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16th Vermont Infantry


Fifty years is no small period of time in the life of any man. This the survivors at Gettysburg fully realized when they failed to recognize one another at the late reunion there.

Without any previous arrangements, the survivors of the Sixteenth Vermont Volunteer Infantry at the suggestion of Lieutenant Frank G. Clark, the only commissioned officer of the regiment present or living, came together on the evening of the 2nd of July, 1913, in the open air, to renew briefly the comradeship of a half century past, to meet and greet, and say farewell.

Paul Newton Clark, son of a veteran, was drafted to make up the roll of those present with Company and address. Forty-six, coming from eight different states, answered to their names, or were known to be present on the battle-field, as follows:

O. G. Richardson,. Gaysville, Vt.
M. H. Bryant Plankinton, S. Dak.
Alonzo H. Spooner, Bowdoin, Me.
Elisha P. Boutwell, Gaysville, Vt.
Henry Flint, Tacoma, Washington.
Jason Mann, Montague, Mass.
G. M. Gilbert, Sioux City, Ia.
Barney Pratt, Brattleboro, Vt.
E. H. Putnam, " ".
C. C. Hall, Plymouth, Vt.
Myron Hull, Brattleboro, Vt.
Dexter Waite, Wardsboro, Vt.
Dan Davis, Chester, Vt.
Lyman Bailey, Poultney, Vt.
M. H. Johnson, Jamaica, Vt.
Nelson Esterbrook, Michigan.
Ed. Reed, Swansea, N. H.
Gidney Whipple,. Grafton, Vt.
(Ed?) Cook, Greenfield, Mass.
W. H. H. Slack, Springfield, Vt.
Clark Hill, Weathersfield, Vt.
N. M. Haskell, Wilmington, Vt.
J. T. Cooper, Wilmington, Vt.
O. C. Fairbanks,. Whitingham, Vt.
David R. Bolster, Gulf City, Fla.
A. C. Stetson,. Whitingham, Vt.
F. D. Miner, West Halifax, Vt.
Francis Fisher, Newbury, Vt.
Elliott Adams, Gloucester, Mass.
Linus G. Hubbard, Urbana, Ill..
Elliott F. Gillette,. Shellburn Falls, Mass.
Danforth J. Whiting, Northfield, Minn.
Thomas Whitney,. Northampton, Mass.
J J. Winslow, Midland, Mich.
M. N. Kendall, Bethel, Vt.
Stephen Hewitt, North Pomfret, Vt.
Charles F. Clark, Proctorsville, Vt.
H. S. Willey,79 Barre St.,Montpelier, Vt.
H. E. Meacham, Windsor, Vt.
Frank G. Clark, 1st Lieut, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
D. M. Stocker, Wardsboro, Vermont.
John d. Pierce, Newfane, Vermont.
John N. Corbett, Greenfield, Mass.
G. Derby, Springfield, Vt.
James Tracy, Norwich, Vt.
John Twing,  Westminster, Vt.

The Regiment played no inconspicuous part in meeting the desperate attempt of the rebel hosts to wrest victory from defeat on the last day of the battle. Although making no pretense of vieing with others, the First Minnesota for instance, in number of dead and wounded, though engaged in the same sanguine fray, it left sixteen dead and eighty-six wounded on the field.

At this brief reunion no constitution was adopted, no resolutions offered and no speeches made. The feelings of all those present were too deep for utterance. Comrade G. M. Gilbert of Company B, of Sioux City, Iowa, voiced the sentiment of all in the song he so beautifully rendered, the words of which were as follows:

"I found them there together
With roses sweet between,
Close to a murmuring river,
Above them Heaven's sheen,
And I heard the winds of summer
Singing a sweet refrain
Above the youth from Georgia,
Above the lad from Maine.

"One left his snowy mountain
The other left his pine
To stand 'mid gallant thousands
Along the battle line.
But now in death they're sleeping
For love of country slain
One northward came from Georgia.
One southward came from Maine.

"No more the battle bugle
Will tell them they are foes,
No more the thundering cannon
Will break their deep repose,
Perhaps for them in sorrow
Which is akin to pain
A mother waits in Georgia
A sister weeps in Maine.

"I heard the murmuring river
I saw the silvery waves,
I blessed the rich red clover
That rew above their graves.
And then I asked the angels
That watch o'er Heaven's plain
To guard the boy from Georgia,
To guard the boy from Maine.

"I left them there together
The blue coat and the gray,
Beside the peaceful river
They wait the judgment day.
Thank God the starry banner
Whose glories ne'er shall wane,
Waves o'er the sons of Georgia,
And o'er the sons of Maine."

Three rousing cheers greeted him at its close.

With a few words fitting to the occasion, with no provision for another meeting, the ranks were quietly broken and the reunion of the Sixteenth Vermont Volunteer Infantry on the battlefield of Gettysburg, fifty years after the battle, came to a close.

Source: three-page typescript contributed by David Miller, great-grandson of Francis Gray Clark, First Lieutenant, Company G, the sole surviving officer of the Sixteenth Vermont Infantry at the 50th Anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg.