*Contributed by Virginia Simms Toney, Houston, TX*

 

 

The Wheeling Intelligencer

 

Wheeling, WV - Wednesday Morning, August 15, 1888

 

 

RECEPTION OF THE SONS OF VETERANS

to the nail city.

 

Delegates from Nearly Every state in the Union.

A fitting Reception to the Commander-in-Chief.

The Commandery-in-Chief {sic}  to meet to day.

A large Number of distinguished Members of the Order.

 

Interesting details of Tuesday’s Receptions-A roster of the Members of the Encampment.

 

The city is full of Sons of Veterans—gallant sons of honored sires.  Every train yesterday brought delegations from various States of the Union, and many delegates to the meeting of the Ladies’ National aid society also arrived.  Everything is in readiness for the opening session of the Commandery-in-chief this morning at the grand Opera House.  The meeting, which is a very important one, will continue for three days.

 

The McLure and Stamm hotels were the scenes yesterday of the greatest gathering of the delegates who have arrived, the latter house being the headquarters of the Ladies’ Aid Society, and the former the headquarters of General G.B. Abbott and staff, the Commander-in-Chief of the order.  The McLure and Stamm hotels are handsomely decorated, and the lobbies of these two houses presented a scene that reminded one of the reunion of the Society of the Army of west virginia last august.  Brilliant uniforms, smiling faces and hearty had grips made up a picture that could not be painted on canvas.  The age of many and the youth of the majority would not give a stranger in the country a cue as to the time the greatest conflict in the world took place.

 

Yesterday morning, the commander-in-Chief and about forty western delegates arrived from Chicago.  They were met at the depot by a detachment of the G.A.R. men and the sons of Veterans’ reception committee, headed by the Opera House band, and escorted to the headquarters.  Other western and Eastern delegations arrived during the day, and were greeted by the proper committee.

 

Several of the western delegations at an early hour.

 

      Flung to the Breeze,

from their headquarters, banners on which were pictured the coat of arms of their States and inscribed with various devices.  The Ohio delegation, which boasts that "Ohio is always on top", insisted upon being quartered on the top floor of the McLure Hotel, and no sooner were they rested than they exhibited from the windows of their rooms banners bearing the legend, "Ohio on Top."  There they hung all day, exciting much comment among observant pedestrians on Market street.  Last night the Massachusetts delegation got the laugh on the Ohio boys, however, by mounting the roof of the hotel and nailing their banner just above Ohio’s ensigns.  At a very late hour the delegates from the latter State were skirmishing around for a flag staff to place on the roof, upon which they intended to run up an Ohio banner, so that early riser this morning need not be surprised to see Ohio still "on top."  Of course, this will provoke the Bay State boys to a greater effort to outdo the Buckeyes, and there is no telling where the good-natured rivalry will end.  It is possible that the residents of wheeling will yet be greeted with the sight of many flag staffs on the roof of the McLure, of lengths ranging from two to three feet up to no telling how many feet.  Each State delegation vows that it will be "on top," if it takes the tallest tree to be found in the forest of West Virginia.

 

LADIES’ AID SOCIETY

 

The headquarters of the Ladies’Aid Society are at the Stamm House, though many of them are quartered at private boarding houses in the city.  The Society is a valuable auxiliary of the Sons of Veterans and deserves more than a passing mention.  The order is well represented by many of its most efficient and handsomest members.  On her arrival yesterday, one enthusiastic young lady made a splendid stroke of policy by pinning two Wheeling stogies on her breast.

 

In the afternoon, the Minnesota delegation, which, by the way, is one of the most interesting of the Commandery-in Chief, conceived the idea of tendering to the ladies of the aid society a reception in the parlors of the Stamm House, and at 5 o’clock the delegation, accompanied by about fifty of the delegates from other states, and Col. A.A. Franzheim, of the Governor’s staff, formed in line at the McLure House and marched to the Stamm House.

 

About twenty of the ladies, who had previous notification of the ovation, were in waiting.  When the sons of Veterans arrived they marched directly into the parlors and were formally received by Mrs. O’Brien, the President of the National organization. Col. E.H. Milham, commanding the Minnesota division, on behalf of the delegation from his state, in a brief but appropriate speech presented the ladies with a number of beautiful bouquets.  In his speech he took occasion to say that, although the State of Minnesota, had no camps of the ladies aid, the "Sons" of that state were in sympathy with the aims and objects of the order and hoped at no distant day to have a branch established there to which they would pledge their  hearty support. Gen. Leland J. Webb was then introduced and made some eloquent remarks on behalf of the delegates of other States who were present, assuring the ladies of the hearty co-operation of the National body of the sons of Veterans in their good work and tendering on their behalf congratulations upon the

prosperity of the order.

 

Mrs. O’Brien gracefully acknowledged the compliment the delegates had paid her and her companions, in a brief speech. These formalities, being over, some time was spent in hand shakings and introductions.  The hour was thus occupied, during which the scene was a most brilliant one, the fifty or sixty officers present being in full regimentals.  The charming hostesses presented each of their guest with an orange colored badge, and a small wooden bottle, the contents of which, they stated must be taken in lieu of the "something stronger," which is usually offered on such occasions.  On opening the bottles, they were found to contain—candy!

 

The Minnesota delegation, to which is due the credit of carrying out this pleasant features of the Encampment, is "one of the liveliest" in the procession."  They were one of the first to hang their banners on the walls of the McLure House, proclaiming to the citizens of West Virginia that "Minnesota is all right."  The delegates are Col. E.H. Wilham, Adjutant Geo. H. Shelre, Quartermaster George. W. Martin, Major A.S. Morgans, Sergeant Geo. P. McGuigan and sergeant D. W. Evans.  Col. C.B. Cook of Kakota, is also with the party.  Many pleasant incidents of the reception occurred.  When col. Milham, inquired in a voice calculated to he heard a distance something less than two or three squares, "What’s the matter with Minnesota?" the response from the representatives of every State was "Oh, she’s all right!"  Then came another from the same powerful pair of lungs, "What’s the matter with the Ladies Aid?" and the response "Oh, it’s all right!"  The

Massachusetts delegation , which up to this time had modestly stood back, was not to be outdone.  A stentorian voice inquired, "What’s the matter with Massachusetts?" and the many stentorian voices responded, "Oh, she’s all right!~"  Like inquiries and responses came from other delegations.  The crowning incident was the three cheers and a tiger that were given for the Ladies aid by all they guest just before their departure. 

 

THE COUNCIL IN CHIEF

 

The council in chief began its session at 2:30 yesterday at the headquarters, at the McLure house.  This meeting is mainly routine in its nature, the reports of the executive and financial officers being presented to the body for examination and approval.  The meeting was well attended, nearly all the members being present and participating.  The council has not yet completed its work, and nothing has, as yet been given out for publication.

 

THE SECRET WORK

 

A largely attended meeting was held in G.A.R. hall last night, the occasion being the exemplification of the secret work of the order by Inspector General Hall.  A new Wheeling camp, to be known as Hancock camp, was mustered in by General Mustering Officer maccabe, of Boston.  The camp is composed of sons of Veterans from South Wheeling, and gives promise of a healthy life.

 

RED FIRE AND DECORATIONS

 

Last night Captain Sam Harrison, chief clerk at the McLure House, exhibited his patriotism and his intense interest in the occasion by setting off a quantity of red fire on the corner of Twelfth and Market. The decorations on the business houses are so far very meagre, {sic} but it is said that before the parade of Friday they will be more elaborate.  A movement is on foot among the citizens to repeat the natural gas display, so successfully made during the soldiers’ reunion last year.

 

DIDN’T ARRIVE

 

At half-past ten o’clock last night about two hundred of the visiting delegates and the local camp, headed by the Opera House band marched from McLure House to the Baltimore & Ohio depot for the purpose of receiving Lieut. Gen. Frazee, of Cleveland, Ohio, who was expected to arrive on the 10:45 train from the east.   Quite a large crowd of citizens were attracted to the depot by the music, and everything was in readiness to give the General a handsome reception.  He failed to be on that train, however, and the procession returned to the McLure House, where the band played several appropriate airs, and after a few remarks by Col. Jake Kemple the crowd dispersed.  Gen. Frazee is expected to arrive sometime in this morning.

 

THE COMMANDERY-IN-CHIEF

 

The following is a complete list of the members who will compose the encampment:

 

G.B. Abbott, Commander-in-chief, Chicago

Henry Frazee, Lieutenant general, Cleveland, Ohio

J.J.  Speaker, Major Genera;, Independence, MO

C.J. Post, Adjutant  General, Englewood, ILL

A.H. Easter, Quartermaster General, Chicago

Henry M. Russell, Chief of Staff, Philadelphia, PA

M.E. Hall, Inspector General, Hillsdale, Mich.

J.B. Maccabe, Chief Mustering Officer, Boston, Mass.

R.H. Freer, Judge Advocate General, Ritchie, O.H.{C.H.?) W.Va.

M.  Retel, M.D., surgeon general, Buffalo, N.Y.

Clay D. Herod, Chaplain-in-Chief, Erie, Kans.

Council-in-Chief- J.W. Anderson, Pittsburgh, PA; J. L. Rake, Reading, PA;

G.B. Smith, Harford, Conn.; A.B. Cook, Arlington, Dak.; A.M. Applegate,

Tecumseh, Neb.

Past Commanders-in-Chief- A.P. Davis, Frank P. Merrill, H.W. Arnold, Walter

S. Payne, L.M. Wagner.

Constitutional Life Members- General W.E. W. Ross, Col. R.N. J. Reed, Maj.

A.P. Davis, Dr. Eldridge, Gen. John A. Thompson, J.A. rodrigo, Gen I.S.

Bangs, Gen. William H. Pierpoint.

Past Commanders of grand Divisions I.S. Bangs, T.H. Challis, H.P. Kent,

R.N.J. reed, J.A. Rodrigo, William E. W. Ross, John A. Thompson, Raphael

Tobias, Charles S. Crysler, Leland J. Webb.

 

  (MY NOTE:  In the interest of space, I will only list the states not the officers): California, Colorado, Connecticut, Dakota, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Indians, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont , WEST VIRGINIA- Past Colonel, R.H. Freer; Colonel, H.B. Staggers; Delegate, D.K. Frazier; Alternates, Ezra M. Pierce, Frank Manoun.  Wisconsin. 

 

In addition to the regular delegates, there are in the city prominent members of the order from several States.

 

NOTES

 

"Ah, there! He’s all right!"

 

The hotels and restaurants are doing a rushing business.

 

Only the first day and the town well filled already.  What will it be by

Friday?

 

Major Aberdeads, of Kentucky, has made host of friends since his arrival here.

 

Every residence and place of business in the city should be decorated for the parade of Friday.

 

Col. A.A. Franzheim, of the Governor’s staff, presents a nobby appearance in his new uniform.

 

Col. J.E. Russell of Romney, a member of Governor Wilson’s staff, arrived last night.  He is in full regimentals.

 

The Ladies’ Aid societies from the different states send some beautiful young delegates, all of whom seem to be enjoying themselves.

 

The Massachusetts delegates have a neat little refrain they sing in a truly characteristic style.  It goes something like this: "Beans for breakfast, beans for dinner, beans for supper; bah!"

 

Mr. H.M. Beecher, who is here with his daughter, Miss Ada P. Beecher, of New Haven, Conn. Was here twenty-six years ago with Connecticut cavalry, camped on the old fair grounds.  He visited the old camp yesterday, and at the request of several comrades, secured pieces of the old fence they use to shoot at.

 

Gen. U.S. Grant Camp, of this city, received yesterday the new banner purchased by their lady friends.  It cost $100, and was made in Chicago.  It is of blue silk, upon one side being the coat of arms of the State, and upon the reverse side that of the order.  The banner is a beautiful piece of work, and will ornament the stage at the Grand Opera House during the camp-fire this evening.

 

The camp fire occurs this evening, and a cordial invitation to the public is extended, particularly the ladies.  Brief addresses will be delivered by distinguished members of the order and by local talent.  The Opera House band will furnish the music.  Among the local speakers will be Judge Cochran, Judge Melvin, Mr. C.B. Hart, Capt. B.B. Dovener, Hon. G.W. Atkinson, Dr. Logan and others.  Col. J. B. Taney was also invited to be one of the orators of the occasion, but is unable to attend, as he will be absent from the city.

 

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF

 

The election of officers of the Commandery-in-Chief of the Sons of Veterans promises to be exciting, as there are four candidates in the field.  The present incumbent, Gen. G.B. Abbott, of Illinois is a candidate for re-election, and there seems to be a greater opposition to him than it was at first thought there would be.  Lieutenant General Frazee of Ohio, Colonel H.H. Milham of Minnesota, and Hon. Leland J. Webb of Kansas, are the other candidates.  The contest will be a lively one, and already electioneering has begun. 

 

REUNION AT WEST LIBERTY

 

Yesterday a reunion of Colonel Curtis’ old company, "Co.D" was held at West Liberty.  About twenty of the survivors answered roll call.  Altogether about 400 persons were present.  Many interesting short speeches were made, one of them by Capt. B.B. Dovener.  The affair was altogether happy and memorable.

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

 

16 August 1888  The Wheeling  Intelligencer

 

OPENED THE NATIONAL MEETING OF SONS OF VETERANS

 

Begins Its 7th Annual session at the Grand Opera House.

 

Nearly Every State in the Union is Fully Represented.

 

 

A BRILLIANT SCENE AT THE CAMP FIRE

 

Inspiring Music, Good Speeches, and a General Good Time.

 

The Ladies’ Aid  Society Opens Its session - The Encampment a Big Success

 

 Every train yesterday brought in additional delegates to the National Meeting of the Commandery-In-Chief of the Sons of Veterans.  The Iowa delegation arrived yesterday morning early, and delegates from other states arrived on later trains, among them Lieutenant Reid, of the U.S. army, author of Reid’s Tactics and secretary of state Griffin, of Indiana, and Judge Hatch of the supreme Court, of Buffalo, N.Y.

 

The Encampment was called to order at 11 o’clock at the Grand Opera House by General Abbott, the Commander-in-Chief, all the national officers being fully present, and every state being fully represented, 225 delegates having presented credentials.  In addition there was a large number of visiting members present who are not regular delegates, and quite a sprinkling of members of the G.A.R.  Fully ninety percent of the delegates were in full uniform and presented an imposing and truly military effect in the handsomely

decorated theater. 

 

As the proceedings of the Commandery-in Chief are mostly of a secret nature, the main part of the business transacted and to be transacted hereafter will not be made public.

 

COMMITTEES

 

Unnecessary preliminaries were disposed with and Gen. Abbott announced the committees as follows:

 

Committee on Credentials C.J. Post, Adjutant General; Col. Brown of Maryland; McDowell of New jersey; Col. Upham of Massachusetts and Van Houten, of Iowa. This committee made a report, which is substantially covered by the list of delegates and officers printed yesterday.  The report was accepted and the committee continued. 

 

Gen. Abbott then announced the following additional committees:  On distribution of work, Russell, of Pennsylvania; San Souci of Connecticut; Captain Rogers of Dakota; Dr. Averdick of Kentucky, and D.K. Frazier of West Virginia.

 

On Ritual: M.E. Hall, of Michigan, E.H. Milham of Minnesota, Loebenstein of Missouri; Col George w. Leonard of Ohio and John Hinkley, of Massachusetts.On Resolutions: J.D. Rowen of Iowa; E.T. Roe of Illinois; N.M. Pell of Kentucky; Rathbone of Ohio, Griffin of Indiana; Davis of New Hampshire; E.M. Armes of Pennsylvania.

 

On Report of Officers: E.W. Hatch of New York; Rowe of Wisconsin; Parker of Pennsylvania, A.S. Morgan of Minnesota; Wood of Indiana.

 

On constitution, rules and Regulations; R.R. Freer of West Virginia; M. Maccabe of Massachusetts; L.J. Webb of Kansas; L. McCrillis of Illinois; A.R. Brown of Ohio.

 

At the conclusion of the reading of these list the Encampment took a recess at 3 o’clock.

 

THE ELECTION TODAY

 

At today’s session the election of officers will occur and the interest is centered in it.  As stated yesterday, there are four leading candidates for Commander-in-Chief, Gen. Abbott of Illinois, Gen. Leland J. Webb of Kansas, Gen. Millham of Minnesota and Gen. Frazee of Ohio, all western men.  The promises to be very close, though good natured.  A strong opposition to Gen. Abbott’s re-election has developed and last night odds were offered that he would not be re-elected.  It is acknowledged, however, that he has made an efficient officer.  Gen. Frazee was considered for a time yesterday to be in the lead, though Gen. Milham’s  friends claim him for a majority, and Gen. Webb’s supporters were confident.  The latter says he is not electioneering any.  All the gentlemen are admitted to be strong and capable, and there is a possibility that the contest will wax so strong as to admit a dark horse.  In fact, predictions that it will be a dark horse are frequently heard.

 

The contest between Ohio and Massachusetts for high honors still goes on.  Both the delegations have their banners as high as they can possibly get them on the McLure House, but up to date Ohio still seems to be "on top". Last night the Ohio boys capped the climax by sending up a balloon to a great height.  It caught fire, however, and Massachusetts may exceed the performance tonight.

 

THE PARADE TOMORROW

 

Tomorrow will occur the street parade and trip to the Park.  The latter, be it to the generosity of one of Wheeling’s most enterprising citizens, M. Anton Reymann, who has placed  the motor line at the disposal of the boys, free of expense.  The parade will occur at 1 o’clock, the line being formed at the corner of Chapline and twelfth Street, just above headquarters.  The parade will be headed by the Opera House Band.  Several visiting camps will participate in a body, among them an artillery camp from Pittsburgh.  The Wheeling militia will also be in line.  These bodies will act as an escort to the Commandery-in-Chief, and it is hoped that all the delegates will be in line.  The Black Eagle Drum corps, one of Wheeling’s crack organizations, will aid in furnishing the music.  The Veterans of the Twelfth West Virginia Regiment, who are to hold a reunion here tomorrow will participate as will also a detachment from the G.A.R. posts.  On arrival at the park, a lunch will be served to the guests of the occasion.

 

THE LADIES’ AID

 

Their National convention Organized Yesterday.

 

The National Ladies’ Aid Society of the Sons of Veterans, met yesterday at G.A.R. hall at 9 o’clock, every State in which the order has been organized being represented.  The order is quite young, this being only the second annual Encampment.

 

Mrs. W. D. A. O’Brien, of Ohio, the President, called the Encampment to order.  The meeting being secret, there is little of the proceedings to be given to the public.  The reports of all the national officers were submitted and show the order to be in a flourishing condition.  As soon as the reports can be made public the INTELLIGENCER will publish them.  Mrs. O’Brien’s report was particularly interesting as showing that the order is prosperous, twenty-nine new divisions, having been organized since last September.

 

Yesterday evening the parlors of the Stamm House were thronged with ladies and members of the Sons of Veterans who called to pay their respects to the Ladies aid.  It was a brilliant scene, with the gaily uniformed "Sons", many of whom were in full regimentals and the richly costumed ladies, the majority of whom are quite young.  It was an assemblage of youth and beauty and chivalry such as has seldom been witnessed in Wheeling.  Some of the older members of the Ladies’ Aid acted as chaperones for their younger sisters, notably Mrs. Major Davis, wife of the founder of the Sons of Veterans, who is a member, and who always greet a Son of veterans as "one of my boys."

 

Mrs. O’Brien, the President of the Ladies’ Aid, is a charming lady.  She was elected to her position last year at Akron, Ohio, without any opposition, and is very popular in the order.

 

THE CAMP FIRE

 

A House filled with Young Veterans and their Friends- A Rousing affair. They were a little slow getting in after the labors of the day, but when they all got there the Grand Opera House was packed and the heat was having fun with the thermometer.  Some fanned with fans and some with flags, and a jolly young officer over in one corner was hard at work trying to keep himself cool with two flags and a straw hat.  The ladies were out in force, gay with their badges and ribbons and not the least interested of all the large gathering.  Blue coats and brass buttons were thick in the body of the house.  The stage might have been mistaken for a tableau vivant  of Washington and his Generals, it glittered so with its brilliant military company.

 

THE MUSIC

 

The Opera House orchestra opened the entertainment with one of it best efforts and throughout the evening added to the good opinion of it already formed by the visitors.  When the band let loose with a medley of patriotic airs, the old familiars of the bivouac and the Grand Army camp fire, the house went wild.  Flags and fans waved and the audience cheered itself hoarse, and while this was going n the artist who anipulates the cymbals let go, with giant crackers and a horse pistol, filling his part of the house with smoke and giving the young veterans a baptism of fire.  The spontaneous demonstration aroused by the music was one of the features of the evening.  It was a scene to be remembered and the visitors were delighted.

 

THE TALKING BEGINS

 

Division Colonel Baguley(?) as the presiding officer called the assemblage to order and Chaplain Garst, of Illinois offered a fervent patriotic prayer which so touched some of his hearers that they forgot that it is not quite in order to applaud a prayer.  Major Seabright delivered a brief and appropriate address of welcome and was followed by Commander-in-Chief Abbott, whose short talk went straight to the point.  He outlined the patriotic purpose of the order which, he declared is not sectional, not political, but aims to perpetuate  those patriotic memories which make men better citizens.  Mr. Charles Burdett Hart, of wheeling, told how he came to be decorated with the ancient and Honorable Order of the Kansas Grasshopper and sunflower, and was made to pay well for it when Kansas got the floor.

 

THEY SOUNDED THE ALARM

 

Judge Hatch, of Buffalo, a talented member of the order, made an eloquent and telling address on the value of American citizenship.  He contrasted the fearful apprehension of the Russian Czar, which causes him to stand in dread of a fourteen year old school girl, with the peaceful strength of this Republic, strong in the willing support of a sixty millions of freeman.  While Judge Hatch was speaking an alarm of fire was sounded.  Half the people in the audience thought their homes must be on fire and the other half got ready to make a hasty exit through sympathy with the first half.  The band had to pour melody of the troubled scene before order could be restored.  Then there were calls for Judge Hatch to finish his excellent address, which he did in a burst of patriotic eloquence.

 

Hon. Leland J. Webb of Kansas, after he had administered a merited castigation to the grasshopper speaker, settled down into the steady going gait of a camp fire talk and stirred up the brethren.  He said that there was no bitterness in the hearts of those who comprise the Sons of Veterans, neither is there in the order anything of a partisan political nature.  The aim is to inculate  {sic} the highest order of citizenship in the sons of men who saved this Union, not only for those who wore the blue but as well for those who wore the gray.  He concluded his well received remarks with a Sons of Veterans poem.  

 

Captain B. B. Dovener, of this city, was the next speaker, and made an eloquent five minute speech, which stirred the audience to the highest pitch of enthusiasm.  His remarks abounded in patriotic sentiments, and were enthusiastically  received from first to last.

 

Colonel Ohmer of the Illinois delegation, was introduced and made a speech that went straight to the hearts of the audience.  There was a touching reference to the soldiers of this Mountain State who went to the front never to return and the response from the great assemblage was hearty and inspiring.  His tribute to the women of the war was particularly eloquent and met with rounds of cheers.

 

Judge R. H. Cochran was then introduced.  He was in his happiest mood and made a speech full of wit, pathos and patriotism, every sentence of which was greeted with rounds of cheers.  Judge Cochran won plaudits by paying an eloquent tribute to the Sons of Veterans and their co-workers, the Ladies’ Aid Society.  An incidental reference to Major Davis, the founder of the order was greeted with round after round of cheers, the audience rising to its feet.  For a full two minutes the noise was deafening and the scene that occurred when the Opera House band rendered the battle piece was repeated.  The Judge’s reference to the hospitality of the citizens of Wheeling was interrupted by calls of "Three cheers and a tiger for Wheeling", and they were given with a will.

 

Major Davis was then introduced and he was the recipient of an ovation.  Few such scenes are seen as that which occurred.  The old veteran was obliged to stand for some time waiting for the enthusiasm to subside.  He gracefully but briefly described the organization of the order eight years ago and its wonderful growth since.  He said that he was astounded at the result of his work.

 

AN INTERESTING SCENE

 

The most interesting feature of the evening occurred when Capt. Dovener stepped to the front of the stage and introduced to the audience "Mother" Holiday, {sic} the aged lady so well known to the citizens of Wheeling, and the mother of the late Col. Holliday. {sic} Bending beneath the weight of eighty-six years, the old lady walked to the front of the stage.  Then occurred a scene that will be memorable in the minds of all present.  The entire audience arose to its feet.  Cheer after cheer split the air.  Caps waved, flags and banners were also waved, and for two minutes the noise was deafening.  It was the greatest demonstration of the evening.

 

Loud calls were made by the New England delegates for Col. Jake Kemple, who briefly responded with a characteristically funny speech.

 

Mrs. O’Brien, President of the National Ladies’ Aid society was called for and her reception was second only to that accorded  Major Davis.  She excused herself from making a speech, saying that she was not accustomed to appearing before public audiences and retired amid cheers.

 

Cheers were then given for Colonel Baguley, of the West Virginia Division, General Abbott, the Grand army of the Republic and Major Davis, and the audience dispersed while the band played a stirring and patriotic air.

 

The lateness of the hour prevented the managers from carrying out the entire programme. {sic}  Several other speakers had been engaged, including Hon. G. W. Atkinson and T. H. Logan.  Judging from the enthusiasm at the last the crowd would have been willing to remain, but the speakers themselves

preferred to be relieved.

 

The boys were evidently in for a night of it and after the adjournment of the Campfire they had it.  About two hundred of the delegates representing nearly every State in the Union, headed by Mayor Seabright, paraded the streets at midnight singing to a familiar air their "battle song"- "Oh, you must be a member of the order of the Sons Or you can’t go to Wheeling when you die", the inference, of course, being that Wheeling was the ideal Paradise of the National Sons of Veterans.  This crowd visited the INTELLIGENCER OFFICE, and for ten minutes honored the establishment with a serenade, singing several songs.  Loud cries of "Hart! Hart!" and "The Editor" "The Editor" brought that gentleman to the front window of the third floor.  After the cheering had subsided, Mr. Hart said: "Gentlemen of the Sons of Veterans the Intelligencer appreciates this compliment and will say so in the morning in all the eloquence of "cold type."  The crowd broke in with tremendous cheers and gave three cheers and a tiger for Mr. Hart and the Intelligencer and after singing several more stirring song again took up their march.

 

MAJOR A. P. DAVIS

 

The Originator and Founder of the Order of Sons of Veterans

 

Major Augustus P. Davis was born in the city of Gardiner, Kennebeck county, State of Maine, May 10, 1835, and is therefore 53 years old.

 

His family originally from Wales, came to this country from England shortly after the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers, and located in and about Boston, Mass.

 

Major Davis is a descendant of the same stock as Captain Isaac Davis, who fell April 19, 1775 at the battle of concord Bridge, the first engagement of the Revolutionary war.  His great grandfather, Lieutenant Jacob Davis, of Rotbury, Mass, responded to the call of his country on that memorable day, and with his company was active and earnest in sustaining the cause of human liberty.

 

His grandfather, Captain Jacob Davis, did faithful service for the country in the war of 1812.  In the year 1819 he was a representative from the Province of Maine to the general Court in Massachusetts, and in the same year he was elected a delegate to the convention which arranged for and prepared the way for Maine becoming a State in the Union.  Capt. Jacob Davis died in the year 1870 at his home in Gardiner, Maine, at the ripe age of 91 years, respected and honored by all who knew him.

 

His father, Anthony G. Davis, was born in Gardiner, Maine, September 14, 1807.  He died in Mapleton, Maine, on July 5, 1883.  Through a long and active business and public life, he even enjoyed the full esteem and confidence of his many personal friends, his associates and the public at large.

 

The boyhood of Major Davis, up to the fourteenth year, was passed at his home in Gardiner.  In the spring of 1849, and on the breaking out of the California excitement, he became imbued with the spirit of adventure, and as a sailor he took ship, and in charge of the captain, a friend of his family, he passed around Cape Horn to the new Eldorado.  Arriving at San Francisco safely; he spent about a year in the country, and them returned to the ocean and took his occupation as a seaman.  For the next nearly ten years he followed a sailor’s life.  During this time he served for a period in the United states navy, leaving the same as a petty officer.

 

On the breaking out of the Crimean war he made his way across the ocean and as a volunteer entered the French Naval Marine Service, doing duty as a subordinate officer.  At the close of that war he returned to the Merchant Service of the United States, and in the year 1860, having  concluded to abandon is, seafaring life (and after varied experience on the ocean wave), he returned to his home in Maine and engaged in business with his father.

 

On the breaking out of the civil war of 1861-1802{sic} Major Davis at once enlisted into the service of the Union, in one of the first regiments recruited in his native state.  In due time he reached the rank of captain and was finally commissioned as such in the 11th regiment of Maine volunteers. During the year of 1863 he was transferred from his regiment to duty and service under the order of the Provost Marshal General of the war department.  In the spring of 1865 he reached the grade of Major, and was honorably mustered out of service in the fall of said year, some six months after the close of the war.

 

During the war the Major was conspicuously noted for his coolness on the field of battle and total disregard of personal danger, so much so that his superior officers expressed themselves in the most enthusiastic terms of praise in letters at the war’s close.

 

On his retirement from the service Major Davis returned to his home in Maine and resumed his occupation as an insurance agent.  He continued in the same until the spring of the year of 1872, when through failing health, resulting from wounds and disabilities incurred in the line of duty, he was obliged to leave his native state and seek a milder climate.  After traveling some months in search of his health, he finally settled in Pittsburgh, PA where he now resides being well and favorably known as a fire underwriter in that city

and section of the State.

 

Major Davis is a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, the Grand army of the republic, and the Societies of the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the James.  He is also prominently connected with different social and charitable organizations and in religious belief is connected with the Protestant Episcopal church, his ancestors having for many generations worshiped {sic} in that faith.

 

The Major is a jolly old gentleman, always ready to drop everything to talk to an old soldier or a soldier’s son, and enthusiastic in the work for the promotion of the s. of V’s.  He is getting along in years, and the duties involved in his position as superintendent of the badge department have necessitated the dropping of everything else and the giving of all his available time to the duties of his office.  He is a hearty old soldier, a grasp of whose hand means something.  A face all over which shines honesty and good nature.

 

Weighing a goodly number of stone with long silvered locks, Major A.P. Davis may be said to form the beau ideal of a grizzled veteran.  He loves to talk of his experiences, and an hour with him is worth a day of history.  His wife is a pleasant lady and an active member of the Ladies’ Aid Society, (the Auxillary {sic} of the Sons of Veterans).  She enters in her husband’s plans with interest, and has been a great help to him in his work for the Sons of Veterans.

 

HISTORY OF THE ORDER

 

How it has Become a Great Order with a Period of Eight Years.

 

The order of the Sons of Veterans was organized in Pittsburgh November 12, 1881, by Major A.P. Davis and Mrs. Davis.  There were eight boys, nearly all under fourteen years of age, present and from this humble beginning the organization has grown to be a vast army of about 80,000 men, 60,000 of  whom are in actual good standing, uniformed and equipped, and has a foothold in every State of the Union except four.  It extends from ocean to ocean and from the lakes to the gulf, and comprises in its membership many of the most distinguished men of the country.

 

Strict military discipline prevails, the rules governing the Camps being more rigidly enforced than those of any other order.  For this reason the membership is fluctuating. 

 

The Sons of Veterans is destined to become one of the most thoroughly organized and equipped bodies in the country, and in this respect is far ahead of the G.A.R. whose place it will take within a generation.  It is complete in all its appointments, the organization possessing all the features of an army; is commanded by a General, who is chief of all the divisions in the United states, and by reason of these features comprises a vast reserve army as efficient almost as the regular militia.  It is predicted that in a very few years the order will have fully a half-million members. 

 

Some idea of its rapid growth may be obtained from the statements that during the past year 12,000 names have been added to the rolls.  A properly equipped camp is uniformed, armed and drilled as a military company, the uniform being similar to that of the United states Army.  A valuable and rapidly increasing auxiliary  is the Ladies’ Aid Society, organized about two years since.  Its objects and aims are similar to those of the Womens’ Relief Corps, and it is composed of the daughters of veterans and the daughters, sisters and wives of sons of veterans.

 

Major Davis builded {sic}better than he knew when he started the ball rolling in Pittsburgh eight years ago. 

 

NOTES

Decorate.

 

A number of the "Sons" attended the base ball game yesterday.

 

J. B. Lidders, the "Hustler," from Illinois arrived yesterday.

 

Every house on the south Side should display bunting for the parade of Friday.

 

The Wheeling Light Guards will attend the picnic on the fair grounds tonight in full uniform, headed by the Opera House band.