The Fourth Annual Reunion of the Association was convened in Plunkett's Opera House *
{* Mr. Plunkett was a Civil War Veteran who had an opera house where the Veterans of Foreign Wars is now located in Palestine. It operated in the late 1800's to the early 1900's. Mr. Plunkett lived in the area where Bob and George Bowen now live. One old Sycamore tree is still there that was in his yard. The Plunkett Opera House was a gathering place for war veterans - mostly Civil War Veterans. On any warm summer evening, they would gather there on the street in front of the building to socialize. Someone in the crowd usually had a fife and would start playing. The favorite tune was "Marching Off To Georgia". The Opera House was upstairs with bleacher type seats facing East and West and the stage in the middle. Dr. Taylor couldn't remember what was downstairs, but as a boy he can remember looking at the window of his father's doctors office and watching them and listening to the music.}

The Fourth Annual Reunion of the Association was convened in Plunkett's Opera House December 9th, 1898. At 8:45 a.m., the resident members, accompanied by many old soldiers and citizens, were escorted to the Opera House where an enjoyable time was had until the noon hour, when association adjourned for dinner.

At 1:00 o'clock p.m., Captain William Wood, President, called the association to order.
Prayer, by Comrade Josiah Conrad.
Minutes of previous meeting read and approved.

Following comrades responded to roll call:

Capt. William Wood, Henry Sheets,
A. A. Newland, George V. Tracy,
E. C.. Newland, William Hall,
J. A.. Anderson, Samuel Dennis,
S. R. Goodwin, Charles Johnson,
Aquilla York, John H. Curtis,
A. D. Gogin, S. F. Waters,
James N. Smith, Josiah Conrad.

J. Wm. Jones, D. B. Mills,
William A. Hope, T. J. Pifer,
Wm.. H.. Johnson John Richards,
Abraham Walters, R. N. Martin,
Wm. H. Boyd

Following death was reported: Captain George B. Sweet, Company E, June 17th, 1898

President appointed Wm. A. Hope, Josiah Conrad and S. F. Waters committee on resolutions. Secretary read many letters from absent comrades and friends, also poem from O .W.. Gogin, Mount Healthy, Ohio. On motion, dues for the ensuing year was made twenty-five cents. Amount of dues collected from members present and absent $6.35; donation by soldiers and citizens present seventy-five cents-making a total of $7.10.

Following resolutions were reported by the committee, which, on motion, were adopted:

WHEREAS - We, the survivors of companies D and E 98TH Illinois Volunteers, being admonished of the uncertainty of life upon this earth by the removal from our midst by the Supreme Commander of the Universe, of our worthy Comrade, Captain George B. Sweet - Therefore be it
RESOLVED - That with submission we bow to the will of the Supreme commander in this dispensation of his providence in calling our worthy comrade from this life to the life to come. That as he has answered to the last roll call here on earth, so must we soon follow. Trusting in Christ our Saviour the Captain of our salvation that an entrance may be given each and every one of us into that grand army above where all is peace and happiness through all eternity.

On motion secretary was ordered to furnish family of deceased comrade with copy of our proceedings.

Committee also reported following resolutions, which, on motion were adopted.

Resolved - That to O. W. Gogin of Mount Healthy, O., we extend our sincere thanks for again remembering our association with an original poem for the occasion.
RESOLVED - That this association extends to Mrs. Effie Walters its highest regards for her eloquent and patriotic address of welcome.
RESOLVED - That the heart felt thanks and well wishes of this association are hereby tendered to Mrs. Sarah Freeman for the beautiful manner in which she decorated the stage. To Otey Renchen and W. B. Mills for the courteous manner in which they seated the audience at the opera house. To R. A. Plunkett for the use of the Opera House and other courtesies extended. To E. R.. Alexander for his efficient services in making notes of the camp fire talks.
RESOLVED - That the well wishes and compliments of this association are hereby extended to Mrs. Puss Thompson for the able manner in which she presided at the piano, and to Mrs. Rachael Kitchell, Miss Belle Harper, Messrs, G. W. Highsmith and H.. K. Alexander for the beautiful manner in which they rendered the songs at our camp fire.
RESOLVED - That with thanks and our best wishes for their future welfare are hereby extended to Misses Fairy Martin, Fannie Newland and Elsie Conrad for the able manner with which they entertained us in verse and song.
RESOLVED - That we will ever hold in remembrance the Palestine Imperial Band for its services on this occasion and for the most excellent manner in which it rendered patriotic music.
RESOLVED - that we desire to extend to each and every citizen of Palestine the grateful thanks of this association for courteous treatment received whilst in their midst.

Election of officers being in order, on motion, the rules were suspended and the old officers re-elected by consent.

President, William Wood
Vice President, J. Wm. Jones
Chaplain, T. J. Pifer
Secretary and Treasurer, A. D. Gogin

On motion, Oblong was selected as place of next meeting, time to be set by officers and local committee. On motion minutes of this meeting and exercises at our camp fire were ordered printed, copy to be mailed comrades. Short talks were given by majority of comrades present.

All business of the association having been transacted, prayer was offered by Chaplain T. J. Pifer. President Wood gave the association one of his old time fatherly talks asking that every comrade living use his best endeavors to hold these annual reunions and camp fires so long as two or more are living.

On motion association adjourned.


At 7:00 o'clock p.m., the association with invited guests met at Plunkett's Opera House. Comrade A. D. Gogin called the meeting to order in a few well chosen remarks, after which Chaplain T. J. Pifer offered, up the following prayer:

"Oh God, our Heavenly Father, Thou who inhabit the universe. Thou whom arch-angels bow before; Thou who rulest the destinies of the children of men and of nations ; into Thy august presence would we approach Thee in humble prayer. Thou knowest the motives that hast brought us together this evening-to renew our comradeship, of patriotism and liberty, and we trust it will meet Thy divine approval. Oh, Lord we thank Thee that we have again come out from under the carnage of war and bloodshed, and the boom of cannon is no longer heard by the American soldier. Oh! Lord we come before Thee tonight as a little band of our nations defenders, realizing it is alone through Thy kind providence that our lives are yet spared and held sacred in Thy sight, Oh, gracious Father we do thank Thee Thou dids't shield us upon the field of battle: Thou didst lead our army to victory, in which we had the privilege to engage, whereby nearly four million of souls were made free in the war from 1861 to1865. But again in1898 the battle cry was sounded in America. From the distant shores of the islands of the sea came to cry for help; the mighty yoke of oppression having been laid upon the inhabitants thereof so heavy, the patriotic hearts of the sons of America were fired with a love of liberty, went forth to battle for freedom and the right; and oh! Father we do thank thee; Thou didst lead our soldiers and brought them from conquest to conqueror and victory, and nearly ten million of Thy creation were made free in the Spanish-American war, Oh, God, our Heavenly Father, we do thank Thee that beautiful, white winged peace has one more settled down all over this fair and of ours, and America today is moving to the front in the freeing of the nations of the earth from oppression and slavery and the spread of gospel of Christ. Oh, Lord we thank Thee Thou has sent christian men to educate and christianize the black man of the south. And we humbly beg Thee also, oh! Father, to send good christian men to the newly liberated ones in the islands of the sea, shod with preparation of the gospel of peace, that they may bring them the good news of the gospel of Christ. To this end, oh, Lord, we Thee to ever lead us as christian individuals and as a christian nation we ask, and at last save us all in heaven, through Christ - Amen."

Mrs. Puss Thompson, presiding, at the piano, with Miss Belle Harper, soprano; Mrs. Rachael Kitchell, alto; Mr. H. K. Alexander, tenor and Mr. G. W. Highsmith, bass, sang the new song "Old Glory," which was heartily applauded.

Mrs. Effie Walters, being introduced, delivered the following address of welcome:

"Soldiers of companies D. and E. 98th Illinois, by request I have been authorized to bid you welcome, on this your fourth annual reunion.. With much pleasure I do this, as my father was one of your honored members. Soldiers, in behalf of the citizens of Palestine, I bid you a hearty welcome. Welcome into our town, welcome into our homes and best of all welcome right down into our hearts. While I do this I am not unmindful of the fact that you who gave the best years of your life for the preservation of our glorious country are entitled to more that a welcome, and as loyal citizens our doors are always open. You are welcome. Nothing more honorable of a man can be said than to say 'he was a soldier, he fought for his country;' Slavery was everywhere recognized forty years ago, now it is unknown. Who did it? Thirty-three years ago you came home from three years hard service, not the young, active, full of vim men you went out; instead prematurely old by hard marching, fighting and many other hardships incident to soldiers life. We are Americans! We love the old flag. And I will say not and everywhere that for Americans there is but one flag, and that the starts and stripes. Victory is on our banner. You were those who saved our flag and helped to plant it where today it stands. These veterans turned gray now by the frosts of many winters, these are they who did it. These are not all -- go to the cemetery; go to the battle field; go where you may, and there you will find those who fought bled and died to save the starry flag of liberty. And you my dear soldiers, not of companies D and E. but just as loyal, just as earnest, we welcome you; you had some of the bitter too. God bless you: you went with Sherman to the sea; you marched and starved and starved and marched to plant the stars of glory There - Long may it wave 'o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. And here are those who were in the fight of Kenesaw, Selma, Hoover's Gap and Chicamauga. The man who went through the flaming fire of Chicamauga. For two days, as some of you did, saw the fiercest and bloodiest of modern battles. Think of twenty thousand men being killed in one battle -- that was war, and if every soldier had not been true as steel the victory would have been lost. Our boys of today are brave and patriotic and true to preserve the honor of our country and flag which you so proudly fought to preserve. But I say no war of today equals what you went through. It was brother against brother, and father against son, and American against American. But the same God who gave the victory in 1776, in 1863 and 1898 still lives and right will win. -- You who rallied to the defence of the star spangled banner not kept step to the music of the Union, but marched in the vanguard of christian civilization. Soldiers you pay the highest reference to the memory of your dead when you strive earnestly to impress upon others the nobility of the cause for which you so nobly fought. Fear not veterans that your memories will ever be lost. It is the duty every loyal American citizen to do his best to make the rising generation feel an enthusiasm for the flag which by your valor floats above us in the starry sky. Many of your number are not here; aside from those who fell on the battlefield, in hospitals, in prisons, many have died since from injuries received during your service. Patriots, in the days of was , you were never certain of a battle until won; sometimes your captain would waver or not do just right; sometimes you lost the victory. But you are now getting old , nearing, your journey's end, many have already gone on before; therefore I beseech the Captain who never lost a battle, and never will--Christ the redeemer of man."

Mrs. Walter's address was received with much enthusiasm by the comrades and audience.

Comrade Andrew W. Duncan, of Co. , E, living at Flat Rock, was to make response to welcome address, but as meeting was called to order telephone message was received that his buggy had been demolished by runaway team, and he would not be able to meet with us. Comrade Josiah Conrad volunteered, and as he spoke without notes following is a synopsis of his response;

"Fellow citizens and Comrades, I well knew the boys and citizens of old Palestine and the spirit that prevailed among them from 1861-1865, and am glad to notice that the same spirit of patriotism is still manifested in 1898. It gives me much pleasure to see you have given the soldiers of '98 front seats. Honor men who go to the defense of their country . Am happy to see so many loyal citizens of Palestine come out to welcome the old soldiers; I am also pleased to meet with the soldiers of '98, 98 is familiar -- this is year '98, war of '98 and I belonged to the 98th Illinois - easy to remember. Before this audience are the boys of two wars, '61 to-65 and '98, the same spirit pervades both, as it ever will all true Americans. In behalf of this association I extend to you our heartiest thanks and well wishes for your many courtesies and welcome given us and our association will ever remember with gratitude the noble sentiments spoken and endeavor to follow the lesson sought to be impressed on our minds in the welcome address. Again, I thank you."

By request Comrade Duncan's response is made a part of these proceedings, it being written for the occasion;

"Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, citizens of Palestine -- Representing my comrades here of companies D and E, 98th Illinois, I do most cheerfully respond to your very kind and hearty welcome by Mrs. Effie Walters. Nothing could afford us greater satisfaction than to see a rising posterity so mindful and grateful for what has been done to establish and perpetuate, thus far, the great principals of liberty and justice . The ordeal through which soldiers pass, is often trying indeed. To leave home and fireside, perhaps it is to part with father and mother , brothers and sisters, a wife and children, with a strong probability of never returning , is a trial indeed.. Nothing but a clear conviction of right and a just cause, should lead to such a step. The cloud that was gathering over our nation was dark and threatening, with great forebodings of evil . The dissolution of the union was threatened. The national flag that is so dear to every true American heart, was taken down and trailed in the dust. Mindful of what our forefathers had done in establishing this government, and feeling the grave responsibilities committed to our keeping for the perpetuity of the same, we could not do otherwise than rally to its support . We are not unmindful of our brave comrades we left behind. When we marched, many a comrade, overcome from fatigue, fell by the way; when we fought and obtained a victory many a comrade fell dying at our side. This forms, the dark cloud, the back ground through which we passed. But the thought of the justice of our cause, and the divine approval of our efforts, ever formed a bow of promise to us that we would win. And now, when we consider the glorious achievements of our labors , our country one and undivided, four millions of human beings liberated from slavery, with their fetters broken and thrust aside-- the great incubus American slavery forever abolished , our glorious stars and stripes , the ensign of liberty , floating in every breeze throughout our domain; as these scenes open to our vision , we forget the marches , the battles, and rejoice that we formed a part of that great army that led to such happy results. We now behold a nation of more that seventy millions of people, bright in intellect, skilled in all the arts, rich in all its various resources, with a navy that has but recently astounded the world with its unprecedented victories. But better than all, a nation whose heart has been touched with a live coal from the altar of its country and once more beats in unison. This was but recently shown by the noble and patriotic response to President McKinley's call in the war with Spain. And this not for our own defense, but to assist a poor, downtrodden and oppressed people in their struggle for freedom. This flag set up and sustained by patriotic hands , now floats in Cuba, in Puerto Rico, and away in the Philippine Islands , honored in all seas and in all kingdoms. But let us not be proud and arrogant like Nebuchadnezzer of old, lest our fate be like his, but let us be humble and thankful to Him who rules and controls the destinies of nations. The principle of equal rights, is not a product of human thought, but comes to man by revelations and influx from heaven. It seems that it would meet with the approbation of mankind . But it has not been so. It is so opposed to sheer and selfish rule , that it is slow in its advent into the world. Let us consider this for a moment. Eighteen hundred years ago at Joppa , in the land of Palestine, Peter a disciple of the Lord , went upon the housetop to pray as was his custom. During this, heaven was opened to him, and there it was revealed to him, as he afterward stated to Cornelius, a roman centurion,'of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation, he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him.' --This revelation so broadened the mind of Peter, that he afterward was prepared to carry the message of his master to mankind. This principle, as a leaven, has been working through the centuries past, among the different religious orders until now its influence is becoming apparent disposing to a more kind and charitable demeanor towards each other, the logical outcome of which will be the recognition as brethren of all who believe in God and keep his commandments . Seventeen hundred years after this revelation to Peter, there met in Philadelphia , a body of men to formulate , and adopt , the declaration of independence. That declaration begins with these words 'we hold these truths to be self- evident that all men are created equal- Does not this embody the same principle as that revealed from heaven to Peter ? Does it not appear as though some angel had guided the hand that wrote this clause in the declaration? Is not this bringing down, or the ultimation , of this principle that governs in the kingdom of heaven, that it may be the principle to guide a nation on earth? So the true patriot who fought, not through personal hatred, or for the purpose of killing his fellow man, or destroying life and property, but solely for the establishment and perpetuation of these principles, fought for the establishment of the Lord's kingdom on earth . That the same laws of liberty and justice that govern in the heavens , may also govern among men here. Possibly a man may love his country and not be a follower of the Christ, but surely the follower of the Christ will love his country. We note your very earnest solicitation for our abiding trust in , and our loyalty to Him who bowed the heavens and came down and took our nature upon Him and by victories over the infernal hosts redeemed mankind. So that all will avail themselves of this help , extended in love, and who are loyal to His commands , will be brought out victorious in this the greatest of struggles, and finally brought into His kingdom of peace and love. The greatest battles ever fought, have been fought on the silent field of the heart. The greatest victories ever achieved , are the triumphs of good over evil. As to your admonition of our growing old,. We feel the shades of the evening gathering about us. Our sun is fast sinking in the west. We soon will sleep, and be gathered to our fathers. But we rejoice to know that the government we love so well , will pass into the hands of a grateful and patriotic posterity ."

"They Are One Beneath Old Glory," was sang by the quartette in a manner that elicited much applause.

Comrade James N. Smith gave an interesting account of how we became mounted, and what the regiment did at Hoover's Gap. Following is a synopsis of his speech:

"In 1862 when we first went out, were brigaded with Dumont and were until General Reynolds. We were not drilled, could not be induced to do so, consequently were not satisfactory to our generals, who were anxious to get rid of us . We were all right on the march, but hard to manage in camp. After battle of Stone River, Wilder discovered that Rosecrans needed more cavalry; he conferred with Reynolds, who asked Rosecrans to mount our brigade , but was refused , as he neither had the authority nor money for that purpose.

Colonel Stokes, who was stationed near by, offered to take the regiment out in surrounding country and forage enough horses. Went out the next day and returned with enough horses to mount the regiment. After being mounted, regiment was taken over to Rosecrans for inspection and was accepted, Col. Wilder went back to Indiana and there met James Spencer, who had patented a rifle. After carefully examining it, Wilder came back and said if brigade was equipped with those rifles we could whip the south as one man with a Spencer was good for five "rebs". Wilder brought these rifles, mortgaging all his property for the payment, and equipped the regiment. On the twenty-fourth of June, the brigade moved out on the Manchester Road and rode in advance of the whole army. Scouts met rebel pickets near Hoover's Gap and drove them in. Brigade ordered to go further, our order being 72nd Indiana, 17th Indiana, 123rd Illinois, and 98th Illinois, in reserve. Drove rebels entirely through the gap 72nd and 18th battery in close pursuit;

Action now became general-rebels charged the battery with deafening yells but are met with a sheet of lead from Spencer rifles- they hesitate and then fall back in confusion- now seem to realize they are not fighting cavalry. Seventeenth Indiana is on our right in the timber and have run out of ammunition , rebels are on three sides of them . 98th ordered to dismount and prepare for action.We could see hard fighting -moved through an orchard, where fire of rebel artillery killed many horses in Co B.- moved on up the hill ; clatter of musketry deafening. Funkhouser gave command "Forward by fours." Held our fire until left flank was with in 20 steps of the enemy when the order was given "By the left flank and at'em"- We drove them back relieving the seventeen who cheered vociferously , we held our ground until Reynold's division came up after dark and relieved us. It rained the entire day. It is conceded by all authorities that this gap could not have been taken by less than 10,000 men with muzzle -loading guns; but the rapid movement of the brigade and the Spencer rifles won the day. This fight demonstrated the utility of the Spencer rifle and the government now assumed the payment for these rifles." (Owing to physical ailments Comrade Smith was unable to proceed further.)

The audience was well pleased with the above vivid description of a battle.

Miss Fannie Newland recited Chicamauga, first day, in a manner the made the comrades feel as those they were still on the field of battle. Comrade Josiah Conrad gave an interesting description of the battle of Chicamauga, as he viewed it. Following is synopsis of his speech;

"The battle of Chicamauga was one of the great battles of the war, and was fought on the 18th, 19th, and 20th, of Sept. 1863; fought by General Rosecrans on the Union side and General Bragg on the other. Number of troops engaged; Union forces, except Cavalry , 50,000; Confederates -83,000 , including cavalry - having received accessions from Johnston, Buckner, and Longstreet, Total U?..nion loss 16,851, total Confederdate loss 18,000. On the 18th of Sept. was on the extreme left of the army of the Cumberland at Lee and Gordon's Mills, or near there and here is where the first engagement took place about noon. We had gone into camp the evening before and quietly put up our tents and knew nothing of tomorrow. Next morning foraging parties were sent out who came in about 10 o'clock, those who went farthest out struck the Johnnies in force northeast of us; we were having a feast of good things, when our pickets were driven right into camp, the enemy rushing up to the bridge; the bugle blew 'Fall in,' and the battle was on. At sundown the 14th corps had not moved a particle or a regiment, it was only when the infantry on our right became engaged that Rosecrans was compelled to believe Bragg was moving north. Rosecrans being now convinced, saw he was now a day too late in ascertaining the enemy's whereabouts and movements, and immediately began to hurry his troops. All night the 18th troops moved north; we could hear our wagon trains rumbling and artillery also. As soon as firing ceased we could hear thousands of axes engaged in constructing bridges. By daylight on the 19th Thomas had all his command moved past our left wing (we faced north) and formed line of battle facing east a short distance off Rossville road, and on the morning of the 19th our whole brigade to the right rear-rear of the Fourteenth corps and formed line of battle facing east. Our position was a most fortunate one. As soon as our lines were straightened we were told we had come to stay; we knew this meant fight on this line, and we knew the value of hastily constructed defences, and we went to work piling logs and rails. On the 19th soon after sun up the enemy began to move forward toward Rossville, the skirmishing soon opened away north of us or rather northeast, and still we could tell the enemy was pushing towards Chattanooga. Volley after volley of musketry do we hear in the direction of Chattanooga, but at each volley of sound comes a little nearer. About one o'clock the enemy drove our line back, and Davis' division immediately on our right began to move across the field in front of us, seemingly for the purpose of taking the enemy in the flank. Davis is overpowered, and we are ordered out of our works to reinforce him; across the field we go to his support; his men have fallen back and reformed, but just then we were ordered back to our works- falling back at this time was fortunate for us, but, oh! horror for poor Davis; his men are panic-stricken, and just come tumbling over our works, with the rebels right at their heels. Flush with success they try to charge over our works, but our retreating men are hardly out of the way when we open fire on them, oh, horrors !such slaughter-we just pile them up on the ground-our Spencers have saved the day. We lay on this line all night. Air was cold and chilly.. The horrors of that night were awful; the cries of the wounded-impossible to tell of their agony.

On the morning of September 20th the lightning brigade was formed on the hill west of the Widow Glenn's house and was the extreme right of the army-this was the day that Bragg cut our army in two-cutting off Rosecrans headquarters and our wagon train, and leaving Thomas and our brigade in the rear. Immediately following this disastrous news, we were ordered to guard our wagon train into Chattanooga. The rebels were right on us when this order came, and we gave them a few rounds to check them, and then moved to the right looking for our horses, which we did not find until about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Two-thirds of the army was demoralized, but our brigade held its formation throughout; only for this our wagon train would have been lost. After finding our horses we slowly fell back to Chattanooga and thus ended the great battle."

The audience gave marked attention to this speech, and it was warmly applauded.

Miss Fannie Newland recited Chicamauga, second day, in a manner that gave impressiveness to the foregoing speech.

Miss Fairy Martin sang a solo, "Only a Soldier". Her sweet voice and earnestness captured the "boys," and they heartily cheered her. Comrade William A. Hope then gave description of his capture and life in Andersonville Prison. Following is a synopsis of his talk;

"At Dalton, Ga., in May 1864 we made a feint on the rebels in order to draw them off, so as to attack Rome . Wilder's Brigade, on left two or three miles of Dalton , found the rebels in force and we fell back. I was sent on a foraging expedition. Thought if I would get a long distance away from lines would get better forage. Several miles from the lines came to a large barn, where there was plenty of everything, and while in the barn hear the picket shot. Formed my men in line - six of us, 20 rebels; we were forced to run. Dismounted but was too late; I attempted to mount but two guns were leveled at me and I was forced to surrender. I was taken to Dalton and put in guard house. I had nothing to eat for two days. Many rebels came to talk - all wanted to know what we did with rebel deserters. Told them we disarmed them and sent them home. Met a man whom I knew; he was in the rebel army but wanted to get away. (Comrade Hope exhibited small wooden spoon he made at Dalton, which was afterwards used to distribute rations at Andersonville Prison.) In leaving Dalton we were put in stock cars and were packed so close we had to stand up all the way to Andersonville from six in the morning until after dark. We marched into the pen and many were completely exhausted. I was put in charge of a squad of 90 men - had to be accountable for them, and divide rations out to them, which were so meager I divided them with my wooden spoon. A gang of prisoners known as "raiders" had committed several murders and become so bold in thefts that Wirz ordered other prisoners to arrest and try them which was done - found guilty and hanged. The suffering of the prisoners was horrible - no shelter, no clothing, food scarce and of very inferior quality, water filthy. Just beyond the "dead line" water was clear and pure but any prisoner reaching beyond the "dead line" was shot; and the rebel that did the shooting got 30 days furlough. One day there came an awful rain and right in the middle of our camp there burst forth a spring of pure water which we name Providence Spring; as it was regarded as an act of God. This supply of pure water prevented much suffering. Our rations consisted of a species of cow peas and meal which, was cooked in a large iron pan and stirred with a large wooden paddle, million of flies covering it; the more flies that fell in the better the food; answered the purpose of meat. For lack of proper food, clothing and shelter prisoners suffered as no human could imagine without having witnessed it. Of our two companies Joseph Shaw of D and Joseph Hook and Moses Leatherman of E were in this prison with me, and all three of them died. Their sufferings were awful; Leatherman was dying by inches, and very much dispirited. Almost his last words to me were; "if I could only get a bite from the slop bucket at home, I would die happy." I gave these three comrades all my spare time did all in my power to alleviate their misery. Every morning the dead wagon would come inside the stockade and the dead were piled in like cord wood. It was a gruesome sight; hauled out and hurled in trenches. One morning a prisoner "played off dead" but in piling them in the trench they found one short. After that Wirz ordered that a bayonet be run into each body so that is would not occur again. I was fortunate in being placed in charge of a squad, as it entitled me to an extra ration, and by this means could divide with our most deplorable cases of sickness, and I thank God that through this instrumentality much distress was relieved. After a long confinement in this prison, in company with about one thousand others, I was sent to Florence and was exchanged." Marked attention was given Comrade Hope's talk and all who heard him were thankful that they had never gone through such a horrible confinement.

The quartette sang "Prisoner's Hope ," in a manner highly satisfactory to the audience.

Miss Elsie Conrad, although an entire stranger to the audience, recited "Sheridan's Ride," in a graceful and energetic manner that won the plaudits of the audience.

J.William Jones gave his version of the battle of Selma; following is synopsis of his talk.

"Early in 1865 - January, February, and March, we were stationed in the valley of the Tennessee; the largest force of mounted men ever assembled west of the Allegheny Mountains. The east and west of the confederacy had been destroyed and we were to clean out the center. The cavalry corps was composed for divisions; McCook, Long, Upton, and Hatch, under command of General Wilson, who had been sent out from the East to learn the army how to fight. While we were camped at Gravelly Springs we were 'stall fed' - that is, we received the same rations as our horses. Corn and oats were plentiful, but other rations were not to be had, and the country was the most desolate we had been in. About March 17th, think Hatch's division started west with the intention of drawing off all the rebel forces possible after him . The other three divisions started though the confederacy. Went through Russellville, Jasper on down to Plantersville and there met Roddy's division of Forest's army and had a hard fight. Seventy-second Indiana was in advance and fought them until they had them corralled. Seventeenth Indiana came up and as four companies were equipped with sabres, asked that they be permitted to charge the enemy on horseback.. In the meantime Roddy had been reinforced, and a detachment was in line behind him. The 17th charged and went through their line, also on through their rear guard, and then turned and charged back through both lines, losing 17 men killed ; 72nd and 98th were sent to their relief. The 98th captured three hundred prisoners and two pieces of artillery -- think the 98th captured every piece of artillery , ever pointed at them. On Second of April. marched on Selma with 98th in advance; came to Cedar creek which was not fordable, steep banks, and 50 feet deep, and encircled the city on three sides; bridges all destroyed except on Plantersville road.. Command divided, part crossed on bridge and balance went around the stream. After crossing the 98th took position behind a small sand ridge and supported the Board of Trade Battery . Laid there two hours while the other divisions were coming up and getting into position. We formed line with 17th on the right of 98th and 123rd and right of 4th Ohio cavalry, Fourth Michigan and 7th Pennsylvania ( of Minty's brigade) held in reserve. Seven companies of 72nd were sent back to guard the bridge. An error had been made in forming our line , the 4th Ohio getting in our front; our brigade had to move to the right behind a large sand ridge with the 123rd on the left. The woods was cleared out for a fourth of a mile in front of the rebel works and this space was filled with abattis, chevaux-de-frise( some people call them sheep racks ) then a line of posts 6-8 feet high set 30 inches in the ground, then a ditch 6-8 feet deep and about the same width with sharpened rails sticking up, then the earthworks 8-16 feet high. We had to charge these works under fire. Directly in front of 98th these obstructions had been moved aside for Chalmer's division to come in, but being cut off failed to arrive in time; but the heaviest force of rebels was massed at this point and more men were killed there than any other part of the field. James Holmes was mortally wounded on top of the works , shot though the stomach; hole large enough to put my arm through; he died at 4 o'clock the next morning. Joe Van Eaton, always a brave soldier, seemed to have a presentiment; that morning he told Comrade Hope 'This is my last day.'

When line formed he was sent back with horses. Our guidon flags seem to draw too heavy a fire from the enemy, and they were ordered back; he turned his horses over to guidon man and came to the front, and was almost immediately shot through the neck, severing jugular vein and wind pipe. I went to him , he tried to talk but could not; as he expired his last looks seemed to say ' I told you so.' The rebels were driven out of their fortifications into some timber back of the city .

About middle of timber a man jumped from behind a tree and called 'Halt!' and shot into our ranks wounding Rufus Lull. As he tried to escape he was shot. We then camped in a cotton gin and could hear the Fourth division still fighting, but finally rebels fled in complete confusion and the battle ended. Our regiment lost nine killed; wounded; two mortally, fourteen seriously and thirteen slightly. Brigade lost twenty-nine killed and one hundred and forty wounded. Selma was of great importance to the South as everything that was needed to equip an army was manufactured there. The machine shops covered six acres. Aside from the thirty-two pieces artillery captured in the works, we got 11 pieces of artillery in drills and two hundred pieces of unfinished artillery and two hundred and fifty wagons, together with hundred of tons of other war material. We had four hundred Negroes four days hauling shot and dumping into the Alabama River."

Close attention was given Comrade Jones's vivid description of this battle and was heartily applauded.

A "Patriotic Parting Song" was rendered by the quartette in a manner befitting the occasion.

By request the camp fire closed by singing that soul-in-spring song "Marching Through Georgia." The entire audience joining in the chorus. Chaplain T. J. Pifer gave the benediction, and the reunion came to a close.

Invitation Poem


The surviving" Rough Riders of Co's D and E 98th Illinois Mounted Infantry,
Will hold their Fourth Annual Reunion, and fall in line.
Have the best meeting yet held -- in Old Palestine,
On December the 9th. '98.

If unable to attend, write a word of cheer
To the brave old boys and comrades dear.
With whom you have ridden and raided, when
You were known in the South, as Wilder's men
As you raided through state after state.

The "Original Rough Riders" was Wilder's Brigade
Armed with hatchets and Spencer's; when they displayed
And rode into battle with shout and with yell,
Made the rebels believe that "war is hell."
And that they had better "skee-daddle."

When Wilder conceived his Lightning Brigade,
He left old-time tactics way back in the shade;
For Cavalry, armed with but pistol and a sword,
Was the best style of goods Uncle Sam could afford
The rider, the horse and the saddle.

Brave boys went out at Uncle Abe's call,
Left homes of comfort, there friends and all.
Went into battle to conquer or die
But, at the same time could but heave a sigh
For the "girl that they left behind."

Companies D and E, 98th Illinois
Was chiefly composed of Crawford's best boys,
Who in the hottest of battle , midst shot and shell
Fought for the old Flag, that never fell
Nor never was left behind.

Now here's to the heroes of the "Lightning Brigade."
The "Original Rough Riders," who were never afraid
To gobble a turkey - confiscate a fat hen,
Nor question the right- to take a pig from the pen.
Nor to take the top rail from a fence.

To kindle to warm his cold toes-
How they lived through such hardships, The good Lord only knows
Be it sunshine or clouds, be it rain or snow
They bravely endured it, and were ready to go;
And failed not, under any pretense.

Once more you have met in this pleasant old town.
In the time of secession- a place of renown.
That sent many brave boys to answer the call
Of Old Uncle Abe-men, women and all
We're anxious to help you along.

When you enlisted, and all marched away
It seems to this town, a sad dreary day-
But the sunshine of peace now o'er shadows the land.
And we greet you old boys, with an open hand.
Join with you in one glad song.

As 'round the banner we rally, and bid you good bye
We'll cheer the old flag-the best under the sky-
Three cheers for " Old Glory." "Remember the Maine"-
Three cheers and a tiger - then a refrain.
To the " Original Rough Rider's of Wilder's Brigade."

Author: O..W. Gogin Mt.. Healthy, Ohio Dec. 3, 1898


Mattoon, Illinois, Dec. 3d 1898

DEAR COMRADES - Notice of our annual reunion received and am sorry I can not attend this time. Hope you may have a glorious time. It makes me feel sad when I get notice of our reunion to think that all of the boys will not be there - so many have passed away; but I hope at the grand reunion up above we will all be there, I think McKinley made a bad mistake in the last war - if he had just called out Wilder's Brigade it would have been all the troops he needed. Boys when I pass away all I want for a shroud is the flag. Hope to meet all of in Chattanooga next fall. Good bye and be good J. .W. Dare

Gaylord, Kansas., November 30th, 1898

COMRADES - Your notice of the annual reunion received, there is nothing would give me more pleasure than to accept but as my big boys are attending school, it is nearly impossible for me to be present; so I send you one and all my best wishes, hoping that you will have a love feast.. Comrades several years ago I broke away from my old associates and became a lodge member, since then I have fraternized with humane men, who practice benevolence and charity. We do not proclaim our good deeds from the house tops, and expect no reward until we cross the dark river and I find it a pleasure in well doing. People say I do not look to be over 50 years old, but will soon be sixty and feel every day of it. Yours in F. C. and L N. Holmes

PARSONS, KANSAS --December 2nd, 1898

COMRADES - Your kind invitation to attend our fourth annual reunion received, and regret very much that it is impossible for me to be with you on this occasion.. I assure you it would be the greatest of pleasure to meet with all of my old comrades again and take them by the hand and give them a good shake. With best wishes for all, I remain yours as ever. P. B. King

NEODESHA, KANSAS, December 6th, 1898

COMRADE GOGIN - I received your invitation to meet the comrades of D and E of the old 98th. Sorry that I can not be with you. I have not had the pleasure of meeting but few of our command since being mustered out of service, as I came west in 1868, but I learn there is but few of us left this side of eternity. If this is received in time for your reunion please say to the boys of both companies that I wish to be remembered by them. J. W. Monroe is the only one of our command that lives near me. Hoping you may have a good turn out and a pleasant time, I remain yours in F. C. and L. Albert Harvey

BELLAIR, ILLINOIS - December 8th, 1898

COMRADES - Notice of the reunion received, and am sorry that circumstances are such that I am unable to attend. Am in fairly good health. With love for all and best wishes that you may have a good and successful reunion. I remain your in F.C. and L. Tandy R. Stratton

CASSVILLE, MO.,December 2nd, 1898

COMRADES - Am sorry I can not be with you at the annual meeting, my hearts desire is to be with you and hear you talk of your war history all through the years '62 to'65. I was with you not long, but my heart was with you, and in the battles you were in. I was always anxious to hear how you came through the "tug of battle," if you were victorious my heart would leap for joy, and would hurrah for the old 98th and its glorious commanders. Boys I hope you will have a good time. My wife says she wants all of you to better soldiers for Christ than you did for your country; says she wants to meet you all in heaven. She would like to be with you and tell her war history, she nursed the boys in blue. Now boys live for Christ. H .C. Reynolds

GREENUP, ILLINOIS, December 7th, 1898

COMRADE GOGIN - Am sorry to say that I will be unable to attend the reunion. I would like the best in the world to with you on the 9th as I know you will have a good time- You know I promised you personally I would come, but circumstances are such that I am debarred the pleasure this time, but my heart and best wishes is with you and all the boys. Give my best regards to one and all of companies D and E who attend. Hoping that you will have a good and enjoyable time, I remain your comrade. T.B. Mouser

FRIENDSVILLE, TENN., December 5th, 1898

COMRADES - Oh! how I would like to be with you on this occasion-the many miles between us and the infirmities of age debar me of the privilege at this time. I had hoped to be able to make the trip this time, but I cannot put on my clothes without help-pains are my troubles.. There is no place I would rather be that at Palestine on the 9th. Dear comrades my heart is with you. Some of you know that I enlisted twenty men in to Cox's company, which was E of the 98th. I had W. A. Hope elected orderly sergeant. There are many things that makes company E dear to me. When I was an exile from home walked some fifteen hundred or two thousand miles to exercise my freedom which I had ever been proud of-hurrah for the 98th. Comrades I have not done one good days work since being discharged. I get a pension of eight dollars per month. I can see to manage my farm as yet and make a good living for myself and wife, we have no family. Comrades let us live in this world so we may meet in the other, this is my prayer. I would like to have the address of every comrade of Co E. Let all come to Chicamauga .in 1899. J. E. Sheddan

KIBBIE, ILLINOIS, December 8th, 1898

COMRADES - Of the "rough riders" of Companies D and E 98th Illinois, would like to be with you the best in the world but health prohibits. Hope you will have a god time. Give my best wishes to all the comrades, and may they live to attend a number of these reunions yet before they go to join those comrades that have answered the last roll call. Yours in F. C. and L. Peter Tracy

HUNT CITY, ILLINOIS, December 4th, 1898

COMRADES - Thanks for your invitation to meet with the surviving "rough riders" of companies D and E on December the 9th. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to meet with the boys, but other duties at this time debars me the pleasure. Please accept my highest regards for each and every one of you. Respectfully, C.F. M. Morey

CHILLICOTHE, MO., November 29th 1898

COMRADE GOGIN - Your kind invitation to attend the reunion of companies D. and E 98th Illinois to be held in your city next month received in due time. I regret my inability to attend. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to meet with the old soldiers, and especially so at my old home, the home that I left thirty one years ago. Say to the old comrades for me, God bless them.. May you have a happy gathering.
Yours in F.C. and L. J. T. Cobb

PUEBLO, COLO., December 5th, 1898

COMRADES - Again I have the pleasure of acknowledging the receipt of your invitation to attend the fourth annual reunion of companies D and E 98th Illinois, of which I had the honor to belong. Again I regret that it is impossible for me to be present. I expect to go east about February 25th and I hope to visit Palestine at that time. I am enjoying my usual good health, but begin to feel now that I am growing older. I consider these annual reunions a grand good thing and I am sure it must be a very pleasant gathering when you can meet together and talk over old times; but being so far away from you it is impossible for me to be with you.. I often think of all of you boys, and ask you not to forget us that are far away. With love for all of you I am as ever your friend and comrade. James A. Wilson

AINSWORTH, NEB., December 5th 1898

COMRADES - I have received a card from your secretary giving me notice of the next annual meeting of the surviving "rough riders" of companies D and E requesting a word of cheer. I am much pleased with the name "rough riders" it brings to my mind the stirring scenes through which we passed in facing death for our country. But comrades the word surviving implies that many of our ranks have answered the last call, and have gone to that abode from which there is no return. With saddened hearts we realize this fact. But then let us take courage; and the few of us that still survive keep our ranks well closed up, and our elbows inclose touch, and with the hearts of gratitude enter into thanksgiving that our lives have been spared until we have had the good fortune to see our country enter another war in the cause of humanity, and come out of it with victory upon it banners. What a grand future is looming up for our country.. Now comrades do not err in the thought that I am absent, for I am not, only in person.. I am present in the spirit, appreciation, and love of a comrade, and hope at some future time to attend the annual meeting. Fraternally R. R. Lull

ELDORADO SPRINGS , MO, December 3rd, 1898

COMRADES - Your card inviting me to the 4th annual reunion received. It would afford me much pleasure to with you and talk over our war experiences.. For the past five or six years my health has been bad, and for a year past I have so disabled that part of the time I could neither feed nor dress myself-my affliction is rheumatism and kidney trouble; but my nerves beat as strong for old glory as ever- and have three boys of the same stripe. I hope the old "rough riders" of companies D and E are enjoying good health-and have a bushel of fun at your camp fire. My love to all the boys and hope we may meet again, if not on earth may it be in a better world above.. May God be with you at the reunion is my honest prayer. W .R .York

MARYSVILLE TENN., December 5th , 1898

COMRADES - Please accept thanks for your kind invitation to attend the reunion at Palestine December 9th, 1898. I assure you nothing could afford me more pleasure, but can not leave home at this time. John E. Sheddan and I had intended going and we very much regret that we cannot leave home. At your annual reunion I know you will miss Capt. George B.. Sweet, and my old friend William McKamy, who was wounded at my side in the battle of Chicamauga. The loss of our comrades reminds me the remarks of Colonel Kitchell at Nashville, Tenn., in speaking to the brigade about the time we were mustered out of the service. He stated that " as the years roll away, and our numbers become less, what an eager rushing forward there will be to grasp the hands of the few that are left of our brigade." If the future had been unfolded he could not have spoken more correctly. His prophesy of 33 years ago is now being realized. Please remember me to the boys of D and E. There are five of us in this county. R. M. Anderson, John E. Sheddan,. J..C.. And W. H,. Edmonson and myself. We all have the pleasure of making a quarterly call on Gen. J. T. Wilder, pension agent at Knoxville Tenn. Trusting your reunion may be an enjoyable occasion. I remain very truly yours. J.P. Edmonson.

GALENA, KANSAS, December 2nd,1898

COMRADES - I extend to you hearty greetings by writing to you and wish you a good time at our annual reunion at old Palestine. I spent last winter and this summer up to the first of August at Chattanooga, Tenn. I was with the boys at their camp on the old Chicamauga battle ground about 6 weeks. It was a treat to see so many soldiers together again after lapse of so many years. I could trace the old line of battle over which we fought in that great battle. Last November a year ago, soon after we reached Chattanooga I took my wife and two children out to see the National Park and battle ground, and while I was standing near our regiment and brigade monuments, near the Widow Glenn house marker, General Wilder alighted from a wagon loaded with comrades and came up and saluted me.. When I told him I was a member of the 98th, he asked me if I could recognize him. I looked at him quite a little while, and said I could not. He then said " I am Wilder" and threw his arms around me, and we both shed tears freely.. He stepped upon a stone near our monument, and made a short speech to the comrades that were with him, and they gave three hearty cheers for Wilder's Brigade. He then pointed out to me about where Colonel Funkhouser was at the time he was wounded. Comrades I wish you could have been there. I located the tree where Comrade Martin and I carried and placed Comrade Joel Rider after he was wounded. I felt like every inch of that ground was sacred. I was at Bloody Pond, Snodgrass Hill, Crawfish Spring and Lee and Gordon's mills. But little changes in those places excepting the improvements added.. The old house and some of the fences are there yet. I was on top of Lookout Mountain and Mission Ridge and Cameron Hill. I was at the National Cemetery where now over 13,000 of our comrades are resting in peace; it is a fine place well cared for. I have a relic from Chicamauga battle field it is part of a tree about 18 inches long and thick as my arm. There are nine cannister shot and 2 pieces of shell in it. Now I must say good bye comrades. May Lord Jesus Christ bless and save you all is my prayer. T.J. Neal

Booklet owned by J. Kelly. Re-typed by Gene and B. Dix. Questions - send to dixacres at

Some of the words are spelled differently than they are now but for the sake of history we left them and the un-capitalized words as they were. If you find mistakes please notify us so we can change our master copy. The Palestine Reporter is from the Crawford Co. Historical Society.