would not like to give it up. Having a large excess of funds, and seeing that we believed upon the whole that the men would be happier with their pensions, and that certainly they ought to go to the families, and the law giving us the liberty to use our discretion and that is about the only discretion that our Board had so far as the expenditure of funds are concerned we, as a Board, after due discussion, chose to say that the pension should be given to the family and should not be taken away from the men, except as an act of necessary discipline, and sometimes as a punishment. Now then, why do we ever take away pensions? I will tell you why. Some men can not be affected in any other way some of this two per cent that I have told you of. And then the only use some men make of their pension is to get liquor; and it is a mercy to them to take it away. Therefore we have in some instances taken away a part, and in some instances all. But we want to do that as little as possible; and it is simply not for us but for you to say, for I tell you again, and I know you will believe me I tell it to you in the presence of my associates that the great object of striving we have is to keep you economically so that your funds shall last as long as possible. I trust for the amount is yet undetermined it may last long enough before the Great Messenger calls for us to keep us away from congress, so that no man who goes there from the South or North may think that he may demagogue a little in congress with some stupid constituency by getting a little glory in taking away the disabled soldiers' pension. [Applause.]

               "Now I have not attempted to make you a speech; I have attempted to explain to you the ground upon which we act. It is your home; it is your place where you are to live and die, where all your hopes are centered; and I ask you to cooperate with us and make yourselves a committee of the whole to take care of this fiftieth man the other forty-nine we never hear of. Take care of him yourselves, and do not send him to me. I am not a good person to whom to send men to be taken care of who do not behave well. Perhaps I might incline to be too harsh; therefore do not send him to me. Take him up kindly. If you see one of your comrades down in the city making a fool of himself, kindly lay your hand upon him, if you have one to lay upon him, and you may have but one, take him by the shoulder, and lead him home. Cover his fault as well as you can from the officers and keep him from doing the like again. [Applause.]

               "Now I have given you, so that you may all understand, the history of the institution and of our part in it. These gentlemen one from St. Louis, one from Chicago, one from New Hampshire, one from" Massachusetts, have left their homes to come here in obedience to that call which made most of you, perhaps all, leave your homes when the order of your country's peril came the call of duty. We come here because it is a duty put upon us. We have no wish

but your welfare, no interest but yours, no hope of reward but to see you happy nay, seeing that your old age shall be as happy as your youth and manhood have been brave and honorable."

 

               At the close of the general's remarks nine cheers were proposed by Colonel Brown, and heartily given for General Butler.

 

CHRISTMAS AND THANKSGIVING AT THE HOME.

 

               Thanksgiving-day is usually observed in the following manner: Religious services in the church, and addresses by some distinguished speakers. A grand thanksgiving dinner is served up in the dining-hall, oysters purchased by the barrel and turkeys by the hundreds making the substantial of the occasion, In the evening there is a suitable entertainment in Music Hall, composed of music, tableaux, and dramatic plays. The following bill of fare is usually served up at the Christmas dinner:

 

Oysters stewed, Roast beef, Mashed potatoes, Tomatoes, Pickles, Bread, Butter, Cakes, Mince-pie, Coffee, and Apples.

 

               There are also entertainments of a varied character. The annual Christmas present to the Home by their ever kind friend and patron, Mrs. Mary Lowell Putnam, is always the most interesting feature of the occasion. Last year the present was a large box of splendid books. This was made the occasion of a splendid ovation to the generous donor. It was a sort of a mass-meeting in library hall, which, large as it is, was filled with the veterans. The books were on exhibition, and after they were examined and admired Colonel Brown, in a few words, opened the exercises by calling out Chaplain Earnshaw, who spoke eloquently of Mrs. Putnam, and read letters more eloquent still from Mrs. Putnam herself. These letters ran from 1868 to November, 1871; and during their reading, so intent were the veterans that the falling of a pin could have been heard.

               After the chaplain, Manager Gunckel was called out. He said he had not come to speak, but to join them in their Christmas and to unite with them in doing honor to their best friend, Mrs. Putnam, whom he pronounced the truest of women and the purest of Christians. After a description of Mrs. Putnam and his visits to her, and a eulogy on her splendid work, he closed by suggesting the formation of a monumental and historical society at the Soldiers' Home, with twofold objects. First, the erection of a monument to those who had died at the Soldiers' Home, upon which the name of every veteran who had died or should hereafter die at the Soldiers' Home should be inscribed; and second, the collection of relics from all the battle-fields of the rebellion, which should constitute a national museum at the Soldiers' Home.

The veterans took the suggestions at once, and appointed a committee to report a constitution for the formation of the proposed society. Colonel Brown closed the meeting by offering resolutions which were unanimously adopted returning thanks to Mrs. Putnam for her Christmas present, and requesting her to furnish her own portrait for the adornment of library hall.

The dinner which followed was splendid, such as would have done honor to any of our best hotels.

 

ST. PATRICK'S DAY AT THE HOME.

 

               The Irish-American veterans, as well as others, have their day at the Home. A large crowd assembled at Music Hall on the occasion of the entertainment given by the Irish-American veterans in celebration of St. Patrick's day. There was a large number of visitors present from the city, and many from the neighboring cities and towns.

               The stage and hall were gorgeously decorated, the entire background of the former being a large American flag. In front of this was a green square, in the center of which was a harp wreathed in gold, and above it a spread-eagle, while on the left was a green flag, and on the right the American standard. On each side of the stage were American flags in folds, and the drop-curtain was decorated with evergreens and banners red, white, blue, and green.

               The music furnished by the Home Band was of the most delightful character, and appropriate to the occasion. Colonel William G. Halpin, of Cincinnati, delivered an oration which did not occupy more than half an hour in the delivery, yet it was so eloquent and pointed that it stirred every Irish heart in his hearing. Colonel Halpin congratulated his hearers upon the fact that the Ireland of to-day was not what it was even forty years ago. There had been advancements there as well as elsewhere. Education was more generally diffused among the people, and more attention was paid to all those influences which elevate and ennoble humanity. He regretted that it had been said of Irishmen that they were not so brave at home as they were abroad. It was true that in every land throughout the four quarters of the globe Irishmen had made for themselves an enviable record; but he denied that they had shown any less gallantry on their native soil. In support of his position he cited Limerick, Vinegar Hill, and other battle-fields on which Irishmen had heroically shed their blood in defense of their rights and liberties.

               Colonel Halpin's address was enthusiastically cheered, and the only criticism made upon it was complimentary to it, and that was that it was too brief.

               Father Carey made some very happy remarks, at the conclusion of which he introduced Father O'Reilly and J. Father Hahne as good Irishmen. The clerical pleasantry which prompted the introduction of Father Hahne as an Irishman was received with shouts of laughter by the audience. Father O'Reilly made a brief address, and was followed by Father Mackey, of St. Patrick's Church, Cincinnati.

               The songs were good. Mr. Intelkofer rendered the "Rising of the Moon" with fine effect, and the "Irish Brigade," in character, by Mr. L. Callahan, was rapturously encored. "Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming" was not on the programme, yet it was sung by St. Joseph's choir with such admirable effect that it might be denominated the vocal gem of the evening.

               Mr. W. H. Emoss and Mr. Louis L. Welton also contributed much, to the enjoyment of the occasion by their singing.

               "Johnny, I hardly Knew You/' as rendered by Mr. L. Callahan in character, was convulsively funny. "Donald Aboo," by Mr. Larkin, was a most delightful performance, and the same may be said of the piano performance by Mr. Schenck. The veterans tendered their thanks to Colonel Halpin, Colonel Brown, Father Carey, and St. Joseph choir for the part they had taken in contributing to the success of the celebration. Then with three cheers to "the day we celebrate" the exercises were concluded.

 

OUTSIDE ASSOCIATIONS.

 

               The Home is not without its pleasant associations with the outside world. Crowds of visitors from all sections of the country, and also from Europe, come here daily and express their admiration of the Home and its surroundings. In addition to these, during the summer months gay picnic parties fill the woods, and carriages of various descriptions throng the avenues. Broad drives, and fair promenades in visiting the garden, library, church, and other buildings evince the proud satisfaction they feel in so noble and beautiful a home having been provided for the nation's defenders. The ladies of the Christian Association of Dayton also attend weekly with music and reading for the blind. Various military and civic organizations come in a body, and distinguished actors, musicians, and lecturers generously entertain and instruct the inmates. Some of these pleasant visits that have transpired within the past two or three years we now propose briefly to describe.

 

PIONEERS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY

 

               The pioneers' reunion held at the Soldiers' Home was one of the notable events of the period. On no other occasion of the kind have so many of the early settlers in this section of the state been brought face to face for the enjoyment of social life. At 11:30 A. M. the pioneers assembled at the chapel of the Home, which was densely crowded. John D. Caldwell, Esq., of Cincinnati, secretary of the Hamilton County Pioneer Association, called the meeting to order. Judge D. K. Este, of Cincinnati, a pioneer of eighty-eight years, was chosen chairman, and Robert W. Steele, of Dayton, secretary.

Before the organization the audience joined in singing " Praise God, from whom all blessings flow," to the tune of Old Hundred, which is inseparably connected with the words. Then followed the invocation by Rev. D. Winters, chaplain of the Montgomery County Pioneer Association.

               After the election of officers Hon. L. B. Gunckel, resident manager, made the following address of welcome on behalf of the Home:

 

               "It happens that I am the oldest person officially connected with the Soldiers' Home who was born in this county, and for that reason have been selected to welcome the pioneers of Hamilton, Butler, Darke, and Montgomery. The veterans of the Home, now numbering near two thousand, like all soldiers and gentlemen (the veterans are both), respect old age, especially honorable old age, such as they know yours to be. They know full well the privations and sufferings, the courage, industry, and economy of the pioneer men and women which have been required to make the Miami valley what it is the most beautiful in the world. They respect, honor, love you, and instruct me to make the welcome as strong and as hearty as words can make it, and I do not know how I can do it better than to say our welcome is of the real old-fashioned kind. It is not without reason that older people complain that modern politeness is formal, cold, and heartless, and fashionable welcomes too often mere lip-service. So I repeat, we mean ours to be an old-fashioned welcome one which comes from the heart and shows itself in the hearty grip of the hand, such shakes as made old General Harrison, in 1840, wish he had no hands at all. We want our welcome to be just such as would have been extended to you, at this very place, sixty years ago the latch-string of the log-cabin out, a place for you around the open log-fire, and an invitation to share the corn-dodger and hard-cider. So we gladly extend to you the freedom and hospitality of the Soldiers' Home.

               "But before closing I beg to introduce a few of our 'boys in blue;' the oldest ninety-four, and the youngest 'the child of the regiment' only forty-eight! They are veterans of the war of 1812. By the original act establishing these homes, such soldiers only were admissible as had been disabled in the war of the rebellion. But it seemed so unjust to exclude those who had fought and been disabled under General Jackson in the South, under General Harrison in the Northwest, and under General Scott in Mexico, that congress amended the act and admitted these noble old veterans on the same terms as the others. Their history is remarkable. Some of them have distinguished themselves in European as well as American wars. One was in thirty-one general engagements, and wounded five times; another in twenty-five general engagements and never received even a scratch; another went through twenty-one battles un- harmed, but only to be wounded at Fort Donaldson. One entered the French service when twelve years old; another at his birth. His father was a French soldier; he was born in camp, and at once entered on the army rolls; but whether with or without 'back pay' I can not say."

               This was a very interesting feature of the occasion, and as the old soldiers were presented they were received with hearty applause.

               Benjamin Lereaux, aged ninety-four, served in the war of 1812, and fought at Lundy's Lane, Pittsburgh, and Chippewa.

               Thomas Maddox, aged ninety-five, a volunteer of 1812, was at the defense of Baltimore.

               Ira Anderson, eighty-two, a veteran of 1812.

               Amen Clark, seventy-eight, a veteran of 1812.

               John Manz, seventy- three, enlisted in the French army as a bugler at the age of twelve; was bugler for Napoleon's body-guard at Waterloo, and was taken prisoner; afterward served for seventeen years in the army of Holland; emigrated to the United States in 1850, and served two years in the war of the rebellion; was discharged on account of the loss of his eyesight.

               Adolph Grimm, aged eighty-seven, fought in the battles of Leipsic, Waterloo, and Katzbach, and served two years in the American army.

               Edward Milton, aged seventy-five, was forty-three years in military service, and forty years a non-commissioned officer ; served under General Harney in the Seminole war, and helped to capture Wild Cat, the Seminole chief; was with Captain Bonneville in his Rocky Mountain explorations.

Benning Wentworth, who weighs almost three hundred, was pleasantly introduced as the child of the regiment. He is only forty-eight, and served with credit through the war of the rebellion.

               Charles Schaffter, sixty-six years, was born a soldier with the French army, in the field. His name was entered on the army roll on the day of his birth, and he received the regular pay, rations, and clothing allotted to the adult soldier. He served in the Union army during the continuance of the rebellion.

               John W. Bayz, a veteran of only fifty-seven years, served twenty years in the regular army; was in the Florida and Mexican wars, and did a good deal in fighting Indians in the West besides. He was on board the steamer San Francisco, with some four hundred soldiers, when she was wrecked on her voyage to California. He was in thirty-one engagements, and received five wounds.

               Edward Kates, sixty-two, served nineteen years in the United States marine corps, and five years in the regular army; was in the Mexican, Chinese, and Florida wars, and served five years in the Union army. He was in twenty-two engagements.

            J. C. Lamb, forty-seven, for fifteen years in the navy; served in the Mexican and Chinese wars; was under fire in twenty-five general engagements.

Return to "History of the National Home for Diasbled Soldiers" Home Page