Reunion of the Blue
A Large Attendance and a Good Time
©Transcribed by Kim Torp
The soldiers reunion of last week was a great success in attendance and enthusiasm. The speaking was good and the music all that could be asked for. The roster of those who delivered addresses included Gen. Jas. S. Martin, Col. Jas. E. Sexton, Capt. Ed Harlan, Hon. John F. Scanlan, Att'y Gen. Geo. Hunt, State Auditor, C.W. Pavey, Maj. Benson Wood, Hon. E. Callahan, and Mrs. Minerva Elliott, title unknown.
The Olney band furnished the instrumental music and it was splendid. the band is composed of as polite a set of young men as one needs to know. Their anvil chorus and some other pieces brought down numerous encores.
The vocal music, under the leadership of Dr. H.S. Hinman, assisted by C.D> Kendall, Harry and Fred Lathrop, Dr. C. Booker, and J.F. Ransom was the best ever heard in Newton. Competent judges - men who like Gen. Pavey, Col. Sexton and Mr. Scanlan are constantly addressing large audiences -- pronounced the Newton vocalists superior in variety, sentiment and perfect tone to anything they had ever listened to.
Business houses and private residences were handsomely decorated and the city of Newton was in holiday attire Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
The crowds were estimated at from 2,000 to 4,000 people. The register of soldiers shows that 411 of the boys who fought in defense of the flag were here.
The oldest soldier present was Jonathan Lenex, of Granville township, 85 years of age. The next oldest was Roland E. Vest, of Newton, who is 82. Mayor Joseph Litzelman, of this city, was the youngest, he having enlisted May 8, 1864, aged 15 years, 1 month and 11 days. The next youngest was W.L. Wakefield who enlisted Nov. 20, 1861, when 15 years, 3 months and 11 days of age and served 4 years and 2 months. Abe Weaver, of Smallwood, is now 41.
The exercises were held at the fair grounds under the auspices of the Jasper County Veteran Association. Six G.A.R. posts - Newton, Yale, Rose Hill, Willow Hill, Bogota and Wheeler-Latona - and many ex-soldiers who were not members of the order, but who belong to the county being numbered with the Association.
Friday afternoon the officers of the Association for the ensuing year were elected as follows: J.J. Trexler, colonel; Jas. W. Gibson, lieutenant colonel;l W.A. Gifford, major; W.L. Bridges, quartermaster; J.H. Maxwell, surgeon; and J.W. Reed, chaplain.
The Sons of Veterans, mustering 163 strong and representing 4 camps in Jasper county - Newton, Yale, Latona and Bogota - besides several from other places took a part in the reunion. The Jasper County Battalion was organized and officered as follows: Ed Moulden, colonel; W.E. Elder, lieutenant colonel; Merrit Burnsides, senior major; Frank La Fever, junior major; E.W. Hersh, adjutant; Elza Sutton, quartermaster and Otis Ellis, sergeant major.
Friday afternoon a grand foraging expedition under the commandership of Dr. Joe. Calvert was held; and at its conclusion headed by the band the ex-soldiers, sons and daughters of veterans all marched around the track of the grounds, had their regular handshake and separated. At night a camp-fire meeting was held at the opera house, addressed by Gen. Pavey and others.
Nothing occurred to mar the pleasures of the reunion; and all went home, some of them never to meet their comrades again, in the best of spirits.
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