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Society of the Army of the Tennessee.
The Society was called to order by the first Vice-President, Captain James A. Sexton, at 10 o'clock, A. M., October 7th, 1891, at Grand Army Hall, No. 204 Dearborn street, Chicago.
Captain Sexton addressed the Society as follows:
COMPANIONS OF THE ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE:
Although conscious of the honor that falls upon me in calling this meeting of the Society to order, as presiding officer, I am not unmindful of the cause that places me here; and my feelings, which I know are shared by you, are those of the deepest and sincerest sorrow. By a dispensation of Providence, a vicepresident becomes the senior officer of our association. There is little for him to say on this occasion.
For many years it has been our privilege and honor to have for our president a peerless presiding officer-one of the greatest soldiers, the incomparable Sherman. He was ever faithful and attentive to the interests of this Society, watchful of its growth, prosperity and welfare. His attachment for its members knew no bounds, for the strongest ties of friendship came through the memories of the weary march, the privations and dangers of the camp and fiercely contested battlefields.
As we think of the old president, so full of lusty life, the very soul of energy and inspiration in our reunion, and now, as we assemble at the twenty-third meeting without him, it fills us with emotion hard to suppress, and casts a gloom about us that is impossible to dispel; and then, remembering the sad journey to St. Louis last winter, where, with all the pomp and pageantry of a military funeral, attended with all the solemn rites of the Ci rch of Rome, we laid away
all that was mortal of him, well may we exclaim, “What shadows we are! what shadows we pursue!" And too, since our last meeting, the names of many others, who were then with us, have been placed upon the Roll of Honor of the noble dead. To-day we mourn the loss and miss the companionship of some of our most distinguished comrades and dearest friends, who were ever in attendance at our reunions: Belknap, Fuller, Dayton, Strong, Noble, Goodbrake, and others, are among those who will not register their names to-day.
We bivouac here still a little longer. There yet remains, praise God, a goodly number of the loyal leaders of our old Army, who will worthily succeed the great commander. Let it be, as it ever has been, our aim to emulate his glorious example.
The President:—The journal of our last meeting was printed and placed in the hands of the members; its reading will be dispensed with, and the next business is the appointment of committees for selection of time and place of our next meeting; for selection of an orator for that meeting, and for officers of the Society.
Upon motion of Colonel W. B. Keeler, the President was directed to appoint the committees, and the following were appointed:
Committee on time and place of next meeting:
Colonel Nelson Cole, Major W. E. Ware, Major George R. Steele, Dr. S. C. Plummer, Major George H. Heafford.
Committee on orator:
General Walter Q. Gresham, Colonel W. B. Keeler, Colonel C. C. Kellogg, Colonel G. A. Pierce, Major Hoyt Sherman.
Committee on officers:
Captain A. T. Andreas, Colonel E. C. Dawes, Major E. V. Cherry, Colonel J. F. How, Captain W. D. E. Andrus.
The Corresponding Secretary presented the following report:
CORRESPONDING SECRETARY'S REPORT.
CHICAGO, ILLS., October 7, 1891.
To the Members of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee:
GENTLEMEN:-As Corresponding Secretary of your Society, I have the honor to report that at your last stated meeting, held in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the 26th of September, 1889, you resolved to hold your next meeting in this city-Chicago - at a time co-incident with the unveiling of the equestrian statue of General Grant, which it was then supposed would be placed in position during the following summer; but unforeseen delays and difficulties prevented its completion within the time anticipated, and your late President, General Sherman, on the 1st of August, 1890, directed the postponement of the meeting to such date as might hereafter be designated by the Local Executive Committee.
Notices of such postponement, and the official call for this meeting, have been promptly transmitted to our members.
It also becomes my painful official duty to announce the death of an unusual number of the oldest and most prominent members of our Society: General Ed. Hatch,
April 11, 1889 Captain W. T. Prunty,
1889 General C. B. Fisk,
New York City,
July 9, 1890 General Ed. F. Noyes,
September 4, 1890 General Wm. W. Belknap, Washington City, October 13, 1890 Major Jas. S. Wise,
October 28, 1890 Captain John C. Robinson, St. Louis,
December 18, 1890 General Wm. T. Sherman, New York City, February 14, 1891 General John W. Fuller,
1891 Dr. C. Goodbrake,
March 16, 1891 General Wm. E. Strong, Florence, Italy, April 10, 1891 Colonel Kilbourn Knox,
Milwaukee, Wis., April 17, 1891 Colonel H. T. Noble,
April 17, 1891 Captain W. W. Leggett,
Detroit, Mich., May 14, 1891 Colonel L, M, Dayton,
May 18, 1891 Colonel John Connell,
June 10, 1891 General J. E. Tourtelotte, La Crosse, Wis.,
July 22, 1891 Major Wm. McK. Dunn, Cushing Island, Me., Septemner 30, 1891 General D. P. Grier, Colonel John S. Cavender,
General J. H. Hammond, Major F. A. Bragg,
Lieutenant R. H. Fouts, Captain C. C. Cooley,
Major Bostwick, Lieutenant W. S. Scribner,
General Robert W. Smith, General D. H. Brush,
Major J. S. Reeves. Major J. A. Fitch.
Of the first-named eighteen, biographical sketches have been prepared, and will be published in our next annual report; but of the last-named twelve, I have, up to the present time, been unable to obtain any detailed information in regard to the time, place, or circumstances, of their deaths. If any member present is possessed of such information, I will be pleased to receive it,
In this connection may I be permitted to again solicit, and urge upon our members, the propriety of at once preparing and filing with the Corresponding Secretary, a complete detailed sketch of their lives and prominent incidents of their military services, in order that when the time comes—as it assuredly will--and that before very long, we may have preserved in the archives of our Society a record of their services, from which suitable sketches may be prepared.
In view of the fact that there are many enquiries made for back numbers of our reports, it may be proper that I should call your attention to the fact that there has been no reprint of such reports in bound volumes since October, 1883, since which date there have been six annual reports issued, or a sufficient number to make two additional bound volumes.
I suggest that the Society authorize the Secretaries to cause such volumes to be prepared and distributed.
Letters received from absent members and invited guests herewith submitted.
A. HICKENLOOPER, Corresponding Secretary.
General Hickenlooper:- I might say in supplement that it is extremely difficult to ascertain when members die at distant points. Friends not familiar with the requirements or customs of our Society fail to notify the secretary, and after the lapse of a few months or weeks or days even, it becomes extremely difficult to find a member to whom application can be made for information that will enable a proper biographical sketch to be prepared. If the members will, as I urged and suggested years ago, file with the secretary a complete sketch of their lives and services, it will facilitate the matter, and enable the Society to preserve in its annual reports the complete history and military services of every member. The indisposition to do so appears to arise from a modesty about portraying their own part in the rebellion, but there is really no occasion for anything of that kind. It is a matter of business and a matter of custom with the Society.
The President:-You heard the reading of the report. If there are no alterations or corrections it will be adopted and printed in the proceedings without motion.
Major S. C. Plummer moved that the recording and correspond.
ing secretaries be authorized to print and distribute the proceedings of our past meetings, including this one, in book form.
The motion prevailed.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
VIENNA, September 16, 1891. My Dear GeneRAL SMITH:-1 hasten to express my thanks for the kind remembrance of me and for the invitation I have received from the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, to be present at its reunion, which will be held on the 7th and 8th of next month.
Nothing could possibly afford me greater pleasure, if circumstances permitted, than to be, at that time, with the dear old friends and comrades of my father, and especially would I like to join them on the “occasion of the unveiling of the statue of General Grant,” which is being raised to his memory by the loyal and generous-hearted citizens of Chicago.
The family of General Grant realize how heartily and sincerely the “Society of the Army of the Tennessee” sympathize with them in appreciation of these monuments raised in honor of him, and how beautifully and earnestly that appreciation will be expressed by that Society of which he was so pleased and proud to be the first commander, as well as an affectionate comrade.
The family of my dear father find words inadequate to express the feelings of gratitude which overwhelm them, in hearing of the touching and beautiful tributes paid to his memory and name by the people of the country which it was his greatest happiness to serve.
Begging you to present the assurance of my most loyal devotion to all my father's friends who happen to be in Chicago, I remain,
FREDERICK D. GRANT.
WASHINGTON, D. C., October 7, 1891. GENERAL WALTER Q. GRESHAM,
Chairman Executive Committee Society Army of the Tennessee: Oficial duties will prevent my attendance at our meeting this year. Please convey to the comrades of the Army of the Tennessee my greeting, and assure them that I deeply regret my inability to be present with them on this occasion.
J. M. Rusk.
St. Paul, Mixn., October 7, 1891. CAPTAIN MCAULEY,
Society of the Army of the Tennessee: Am disappointed and cannot leave. I most deeply regret that I am prevented from participating with my comrades in the ceremonies that show some of the veneration we all have for our immortal leader.
JOHN B. SANBORN.