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The Reunions of Company "I"

As Reported in the Vermont Tribune newspaper

Mechanicsville, 8 Sept., 1893: "Lieut. Ethan A. Priest was buried from the old homestead Wednesday, 30 Aug., 1893, after a short illness, though he has been a sufferer from rheumatism for several years. Elder W. T. Hale of the M. E. church assisted by Rev. George Clough of the Baptist Church, officiated. The old comrades of Co. "I" acted as pall bearers, and Colfax Lodge, I. O. O. F., as an escort. There was a large attendance of relatives, friends, old soldiers, and Odd Fellows, to show their respect to a good neighbor, a kind husband, an affectionate father, a gallant soldier, a noble-hearted man. Mr. Priest was born 9 Jan., 1837. He enlisted in Co. "I", 2nd Reg't Vt. Vols, 7 May, 1861. He was in seventeen battles and more than twice that number of skirmishes. He was wounded three times. First, at Bull Run 21 July, 1861; Second at Camp Lincoln, 27 June, 1862; Third at the Battle of the Wilderness 5 May, 1864. He was commissioned First Lieutenant 10 Feb., 1863, and honorable discharged 29 June, 1864. In the Fall of 1874, he decided to go west. he moved to Kerwin, (Phillips Co) Kansas, and remained until the Spring of 1883, when he returned to the old homestead where he has since lived -- a Vermonter, through and true. Mr. Priest has held several offices of trust in town; belonged to the Grand Army for several years; was a charger member of Colfax Lodge I. O. O. F., and one of the oldest Odd Fellows in this vicinity. Mr. Priest will be greatly missed by many. Mrs. Priest died about two years ago. There is a large family (three sons and seven daughters) left to mourn the loss of a dear father and mother. They have the sympathy of many friends in their bereavement.

Ludlow, 13 Oct., 1893: Last Friday was a happy day for the twenty-five members of Co. "I"', 2nd Reg't Vt. Vols., who assembled in glad reunion at the G. A. R. hall in Ludlow (Hammond Hall). Those present were: Fred A. Fish, Isaac N. Wadleigh, Charles H. Ray, Wm. J. Barrett, Hiland P. Bixby, H. G. Hemenway, Lorenzo A. Dodge, Volney S. Fulham, Henry W. Colby, Peter S. Chase, D .D. Priest, A. E. Moore (the oldest living member of the association), Alonzo A. Whitney, Samuel A. Shattuck, Hiland Snell, L. W. Warner, John Barrett, Michael Gilligan, Byron H. Butterfield, Albert A. May, Perry G. Wells, Henry Barrett, John Smalley, Moses Hazelton, H. M. Peck, and Alba Royce. The company came together at 10 o'clock and the forenoon was largely spent in social intercourse, renewing old acquaintances, and in relating stories of camp life. At noon the members were invited to a sumptuous dinner provided by the citizens of Ludlow, and served by the ladies of the W. R. C., in their hall. A business meeting was held at 2:00 p.m. President F. A. Fish, in the chair, and Albert A. May, acting as secretary pro tem, in the absence of the secretary. The first item of business was the election of officers for the ensuing year. Isaac N. Wadleigh of Ludlow was chosen President; Perry G. Wells of Cuttingsville, Vice President; Albert A. May of Salem, Mass., Secretary; Charles H. Ray of Ludlow, Treasurer; Wm. J. Barrett, L. W. Warner, & Charles H. Ray, Executive Committee. Ludlow was selected as the place of the next meeting which it was voted to hold between the 1st and 15th of September, 1894. Two members of the company died during the year, namely, Ethan Allen Priest of Mechanicsville, and Whitney Tenny of Dummerston. The following resolutions in memory of the deceased members were unanimously adopted: "Whereas it has pleased the Great Commander of the Universe to remove by death, on the 28th of August, our beloved comrade, Ethan Allen Priest; Be it therefore resolved, that we sincerely and affectionately mourn his loss as one whose loyalty, patriotism, and devotion to country, to the flag and to his comrades, was never questioned or doubted; and especially do we mourn him as a beloved and honored commander and ex president of this association. Resolved, that we sympathize with his family in their great bereavement, and assure them that we join in mourning him as a true comrade, and honorable citizen, a kind neighbor and affectionate father." On the death of Whitney Tenny who died Sept. 25th, it was : "Resolved, that we mourn his loss as one whom we always found to be a true comrade and a good soldier. Resolved, that we extend to his family the sympathy of this association and assure them that their loss is felt by us who were associated with him, not only in the great struggle of '61 to '65, but as a comrade with us in our gatherings. Resolved, that these resolutions be spread upon the records and a copy be sent to the family of the deceased and one to each of the local papers." Comrade Dodge also contributed a poem to memory of Comrade Priest. Comrade May, who has for a number of years, been at work compiling a history of the company, presented to the association the product of this work in six neatly arranged volumes. The gift was thankfully accepted by the company and the comrade was invited to read one volume at once and in compliance with this request he read the events of 1865, which was greatly enjoyed by the comrades. By unanimous vote, Mr. May was requested to read the events of 1864 at the camp-fire that evening. At half past seven, the association met again for a camp-fire at Hammond hall. This was well attended by the citizens of Ludlow. Comrade May presided and Comrade D. D. Owen offered prayer. The speaking of the evening was opened by a peculiarly felicitous address by Comrade Volney S. Fulham. Comrade May read an historical address of rare interest and pathos, in which he related in a most graphic, yet simple manner, the history of the company during the year 1864. It was attentively listened to throughout. This was followed by remarks by Rev. D. D. Owen, Capt. E. A. Howe, Comrade Peter S. Chase, and Chairman A. A. May. The exercises of the evening were interspersed with music by a company of young ladies and gentlemen under the leadership of Mrs. Raymond. The thanks to the company were extended to the citizens of Ludlow and to the ladies and gentlemen who so kindly assisted with musical selections, and who thus helped to make this reunion one of the most enjoyable and successful in the history of the association.

Ludlow, 7 Sept., 1894: "Albert May, Secretary, has addressed the following card to the members of Co. "I": The ninth annual reunion of Co. "I" 2nd Vt. Vols. Association will be held at Ludlow on Friday, 14 Sept., 1894. It is hoped that every living member will be present. Comrades will meet at the Ludlow House for general greetings at 10:00 a.m. and at 12:00 noon will fall in for rations; at 2 o'clock, business meeting ,election of officers, etc., at 7:30, a rousing Camp Fire, at which it is hoped every surviving member will be able to respond with a volley of eloquence. Everybody come, especially all old soldiers and the young people."

21 Sept., 1894, Company "I" Reunion: The unfavorable weather of Friday morning did not prevent a goodly number of the members of the Co. "I" 2nd Vt. association from coming together for their annual reunion. Several arrived here early in the morning and every train added to their number. Many came with their own teams. Every new arrival was closely scanned to see how many could recognize him and call him by name. The morning hours were spent in hand-shaking, social talk, renewing old acquaintances, and in relating incidents in army life. At twelve o'clock, the comrades and their ladies were invited to a fine dinner prepared by the ladies of the W. R. C. in their hall. One of the pleasant features of he dinner hour was the taking up of a collection by the comrades to buy cups and saucers to go with the dishes they purchased one year ago. At 2 o'clock,, the business meeting was called to order by VP Perry G.; Wells, the President, I. N. Wadleigh being absent. At roll call, the following comrades answered 'here': Albert D. Beckwith, Hiram P. Bixby, John Crosby, Fred A. Fish, W. R. F. Johnson, Wm. J. Barrett, Henry W. Colby, Lorenzo A. Dodge, Eleazer A. Hall, Albert A. May, Amos E. Nichols, C. W. Priest, Henry H. Peck, Abel Ray, Samuel A. Shattuck, Hiland Snell, Hiram L. Warner, Darius D. Priest, Augustus H. Pratt (brother of W. H. Pratt of Ludlow), Charles H. Ray, Henry H. Riggs, John Smalley, Alonzo Whitney. Harland O. Peabody, John Barrett, and Michael Gilligan were with us through the day. The following were represented by letter: Harvey R. Austin, Wallace D. King, Armin E. Moore, Benj. F. Parmenter, Jasper N. Clark, Geo. H. Lewis, Vernon A. Marsh, Hoxey A. Roger, Isaac N. Wadleigh, and Daniel S. White, making in all, thirty-six who were either present or accounted for. The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: President: Perry G. Wells of Wallingford; Vice President: A. D. Beckwith of Bellows Falls; Sec: Albert A. May, Salem, Mass; Treas., Charles H. Ray, Ludlow; It was voted to hold the next reunion in Ludlow sometime between the 15th and 30th of September next, and the following were elected as executive committee to make the necessary arrangements; Wm. J. Barrett, H. L. Warner, and Charles H. Ray. Only one death was reported as having occurred during the year, namely, Orrin L. Whitcomb of Argyle, NY, who died suddenly May 17. Suitable resolutions were adopted to his memory. The company took supper with the W.R.C. and at 7:30 o'clock, Hammond hall was well filled to witness the campfire which was a perfect success. Music was furnished by a fine orchestra and the platform was neatly arranged with a camp kettle hanging from three poles and a fire underneath in one corner, while at the other end was a stack of arms and all the accouterments of a soldier, together with the flag. President Wells presided most acceptably. Comrade Bugbee opened the meeting with prayer and there were addressed made by President Wells, Captain Howe, comrades Bugbee, D. D. Priest, H. H. Riggs, John Crosby, Hiland Snell, L. A. Dodge, and A. A. May. Comrade Charles A. Ray read a poem: "A Tribute to the Old Canteen" and comrade May recited three poems appropriate to the occasion. One of the features of the evening was the inquisitive recruit which was given by comrades Ray and May, in which was given an illustration of a recruiting office and the drilling of a new recruit, which proved in the end that the boys have not forgotten all that had been taught them of the manual of arms. The orchestra rendered very many fine selections and the company went away at ten o'clock well pleased and determined to come another year if God will permit.

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