National GAR Encampment in Atlantic City

 
Poster from the 44th National GAR Encampment
 
 

The 44th National Grand Army of the Republic Encampment

Atlantic City, New Jersey 1910  

From September 19th to the 24th, Atlantic City was home to the 44th National GAR Encampment.  At the Encampment were 1,579 delegates the highest number of delegates at any National Encampment, and over 15,000 Civil War veterans. Among the 15,000 veterans in Atlantic City for this Encampment was one of the  two surviving Union Corps Commanders, Major General and Medal of Honor recipient Daniel E. Sickles who commanded the 3rd Army Corps,  famed Lt. General Nelson A. Miles, and the “Drummer Boy of Shiloh” Johnny Clem. Over the next couple of months we will be adding to these pages and will explore some of the events that took place during the encampment. 

(Items on this page may not  be copied  without the written permission of the web master. All photos are the property of David Hann)

 

 

The Trenton Times April 28, 1910

 

State Plans for G.A.R. Encampment

 

State Treasurer Voorhees Will Formulate

Rules for Expenditure of Appropriation

 

Plans for the participation of New Jersey in the annual encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic, which opens at Atlantic City September 19, were discussed In the Executive Chamber yesterday by Governor Fort and a delegation consisting  of Colonel Charles Boroughs, of Rutherford; Frank M. Sterrett, executive director of the 44th National Encampment; J. Halnes Lippincott, treasurer of the Citizens' Committee of One Hundred of Atlantic City, and A. T. Bell, of Atlantic City. State Treasurer Daniel S. Voorhees and State Comptroller Henry J, West were also present. It was partially at the request of Mr. Voorhees that the conference was called to determine the regulations which should govern the expenditure of $25.000 provided for in the bill of Senator Edmund Wilson, of Atlantic County, for the entertainment of visitors at the encampment. It was agreed that the State Treasurer should formulate rules for the expenditure of the money which will be disbursed through the citizens' committee upon warrants drawn by Mr. Lippincott, its treasurer.  Of the appropriation it was decided that one-third should be turned over to the citizens' committee forthwith, one third in July and one-third in September There was also some discussion as to what state representation should be sent to the encampment. Governor Fort accepted an invitation to be present on Tuesday, September 20, when it is expected that President Taft will review the  Grand Army and deliver an address. Governor Fort will speak on the same day. The delegation was desirous that the Governor should bring with him his entire personal and military staffs, and while this was not definitely settled it is probable that he will do so.

 

 

 

The Following are excerpts from the “Atlantic City Evening Union”

 

Tuesday, August 16, 1910

“G.A.R. Meeting Drawing Near”

  “That only a few weeks remain before Grand Army hosts from all party of the Country will invade Atlantic City to the strains of martial music attend the National Encampment of that great order was called to mind today when electricians of the Valentine Electric Company began placing on City Hall the wire ducts from which the municipal building will be brilliantly illuminated. Thousands of red, white, and blue incandescent lights will be used to produce the effect desired by the Decoration Committee of which Mayor Stoy is Chairman, and it is predicted that the display will surpass anything Atlantic City has yet known. A huge G.A.R. badge and two big American flags in outline with the rippling lights will be the main feature”
 

Atlantic Review

September 17, 1910

Mayor’s Hand Lights City Hall Flags

 

“Promptly at 7:30 o’clock last night Mayor F.P. Stoy and Superintendent  A.K. Akarman, of the Shore fast Line, formally opened the illuminating  scheme on the City Hall and along Atlantic avenue in honor of the G.A.R. encampment. Mayor Stoy turned the switch which lit thousands of the incandescent bulbs and the two massive electric waving flags on City Hall, and at the same time on a signal given by Mr. Akarman, a car started from Massachusetts avenue and continued on its way down the avenue with Supervisor William S. Jackson of the trolley line, aboard stopping at each trolley standard to throw the switch that lit up the streamers of electric bulbs placed there by the company.  Mr. Akarman stated last night that all of the trolley cars, including those which run to Somers Point and Ocean City would have flags about three feet by four feet placed on the trolley ropes, which would stream out in back while the car was in motion."

Saturday, August 20, 1910

Approve Union Flag Campaign

“Officials and committees busily engaged in preparing for the national encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic to be held here for September 19th to the 24th today heartily approved the Evening Union’s plan to distribute several thousand handsome American flags in connection in connection with a circulating campaign. Mayor Stoy who is chairman of the Decoration Committee and who wants the city to be literality alive with flags during the week of the encampment said today that every citizen should display a flag. Other members of the committee gave similar endorsements of the Evening Union’s flag distribution plan. There is already a big demand for flags and it is expected as many as the Evening Union can procure will be called for.  Full details of the plan will be given at the distribution office”

“Flag Free”

“The Evening Union has made arrangements to present several thousand American flags, 5x8ft, in size with staff, holder and halyards to residents of the city who want to hang out the national colors during the Grand Army encampment in September. Read the proposition city circulation pages.”

“You want an American Flag for the Grand Army Encampment”

“This beautiful five by eight foot fast color American Flag complete with nine foot staff and holder and halyards attached will be given to any man, women, boy or girl in Atlantic City who will get 4 friends to subscribe to the EVENING UNION for 3 months. Bring the (coupon) direct to the Circulation Department of this office and as soon as they have been found correct you will be given the flag.

Any person can by subscribing to the EVENING UNION for 3 months secure one of these flags with staff and halyards by paying one dollar extra for the same. They will not be delivered” 

Saturday, September 17, 1910

 

“Make the Vets Welcome”

“Every citizen of Atlantic City, of whatever degree and standing so far as this world’s goods are concerned, will do his utmost; it is assumed, to make the visit of tens of thousands of aged veterans here next week as pleasant as possible. This applies to nearly everyone. If the thought here utmost to be agreeable and good –natured in so far as they personally come in touch with the city’s guests the general result will be gratifying indeed. Be cheerful and take it easy would be a good motto to adopt for this occasion. Drivers should give the olds vets the right of way without question.  People caught in crowds should take it easy and have due regard for their neighbors. If you are asked information respecting information respond cheerfully. And decorate by all means. Catch the spirit that is all about you. Put a knot of red, white, and blue ribbon in your button hole.  And don’t laugh at poor old chaps with a faded bit of ribbon attached to that bronze button. They helped to save the country in its greatest need. It is assumed of course that everybody will comply cheerfully with the order of the police.  Don’t stop and argue about it. The cop will have his orders and it is your duty to help him by obeying them promptly. Do everything you can to help the authorities in working out the details upon which so much depends. And whatever else you do, don’t blockade the streets or sidewalks.  Contractors with building materials in the street should get rid of it before Monday night. Every inch of the route of parade particularly should be perfectly clear. The condition of Ohio avenue where the procession is to turn to Pacific avenue leaves much to be desired, but the condition there will be materially improved if the street is cleaned up in front of the new Grammar School. Any attempt to graft at the expense of the visitors should summarily discouraged. Hotel and boarding house keepers have been very reasonable in making rates for G.A.R. week. Store keepers and everybody else with anything to sell should be satisfied with a fair profit. Atlantic City has the reputation of being one of the best regulated, most orderly and “likeable” – to use a homely term- towns in the whole country. Try to do everything you can next week to make good this reputation. It is a big asset, well worth taking, the best possible care of. Now all together for a great big week. Let the flags fly and the bands play”

 

Friday, September 23rd 1910

“Better Than The Best”

“Atlantic City’s elaborate scheme of decoration for the Grand Army Encampment is going to win the resort wide spread fame as a progressive and enterprising community. Veteran  heads of the G.A.R. who have not missed an encampment for years frankly declare that Atlantic City has exceeded every town where the Grand Army has met in the beauty of its display. We thought Boston was the best and it was scarcely possible to surpass it, but Atlantic City has shown us that we were mistaken by doing better than the best” said a National Department official whose name is familiar to almost everyone. As a natural  consequence Atlantic City will be talked about in every city and hamlet in the country. Its enterprise will be repaid a hundred times over.

Saturday, September 17th, 1910

NO ARRESTS OF VETS IS THE ORDER

“Police officers will not arrest old soldiers where it is possible to avoid it,” is the sense of an order promulgated by Chief of Police Woodruff this morning. The purpose of the authorities is to give the veterans the freedom of the city to the last limit and to take good care of those stragglers who absorb too much freedom. In this connection the Chief’s order says—“Where it is impossible to avoid arrests in case of intoxication old soldiers will be sent to Police Headquarters for safe keeping but no charges will be lodged.”

Friday, September 23rd 1910

MILLER A VET, FREED BY COURT

Gray haired and feeble John Miller three score years of age as an occupant of the dock at the morning session of Police court, the only veteran of the G.A.R. to be arrested during the encampment. But more as a means of protection than with the idea of correction was Miller  taken into  custody by policeman Bunting. Miller met serveral old commrades yesterday and together they drank to the memory of the days of ’61, until Miller was greatly under the influence of liquor. “Are you a veteran?” asked the Recorder Keffer , when Miller was haled into court this morning. “Yes sir,”  Miller replied. “Where you ever in a battle” inquired the court. “Yes sir,” I was in the Battle of Gettysburg,” responded Miller promptly. “Were you wounded?” the court asked. “Slightly several times,” the veteran answered. “The court will suspend sentence,” said the recorder, and Miller was permitted to rejoin his comrades.

 
 

 

 Post Cards from the 1910 Encampment 
(From the collection of Dave Hann)
 

The following are G.A.R. notes that appeared in the

Atlantic City Evening Union throughout the week

 

Commander-in –Chief  VanSant has consented to permit his official band to furnish music for the reception to be given at the Hotel Rudolf tonight by the Sons of  Veterans and Woman’s Auxiliary . Gen. Greenville M. Dodge, Past Department Commander of the Department of Iowa, of Council Bluffs IA, and one of the two only living corps Commanders, arrivied this morning , and has established his headquarters at the Seaside House. Gen. Dan Sickles is the other only living corps commander. Arrangements for the National Headquarters on Young’s Pier are  most complete  and the satisfaction of the officers of the G.A.R. was frankly expressed this morning. Through the courtesy of the Bell Telephone Company, each booth is provided with phone service, while branch offices of both the Western Union and Postal Telegraph companies are located at a convenient place on the left of the entrance. A branch post office has also been provided, as well as information booth and separate booths for the various affiliated organizations.”

 
 

Genl. Sickles is at Seaside

Brigadier General Sickles the famous fighting “Dan” Sickles whose men saved the day at Gettysburg when they turned back Pickett’s legions at the Bloody Angle and routed the hopes of the Confederacy is at Seaside House. This fact is stated for the information of thousands who want to shake the hand of the famous fighter. He lost a leg on the Gettysburg field. “

 

He served in a Jersey Regt.

“Daniel Williams who is known far and wide as the  “Drummer Boy of Fredericksburg” is here to attend the Grand Army Encampment with a large delegation of Lincoln Post Department Potomac, G.A.R. of which he is a past commander. “Drummer Boy” Williams enlisted in Company I, Twenty fourth Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers, going out from Haddonfield his boyhood home.”

 

Atlantic City Evening Press

September 22, 1910

 

“Daniel Williams “the drummer boy of Fredericksburg”  is out with a challenge to prove he is or rather he was the youngest drummer boy who enlisted in the Grand Army of the Republic in Co. I, 24th Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers. Drummer boy  Abraham F. Springsteen of Co. A, 35th Indiana Volunteers has heretofore  claimed the honor of being the youngest boy, but according to data that Mr. Williams has in his possession it appears that Springsteen, naming his age at sixty years enlisted in October 15, 1862, and at the same time he was enlisted he was eleven years old, while Williams enlisted in the same year only on September 1st , and is now fifty-nine years thus  making  Williams one, nine years thus making Williams  one younger  at the time of enlistment, than Drummer Boy Springsteen.“

 

 

Atlantic City Daily Press

September 21, 1910

Oldest Vet

“While there is a big controversy on hand as to the honor of the youngest veteran, there seem to be no room, to doubt but that Comrade Samuel R. Fithian , of Bridgeton , N.J., is the oldest member of the G.A.R. attending the encampment. Mr Fithian who was a quartermaster in the 24th New Jersey Volunteers  during the war, has passed his 97th birthday, but is still hale and hearty. He will march in to-day’s parade with the local post, Joe Hooker, No: 32

 

Atlantic City Evening Press

September 22, 1910

“The Long and short of it -  Comrade Mahon Shaaher of McLean Post No. 16 G.A.R., of Reading Berks County. The short of it Comrade Benjamin F. Smith of Kilpatrick Post No. 212 G.A.R., of Millersburg, Dauphin County, Pa.” 

(Editors note. This was take from a picture in the paper. Shaaher was 6’7” and Smith was 4’10”)

 

 

 

 

 

“G.A.R. Lecture in the Schools”

“School officials announce a patriotic lecture in the auditorium of the High School Building, Pacific and Ohio avenues, at 3 o’clock this afternoon, anent G.A.R. week. Admission will be free to the pupils and their parents. The lecture will be entitled “From Reveille to Taps.” It is hardly a lecture, but rather a novel and interesting entertainment by Bugler Paul Kamerer, of New York city, Volunteer 15th Ohio Battery, and Lincoln Post No.13, G.A.R. New York. He mingles songs with recitations stories, bugle calls and war reminiscences in most interesting fashion.”

 

“Lost Angeles out for Next Meeting”

“In addition to making a fight for next year’s encampment, the Los Angeles Cal; delegation in attendance at this year’s meeting, propose to present a measure providing for a section of a city centrally located and convenient of access from every part of the United States as the permanent encampment place. According to the claims of Los Angeles veterans, they have the support of every post west of Ohio in their fight to secure next year’s encampment and they are confident of winning the meeting.”

(Editor’s note. Rochester, NY was home to the 45th National Encampment. Los Angeles was home to the 46th National Encampment.)

 

“Sent Regrets to Veterans”

“United States Senator John Kean of New Jersey today forwarded regrets upon his inability to be present at the Grand Army Encampment. The Senator’s message was as follows: Hon. Walter E. Edge. Atlantic City, N.J. I had hoped to be in Atlantic City to attend the G.A.R. Encampment today, but regret I am unable to do so. Please convey to the veterans my best wishes. John Kean.”

 

“Here after 51 Years He Didn’t Know The Town”

“William H. Doane, member of Custer Post, No. 5, Carson City  Nevada, and delegate at large for the Departments of California and Nevada, didn’t recognize Atlantic City when he came into town this morning. “I ran a dummy train up and down your Atlantic avenue fifty-one years ago,” said  Doane to an Evening Union reporter the morning, “but my who would ever have thought Atlantic City would grow to the magnificent town it is today? Why, I walked the whole length of Atlantic avenue hunting for a building that would remind me of old times, but it is all changed not even a trace of the Atlantic City I knew 51 years ago.”

 

“Salute The Flag”

“Joseph G. Marsh, of Manchester New Hampshire, a veteran of the Civil War, serving in the 9th New Hampshire Volunteers, and United States Navy in the United States ships Clara Dolson, The Fearnot, and the United States Monitor, Winnebago, is among the visitors. He was at the battle of the Mississippi River and Mobile Bay. He is the author of the song, “Salute the Flag.” The words of the above song has been sent to music and can be obtained at Manchester, New Hampshire. He holds letters of commendation from ex-President Roosevelt when he held the Presidential Chair, also Admiral Dewey and other high officials.”

 

  

“Veterans Call City Hall Work Of Art”

“A particularly imposing veteran with the star of a retired general upon his uniform collar surveyed the decorations of City Hall for five minutes this morning and then observed aloud:  That building is a work of art from the decorative standpoint.” “That’s what it is,” chorused several old soldiers standing beside him”

 

“Nebraska, Kentucky And Tennessee Men”

“Past Commander Simon L. Wescoat of Joe Hooker Post, G.A.R., of this city, stated this morning that among the veterans are representatives from Nebraska, Tennessee and Kentucky who have paid their respects at Memorial Hall on New York avenue. Among the visitors also is Walter Miller, who was a watchman at the Second National Bank for a long time before he went to California two or three years ago. Miller came here ahead of the California delegation which is coming in a special train, and expects to remain here permanently.”

“Custer Cannon On Exhibition”

“On exhibition at National Headquarters on Young’s Pier is an interesting relic of the war times the famous Custer cannon, a brass gun of 252 pounds mounted upon wheels. The relic, which is exhibited by Joseph Trax, Company B, Second West Virginia Cavalry, of New Castle, Pa., was cast from dozens of relics of the battlefields picked up at historic spots and cast at the Fort Pitt Foundries, Pittsburg, Pa. On the cannon are engraved many odd inscriptions, among them a replica of General Custer’s shoulder-straps which forms a part of the gun’s composition. Almost as historic as the G.A.R. itself, the Custer Cannon has been exhibited at 28 National and 9 State Encampments, and at 26 Reunions.”

 

Atlantic Review

July 14, 1910

Brigade Survivors Will Meet Here

 

“The Philadelphia Brigade Survivors will hold a reunion on the Steeplechase Pier, Atlantic  City, on the afternoon of September 18. The Blue and the Gray will be in evidence. Both the Gettysburg Post of Boston and the Confederate veterans of South Carolina will be present. It is planned to have the Governor of Maryland and his staff lead a delegation of the Civil War veterans, men who fought for the South, and men who fought for the North, to the reunion. The Philadelphia Brigade has received the following letter from Colonel Roosevelt:

“I thank you for your kind letter. Indeed, all I can do to bring about the closest good feelings between North and South will be done.”

Faithfully yours,

THEODORE ROOSEVELT “

 
 
 
 
The Daily Kennebec Journal Monday September 19th, 1910
 
The Boys in Blue Ready for Their 44th  G. A, R. Encampment,

Big Crowd Has Already As Assembled at Atlantic City,

Maine Party in Two Cars Leaves Portland, Saturday

 

"Atlantic City, N. J., Sept. 18.—The hotels, piers and board walk are crowded with old soldiers and their families who are here to attend the 44th annual encampment Of the Grand Army of the Republic. Every train today brought additions to the crowd which arrived last week. Five thousand veterans gathered In the Savoy theater this morning and listened to a patriotic sermon delivered by Rev. Robert A Flood, chaplain of the department of Pennsylvania. Commander-in-Chief Samuel Van Sant, members of staff, and Mayor Franklin P. Stoy were on the platform. The Philadelphia brigade survivors reached here today and reviewed the Gettysburg Post of Boston, which arrive on a later train. The Philadelphians  then escorted the New Englanders to their hotel Commander Van Sant and Hilary A. Herbert of Alabama, formerly Secretary of  the  navy and an officer in the Confederate army, were the principal speakers at a large gathering of veterans on the Steeplechase pier this afternoon. After a short address by the commander-in-chief. Gen. Herbert eulogized the members of the Grand Army and the commander. He described how the wearers of the blue and the wearers of the gray were being welded together for the cause of the Union. Commander-in-Chief  Van Sant and Gen. Daniel E. Sickles both said they would work for the proposition advanced by ex-Secretary Herbert t to bring veterans of the North and South together. He will bring it up before the G.A R. veterans later in the week it is believed this demonstration of friendly feeling will end the feeling against the action of placing the statue of General Robert E. Lee in Statuary hall. A remarkable scene occurred with the entrance of Gen Sickles in the Auditorium. As he swung  down the aisle with a pinned up trouser leg, giving mute evidence of his heroism, the veterans arose  one man and four of  his command  lifted Him, chair  and all, and placed him on the platform while the commander-in-Chief’s band played "Dixie" and the crowd cheered.  As Gen. Sickles grasped  The folds of a huge silk flag with Commander Van Sant, Gen. Herbert stepped up and. laying one hand on the shoulder of the grizzled veteran and the other on the flag. Said "Had I been told when I was In Antietam , that in the years to come I would stand side by  side with Federal soldiers and grasp the Stars and Stripes with them I would have  been Insulted. But I love the old flag now." Commander Van Sant paid a deep tribute to the Southern veterans, saying that he was glad to meet them on friendly terms and that he had no desire to meet them again in war. He declared he was proud of the fact that no American army ever surrendered to anything but another American army and repeated that there was no longer a North and a South, but that they were all one great American people. A slight flutter of applause greeted mention of Col Roosevelt during the G A R Leader's address. Thereafter he refrained from alluding to the former President. The name of President Taft was not mentioned Members of the Gettysburg Post attended in a body.  Among those who  occupied seats on the platform were Eli Torrance, past Commander-in-Chief,  Col. Freedom of Kentucky. Col. William L. Clark of Chambersburg, Pa.; former Governor W L. Sims of Mississippi; Col W. I,. Brown of Lynchburg, Va., Gen N. G. Puzzinl of Richmond and Col. P. O. Skelton of Boston. The pulpits of almost every church in the city occupied by visiting ministers who are members of the Grand Army."

 

 

 

The Daily Kennebec Journal Tuesday, September 20th, 1910
 

THE GRAND ARMY, Its 44th Annual Meeting

One of the Best, Atlantic City Is Filled With Happy Old Soldiers,

The Annual Review for Today is Anticipated with Delight

 

"Atlantic City. N. J. Sept. 20 – This as another happy day for thousands of veterans of the Grand  Army of the Republic, now in its 44th annual encampment here- Ideal September weather prevailed The his crowd already here was greatly swelled today by arriving delegations and the indications  are that the encampment will be  one of the best for many years. Tonight the visiting veterans were formally welcomed at a monster meeting on the million-dollar pier by Governor Fort and Mayor Stoy. Commander-in-Chief Samuel R Van Sant of Minnesota-made the principal response and was followed by the presidents of the other national organizations meeting with the G. A. R. here. The big event in the minds of the veterans tonight is the parade tomorrow, the annual review in which "the boys" delight to participate. Elaborate arrangements have been made both by the G A R officials and the local committees for the big procession. Vice President James S. Sherman will review the veterans along with Commander -in-Chief Van Sant. Another guest of the G. A. R. on the reviewing stand will be Lieut. General Nelson A Miles, U. S. A., retired. The procession will compare favorably with any held in recent years, despite the  fact that the Grand Army lost nearly 6,000 members during the past year by death Because of the possible exhaustion from a long march the route will be shorter than usual. The campaign for the next commander-in-chief continues in earnest. Each of the two candidates in the field, Commander John E. Gilman of Boston and John McElroy of Washington, D. C., have a host of friends who are unceasingly electioneering for their favorite.| In the matter of the next place of meeting, the questioning of railroad rates may largely enter into the- contest. Practically all the allied organizations of the G. A. R. held meetings today, some of them electing officers. One thing noticed at these meetings was the definite shape that the movement for increasing the pensions of veterans is taking. The cry  is a dollar a day for life. At present Congress, grants pensions to Civil War veterans as low as $12 a month. The national encampment is expected to take up the matter at its meeting. The National Association of Naval Veterans elected these officers: Commodore. William G, McEwah, Philadelphia; fleet commander, S. C. Van Tassal, Yonkers, N. Y.: fleet lieutenant, John H. Norman, New Haven, CT; Judge advocate, Fred E. Haskins, Brooklyn: fleet historian. Cyrus Sears. Baltimore, and fleet boatswain, William Jones, New Haven. Ct. The national encampment of the Sons of Veterans met this afternoon. Reports show that the organization has a membership of about 40.000. It is  expected that Fred Bolton of Boston will be elected commander.There is also a pretty fight for national president of the Women's Relief Corps. The candidates are Miss Belie C. Harris. Emporia, Kan.; Lois M Knauff, Cleveland, Ohio; Ida S. McBride, Indianapolis, and Cora M. Davis of Union, Oregon. Henry White, of Indiana, Pa., was reelected president of the National Association of Union Prisoners of War."

 

 The post card is from the parade
(From the collection of Dave Hann)
 
 
The Daily Kennebec Journal Thursday, September 22th, 1910
 

18,000 Grand Army Veterans in Parade

Reviewed  by. Com-in-Chief Van Sant, Vice-Pres, Sherman and Gov, Fort John E, Gilman of Boston in Lead For Commander-in-Chief

 

"Atlantic City, N. J., Sept. 21.—The grizzled veterans of the union army, bent with weight of years but with the spirit which won them many a victory on the battlefield, marched in review today. These members of the  dwindling Grand Army of the Republic which is holding its annual encampment here, never tramped more proudly than they did at this big  seashore resort,  and  they were acclaimed  all along the flag-bedecked avenue by the biggest  crowd that ever saw a parade in Atlantic City.   Eighteen thousand is the estimated number of veterans who passed the grand stand and received the salute of their Commander-in-Chief, the Vice

President of the United  States and the governor of New Jersey. Fine  September weather , favored the old soldiers which accounted for the unusually small number of members who dropped out of line. In all there was not over a score of cases of exhaustion and none of these, amounted to more than temporary fatigue.

The thinning lines of the Grand Army of  the Republic were more noticeable today than ever. Many of the states were represented by mere handful. of veterans. The smallest delegation was from Arizona, which had just one man In line. He got nearly as much applause  as did the  big delegation from Pennsylvania, which had the largest number  of men in the parade. The Keystone state, Massachusetts, New York,  New Jersey and the  Department of the Potomac monopolized more thanhalf of the procession. The official  review stand was at  Park  Place  and the  boardwalk, midway  between the  ocean and  Million Dollar  pier. Besides Commander -in-Chief  Samuel  R. Van Sant, Vice President Sherman  and Governor Fort.,  there were many old commanders -in-chief  and other prominent military men on the stand. Among  them were Corporal  James  Tanner, Gen Thomas G. Stewart, Pennsylvania, Gen. Lewis E. Wagner. Pennsylvania; Robert D. Brown. Ohio;  Charles  Burton. Missouri and Henry  H. Nevius, New Jersey .  Gen. Daniel E. Sickles  was  there as was also Lieut. General  Nelson A. Miles. U.S.A. ., retired. The Vice President was in the city only long  enough to review the parade  and  partake of a hasty luncheon. He left the city at  2:30 P. M- When  the  political  troubles of New York state were  mentioned  the Vice President raised his hand deprecatingly  and with a smile said he would not talk politics. He thoroughly enjoyed the review and the veterans  were pleased to see him,  judging  from the  greeting he received from "the boys." Tonight big  campfires are burning brightly  in different parts of the city. One was in the home of the. Fraternal Order of Eagles, another was on the Million Dollar pier, and a third was on the Steel pier. And while the old soldiers were fighting battles over, again in song and story, the e wives and daughters were holding brilliant receptions in the big hotels under the auspices of the several women's organizations. With the big show of  the encampment over those members of the G. A. R whose duty it is to look after the business of the organization will meet in executive session tomorrow morning. So far as those who have charge of the machinery of the organization, no unusual questions  will come before the representatives. There will be the  usual grist  of resolutions, one, of which will give, what the veterans think of the railways and  their alleged failure to give the encampment lower rates. The movement for larger pensions will give fresh impetus and other matters affecting the welfare of the Grand-Army of the Republic will come up. John E. Gilman of Boston, who is the candidate for  commander-in-chief against John McElroy of Washington, D. C.  appears to be still In the lead and is predicted he will receive the honors. The place of next meeting  is still a free-for-all contest, but the chances favor the West."

 

Atlantic City. N. J.. Sept. 21.1910
 
"Once again the "boys In blue" passed in  review  before their Commander-in-chief. With steps not so sprightly as they once were, but with the same old spirit they marched the broad avenues of this city by the sea today and were acclaimed  by great crowds of peoplewho came to see the big- feature of the 44th annual encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic. Ideal September weather favored  the old soldier. Forty-four states were representedin the procession and while the parade was not as large as these of otheryears, there was no end of enthusiasm as the aging veterans marched past.Every building along the line of march was hidden beneath the draped nationalcolors and the sidewalks were massed with spectators. Near the end of the route the battle-scarred remnants of a once great army was reviewed by Commander-in-Chief  Samuel R. Van Sant. On one side of him on the reviewing stand stood the Vice President of the United States, and on the other was that old war horse, Lieut. General Nelson A. Miles, U. S. A., retired. They were in the position of honor on a grandstand at Park Place, near the boardwalk, so placed that they could get a splendid view of the parade. About them on the big platform were several thousand invited guests. Vice President Sherman arrived hereas the parade was forming. He was met by a reception committee composed of local citizens and representatives of the G. A. R. The Morris Guard, an independent military, company of Atlantic City, acted as his guard ofhonor, while he remained In the city. He was given a hearty welcome. The  route of the parade was a comparatively short one, it having been deemed unwise to subject the old soldiers to any more fatigue than was necessary. The orders were 100 steps to the minute. Silas Towler, chief of staff to the  commander-in-chief , was marshal of the parade with Walter E. Edge of Atlantic City as his chief of staff. The first troops in line were the  CityCavalry of Atlantic City and the advance guard was made up of a provisional regiment from the Sons of Veterans under the command of Colonel Henry Stewart. Then came the commander-in-chief  and his staff under the personal escort of the famous U. S. Grant Post of Brooklyn. Following these came the long line- of "boys in blue" headed by the Department of Illinois, because of the seniority of its organization. The old soldiers marched in their respective departments in the following order: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York. Connecticut. Massachusetts, Maine, California, Nevada. Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Department of the Potomac, Virginia. North Carolina. Maryland. Nebraska, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas. Delaware, Minnesota, Missouri. Oregon, Kentucky, West Virginia, South Dakota. Washington,  Alaska, Arkansas. New Mexico. Utah. Tennessee, Louisiana. Mississippi, Florida , Montana, Texas, Idaho. Arizona. Georgia. South Carolina. Alabama,  North Dakota and Oklahoma. Then came the -National Association ofNaval Veterans and the National Associationof ex-Union Prisoners of War. The Department of New Jersey, the host of the occasion brought up the rear of the line of old soldiers. At the reviewing stand the Vice President was greeted by Governor Fort of New Jersey. Rear Admiral Melville and others. Opposite the reviewing stand the army nurses of the Civil War had a small stand all to themselves. The parade was a great success and at the noon hour when the sun was hottest, a few of the veterans were overcome from heat and exhaustion and were cared for by the emergency corps. The procession was two hours and a half passing the reviewing stand. The natty showing of the Rhode Island veterans in white duck trousers.blue coats and blue campaign caps,  evoked favorable comment and two Vermont old soldiers made a hit by doing the parade in a boardwalk rolling chair. A Michigan veteran carried a live rooster on a board stuck on a pole. This inscription was shown: "Jeff Davis captured by the 4th Michigan Cavalry"
 
 

Atlantic City Daily Press

September 19, 1910

G.A.R. Women To Give Prison Park to U.S. Government

Deeds of Famous Andersonville Jug Will Be Presented To U.S. Here on Tuesday Night by Women’s Relief Corps

166, 000 FAIR WORKERS.

Out of the throes of battle was born an organization the Women’s  Relief Corps auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic which has grown to majestic proportions , and which today is the largest beneficent  and patriotic  order in the world. With the call the call for men to defend the Union in 1861, came the need for the tender ministrations of women and relief and aid societies, sprang up North, East, and West. When the war was over there was still need for some of these societies for there were maimed, sick, and distressed soldiers to be looked after, and their families succored, and the women felt that to them was this work given and right nobly did they shoulder the trust.  In 1883 when General Paul  Van der Voort  was Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, he called together representatives of the various societies of women, and proposed to unite them in one great organization.  Many responded and the result is the Women’s Relief Corps, which now  liberty and equal rights to all.  The Women’s Relief Corps is an incorporated body and owns much valuable real estate.  The largest deal was when Andersonville Prison became their property, and they turned it into a park, which is now a Mecca for many thousands every year and especially upon May 30. In this park deeds have been given many states for plots of ground upon which to erect monuments to loyal sons, who yielded up their lives while prisoners within its confines.  Since the organization of the Women’s Relief Corps there has passed through the hands of the treasurer $3, 726, 809.95 for relief. At this National  Convention the treasurer report will show that there is in the General Fund $10,761. 85; in all other funds $10, 510. 63; supplies valued at $5, 994. 70; total assets $27, 267.18; with no liabilities. This is a showing to be proud of. In this order are enrolled women from the highest and proudest walks in life, and rich and poor  work together for the relief of the veteran and to teach patriotism to the children  of today, the men and women of tomorrow. The National President of the Women’s Relief Corps , Mrs. Jennie I. Berry will present the deeds of  Andersonville Prison  Park to a representative of the U.S. Government on Tuesday evening  in the presence of Commander-in-Chief   S.R. Van Sant, his staff the members of the W. R. C., the Park Board, the Committee on Transfer and a brilliant assemblage . Too much praise cannot be given the national President and the other officers of the order for the great amount of work accomplished this year. All over our land the flag floats from school houses or is displayed upon the walls of school rooms through their efforts and gifts. Hundreds of Corps have been organized and the membership is pushing towards two hundred thousand.  The  National officers are President G.A.R. Women Galley Two.”

 

(Personal note. This was followed by a list of all of the officers and different committees that took up another column. There was another famous person who served as National Secretary for the Women’s Relief Corp.  Mrs. Georgia Wade McClellan was the sister of  Virginia “Jenny” Wade, the only civilian killed in the Battle of Gettysburg.  Georgia herself was there and it was in her home that Jenny was killed, while baking bread for Union soldiers.  It should be noted that Jenny was there taking care of Georgia who had given birth a few days earlier. If you visit Evergreen cemetery in Gettysburg you will find the grave of  Jenny Wade. It will be easy to spot as there is a flag pole over her grave  that flies the American Flag 24 hours a day 365 days a year, a gift from the Women’s Relief Corps)

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Encampment booklet from the 44th National Encampmnet. This page gives the history of New Jersey's bid for a National Encampment
.(From the collection of Dave Hann)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Subpages (1): Our Ancestors
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