Minutes of the Immortal Six Hundred Society 1910
Minutes of the Immortal Six
Mobile, Ala., April 26-28, 1910
Minutes of Annual Meeting
Immortal Six Hundred Society
Mobile, Ala., April 26-28, 1910
Secretary's Report, 1909-10
Comrades: Another year has passed into eternity since our last meeting, bringing us all nearer the end. Our society, since its orunization at Louisville, Ky., is growing in favor each year as our story becomes known, and the whole civilized world seems to know it. The past year has added names to our roll of dear old comrades who were true during those days of torture on Morris Island, at Fort Pulaski, Hilton Head and on the prison ship Crescent. These dear old comrades were marked dead on our roll after repeated efforts to find them. In my search for these comrades—they had moved from the residences given while on Morris Island—the postmasters to whom I wrote replied these comrades were dead or unknown.
The new comrades I have found and am in correspondence with are Capt. J. D. Jenkins, of Tennessee, now of Texas; Capt. J. G. Knott, of North Carolina, now of Missouri; J. W. Hughes, Virginia; J. F. Heath, North Carolina; Capt. J. C. Blair, North Carolina. J. C. Allen, of Virginia, now of Missouri, is alive I learn, but I can get no response to my letters and they are not returned. I had information that Capt. W. N. James was alive, but since I wrote him I had a letter from his wife saying the captain had died November, 1909, shortly after receiving my letter. I am trying to find Capt. Bradly, of Tennessee, who, I am informed, is alive. I found Capt. 'Tom' Boyd, of Tennessee, away out in Texas, so we have added to our list, with the name of Capt. J. H. Darden, of North Carolina, eight survivors.
Death has been active in our society in the past year. We have lost some grand old comrades: J. L. Cantwell, Capt. F. C. Lewis, North Carolina; Z. W. Ewing, W. N. James, Tennessee; F. C. Barnes, Virginia; Isaac Kuykendall, W. Va., all true Immortals now. These were all true men of the 600 death has taken from us. Six honored and loved members.
We have two dear old comrades who are in bad physical condition, Capt. Thornton M. Hammack, suffering from paralysis at his home in Sturgis, Ky., and Capt. J. C. Blair, suffering from a fall he had ten years ago from which he has never recovered. Comrade Blair is the comrade the nigger sentinel shot in the shoulder at the same time shooting Comrade J. W. Harris in the kneecap, the morning we left Morris Island for the torture prison, Fort Pulaski. I try my best to keep in touch with all our dear old comrades by letter. It is a hard task, but they are my true comrades and the duty is one of love to me.
As directed by vote of society Hon. James Hay, of Virginia, upon my request introduced in Congress for the relief of the survivors of the 600 the following bill which is still in committee unreported, and I have a doubt if it will, owing to the political complexion of the committee and opposition of the G. A. R. Yet the introduction of this bill for our relief has done much to call attention to our claims for justice, and if the Murdock bill or the Taylor bill is acted upon by the committee so must ours be reported or the bill for the relief of Union soldiers is dead.
There will be a political change in the next House of Congress, and I sincerely believe our bill will be passed as all our friends in Congress recognize the justice of our claim. Col. Hay and other members of Congress will see to it that we have fair consideration when the bill comes up. In this matter Judge Jno. N. Southern, of Missouri, has rendered me much aid with legal advice and help in finding laws of belligerency governing our case. I have given 78 books, "Immortal 600," free to members of Congress to post them on our claim.
I have collected now 125 photographs of deceased and living members of our society which will go to the Battle Abbey when finished. I hope before I die to have photographs of all the true 600, that they can be preserved to future generations in the Abbey.
EXPENSES OF THE SOCIETY, 1909.
January, 1909, printing circular letter, envelopes and stamps. $49.30
Collections, dues and contributions, 1909 $41.50
Deficit in 1909 $7.80
This does not include nor has it any connection with the Monument Fund. The cash in hand of the Monument Fund is about $300.
(Promised) bill passed by Virginia Legislature. $225.00
U. D. C., Grand Chapter 100.00
Baltimore Chapter $25.00
Capt. T. C. Chandler, paid $25.00
J. Harry Mathes Chapter, Memphis $25.00
Geo. K. Craycraft Chapter, Arkansas $25.00
I cannot make positive statement until the money promised is all paid in; then I shall give names and amounts. In work for our bill before Congress and replying to letters on business for the society I have not had time to make out as clear a statement as I will do at an early day and print.
J. OGDEN MURRAY,
Secretary of 600 Society.
Comrade Bell introduced the following constitution and by-laws for the government of the Society of the Immortal 600: (Adopted.)
By-Laws and Rules
TO GOVERN THE
Society the Immortal Six Hundred.
I. This society shall be known as the Society of the Immortal Six Hundred, Confederate officers who remained true unto the end under the retaliation by the United States Government upon us 1864-65.
II. The object of this society is to get into the organization all of the six hundred Confederate officers who were placed under fire of their own guns on Morris Island, South Carolina, by order of Edwin M. Stanton, United States Secretary of War, 1864. Further, it shall be the duty, aim and object of this society, to keep alive the story of our terrible days on Morris Island as prisoners of war and the inhumanity and brutal treatment inflicted upon us by the United States Government, and give to our children and the world a true history of our tortures on Morris Island, South Carolina, and subsequent brutal treatment at Fort Pulaski, Georgia, and at Hilton Head, South Carolina, by Gen. J. G. Foster, U. S. A., under order of Secretary of War Stanton; feeding us rotten cornmeal food and acid onion pickles. And it shall be our duty, so far as we can, to vindicate the South and her people from the slanders of the North "that we of the South and the Confederate Government were cruel and inhuman to prisoners of war."
Further, it shall be the object of this society to help,, so far as we can, in a practical way, and minister to the wants of our comrades and members of the Six Hundred who remained true unto the end of the ordeal of fire and stavation.
III. The membership of our society shall be of two kinds. The active membership can be composed only of the men who remained true and did not take the oath of allegiance to the United States until the surrender of the Confederate armies. Those officers of the Six Hundred who took the oath cannot have any part or membership in our society.
The society, if it elects to do so, can elect contributing members, but such membership shall carry no right to vote or voice in the affairs of the society, but such contributing members shall be entitled to wear such badges as shall be designed and arranged by the society, and such contributing members shall be entitled to all social privileges of the society. Contributing members must be elected by the society in session, and one adverse vote shall forever exclude the name of applicant from again being considered.
IV. The officers of this society shall be president with two vicepresidents, one secretary, chaplain and color-bearers and an executive committee of five active members in good standing; these officers to be elected by ballot and to serve one year from date of election.
The duties of the president shall be to preside at all meetings of the society. He shall keep order, appoint committees, settle all points of order, and shall cast the deciding vote upon any question or motion before the society in tie. No political or religious discussions shall be indulged in before the society.
The duties of the first and second vice-presidents shall be to preside in the absence of the president, with all his powers to act, the vice-presidents to act in the order of their positions.
The secretary shall keep a correct and detailed history of all meetings, collect dues, conduct all correspondence for the society of an official character. Keep and report all moneys received and paid out by him, and shall always keep his books open for inspection of the society when called for, and he shall make full report annually to the society of his office.
The color-bearer shall hold and be responsible for the society's banner and have same at all meetings of the society. If the color-bearers cannot be present they must express to the president or secretary the banner that it may be used in the parades of the society with the United Confederate Veterans, Grand Camp.
The chaplain shall open all meetings with prayer and close same with benediction.
There shall be an executive committee of five who shall have power to act for the good and betterment of the society in all matters not stated in these by-laws and rules or otherwise provided for, he shall be empowered to make orders for betterment of society, and their work and orders to be approved by society vote.
V. If an officer of this society shall absent himself for more than three times from the meetings of the society, without good and infficient reason, his office shall be vacated and another elected in his stead.
VI. The annual dues of active membership shall be one dollar ($1.00) per annum. The dues of the contributing members shall be two dollars ($2.00) per annum. All dues shall be paid to the secretary and treasurer on notification from him before the annual meeting of the society. The secretary and treasurer shall report all delinquents.
VIII. The uniform of the society shall be the officer's uniform of the Confederacy, and the insignia upon the collar of the coat of the rank the member held in the army of the Confederacy or when prisoner of war. The rules shall not be changed nor amended except by a two-thirds vote of this society in meeting assembled.
The wives and daughters of all the active members of the Immortal Six Hundred are to be honored and are considered honorary members of this society.
The following rule of exercise shall be the order of all meetings:
President calls meeting to order.
Prayer by chaplain.
President's annual welcome and address.
Roll call by secretary.
Secretary reads minutes of last meeting and his annual report.
Roll call of the dead.
Collection of dues (suspend business ten minutes).
Election of officers for society.
Good of society. Under this call all members are expected to have something to say to the society. It would be well if all members would have their speeches written that they may be printed, as it is an impossibility for the secretary to get accurately all that members may desire to say and print.
Death Roll Since the Last Meeting at
Memphis, Called by Secretary.
CAPT. ISAAC KUYKENDALL.
Capt. Isaac Kuykendall,. Hampshire county, now West Virginia, died at his home "Springfield," Nov. 29, 1909, a true member of the Immortal Six Hundred Society. Our comrade was exchanged from Morris Island just before we were transferred to Fort Pulaski and he escaped the fortunes of Hilton Head, Fort Pulaski and the rotten cornmeal and pickles. Comrade Kuykendall commanded Company F, Seventh Virginia cavalry, the old Ashby regiment.
For four years he followed the fortunes of Lee and Jackson. The last ten months of the war he spent in prison, being one of the "Immortal 600" placed under fire on Morris Island.
He was a brave soldier, but it was as a soldier of the Cross that his life was most conspicuous. For thirty years he was an elder in the Presbyterian church. He was so broad in his Christian fellowup that the humblest follower of Christ had his sympathy and help. He received the kingdom of God as a little child and followed his Lord with true and loving devotion. He was a lover of men and ever faithful in pointing them to Christ.
Comrade Kuykendall was seventy years old, a brave, noble man. When the end came, our dear comrade obeyed the summons, knowing the Lord he had loved and served had provided for him in his camp of love beyond the river of life. He is now a true immortal.
Capt. Kuykendall and myself were members of the same regiment. We were warm, personal friends and I do not recall a better citizen, a braver soldier, nor truer Christian gentleman than he.
He did not attend our reunions, yet he took great interest in the welfare of our society. Peace to his ashes. He was to me a lovable friend, a true comrade of our society.
CAPT. JOHN LUCAS CANTWELL.
Col. John Lucas Cantwell, veteran of two wars, honored citizen and soldier, one of Wilmington's oldest and most beloved of men passed away shortly before the stroke of last midnight at his home No. 814 Princess street.
The end came peacefully at 11.40 o'clock with all members of the family at his bedside. He had been sinking for several hours, but had retained consciousness almost up to the last moment. His passing was as if into a long sleep, a smile upon his countenance and his features giving no sign of regret or emotion other than that deep resignation which was always one of the characteristics of his long and useful life in yielding to the inevitable and the voice of his Master. Col. Cantwell had been in declining health for several years, due more to the infirmities of age than to other causes, and it was only his remarkable vitality that spared him to the family and loved ones for so long a time as he had lived. Up to the last he was bright and cheerful, never murmuring, never complaining; tenderly devoted to his family and to The Six Hundred of which he was a beloved and honored member until the last. The news of his passing will be received with infinite regret everywhere he was known.
Col. Cantwell, while a man of the strongest convictions upon all subjects, never hesitating to express an opinion nor to defend a position, was yet genial and kindly and made friends of all who came within the range of his strong personality. Possessed of a high sense of honor, urbane and military in his bearing, he stood among his fellows a type all too rare in this last generation. His presence and his influence was an inspiration to youth in whom he ever took the kindliest interest. He was singularly devoted to the Confederacy and the city in this decade has lost no more valuable citizen in this regard. He made friends of the close and lasting kind and hundreds and hundreds in all walks of life will today mourn the loss of this good citizen and friend.
Col. Cantwell was born in Charleston, S. C, and would have been eighty-one years of age on the 29th of this month. He joined the famous Palmetto regiment of South Carolina and valiantly fought the battles of his country when a mere youth during the Mexican War. Returning to the East, after the close of this conflict, he located in New Orleans for a few years and served as a drug clerk there through three yellow fever epidemics, coming to Wilmington in 1851 and engaging in business, which was soon interrupted by another call to arms in the bloody conflict between the states from 1861-5. On the 28th of April, 1858, Col. Cantwell married Miss Kate Theodosia Calder, a sister of Mr. William Calder, of this city, of this union there are now surviving an only son, Mr. Robert C. Cantwell. She passed away in 1863, and after the war, on April 20, 1869, Col. Cantwell married a second time, Miss Kate Theodosia Blout, of Woodville, Miss., and she with three daughters and one son now survive, having the tenderest sympathy of a host of friends here and elsewhere in the great sorrow that has come to them.
As one of "The Immortal Six Hundred," placed under the fire of the Federal fleet during the Civil War on Morris Island and later starved almost to death at Fort Pulaski, he compiled a roster of that band of patriots and the original is now among other valuable papers which he has left. He, with his brother, the late Edward Cantwell, was one of the founders of the Wilmington Light Infantry as first sergeant and was seven times its captain. Until his death there was no more devoted friend of the local organization than Col. Cantwell, and there were no extremes to which the young men of his command would not go for him.
Col. John Lucas Cantwell, of Wilmington, a veteran of two wars, was born at Charleston, S. C, Dec. 29, 1828. From 1844 he resided Columbia, S. C, until the beginning of the Mexican war, when he unlisted as a private in the Richmond Rifle Guards, Capt. William D. DeSaussure, which became Company H, of the Palmetto regiment, Col. Pierce M. Butler. Mustered in at Charleston, Dec., 1846, he served in Mexico with Gen. Scott, participating in the seige of Vera Cruz and the battles of Contreras, Cherubusco, Molino del Rey, Chapultepec and other engagements until discharged at the City of Mexico on account of disabilities due to three wounds received at Cherubusco. He left the Mexican capitol in the same Wagon train with Gens. Quitman and Shields, Nov. 1, 1847, and returned to his parental home at Charleston.
"He received three wounds in the battle of Cherubusco and after reaching the City of Mexico, when the war was virtually over, he was discharged on account of disability caused by these wounds."
On Dec. 21, 1909, this true and gallant old. soldier, a true member of the Immortal Six Hundred Society, closed his eyes in death. Peace to his ashes. He is now safe in the arms of Jesus he trusted and served. H. H. Cook was to speak of Lieut. Z. Ewing, Capt. W. James, Tennessee, and Capt. F. C. Lewis. I can learn but little of these two last gallant and approved comrades, but will not give up my effort. They were true unto the end.
F. C. BARNES, 56th VA., DIED JAN. 27, 1910.
Died at his home near Wylliesburg, in Charlotte county, Va., on Jan. 27, Francis Cargill Barnes, in the 74th year of his age. In the spring of 1861 he enlisted for the war in the company of Capt. T. D. Jeffress from Charlotte county, which was attached to the 56th Va. regiment. Lieut. Barnes was a faithful and brave soldier. Amid the terrors of battle he was unflinching. His memory was remarkably accurate. A few years ago he pointed out to me at Gettysburg the place where his regiment formed near the woods for Pickett's charge, and said before we reached the place that I would find a large sassafras tree just in rear of the 56th which he saw on that eventful day 44 years before, and sure enough it was there. He pointed out the spot, put his hands on the wall as he supposed the identical place where he got over it, and the place he was standing when Gen. Armstead fell and he was taken prisoner.
He was one of the "Immortal 600 officers," taken to Charleston, S. C, for retaliation and probably the last one from Virginia. He was true and loyal to his native state. His virtues exceeded his frailties. His friends and comrades will ever cherish his memory. May he rest in peace.
T. D. J.
HON. Z. W. EWING.
Hon. Z, W. Ewing, prominent as lawyer, statesman, churchman and one of the foremost citizens of Tennessee, died at his home in Pulaski Monday about noon. If he had survived until Saturday he would have reached the age of sixty-six years, having been born Aug. 14, 1843, at the old Ewing homestead in Marshall county, where his ancestors for more than a hundred years have lived. His parents were Lile A. and Rebekah A. Ewing.
In boyhood he attended the neighboring schools, also the school at Lewisburg and at Cornersville. Later he went to Maryville College where he was a student at the outbreak of the Civil War.
He came home at once and volunteered, entering the 17th Tennessee Infantry, joining a Marshall county company. He was promoted for gallantry at the battle of Shiloh and made second lieutenant, being placed in command of the provost-guard, in which capacity he served until the battle of Chicamauga. The duty of the provost-guard was to look after stragglers, a position which kept the guard in the rear and practically out of danger. But at Chicamauga learning that the senior officers of his company had killed or wounded, the young soldier then only about twenty years of age, reported to the commanding general on the field of battle and asked to be transferred from detached duty back to active service. This was done and he was thus sent to the relief of his company and took command. This act of unusual bravery and gallantry at a time when so many officers were being shot down was recognized and appreciated by the commanding officers and was heartily commended in official reports.
Mr. Ewing's command was with Gen. Bushrod Johnson on his raid into upper East Tennessee. Return was cut off by the Federals and so the command passed into Virginia. Thus it happened that Mr. Ewing was made a prisoner of war at Petersburg, Va., and was sent to Fort Delaware. This leads to a very trying ordeal through which he passed.
At the outbreak of the war the Confederates seized and held Fort Sumpter in Charleston harbor, S. C. The Federals however fortified an island nearby from which they began a bombardment of the residence portion of Charleston, near the water front, in 1864. These residences were occupied by non-combatants, women and children, and to stop the bombardment the Confederates placed a band of Federal prisoners along the shore. In retaliation for this the Federals sent to Fort Delaware and brought down six hundred Confederate officers, Z. W. Ewing being included in the number, and placed them in front of the fortification on the island so the Confederates could not fire on the forts without killing their own men. The Confederates looked upon the use of prisoners to protect women and children and private property as very different from the use of picked officers to protect well-equipped soldiers inside a fortification. This band of Confederate officers was kept under fire for several weeks when the survivors were moved to Fort Pulaski and kept on short rations until they were almost starved. When they were returned to Fort Delaware later they were so emaciated that the authorities would not send them to Richmond for exchange, and thus they were kept in prison till the close of the war. No other citizen of Pulaski or Giles county would be missed more and the death of no other would be more sincerely mourned by the people generally. A great and good man has gone to his reward and the entire community is bowed in sorrow. A lovable comrade peace to his ashes. A true 600
Good of Society.
Secretary Murray read history of 600 and financial report.
The history of our society, its organization and its membership have for want of time delayed until now. It is proper you should all know this history, my stewardship as your secretary and the results of the work for the betterment and success of our society.
After the surrender of all the Confederate forces and the release of Confederate prisoners of war from the Northern military prisons the 600 officers who were placed on Morris Island, S. C, under fire of our own guns and starved on that ration of ten ounces of rotten cornmeal and pickles at Hilton Head and Fort Pulaski, became separated, going to their respective homes in the different states to begin life anew and dig out as best they could for their loved one a living and build up homes upon the wreck left by the war. Without then little of the glorious past and its impress upon the future, We did not think of our gathering together the 582 true men of the 600 into an organization to perpetuate our glorious record made under trials such as no men were ever called upon to endure.
After most of our comrades had gotten beyond the line of want beyond the struggle for existence, we began to think of the terrible ordeal and some wrote of it. Judge H. H. Cook, of Tennessee, wrote of our tortures. Major W. W, Goldsborough, of Maryland, wrote of the story for a local paper of Baltimore. After many years of struggle and I had passed the danger line of need, it struck me that the record of this band of men, who could endure for principle sake all we did endure, should be preserved as part of Confederate history. It was in conversation, in Washington City, with Col Van H. Manning and Lieut. Crisp, both true men of the Six Hundred. It was suggested by them that I should undertake the work of organizing into some form the survivors of the Six Hundred, that the record might be preserved and a true story of the inhuman barbarity inflicted upon us helpless prisoners of war given to the world. At this time Comrade [Vannoy Hartrog (Van) Manning] Manning was a member of the United States Congress and Comrade Crisp Speaker of Congress. I concluded to do this work and had started to arrange for it, but before arrangements were completed both Comrades Manning and Crisp died and for the time the work was dropped. It was about this time that Major Goldsborough, the gallant Marylander, one of the true Six Hundred, had begun writing his story for the Baltimore local papers, giving a history of the trip from Fort Delaware to Morris Island on the prison ship Crescent. I had never seen this work of Major Goldsborough until a few months ago it was shown to me by Comrade D. C. Grayson, who preserved a copy of the papers.
Just before the death of Col. Van Manning I went to see him and he exacted from me a promise that I would again take up the work of trying to get together the survivors of the Six Hundred and preserve the record and publish the names of the true and false members of our party, I felt the great burden I was taking up. Being; the time engaged in newspaper work I concluded to begin again. But, as I stated before, the deaths of Manning and Crisp delayed my work. After sometime I begun getting together as best I could remember them, the facts and incidents of the trip and obtaining from the war records of the United States Government such official data as was published bearing on our imprisonment under fire, etc., I begun a series of advertisements in the local papers of the South for information of the Six Hundred Confederate officers who were under fire on Morris Island and remained true unto the end. This I did at my own expense, the Veteran and its editor aiding me very much in the way of advertisements. After much hard work and writing hundreds of letters I succeeded in finding nineteen old comrades and getting photographs of them. With this date I begun work on my book, "The Immortal Six Hundred," the history of our trip and cruel treatment by the United States Government, using the roll of Capt. John L. Cantwell, made at Morris Island and Fort Pulaski and now on file in Washington, D. C, and used as official roll by the Government. From this book I did expect to get at least returns sufficient to pay me for its publication, its cost only. But, I tell you, on my honor, I have not realized one penny from the work in profit and yet owe $150.00 debt. I do not tell you this, comrades, to ask or suggest your aid. It is all a part of our history, as a society, and for this reason I incorporate it in this paper. It took many copies to advertise the book. I gave away books to libraries and schools in the South that our side should be known at least to our own people. There are fully 300 copies in Northern libraries. After the book was ready to put on sale, I again began a system of inquiry of comrades by writing to the postmasters at their residences, as given by comrades while on Morris Island, adding in papers like this:
ATTENTION COMRADES OF THE 600
Secretary Society Immortal 600, wants the names and addresses of the North Carolina Confederate officers who were placed on Morris Island, 1864, by order of the United States Government and subsequently starved on rotten cornmeal and pickle at Fort Pulaski and Hilton Head.
He wants all the information he can get of the deceased and living comrades. Address,
J. Ogden Murray
Charlestown, Jeff. Co., W. Va.
- Box 404.
THE MORRIS ISLAND MARTYRS.
Alvon, W. Va., June 11, 1896.
To the Editor of the Dispatch:
I see in the columns of your grand old Democratic paper the sketch given by Lieut. Barnes, one of the 600 prisoners sent from Fort Delaware to Morris Island, S. C, for retaliation, as the Yanks called it, but we thought it was done to show the fiendish and brutal treatment of the North towards the Southern people. Lieut. Barnes calls a few names of the 600 martyrs for the Lost Cause who are still living. We name a few more:
Col. D. W. A. Ford, Lewisburg; Rev. D. M. Layton, Frankford; Capt. J. W. Mathews, Alvon (the three above named all live in Greenbrier county, State of West Virginia) and Capt. Alford Edgar, Hillsboro', Pocahontas county, W. Va.
I would name the T. J. Jackson monument, in the Capitol Square, as the place, and July 1 at 8 a. m. as the time for the meeting of all the survivors of the immortal 600 who may attend the reunion.Col. D. W. A. Ford has a list of names of the 600, taken at Fort Pulaski, Ga.
This notice was put in Richmond paper, but failed to get survivors together.
At Louisville, Ky., June, 1905, the reunion of the U. C. V. Grand Camp, we succeeded in making a partial organization of the society with the following survivors present: Comrades J. L. Hempstead, W. W. Haliburt, T. M. Hammack, P. Hogan, Lamar Fontaine, J. W. Matthews, J. H. Johnson, C. P. Harper, W. D. Ballantine and J. Ogden Murray; this meeting was called to order by J. Ogden Murray. After stating the object of the call, to form a society of Hie survivors of the six hundred officers who were placed under fire in Morris Island and remained true during the brutal treatment inflicted upon us and all true men be considered active members, but the seventeen who took the oath should be forever barred from membership of this society and only those whom we knew to should be admitted to membership. This motion was adopted. On motion of Comrade Hammack, Capt. J. L. Hempstead was elected president and J. Ogden Murray, secretary of the society; then upon the motion of Comrade Murray the society adopted as its name, "The Immortal Six Hundred." Comrades Hammaek, Fontaine, Hempstead and Murray recited their experiences on the prison ship and their trials under retaliation. On motion of Secretary Murray all survivors who remained true and all those dead should have their names enrolled upon the roll of the society, barring only those from membership who took the oath. This meeting was adjourned to meet at St. Charles Hotel, New Orleans, in 1906, when the Grand Camp should meet.
During the years 1905-6 I succeeded, by advertising and letter writing, in adding to our roll a number of survivors.
On the 26th day of April, 1906, again our society met at the Victor Hotel, New Orleans. The society was called to order by President Hempstead. Secretary Murray called the roll with the following members present: President Hempstead, Secretary J. Ogden Murray, Col. E. M. La Breton, Capt. Jestremski, Maj. D. B. Coulter, Capts. J. W. Matthews, J. H. Polk, Z. H. Loudermilk, Lamar Fontaine, P. Hogan and D. Mahony.
After reading the proceedings of the Louisville meeting, they being adopted, election of officers was had, J. L. Hempstead, presdent; J. Ogden Murray, secretary. On motion of Comrade Jestremski Secretary Murray was requested to go on in the work of perfecting the organization, and a vote of thanks was tendered the president and secretary for their work. Letters were read to the society from Comrades Bedford, E. L. Bell, D. C. Grayson and J. L. Haynes and others whose names had been placed on the society's roll. Secretary Murray announced the death of the following comrades during the year 1905-6: Lieut. P. B. Akers, Virginia; P. H. Benson, Arkansas; W. B. Ballantine, Florida; W. H. Griffin, Maryland; W. W. Goldsborough, Maryland; J. G. Angle, Louisiana, and J. B. Lindsay, North Carolina. Appropriate resolutions were adopted by the society. Secretary Murray outlined a design for the official badge of the Immortal Six Hundred, which was adopted. The secretary recounted his work of the past year and the efforts to get the names and addresses of all survivors of the Six Hundred.
On motion of Secretary Murray Mrs. J. W. Matthews, wife of Comrade Matthews, was elected matron of the Immortal Six Hundred for all time. After business meeting of the society had adjourned to meet at Richmond, Va., 1907, the members were invited to partake of a banquet tendered the society by President Hempstead. Speeches were made by all those present. At New Orleans the society as an organization marched as a body under its own banner.
May 31, 1907, the Society of the Immortal Six Hundred met in session at Medical College, Richmond, Va. The meeting was called to order by President Hempstead in the chair and Secretary Murray called the roll, with the following members present: Maj. J. McD. Carrington, Capts. Thomas Pinckney, D. C. Grayson, J. W. Matthews, B. D. Merchant, J. P. Kelley, J. W. Mauck, J. H. Polk, Jackson Kirkman, Lamar Fontaine, C. P. Harper, E. Lee Bell, Geo. W Cracraft, R. H. Miller. P. Hogan, W. W. George, George F. Keiser, T. C. Chandler, S. H. Hawes, Z. H. Loudermilk, W. W. Malihurt, and A. M. Edgar. After the reading and the adoption of the minutes of the New Orleans meeting, election of officers was held, resulting as follows: President, J. L. Hempstead; first vice-president, J. W. Matthews; second vice-president, T. C. Chandler; secretary, J. Ogden Murray; color-bearer, W. W. George. Roll call of the dead was made by the secretary: Col. S. M. Le Breton, Leon Jestremski, W. H. Hood, Lucien Green, George W. Carter. The secretary reported new members found: Rev. D. M. Layton, Rev. T. S. Armstead, J. M. Allen, E. D. Camden, Henry Allen and S. D. Bland, whose names were put on the roll. Maj. Carrington and Capts. Cracraft and Pinckney spoke on the intention and aims of the society.
On motion of Comrade J. H. Polk a membership due was fixed at one dollar per annum, to be collected by the secretary, and the price of the metal badge was fixed at sixty cents to cover cost of same.
Collection of dues, first ever collected, was as follows:
|Collection of dues of membership,||$26.00|
|EXPENSES FOR YEARS 1906-7.|
|Badges to members and families||$9.00|
|Letter heads, envelopes and stamps||12.00|
|Banner and staff||6.00|
|Envelopes to mail minutes and stamps||3.50|
|Paid colored janitor of hall by order of President Hempstead||5.00|
|Postage, newspaper advertising for survivors||12.50|
|Dues collected after reunion at Richmond by mail||$20.00|
After the meeting adjourned to meet at Birmingham, Ala., 1908, the society was the guest of Capt. Thomas Pinckney and his son, Mr. C. C. Pinckney, who entertained us by ride to and luncheon at Brookhill, home of Mr. Jos, Bryan, of Richmond, a true Confederate soldier.
The expenses after the Richmond reunion and before Birmingham were as follows:
|Circular letters for meeting at Birmingham and mailing same||$7.25|
|Postal cards and printing||2.50|
|Envelopes and letter heads||5.00|
|Postage, etc., reply to letters, 1907-8||7.26|
|Printing and envelopes||2.50|
During the years 1907-8, I succeeded in getting information of ninety-seven old comrades dead and living.
On June 11, 1908, the Society of the Immortal Six Hundred met in session in the church of Rev. Mr. Eves at Birmingham, Ala. Meeting was called to order by President Hempstead, prayer by Rev. Dr. Eves. Roll call by secretary showed following members present:
President Hempstead, Vice-president J. W. Matthews, Secretary J. Ogden Murray, with Comrades Hogan, Herrington, Ewing, Cracraft, Cook, Grayson, Bell, Grant, Fontaine, King, Epps, Camden, Fickerson, R. H. Miller, B. D. Merchant, Z. H. Loudermilk, and G. N. Albright. Matron, Mrs. J. W. Matthews. Sponsor, Miss E. W. Merchant. Maid of Honor, Miss Rebecca Morgan.
Minutes of Richmond meeting were read by secretary and adopted.
Secretary laid before the society letters of Hon. Judge Southern, of Missouri, relating to bill which has been introduced in Congress asking from the United States Government indemnity for the cruel and inhuman treatment to the Six Hundred when prisoners of war. On motion of Comrade Fontaine Secretary Murray was directed to go on with correspondence in the matter with Judge Southern and pledge the society and personal aid in the fight.
Letters from members detained at home were read by Secretary Murray. Resolution of Secretary Murray looking to building of monument to the dead of the Six Hundred was adopted. On motion of Judge Cooke secretary was directed to obtain all the data possible relating to members of the Six Hundred.
Owing to the illness of Color-bearer George our banner did not arrive. Comrade Fontaine generously furnished printed banner and badges for the parade.
The following officers, by unanimous consent, were re-elected: President, J. L. Hempstead; first vice-president, J. M. Matthews; second vice-president, T. J. Chandler; chaplain, Rev. S. T. Armistead. Death roll, J. F. Lytton.
At Birmingham the Society of the Immortal Six Hundred was recognized by the Governor of Alabama, Grand Commander Evans, with uncovered head, as the parade passed the reviewing stand.
COLLECTIONS, CONTRIBUTIONS AND DUES.
|Dues and contributions||$49.00|
The Society of the Immortal Six Hundred met in session at the Fransolia Hotel, Memphis, June 8, 1909. Roll was called by the secretary and showed present: President, J. L. Hemstead; first vice-president, J. W. Matthews; second vice-president, Thos. C. Chandler; color-bearer, Maj. D. B. Coulter. Comrades, G. W. Albright, J. M. Allen, R. C. Bryan, D. B. Coulter, Judge H. H. Cook, E. D. Camden, R. M. Fletcher, J. Fickerson, Lamar Fontaine, B. L. Grant, D. C. Grayson, P. Hogan, W. H. Morgan, Gen. Z. H. Loudermilk, R. H. Miller, W. C. Nunn, J. H. Polk, D. T. Bronaugh, R. J. Howard, W. G. Herri ngton, D. M. Coffman; Mrs. J. W. Matthews, matron; Miss Emma Cracraft, sponsor; Miss Morgan, maid of honor. Ladies present: Mrs. J. H. Polk, Texas; Mrs. E. D. Camden, West Virginia; Mrs. Geo. K. Cracraft, Arkansas; Mrs. G. N. Albright, Tennessee; Mrs. R. M. Fletcher, Arkansas.
COLLECTIONS AND DUES, 1909.
|Dues and donations||$41.5|
COLLECTIONS FOR 1910.
|Stamps, cards and printing||4.00|
|Printing notice circulars of meeting||3.00|
|Stamps February, March and April||2.30|
|Badges for sponsor and mail||4.50|
|For members and daughters||2.75|
|Balance on hand||$5.65|
J. Ogden Murray
Secretary Immortal Six Hundred.
Mobile, Ala., April 26, 1910.
Election of officers of society for 1910-11. On motion of Comrade Haliburt the secretary was directed to cast the vote of the society for the old officers to serve 1910-11, which vote cast elected Capt. J. L. Hempstead, president; Capt. J. W. Mathews, first vice-president; Capt. T. C. Chandler, second vice-president; Maj. J. Ogden Murray, secretary and treasurer; Lieut. W. W. George and Maj. D. B. Coulter, color-bearers; Rev. Lieut. T. S. Armstead, chaplain. Executive committee: Capt. D. C Grayson, chairman; Capt. G. N. Albright, Lieut. E. Lee Bell, Capt. T. B. Martin, and Capt. B. D. Merchant. Adopted.
Capt. D. C. Grayson, on behalf of the donors and subscribers, Hon. Jas. B. McCreary, T. C. Chanler, D. C. Grayson, D. B. Coulter, J. H. Polk, E. D. Camden, J. Ogden Murray and Mr. C. Courtney, son of Comrade Thomas Pinckney, presented to the society a beautiful satin and gold banner. This banner and its inscription was suggested by Capt. E. D. Camden that we could explain why we were all titled soldiers of the Confederacy and not after the war colonels, but commissioned Confederate officers.
Comrade D. C. Grayson read the following paper:
My Dear Comrades: It is with feelings of profound gratitude to God that he has in His merciful providence permitted me to greet you once again in this fraternal association of comradeship and hallowed fellowship begotten by the mutual suffering we endured and the object of which is to perpetuate the immortal principles that animated and sustained us. We were the subjects of a most atrocious and cruel torture devised and executed by order of Secretary of War Stanton under the specious plea of retaliation, the authenticity for which was refuted by the testimony of Union prisoners of war and today remains so upon the war records. The United States Government stands indicted before the civilized nations of the world as having sanctioned this inhuman treatment of helpless prisoners, and unless condemned through some statutory law for reparation and renunciation of this brutality it will remain a lasting disgrace to our boasted Christian civilization and will some day raise its hydra head to plague our body politic as a precedent in justification for like treatment in case of war with some pagan nation.
It gives me great pleasure to look into your faces and clasp your hands as veteran soldiers of the most splendid example of heroic devotion to an undying principle and allegiance to a failing cause that the world has ever known. The remembrance of those days are now sanctified and hallowed by the tie that binds us together in this sacred union. When the sound of the guns of Sherman's army at Savannah were echoing through our casemates at Fort Pulaski as bells tolling the death knell of our loved cause and the effects of brutal retaliation by starvation was gnawing at our very vitals, the oath of allegiance was all that was required to allow us to breathe the free air of heaven, but yet under these trying ordeals all but eighteen remained true and spurned liberty at the cost of honor. The title we bear has in no sense been designated to clothe us with any exalted virtue or superior distinction either assumed or implied only so far as it represents the true spirit and loyal devotion to principles and honor that are immortal.
I regret to observe that there is a petty spirit of jealousy cropping out among our comrades who were not so unfortunate as to have endured prison life, speaking rather derogatory of our making so prominent the history of our enforced suffering.
We do not arrogate to ourselves any superiority for devotion to principle, loyalty to cause and country, or any self immolation that we do not cheerfully accord to them, and pay them the tribute to say that we believe that the same number of soldiers could have been taken from the rank and file of any of the Confederate armies who would have proved as true and endured the same with as much fortitude and defiant spirit as we did. We only claim that as it fell to our lot to really undergo the test which we did and maintained the honor, dignity and adherence to principle that was incarnate in every true Confederate soldier and which has won the admiration of the world. We would not pluck a laurel from any brother comrade and only ask that the history of our endurance, fidelity and torturous treatment may be accorded its rightful place among the illustrious deeds that crowned the glory of our Southern Confederacy.
Secretary Murray made the following report of progress of the bill before Congress for the relief of the Immortal 600:
After much hard work I succeeded with the help of Comrades Maj. Carrington, Chandler and Grayson in getting into shape such bill as would be legal, respectful and just to present to Congress. The bill was introduced by Hon. James Hay, of Virginia, and referred by rule of Congress to the war claims committee where it still remains unreported, but I am sure next Congress will pass the bill.
There was, of course, much objection to this bill by members of the war claims committee. All the minority members, Democrats, of course, favored the bill. There were some elimination of words demanded which I made at the suggestion of Hon. James Hay, who has been the patron and friend of our bill. I have tried time and time again to have our bill reported, but the Republican chairman will not make a report and I give it as my opinion he fears the protests of the G. A. R., who are all powerful for themselves, but against all things fair and just due Confederate soldiers. Yet I do believe our bill will be passed by Congress and justice rendered us who suffered, and by such action the South will be vindicated from the slanders of inhumanity to prisoners of war.
The members of Congress we are indebted to for help in our bill are Hons. James Hay, Virginia; D. R. Thomas, North Carolina; Thomas Spight, Mississippi; W. A. Ditson, Mississippi; Hull, Mississippi; R. Bruce Macom, Arkansas; Senators Taylor and Frazier, Tennessee, and Senator Bailey, of Texas, all promise their support of the bill. All Democratic members pledge help. To post members of Congress I gave away about sixty or more books of the Immortal Six Hundred which were more effective in posting members than talking with them. Judge John S. Southern, of Independence, Mo., has rendered me much help with legal advice. All the work before Congress was done by myself. No one could help me except by letters of introduction and writing to their members, but I want to say all my old comrades have sent me their best wishes and written letters to their Congressmen which helped me in the work. This was all I could expect. I do honestly believe this bill can and will be passed at the next session of Congress. It is just and the people will recognize its justice. I presented books of the Immortal Six Hundred to President Taft and Hon. Wm. Warner, of Missouri, and I do know they read our side of the story.
After this statement by Secretary Murray a vote of thanks was tendered to the Senators and Members of Congress who aided our secretary in his efforts for the bill. On motion of Comrade Grayson, seconded by Comrade Bell, Secretary Murray was instructed to go on with the work and not change the bill in letter or spirit, no matter what compromise was offered to do so.
It was suggested by Comrade Grayson that all those legal heirs and representatives of the dead members of the Six Hundred be requested to aid in this work before Congress, which will benefit them and contribute to the cause.
Secretary Murray's work was approved by the society and a vote of thanks given him.
On motion of Secretary Murray a vote of thanks was given Hon. A. L. Keyser, House of Delegates, and Senators R. S. Parks and R. W, Ward, of the Virginia Legislature, for their aid in passing the following bill for the Immortal Six Hundred Monument Fund.
The heartfelt thanks of the Society of the Immortal Six Hundred survivors is hereby tendered Hon. A. L. Keyser and Senators R. S. Parks and R. W. Ward for their aid and work in passing the appropriation for the monument to the dead of the Virginia members of the Immortal Six Hundred, the men who died for principle's sake.
HOUSE BILL No. 17.
To appropriate $225 to Monument Fund of the Immortal Six Hundred Confederate Veterans.
Reported from Committee on Finance.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia, that the treasurer of the State of Virginia be, and is, hereby ordered and authorized to pay out of the moneys in the treasury department of the State, not otherwise appropriated the sum of ($225) two hundred and twenty-five dollars, to the treasurer of the monument fund of the Society Immortal Six Hundred, the Confederate officers who were inhumanely treated by the United States Government while they were prisoners of war, confined on Morris Island, South Carolina, under the fire of their own guns. This money appropriated is to be Virginia's tribute to her aid of the monument fund for her gallant sons who remained true during their terrible ordeal.
Money will be paid to Secretary Six Hundred June 15, 1910.
Secretary Murray exhibited photograph of intended monument for the dead of the Six Hundred Society, made by Miss Josephine Gulledge, of Mississippi, daughter of a Confederate soldier who died for the South; the matter was laid over until the meeting of the society in 1911 at Little Rock, Ark.
On motion of Comrade G. N. Albright, a history of the Immortal Six Hundred was presented to the Lone Star Chapter, U. D. C, San Marcus, Texas, by the Society of the Immortal Six Hundred, with the society's love and gratitude to the peerless women of the chanter. Secretary ordered to forward book at once to Mrs. G. K. Miller, president of chapter. Adopted. Book sent by Secretary Murray, with letter.
On motion of Comrade R. M. Fletcher, the society was requested to make an appropriation to print minutes. Secretary ordered to notify members after he obtained estimate of cost, etc. Adopted.
President Hemstead read the following poem:
ODE TO THE IMMORTAL SIX HUNDRED.
How did ye, my comrades, with battle's ire,
Uphold the tenets of equal rights for all,
Bequeathed from each brave Southron sire,
To sons who answered the Southland's hasty call.
We live to see the cause for which we bled,
The leading issue in the forum of each state,
Resurrected from the grand storied dead,
Armed with law and constitutional debate.
Up from the braziers of the heroic, warlike past,
Brave incense rises from the ashes of defeat,
The glowing cloud grows brighter, grander, fast,
To halo halls where truth and justice meet.
Great principles live on, they cannot die,
Where human rights make man a God,
Though seeming dead they slumbering lie,
To be a guide, an Aaron's chastening rod.
Out from the bloody past we live to see
A specter who with warning hand,
Upholds the laws, each severe decree
Will bury greed and save our native land.
Our clarion cry, the rights of sovereign states,
To mould and execute the people foreordained wills,
Central power now stifles forensic debate,
When bribery follows with attandant ills.
Comrades, ye fought for principles to us so dear,
North and South and East and West,
Bring year by year these questions near
By ballot and by eloquence expressed.
Shall central power o'eride the laws of state,
And ermined will make void our laws?
Stern justice with impatience waits
To crucify the docket's venal flaws.
Junius L Hempstead.
The following letters were read by the secretary from absent comrades:
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company,
Warsaw, April 10, 1910.
Mr. J. Ogden Murray, Charlestown, W. Va.
Dear Old Comrade: I regret very much that I will not be able to be present at Mobile on the 26th. I had to go to a sanitarium in Richmond the 4th of February and was unable to get out to business until the 28th of March, But I am glad to say that I am physically O. K. again with business far behind. I would be pleased to meet our comrades as I recognize the fact that time is getting short and there can only be a few more annual meetings. I hope you all will have a good time. My heart will be with you though I am absent. If you meet any that remember me tell them I am still living and active enough to look after a division of railroad 125 miles in length. Hoping to hear from you on your return, I am, yours truly,
S. A. Johnson.
Shawsville, Va., March 29, 1910.
Maj. J. Ogden Murray, Charlestown, W. Va.
My Dear Comrade: In reply to yours of recent date must beg to say that owing to the condition of my health I will have to deny myself the pleasure of meeting at Mobile with the old gallant true and tried band of 600, whose nerves and loyalty to the cause we loved so dearly was so severely tested by torture while in the hands of the Federal authorities as prisoners of war on Morris Island, Hliton Head and Fort Pulaski in 1864. I am proud that I was a member of the gallant band, notwithstanding the humiliations and trials and tortures we went. I feel that I have a rich inheritance to hand down to my only son in being one of a distinguished body of men whose record will live after all of the party shall have passed away. While I cannot be with you to shake the warm hand of friendship and enjoy meeting with men that I know have been tried as men never were before and proved to be men in every sense of the term my heart and best wishes will be with you and the comrades whom I shall ever love and hold their memories as a sacred trust.
J. W. Helm.
Maj. J. Ogden Murray, Charlestown, W. Va.
Dear Comrade: Your postal of the 26th ult. was duly received and ought to have been answered more promptly. I have been in no condition physically or mentally to do so sooner and now I have the writing done for me, so please excuse me for the delay, assuring you it was not a feeling of indifference, but of my inability to write sooner.
O how I wish I could be with you in Mobile, enjoying the little remnant of "The Immortals" in sweet, loving heart to heart converse with the dear old boys and mingle tears and smiles like April days, tears for the ones dead and gone and smiles for the ones still lingering at the portals of "that undiscovered land from whose bourne no travel returns," and where no alarm of war ever disturbs their peaceful and happy rest, and where corn meal, pickles or cats are never served by devils of human kind, but where we will be received by angels in white and shining robes with glad acclaim greet us in that glory land where we shall ever feast on love and nectar of heaven's own distilling.
With best wishes from your old comrade,Salem, Va.
F. W. Kelly.
- Gilliamsville, Buckingham County, Va., April 19, 1910.
My Dear Comrade and Friend: I am sorry that I cannot attend the reunion at Mobile, Ala. You know that I have lost the best man to travel with I ever met with and its too great an undertaking for a man of my age to take with strangers. Give my love and best wishes to the boys and tell them that I am with them in the spirit if not in person, and if we never meet again on this earth let us try to meet in a more glorious world than this.
With a comrade's love I am, as ever, your friend and comrade,
- Vanceboro, N. C, March 1, 1910.
Brothers and Comrades of The Immortal Six Hundred Society: It would afford me one of the greatest pleasures of my life to meet with you at Mobile but my physical condition will not permit. Time and that terrible ordeal we underwent at Morris Island, at Fort Pulaski, Hilton Head and on board of the prison ship Crescent, has made me an invalid, unable to risk the long travel to meet you. I send you this greeting through our secretary and comrade Murray, one of the foremost leaders in our group, ever trying to console us in our sufferings and privations unjustly inflicted upon us by the United States Government in 1864-65.
My dear old comrades, I often recall the ordeal. I think of those terrible days that tried men's souls and the temptation of the oath of allegiance to the United States to seduce us from our love and loyalty to the cause ot the South and disrobe us of our manhood and honor. I think of the starvation rations of rotten cornmeal and pickle to force us to perjure ourselves, and in all this my prayer of thanks goes up to God that I was one of the six hundred Confederate officers who suffered with you, and I thank God again and again for the courage and strength He gave us to be true unto the end. I love you all, the true men of the Immortal Six Hundred. I honor your manhood, I know your integrity and courage as the world also knows it, Your heroic manhood is the admiration of all honest men, for you did give the world in the terrible test the idea of what the true Confederate soldier would do and did do for principle. We have no regrets for our parts in the past nor part in that patriotic war for the Constitution given us by our fathers. O, comrades, that I could be with you today; that I could grasp each one by the hand and renew the old love of comradeship and brotherly love for each other made in those days of our tribulation, when we divided our rations one with the other and gave our last chew of tobacco to some dear old comrade.
Remember me, dear old comrades, when you meet at your council table at Mobile; as you grasp each other's hand, do not forget us who are absent. I can never forget you while time lasts. My love grows more intense for each comrade that remained true unto the end now we are on the shady side of life marching with the burden of years upon us down the picket line of life where we shall all cross over the river. God grant that we may all strike hands on the other side in the camp of God's love, where we shall part no more. Where the bickering of life will cease and eternal peace and rest be ever ours; where we will praise forever God our Father who made us men of honor. I ask that all my dear old comrades will write if only a card for I love you all who were true. May God bless and keep you all.
- Your devoted comrade and friend,
J. F. Heath.
- Hotel Astor, New York, March 30, 1910.
Maj. J. Ogden Murray, Box 404, Charlestown, W. Va.
My Dear Major: Your postal card dated March 25, 1910, was received this morning. I note your statement that the annual meeting of the Immortal Six Hundred Society will be held April 26, 1910, at Beinville Hotel, Mobile, Ala.
My engagement required me to come to New York and if I complete the business which compelled me to come to this city in time to go to Mobile by the 26th of April I will with great pleasure meet my comrades of the Immortal Six Hundred. If I am not able to be present give my love to all of them and tell them I hope God will bless them, and that we may some time in the Great Hereafter meet in that other and better world of which religion teaches.
- Your friend,
James B. McCreary.
- Shelbyville, Term., May 20, 1910.,
Maj. J. Ogden Murray, Secretary Six Hundred.
My Dead Comrade and Friend: Say to the dear old comrades, as the days and nights roll on, I am impressed with the thought that the great reunion is drawing near where the gray in my vision and dreams I see coming into Mobile's historic gates. I see the dear old comrades of the Six Hundred marching proudly down the line and I am not with them. Age and infirmities keep me home. My soul is with you: in the spirit I am with you. I went with you all through the fiery ordeal. I stayed with you to the end. I love every one of the true men of the Six Hundred with my heart and soul. My prayers go out to God for you all, my comrades, my brothers.
- Your comrade and friend until death,
J. H. Hasting.
- Willard, Ga. , April 25, 1910.
Maj. J. Ogden Murray, Mobile, Ala.
My Dear Old Comrade and Friend: Please pardon me for not writing a letter to be read to my old prison comrades. I am not in condition to do so, but say to them if not with them in person I am in spirit. Give them all my love. I remember Col. McCreary very well. Express to him my highest regards. Say to the old boys for each of them to send me one of his photos. I want to have them framed and hung up beside the twenty-five you have sent me which are already framed. Weather is quite cool for April; it snowed some this morning and is still cloudy, with wind from the northwest. Thermometer at 43 now at 1 o clock p. m; death on young cotton; hope you all may have a good time
We are anxiously awaiting your visit; hope you can come by to see us.
With a heartful of love, your old comrade and friend,
C. R. Ezelle.
Speeches of love and affection were made by Comrades Geer, Haliburt, Fletcher, Bell, Grayson, Mathews, Fontaine, Hogan, Bedford, Armstrong and other comrades. The secretary regrets he could not take them down for printing.
After fervent prayer and benediction by chaplain the meeting adjourned to meet at Little Rock, Ark., in 1911, at the meeting of the U. C. V., Grand Camp.
In the parade Comrade Hogan acted as color-bearer with Sponsor Mrs. Grayson and Maid of Honor, Miss Morgan, as color guards. The Six Hundred was cheered by all the old veterans and the populace as they passed in line.
J. Ogden Murray,
Secretary and Treasurer of the Six Hundred.
May 20, 1910.
Comrade Bedford presented the following poem:
AN INCIDENT WHICH OCCURRED IN 1862, DURING
A POEM BY C. C. SOMERVILLE, SAVANNAH, MO.
The sun had dropped into the distant west,
The cannon ceased to roar, which tells of rest,
Rest from the shedding of a nation's blood,
Rest to lay their comrades 'neath the sod.
'Twas early spring, and calm and still the night,
The moon had risen casting softest light.
On either side of hill the armies lay
Waiting till morn and then renew the fray.
So near together a sound was heard by all,
Each could hear the other's sentry call.
The bivouac fires burned brightly on each hill,
And, save the tramp of pickets, all was still;
The Rappahannock silently flows on
Between the hills, so fair to look upon,
Whose dancing waters tinged with silvery light,
Vie in their beauty with the starry night.
But list! from northern hill these steals along
The sweetest strains of music and of song,
The "Starry Banner," our nation's glorious air,
Which tells to all of gallant flag "still there."
Then "Hail Columbia" a thousand voices sing
With all their soul, which makes the hilltops ring.
From fire to fire, from tent to tent there flew
The welcome words, "Lads, the 'Boys in Blue.'"
And well they sang, each heart was filled with joy,
From first in rank to little drummer boy.
Then loud huzzahs and wildest cheers were given,
Which seemed to cleave the air and reach to heaven.
The lusty cheering reached the Southern ear,
Men who courted danger, knew no fear,
Whilst taking of their scanty evening meal,
And each did grasp his trusty blade of steel.
Those very strains of music, which of yore
Did fire the blood, are felt by them no more.
How strange! what now they scorn and taunt and jeer
Was once to them as sacred, just as dear.
And when the faintest echo seemed to die,
The last huzzah been wafted to the sky,
The boys in blue had lain them down to rest,
With gun and bayonet closely hugged to breast,
There came from southern hill with softest swell,
The air of "Dixie', which was loved so well
By every one who wore the coat of gray,
And still revered and cherished to this day.
In Dixie land they swore to live and die—
That was their watchword, that their battle cry.
Then rose on high the wild Confederate yell,
Resounding over every hill and dell;
Cheer after cheer went up that starry night
From men as brave as ever saw the light.
Now all is still. Each side has played its part,
How simple songs will fire a soldier's heart.
But hark! across the Rappahannock stream there floats
Another air, but ah! how sweet the notes.
Not those which lash men's passions into foam,
But richest gem of song—"Home, Sweet Home!"
Played by the band, which reached the very soul,
And down the veteran's cheek the teardrop stole.
Men who would march to the very cannon's mouth
Wept like children—from both the North and South.
Beneath those well-worn coats of gray and blue
Were generous, tender hearts, both brave and true.
The sentry stopped and rested on his gun,
And back to home his thoughts did swiftly run;
Thinking of loving wife and children dear,
With one left to guide them, none to cheer.
The stripling lad, not strong enough to bear
The weight of saber or the knapsack wear,
Tried to stop, with foolish, boyish pride,
The starting tear, but well try stop the tide,
Of ceaseless rolling ocean, just as well,
As stop those tears which fast and faster fell.
Then, lo, by mutual sympathy there rose
A shout tremendous— forgetting they were foes—
A simultaneous shout, which came from every voice,
And seemed to make the very heavens rejoice.
Sweet music's power! One chord doth make us wild;
But change the strain, we weep as little child.
Touch yet another, men charge the battery gun,
And by those martial strains a victory won.
It matters not from whence, how far we roam,
No heart so cold that does not love sweet home!
Roll of Survivors.
This roll of survivors is correct up to January, 1910. Some of the survivors are feeble and do not write often:
|Capt. J. L. Hempstead, president||Jennings, La., box 960.|
|Capt. J. W. Mathews, vice-president||Alvon, Greenbrier Co., W. Va.|
|Capt. T. C. Chandler, vice-president||Bowling Green, Va.|
|Maj. J. Ogden Murray, secretary||Charlestown, Jefferson Co., W. Va.|
|Capt. W. W. George, color-bearer||Saltville, Va.|
|Maj. D. B. Coulter, color-bearer||115 Washington St., San Angelos, Tex.|
|Rev. T. S. Armstead, chaplain||Bowling Green, Fla.|
|Capt. A. J. Amstrong||Columbia, Ala., R. F. D.|
|Capt. G..N. Albright||Stanton, Tenn.|
|Capt. J. G. S. Arrants||Selma, Cal.|
|Capt. H. A. Allen||Portsmouth, Va.|
|Capt. J. M. Allen||Water Valley, Miss.|
|Capt. J. C. Allen||Seneca, Mo., R. F. D., No. 1|
|Capt. Tom Allen||Aurora, N. C, R. P. D.|
|Capt. Thomas Boyd||Ducater, Tex., R. F. D.|
|Capt. E. Lee Bell||317 Fifth St., Lynchburg, Va.|
|Capt. A. M. Bedford||Savannah, Mo.|
|Capt. J. A. Burnett||Bluff City, Tenn.|
|Capt. J. W. Brothers||Institute, N. C. R. F. D.|
|Capt. S. D. Bland||Guthrie, Ky., R. F. D.|
|Capt. P. G. Benton||Wall, Tom Green Co., Tex.|
|Capt. R. C. Bryan||16 Front St.. Bristol, Va.|
|Capt. D. T. Branough||Neshoe, Clay Co., Mo.|
|Capt. J. C. Blair||Whitnel, N. C.|
|Maj. J. McD. Carrington||Atty-at-law, Fifth St., N. W., Washington, D. C.|
|Capt. H. H. Cooke||Atty-at-law, Franklin, Tenn.|
|Col. C. B. Christain||Walker's Ford, Amherst Co., Va.|
|Capt. Wm. Page Carter||1314 N. St., N. W., Washington, D. C.|
|Capt. J. Charles Carson||Natchez, Miss.|
|Capt. E. D. Camden||Sutton, W. Va.|
|Capt. Ed Carter||Warrenton, Va.|
|Capt. G. E. Campbell||Manchester, Tenn., R. F. D.|
|Capt. George W. Corbett||Currie, N. C.|
|Capt. D. M. Coffman||Portia, Ark.|
|Capt. George M. Crapon||12 Pollack St., New Berne, N. C|
|Capt. D. A. Coon||Lincolnton, N. C.|
|Capt. T. S. Doyle||Soldiers' Home, Richmond, Va.|
|Capt. J. H. Darden||Falling Creek, N. C. R. F.D.|
|Capt. J. D. DeLoach||Glenville, Ga., R. F. D.|
|Capt. W. H. DeLoach||Pensacola, Fla.|
|Capt. Lamar Fontaine||Lyons, Miss.|
|Capt. J. O. Frink||San Angelos, Tex.|
|Capt. C. R. Ezelle||Willard, Ga.|
|Capt. R. M. Fletcher||Osceola. Ark.|
|Capt. W. L. Enos||Ark, Gloucester county, Va.|
|Capt. A. M. Edgar||Academy, W. Va.|
|Capt. William Epps||23 Orange St., Ashville, N. C.|
|Capt. D. C. Grayson||411 G St., N. W., Washington, D.C.|
|Capt. W. W. George||Saltville, Va.|
|Capt. J. L. Geer||McKinney, Tex.|
|Capt. J. W. Gillock||V. M. I., Lexington, Va.|
|Capt. D. W. Garrett||Bedford City, Va.|
|Capt. B. L. Grant||Avery, Tex.|
|Capt. J. D. Greever||Burkes Garden, Va.|
|Capt. C. C. Grace||Screven, Ga.|
|Capt. C. P. Harper||618 South Sixth St., Louisville, Ky.|
|Capt. P. Hogan||Terrell, Tex., R. F. D.|
|Capt. S. H. Hawes||Office Cary St., Richmond, Va.|
|Col. W. W. Haliburt||So. Express Co., Atlanta, Ga.|
|Capt. D. F. Harris||Lavonice, Ga.|
|Capt. Hopkins Hardin||Independence, Mo.|
|Capt. T. M. Hammack||Union Co. Sturges, Ky.|
|Capt. J. M. Hergest||New Berne, N.C.|
|Capt. J. W. Harris||Robertson, Va., R. F. D|
|Capt. J. W. Helm||Shawsville, Va.|
|Capt. Lewis Harman||Staunton, Va.|
|Capt. S. J. Hutton||N. & W. Ry., Glade Spring, Va.|
|Capt. J. H. Hastings||Shelbysville, Tenn.|
|Capt. J. L. Haynes||Anna, Tex.|
|Capt. H. E. Henderson, M. D||1924 Sixty-sixth St., Cleveland, Ohio|
|Capt. R. J. Howard||Byhalia, Miss.|
|Capt. W. G. Herrington||Hermansville, Miss., R. F. D.|
|Capt. J. F. Heath||Vanceboro, N. C, R. F. D.|
|Capt. J. M. Henry||Bramford, Tenn.|
|Capt. J. W. Hawkins||Rome, Ga.|
|Maj. D. A. Jones||Abingdon, Va.|
|Capt. S. A. Johnson||Huntersberg, Dubois Co., Ind,|
|Capt. J. D. Jenkins||506 Ogdelleta St., Shawnee, Okla.|
|Capt. S. A.Johnson||Warsaw, N. C.|
|Capt. J. P. Kelley||Pulaski City, Va.|
|Capt. George F. Keiser||Stuarts-Draft, Va.|
|Capt. F. W. Kelley||Salem, Va.|
|Capt. J. S. King||Abingdon, Va., R. F. D.|
|Capt. T. N. Kent||Wrightsville. Ga.|
|Capt. J. G. Knox||Senaca, Mo., R, F. D., No. 1.|
|Gen. Z. H. Lowdermilk||Joplin Club, Joplin, Mo.|
|Capt. Schuyler Lowe||Independence, Mo.|
|Col. J. B. McCreary||Richmond, Ky.|
|Capt. J. W. Mauck||Mt. Clinton, Va.|
|Capt. W. H. Morgan||Floyds, Va.|
|Capt. B. D. Merchant||Manassas, Va.|
|Capt. T. B. Marlin||Fair Forest, S. C.|
|Capt. W. C. Nunn, M. D||West Point, Va.|
|Capt. Thos. Pinckney||South Bay St., Charleston, S. C.|
|Capt. J. H. Polk||Polk Bros., Fort Worth, Tex,|
|Maj. W. E. Stewart||Atty-at-law, Denton, Md|