Members of Green's Brigade Association say that the reunion held there last week was in every respect a greater success than any reunion heretofore held by the association, that the attendance was larger, that the work done was more satisfactory and that the entertainment received was more royal. Certain it was that old Bastrop did her very best and she flatters herself that she gave a reception to the old soldiers not unworthy their deeds in war or their achievements in peace.
The various committees to whom had been entrusted the entertainment of the distinguished visitors had been actively at work for two or three weeks, and on the morning of the 20th, everything had been done which it was possible to do up to that time, except the decoration in the streets. This was now begun in earnest and before night all the houses on Main street were beautifully decorated with flags and evergreens; the streets were swept as clean as could be, and triumphant arches were erected at Elzner's and at Theilman's corner, each side bearing in large letters, the word WELCOME.
The first of the veterans to arrive were President R. O. Faires and Mr. McDaniel of Flatonia, on the 9 o'clock train on the morning of the 20th. These were followed by a delegation of about fifteen from Austin, who arrived on a freight train at 2pm. None of these had been expected at the hour at which they arrived, and the reception committee was not at the depot when they came in. When their arrival was made known they were received with coulialty [sic]. A dinner at the Iron Front restaurant was served and each soldier assigned a comfortable home.
Among the Austin delegation was Gen. W. P. Hardeman familiarly known as Old Gotch. Many of our people were personally acquainted with the brave old soldier and he assured he was treated royally. Among them was also Major Haywood Brahan, an exmember of Hood's Brigade, and a most excellent gentleman. At 6:30pm, Sayers Rifles, under command of Capt. Batts and the Bastrop Brass Band, under leadership of Alf Jung, formed at the court house and marched to the depot to aid the reception committee in properly receiving the large delegation of veterans that was expected from Washington and adjoining counties. Including the Brenham Brass Band (15 men) there were about one hundred visitors on this train. The Bayonets of the military company had to be brought into requisition to prevent confusion so large was the crowd at the depot, not withstanding all that could be done it was some time before all the guests of the town could be given places. A presession [sic] was here formed which marched to town and dispotsed at reunion headquarters.
The military company broke ranks after receiving orders to report again for duty at 8 o'clock across from LaGrange being ___________. The boys were promptly on hand and waited until the train arrived at 10 o'clock. This train brought about twenty five visitors from Colorado and neighboring counties, among whom were Misses Nettie and Ida Little of Columbus In the meantime veterans who had already arrived were together in bunches all over town and a large number congregated at the reunion headquarters, where tales of the great war were retold, deeds of valor recalled and fitting tributes paid to courage and devotion.
The weather Friday morning was of a neutral character, everything else, everybody else, looked joyous bright, happy. At an early hour old soldiers from the country began to arrive, and before long the red badges worn by exsoldiers not members of Green's Brigade, out numbered the blue badges which indicated members of that gallant command. White badges showing soldiers who had been wounded were in great number too, and told of wounds received on almost every battle field from Gettysburg to ValVerde.
The 9 o'clock train brought in a large delegation from LaGrange, including John T. Harwell, secretary of the association, and Hon. Johnathan Lane. The following ladies gave grace and beauty to the delegation; Mrs. Phelps, an honorary member of the association, Misses Harwell, Dunn, Schuhmacher, Killough, Ledbetter, Dora and Augusta Willenberg. Anxious to dispatch as soon as possible the business of the association, President Faires changed the program heretofore printed, and called a meeting of the members of the association at 9:30 o'clock, at the opera house, the following officers answering to roll call; W. P. Hardeman, commander; R. O. Faires, president; D Corwin, W. L. Davidson, J. W. Carson, H. G. Carter, Vice-presidents; J. T. Harwell, secretary; T. Johnson, treasurer. Committees were appointed to draft resolutions on death of Jefferson Davis; to draft resolutions on death of members of association; and to draft by-laws. The association then adjourned to 11 o'clock.
A few minutes after eleven the business of the association was resumed, members in attendance having in the meantime enrolled their names as follows:
R. O. Fairis, Company I 5th Flatonia
James Wesly, C Waller's battalion Navasota
Major Davidson, for committee on by- laws, reported and the report with light amendment was adopted.
A committee consisting of W. P. Hardeman, H. H. Boone, D. Corwin, S. R. Whitley, W. L. Davidson, B. B. Sanders, P. J. Oakes, and T. Johnson were appointed to draft resolutions on the death of exPresident Davis, who reported the following; which were unanimously adopted by a rising vote:
Whereas, it has pleased the almighty ruler of the universe to remove from our midst and from his sphere of usefulness our beloved chieftain, Jefferson Davis, whose wisdom, justice and patriotism has never wavered; therefore be it
Resolved, that in Jefferson Davis we recognized a wise statesman and sure friend, true to his principles, a man born to lead, and a christian gentleman.
2. That in his life, we see an example of patriotism and true devotion to his country worthy the admiration of future ages as long as time shall last.
3. That the principles for which he fought and suffered were the true principles of constitutional liberty and self government, and the verdict of future generations, to whose decision we leave the controversy, we doubt not will be that he was right.
4. That in his death the world has lost one of its most brilliant lights, the south one of her wisest men, and we have lost our truest friend.
5. That a copy of these resolutions be spread upon our minutes, and a page be set apart to his memory, and a copy be sent to the family of Mr. Davis.
Following report was presented and adopted:
Bastrop, Tex. Feb 21, 1890:
R. O. Faires, President Tom Green Brigade Association,
Sir, Your committee appointed to draft resolutions of respect to the members who have died since our last annual meeting beg leave to report as follows:
Whereas, since our last annual reunion it has pleased Almighty God to remove from this earth our former comrades and brothers, Gustav Hoffman, colonel 7th regiment, T. M. V; J. M. Bronough Brigade Surgeon; Dick Lilly, Co G. 5th regiment; David Robinson, Orderly Sergeant Co D, 4th regiment; W. Brunsick, Co I 4th regiment; C. M. Leseuer, Lieutenant Colonel, 4th regiment; Henderson Taylor, Co A 5th regiment; I. T. Petty, McNelley scouts; Rudolph Schaffer, Val Verde battery; August Rainbow, T. S. McDade, Bolling Manning, Co C Waller's battalion; R. C. Watson, Battalion Surgeon; R. C. Watson, Battalion surgeon; Nat Hillin, Co F 7th regiment; J. C. Maddox, Co A, Waller's battalion; Tom Henderson, Tom Stack, co A 5th regiment; Sergt. W. H. Grissett, Co G 5th regiment; William Fordtran, Waller's battalion; and
Whereas, it becomes our sad duty to so report to this association. Therefore, be it resolved that in the death of these patriots the country has lost the services of good and honorable citizens and this Association the companionship of beloved comrades and brothers; that we regard their loss but temporary - a call to the front by the
Great Commander to join the advance guard - hoping and trusting that we of the rear may be as well prepared to join our comrades at the final roll call.
Resolved further, that the heartfelt sympathy of the members of this association be extended to the bereaved families of our brothers, and that a copy of these resolutions be furnished each of them.
Resolved, that these resolutions, be spread upon the minutes of this Association.
J. P. Kirk, Chairman
The following resolutions were presented and unanimously adopted.
By Capt. J. P. Clough; After twenty-five years of submissive silence on the part of those who wore the grey, during that interval the press of the north hae seemed with calumnious misrepretation [sic] and ? and the histories furnished our children in the schools of the country hae falsely reflected the political position and the military deeds of the Confederacy, and have fought for the southern cause are rapidly passing aw? and soon the last one will have er? over the river to answer to the final ?. It is a solemn duty we owe our fellow comrades and the devoted Southern women - a duty we owe ourselves and posterity that the truth of history be vindicated, it is the sense of this Association that a permanent committee be appointed whose duty it shall be to collect and compile the true events participated in by our brigade with a view that an impartial history of the war be published, that our children may be taught that their fathers were patriotic soldiers, and not traitors and criminals.
Resolved that where as the successful organization of this Association is largely due to the energy and persistent efforts of exPresident R. O. Faires, exSecretary J. T. Harwell and the other out going others of the Association; therefore, the unanimous thanks of the Association are hereby tendered to these gentlemen. God bless them.
D. Corwin, for Committee
Resolved that the sincere thanks of the Association be and are hereby tendered to the citizens of Bastrop generally, and to the ladies especially for the hospitability and kindness extended to us in our reunion, and we assure them that their kindness and smiles goes far towards enumerating us for the suffering we endured in defense of our land.
W. L. Davidson, for committee
A resolution introduced by D. Corwin, the committee tendering thanks to the gallant companies and the Galveston News and other newspapers for courtesies extended and was unanimously adopted.
Election of officers for the ensuing year being in order: Gen. W. P. Hardeman was elected commander by a rising vote and a war whoop. Dennis Corwin was unanimously elected adjutant. Major H. H. Boone and Capt. Pleas Oakes were nominated for president. Mr. Oakes in a few touching remarks declined to be a candidate against Major Boone and the latter was unanimously elected. A committee was appointed to find Major Boone and escort him to the hall. Following are the others unanimously elected for ensuing year:
Commander - W. P. Hardeman
Mr. Townsend demurred when his name was mentioned in connection with treasurer, but the point was made that objections were out of order; and he was unanimously elected.
It was now about 12:30 o'clock and an adjournment was had to 1:30. A procession was to be formed at two and when association convened after dinner little could be done except to prepare for the demonstration. At about 2pm the last delegation of visitors arrived. They were from Austin and among them were Hon. J. D. McCall, Hon. W. B. Wortham, Major J. W. Brown, and Tom Sayer.
At 2 o'clock the various bodies to whom had been assigned places in the procession, were gathered together at the courthouse and under the direction of T. A. Hasler, marshal of the day, assisted by Dr. D. C. Lea and W. A. Goodman, the procession was formed in the following order:
Brenham Brass Band, Odd Fellows, Bastrop Fire Department, Green's Brigade, escorted by Sayers Rifles, Capt. R. L. Batts in command, visiting and county exsoldiers of other commands Citizens, Bastrop Brass Band, Citizens following in vehicles and on horseback.
The procession, about a fourth of a mile in length was very imposing, marched over the route indicated by the program, except that at the intersection of Main and Chestnut streets. Sayers Rifles were withdrawn to keep in cheek the crowd that was already pouring into the Opera House. The Rifles attracted universal attention. They were attired in their handsome new uniforms with helmets and plumes and shining new guns and bayonets. At the Opera house by strenuous efforts, seats were reserved for the soldiers, and when these were finally seated every inch of the large hall had been brought into requisition. There was a jam everywhere. The gallery was so full that under the tremendous weight there was creaking and swaying of its strong supports and those who sat beneath rushed panic stricken from the places of supposed danger. Soldiers thinned out the crowd in the gallery, and confidence and quiet were restored.
An overtime by the band was followed by the Star Spangled Banner by the Bastrop Musical Union, under the direction of Mrs. M. A. McDowall, Col. G. W. Jones then delivered the address of welcome to the guests of the town.
When Judge Moore introduced Col. Jones the audience was to that pitch of excitement that it only needed a spark to fire its enthusiasm. The Colonel has a high reputation as an orator and he sustained himself grandly upon this occasion. In well chosen words and happy expressions peculiar to him in substance he said:
The old soldiers were welcomed by decorations, by the hospitality of our citizens and by the smiles of the ladies. When the call came for soldiers Green's Brigade was the first to march to the front to protect our alters and our fires.
He then gave a review of their labors and pronounced an eulogy upon their valor as displayed at ValVerde and Glorietta and upon many other battle fields. His remarks in reference to what some are pleased to call "The Lost Cause" and that it was not lost, called forth such a storm of applause that it shook the building. He said by our valor and courage, by our small force opposed to greatly superior numbers we had compelled the respect of our Northern neighbors. The northern soldiers loved to honor the names of Johnson, Jackson, and Lee. The cause was not lost, for by our own blood we have cemented the grandest republic of the earth. It was proper for the old soldiers to meet together once a year and talk of the times of peril when they fought side by side together.
That their glory and fame was in part ours and that old Bastrop felt more than she could express an appreciation of the valor of these favorite Texan sons and that they were thrice welcome.
Vocal music, the "War Cry of Tom Green's Brigade" was then rendered. It of course elicited loud and prolonged applause. A letter from Major J. D. Sayers, the pride of Tom Green's Brigade, was read by Capt. Batts. The frequent and warm applause showed the universal esteem in which our townsman is held.
The Union now sung "Bonnie Blue Flag". The stirring song was greeted with cheers that were deafening. Major H. H. Boone, the orator of the day was now introduced by Judge Dyer Moore. The address of Major Boone was one of those elegant, excellent productions, that should be always preserved. The Advertiser will attempt to secure it for publication to its next issue. We can only say now that in it breathed the spirit of a brave, true soldier, an earnest and sincere patriot, and a thoughtful able statesman. The address was warmly received and highly appreciated.
The Musical Union, rendered "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp", Dr. J. P. Hunter singing the solo, and the audience was dismissed, dispersing to the sound of excellent music from the hands.
The association immediately reconvened for business. Annual dues were paid and a collection, for the Confederate Home made. Captain R. L. Batts was elected an honorary member; also B. S. Rogers, of Brenham, and Joe Gill, of Bastrop. Several cities were placed in nomination for the next reunion; all were withdrawn except Brenham which was unanimously elected.
Resolutions, thanking in an appropriate manner, the outgoing officers for the great zeal and energy displayed in behalf of the interest of the association were passed also to the citizens of Bastrop for their unrestrained hospitality and especially to the ladies for
kindness extended the brigade. A committee was appointed to collect and compile the war events participated in by the brigade, for future reference.
The association adjourned to meet at Brenham, February 21st, 1891.
After the interesting exercises at the opera house Sayers Rifles gave an exhibition drill,which was highly appreciated by the old soldiers and all our people. In the meantime many willing hands were at work preparing a royal feast for the old soldiers,and when an immense crowd having assembled, the curtain was drawn at the opera house, three tables were disclosed that were things of beauty and if they were not joys forever they gave happiness for several hours. It was a most sumptuous supper; certainly, the most elegant of many elegant suppers that have been served by the ladies of Bastrop. To state what was there would be to give a catalogue of all the good things that contribute to the pleasures of the palate.
Indeed, D. H. Bell, T. C. Osborne, John Meyers, and W. A. McCord it was voted, had done their full duty as supper committee, and when another time rolls around they will again be called into requisition, and as to Mesdames, H. P. Luckett, R. Gill, A. J. Batts, R. S. Green, W. A. McCord, T. C. Osborne, L. Eilers, J. H. Jenkins and Miss Maggie Heise, the noble ladies who worked so faithfully in preparing and arranging the sumptuous suppers, words of praise were heard in every quarter, and they richly deserved it for the feast was fit for kings and queens and the "old soldier boys" enjoyed it to the fullest extent. Mid the rattle of dishes and the popping of champagne bottles ever and anon was heard the sound of sweet music. In response to requests from the old soldiers, Mrs. McCord's full melodious voice was heard a number of times, Miss Page, of Bryan sand with her usual purity and sweetness "My Maryland", and it was appreciated. When the band played "Dixie" the opera house shook with the cheers that arose from hundreds of throats.
The following regular toasts were read, Judge Dyer Moore acting as toastmaster:
Green's brigade, which never turned their backs to foes."
Responded to by W. L. Davidson, Victoria county.
"The United States", the republic of republics." Johnathan Lane, Fayette county
"Woman, " H. M. Garwood, Bastrop.
"Old Gotch" (General Hardeman) around whom no sentiment clings." Dennis Corwin, Travis co.
"The press, the bulwark of American freedom" J. G. Rankin, Brenham Banner, Washington co.
"The rebel yell, in which there was more fight than music" Ben S. Rogers, Washington co
"Val Verde battery", who fired solid shot. Larry Smith, first lieutenant of battery. Travis co.
"The blue and gray, united forever." W. B. Wortham, Travis Co
"Our Dead, who rest under the shades. B. B. Sanders, Bastrop co.
"Bastrop, the cradle of Texas independence." W. E. Maynard, Bastrop Co
Hon. J. D. Sayers, former captain of Val Verde battery, tried and never found wanting, either in field or council hall. J. W. Tinkler, Colorado Co.
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1890 Bastrop Advertiser