Lee County Military

75th Illinois Infantry - Reunion

Contributed by Marilyn Widler

The annual re-union of Co. K, 75th Regt. Ill. Vol. Inf. was held Thursday, Oct. 15, only five members of the company being present: Wm. Nettleton of Mason City, Iowa; B. G. Barratt of Ottawa; and O. M. Town, S. B. Radley and F. M. Case of this place. There were also present about twenty soldiers from other regiments. Dinner was served to about seventy-five in the G. A. R. Hall. The program was given in the opera house and consisted of music by a mixed quartet and the male quartet and readings by Mrs. Daugherty, Prof. Snapp and Mrs. Fairchild. Then followed remarks from Rev. Scott, Mr. Wesson of Leland and others, being much enjoyed by all. Many said it was the best program that had been given by Co. K. Mr. Wesson composed and recited the following poem, entitled --

"The Old Soldier to the Girl He Left Behind Him"

"Dear love, I well remember, 'twas in the mild September
When we started out so blithely on our way;
The cruel war was over, we were going to live in clover
And everything was smiling as the May.

Yes, we marched along together, seen fair and stormy days
Since life's journey together we begun
We're old fashioned, we're back numbers--but true love never slumbers;
You are still my best girl of '61.

Yes, we've marched along together, seen fair and stormy weather.
And our trials in life are nearly done,
Your bonnie brow is wrinkled, your hair with gray is sprinkled.
And the roses have vanished, one by one.

Yes, we've marched along together, seen fair and stormy days,
Hand in hand down toward the setting sun;
We never mind the weather, but march along together
Keeping step with my girl of '61.

Since time has dealt us kindly, we'll trust each other blindly,
As we number our blessings o'er and o'er,
For we've seen our children's children, in numbers quite bewildering,
Our treasures, our jewels, evermore.

So we'll march along together, through life's remaining days,
Hand in hand down towards the setting sun;
We'll never mind the weather, but march along together,
Heaven bless thee! old girl of '61.

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