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History of the National Home for Disabled Soldiers
Quartermaster's Department



               Blocks of buildings comprise the quartermaster's department, commissary store, printing office, Home store, telegraph office, and police headquarters. In the quartermaster's department are issued the necessary supplies of clothing, articles of convenience and necessary use, etc. As an example, we cite the amount of clothing issued to inmates for the year 1874:


Blouses 2,500

Boots 1,000 pairs.

Caps 1,000

Dress-coats 1,500

Overcoats 600

Drawers 6,000

Hats 1,200

Shoes 1,500 pairs.

Socks 6,000 "

Pants 5,500 "

Shirts 7,500




               Which transacts its business under government authority, though located in an unpretending building, forms one of the most important and interesting features of the Home. At all hours of the day the inmates may be seen going to and fro, while they bear in their hands the outward evidences of fond remembrance. But on the arrival of the morning and evening mail the office presents a scene of bustle and confusion ordinarily witnessed at a city post-office. The avenue is literally thronged with expectant men, some patiently and many impatiently awaiting the arrival of good news from home. It is refreshing to observe the expression that radiates the countenances of the men as they open their letters and receive fresh assurances of love and regard from some friend or relative. The affairs of the office are conducted in a manner highly creditable to the fidelity of Mr. Geo. A. Blocher, the postmaster. Mr. B. is of course an inmate of the Home, and has held his present position for a period of more than four years. By the rules of the Home each inmate is permitted to mail two letters a week, to enable him to do which stationery and postage-stamps are furnished without charge. The number of letters forwarded and received does not fall short of ten thousand monthly, or one hundred and twenty thousand annually. Money-orders are forwarded annually to the amount of forty thousand dollars, many of which are sent to all parts of Europe.




               Nearly opposite to the church, and on the way to the cemetery, is the chaplain's residence. It is a pretty frame cottage, standing on a knoll and surrounded by luxuriant foliage.




Close his eyes, his work is done;

What to him is friend or foeman,

Rise of moon or set of sun,

Hand of man or kiss of woman!

"As many may, he fought his fight,

Proved his truth by his endeavor;

Let him sleep in solemn night,

Sleep forever and forever.

"Lay him low, lay him low,

In the clover or the snow;

What cares he, he can not know;

Lay him low."


               In a grove shaded by tall trees is the cemetery where brave men are laid. A head-stone, designating the name and number of the regiment to which the deceased was attached, is placed at the grave. The graves are arranged in long regular lines, with a mounted cannon in the center. Large rustic flower- vases, neat and tasteful, are appropriately arranged at intervals. At a short distance from the graves stands the noble monument erected to the memory of the fallen heroes by the officers and men of the Home. The base of the monument is of granite. The shaft is of white marble, surrounded with a cap of ornamental design and exquisite workmanship. On the four sides of the pedestal appears the following inscription:


               "These were honorable men in their generation." Ecclesiasticus.







               On the occasion of breaking ground for this monument the following interesting ceremonies took place:

The procession was preceded by the Home Band. Then followed in order the chief marshal, and the governor of the Home, Colonel E. F. Brown, (2)

escort, (3) orator, invited guests, and invalid soldiers of the Home (the latter were supplied with vehicles to convey them from the hospital to the

cemetery by the ladies of Cleveland), (4) one-armed soldiers with flowers, (5) Veteran Post No. 5, Department of Ohio, Gr. A. R., (6) veterans of

the army and navy, (7) artillery, (8) fire department, (9) ladies, (10) citizens on foot, (11) carriages.


               Then followed the order of exercises.

Hymn Choir of First Baptist Church of Dayton


Music Home Band

Address. By his excellency, E. F. Noyes, Governor of Ohio.

Patriotic song in German Choir of First German Baptist Church of Dayton.


               After a short address by his excellency, Governor Noyes, followed the "breaking ground for a monument," by Hon. L. B. Gunckel, and the following officers of the Monumental and Historical Society: Chaplain Wm. Earnshaw president, Lewis J. Jones first vice-president, George A. Blocher second vice-president, Major J. B. Thomas treasurer, Wesley Crandall recording secretary, James McDonald and John D. Gibson corresponding secretaries, Captain Chas. H. Fernald historian. The earth was wheeled away by the oldest members of the Home who were able to push a wheelbarrow, namely: Adolph

Grimm, eighty-three years of age; Gideon Curtis, eighty-two years of age; Joseph Gerhart, eighty years of age ; W. C. Howard, seventy-three years

of age; Charles Darflinger, seventy-three years of age ; R. S. Munn, seventy-three years of age; John Dublin, seventy-three years of age. The first of these, Adolph Grimm, took part in the famous battle of Leipsic, which resulted in the release of the Germans from the Napoleonic yoke.

The corner-stone of this monument was laid on the 4th of July, 1873, with the following ceremonies. Captain Fernald read the following list of articles and documents placed under the corner-stone of the monument of the Historical and Monumental Society;


The Bible.

Constitution of the United States.

Act of congress establishing Soldiers' Home.

Minutes of the meetings of the Board of Managers.

Six photographic views of the buildings of the Home.

Thirty-six stereographic views of the scenery at the Home.

Photograph of the reception of Mrs. Mary Lowell Putnam, July 4, 1872.

Photograph of design for monument.

Manuscript history of the Historical and Monumental Society.

Specimen of money of Confederate states.

Silver half dollar, 1871, Sacramento mint, contributed by C. H. Fernald.

Store-checks used at Soldiers' Home.

Muster-roll of officers and men of the National Asylum.

Muster-roll of Post 5, Grand Army of the Republic.

Officers and members of Lookout Lodge, No, 160, 1. 0. G. T.

Programme of ceremonies, July 4, 1873.

Rebel shell from Gettysburg battle-field.



The Dayton Journal.

The Dayton Herald.

The Dayton Volksblatt.

The Chicago Staats-Zeitung.

The Missouri Staats-Zeitung.

The Cincinnati Commercial.

The Cincinnati Gazette.

The Cincinnati Enquirer.

The Cincinnati Times and Chronicle.

The Boston Globe.

The Cleveland Herald.

The Ohio State Journal.

The Pittsburgh Commercial.

The Pittsburgh Gazette.

The New York Herald.

The New York Tribune.

The Philadelphia Ledger.

The Philadelphia Press.

The Philadelphia Age.

The Philadelphia Sunday Republic.

Silver quarter dollar, silver dime, silver half dime, silver three-cent piece, copper coins (four pieces), contributed by George A. Blocher, postmaster.

Silver quarter dollar, contributed by Wm. Blair.

Silver half dollar from John White, first New Jersey volunteers.

Five-dollar Confederate note from Major J. B. Thomas.


               Here Chaplain Earnshaw stepped to the front with trowel in hand, remarking, as he did so, that it was generally customary to use a silver trowel on an occasion of this kind, but they preferred the one held in his hand, which was owned by James McVey, who was also introduced, when the following history of the trowel was given: It was used by its owner in laying the corner-stone of the Barnegat light-house and the one at Cape May, and also the one at Indian River in Florida. It was also used by the owner, who was one of the sappers in Senator Baker's brigade, of California, and was carried by its owner in his knapsack through the battle of Ball's Blutff, Virginia. McVey is now the master-mason of this institution.

               The audience then assembled at the speakers' stand in the adjoining grove, where seats had been arranged for the vast multitude. Here Hon. L. B. Gunckel, in his usual happy way, made a few appropriate remarks by way of first drafting and introducing the speakers.

               The veterans, having gratified their hearts and feasted their eyes last Fourth of July by the presence of Mary Lowell Putnam, were determined on another long hoped for consummation the erection of a monument to mark the spot where the bones of the brave repose in the Home Cemetery. Ever since Decoration-day two years ago this cherished plan had been elaborated, and the ground was broken for the occasion on Decoration-day this year. It lies north of the cemetery, just beyond the brow of the hill, almost in speaking distance from the central stand. Here an historical pillar has been obtained through the care of Hon. L. B. Gunckel, which is beautifully appropriate one of the old United States Bank colonnades from Philadelphia,, a handsome column of thirty feet, which has been selected as a gift from the general

government to the State of Ohio, among other states similarly remembered. On the crest of this column, erected on a suitable base, will be a statue of the volunteer on guard pointing to the site of his comrades sleeping under the green bed-clothes of the soldiers' tomb, bedecked with garlands of May.

For so noble an object, full of patriotic association, is it any wonder that governors of many states, and celebrated generals and senators from Washington, and soldiers of all degree, and even some who wore the gray, should come to Dayton to honor the Fourth of July by so appropriate a tribute of soldierly feeling? Is it any wonder that our own Ohio sent thousands to view the grounds of the Home on this day, as a pilgrimage more to be desired than that paid to the spot where our president was born, by hundreds of our citizens.




               When a soldier dies the flag flies not proudly to the breeze, but droopingly hangs at half-mast. Another of its brave defenders is dead, and to the silent grave we will accompany him. The beautiful hearse used at the funerals was built at the Home the wood- work by W. G. Chamberlain and the iron-work by mechanics of the Home. The casket which it contains is covered with the national flag. It is followed by a funeral escort marching with arms reversed, the chaplain in attendance. The band plays the solemn requiem, and the firing party discharges three volleys over his grave.


"He sleeps his last sleep ;

He has fought his last battle ;

No sound can awake him

To glory again."




               An efficient fire-brigade is in complete organization, and they have a very handsome steam fire-engine named after the Hon. L. B. Gunckel. The supply of water required for all purposes is abundant. The fire-engine is a sixty-five hundred weight, third-class Amoskeag, and the water is supplied by a Worthington steam-pump. The engine is always in readiness, and all other needful appliances, such as hose, fire-buckets, etc., are supplied to the barracks to meet the exigencies of a fire should one occur. The fire-brigade is well organized and fully equipped, and has on several occasions attracted much attention when it has appeared on parade, both at the Home and in the city of Dayton. At the pump-house is a Worthington steam-pump capable of throwing thirteen cubic feet of water per minute, or twenty-two tons per hour, which is employed from ten to twelve hours daily to supply the camp, making an average of two hundred and forty-two tons of water consumed daily. This pump is worked by a Root boiler composed of twenty-four three and a half inch pipes nine feet long. Forty thousand feet of steam-pipe are needed for cooking and heating purposes. Mr. W. G. Crutchfield is the efficient engineer of the Home. He is successor to Mr. Farrell, now in South America.




               A day-school is in successful operation under the direction of Miss M. J. Eaton, of New Hampshire. Miss Eaton has had charge of this school seven years; and no better evidence of her ability is required than that which is furnished in the rapid advancement of her scholars, some ten or twelve of whom are employed as teachers in different parts of the country. The labor of teaching persons far advanced in life is of no little magnitude; and it is a question whether any male teacher could be found equal to the task of adapting himself to the various circumstances and condition of these men. The Board of Managers acted wisely in making selection of a lady who, by a continued, patient, persevering effort has surmounted all the difficulties supposed to attend the instruction of men who have passed beyond the confines of youth. In this school men who have lost the right arm are taught to write with the left hand. Some are taught book-keeping, and others still prepared for teaching school, so that they go out in the world again and earn their own living. Others are learning to road some of them (colored men) having to commence at the alphabet. Quite a number of them have been taught telegraphing, with a view of earning their own living as telegraph operators and to facilitate their studies as well as to connect the Home with the outside world, a telegraph line has been erected to the city. At the present time there is in the school an old man aged sixty-nine years, who is learning to read and write. Miss Eaton is clearly entitled to the credit of made this school a great success, and to her belongs the honor. The Board of Managers may indeed be congratulated on the interest they have ever -manifested in this good work.




               There is connected with the Home a dentistry, and several well-appointed barber-shops.




               The bulletin-board, on one of the corners of the barracks, is one of the necessary institutions of the Home, and draws its little crowd of curious readers at all hours of the day. Upon it are placarded notices of meetings, entertainments, etc., and advertisements of lost keys, pocket-books, knives, glasses, and an endless variety of other small articles.




               For the preservation of order, the enforcement of regulations, and the arrest of offenders, there is a regularly organized police force, the members of which are designated by badges. They have an established head-quarters, with a lieutenant and sergeants, who together with subordinates are very efficient and prompt in the performance of their several duties. This force is under the command of Lieutenant Eliaa J. Beers.




               The guard-house is a neat and pleasant looking structure without, and does not present a very appalling aspect within, the prisoners being provided with the same amount and quality of food that they receive when out of confinement. Their loss of liberty and the deprivation of the privileges of the Home are all the privations they experience. The prisoners consist of men awaiting trial for offenses committed, and others under sentence. In most cases the offenses committed are intoxication and absence without leave. For the first offense no punishment is inflicted, but repetitions are dealt with according to their frequency the infliction of a fine and the performance of menial labor. Heinous offenses are met with condign punishment, ending in a dishonorable discharge.




               In the vicinity of the guard-house are three spacious structures built in an appropriate and tasteful style of architecture. These comprise the stables, barn, and carriage-house, which, as respects their internal arrangements, are complete in every particular. They present a picture of order and cleanliness worthy the attention of visitors who may feel interested in such matters.




               A large portion of the grounds are under cultivation as a farm and garden, from which great and useful crops are raised. Men who are able are here employed; and in addition to following so healthful a pursuit, they are in receipt of money wages. At the Central Home in 1874 the farm products amounted to 3,548.34, and the garden products to 2,978.37. Among the latter were forty-six and a half bushels of beans, eight hundred and sixty-one bushels of beets, two hundred bushels of carrots, six thousand nine hundred

and thirty heads of cabbage, five barrels of sauerkraut, one thousand seven hundred and twenty-seven dozen ears of green corn, two hundred and sixty-seven dozen bunches of celery, five hundred and sixty-two dozen cucumbers, four hundred and ten bushels of onions, two hundred and fifteen bushels of potatoes, seven hundred and fifty-three and three fourth gallons of pickles,

eighty bushels of parsnips, fifty-eight bushels of peas, fifteen thousand six hundred and twenty-four stalks of rhubarb, three hundred and twenty-five bushels of tomatoes, and one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six cans of same, two hundred bushels of turnips, besides apples, peaches, strawberries, currants, etc.; and $608.25 were derived from the sale of flowers and flower-plants.




               One of the attractive features of the farm is the "chicken paradise," for to these valuable and deserving creatures it is truly a paradise. On the corner of the orchard stands a neat white cottage of ornamental design. The front part has been fitted as a residence for the keeper, while the other portions are divided into compartments for the comfortable accommodations of the feathered inmates. There is also a very large pigeon-house attached to the roof. A spacious poultry-yard, inclosed with tall white railings, contains miniature cottages arranged in regular lilies. These present a pleasing prospect to the devoted hen as she gathers her little ones together and quietly enters her peaceful abode. A large stock of poultry, embracing every variety, is raised here.




               This orchard having the advantage of age is very productive, yielding an abundant supply for the culinary purposes of the Home. Large crops of both fall and summer apples are produced, the principal varieties being Bellflowers and Ramboes.




               Though not in a far advanced state of cultivation, already yield fair crops and promise future abundance. The regularity with which these trees have been planted can not fail to make a favorable impression on the mind of connoisseurs in such matters.




               The young vineyard forms a pretty picture. The long regular lines of vines, rich in foliage and laden with fruit, present a harmonious contrast with the adjoining orchards. During the appropriate season the inmates are liberally supplied with the several varieties of Concord, Ives' seedling, and Isabella grapes, all grown in this vineyard. The yield of small fruit, such as straw-

berries, blackberries, gooseberries, currants, etc., is very large.




               Is a work of beauty and excellence. It produces every species of garden vegetables of the finest quality. The old greenhouse previously mentioned is located here. It is now used as a canning-bouse, and during the past season immense quantities of tomatoes, catsup, and pickles were put up.




               The superintendence of the farm and stock devolves upon Captain L. K. Stroup, a gentleman in every way qualified for the position. Captain Stroup's military record is one of which he may justly be proud.

               In addition to his service as a private soldier, and as an infantry officer at the head of his company, he was detailed by General George Crook to serve on his staff, showing the estimate in which that distinguished officer held him. He was senior aid to General Crook in the battle of Floyd Mountain, one of the severest battles in West Virginia. He also served a period on the staff of Brigadier-general Duvall. He returned to his command at the earnest solicitation of his company, who desired him to command them. No soldier in the war had a better record than Captain Stroup.

               Under Captain Stroup's management the farm and stock department have been productive of the most satisfactory results. Upwards of two hundred and fifty acres of land are under successful cultivation, and the annual value of farm products reaches six thousand five hundred dollars. The estimated value of stock is sixteen thousand five hundred dollars. The following are the varieties of stock raised upon the Home farm: Thoroughbred short-horned cattle; thoroughbred AldiTney cattle; Poland and China hogs; thorough-bred Southdown sheep; dairy stock; horses, mules, and oxen; deers, buffaloes, and elks. Premiums to the amount of 185 were awarded to specimens of stock exhibited at the Southern Ohio Fair in 1874.

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