Company M - marching home - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Company M - marching home

Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal 23 Sept 1898 p 1
The Boys of Company M Come Marching Home and are Royally Welcomed by Their Families and friends

Change the sheets an’ cool th’ piller
Go an’ buy a hunk o’ice,
Squeeze th’ lemons on the sugar
 Fix it up all cool and nice,
Fryin’ doughnuts’ settin’ biscuits
 Ginger bread and pancakes, too,
Pies of apples, Raisin cookies,
 Light as drips of drops of dew
 Hurry up, th’ time is speedin’

Work, tin’t more’n a quarter done,
 Stove’s a sizzin’, pots a bilin’
Hustle Jane, why don’t you run
 Rinse the berries, peel potatoes
Grind th’ coffee, sweet an’ brown
We ain’t workin’ harder’n others
Everywhere about the town
Shut th’ door an keep th’ flies out,
 Wipe away that tear! Be gay,
Fer our Tom, our soldier Tommy
 He’s a comin’ home today – Detroit Free Press

Last Saturday WT Whittington received a telegram from Captain Wilhite of Company M which simply stated that the company would return home on the afternoon train.  In less than 5 minutes the electric light whistle had been blown and everybody in town knew that the boys would be with us that afternoon. The morning was a busy one for the committees and those who were helping in the work of preparation. The YMCA gymnasium was turned over to the ladies and was transformed into a handsomely decorated in less than no time. The place was hung all over with flags and banked all over with flowers. Two long tables extended the length of the room and these were loaded with the proper stuff. Immediately after noon the people began to stream toward the Big Four station and long before the hour of the train’s arrival all approaches to the place were blocked. There were hundreds upon hundreds who simply couldn’t get within shouting distance. Flags fluttered and the committee fairly had to claw its way to a front place on the platform.  The train rolled in on time and as the boys, bronzed and burned, loaded down withy their equipment came tumbling off the cars, they were greeted by enthusiastic shouts, by the clapping of hands and the waving of flags and handkerchiefs. The parade was quickly formed and the march begun. The mounted marshals were WT Whittington, Capt. Talbot and WW Goltra. Following them came the band and then veterans of the great civil war. They were followed in order by the Patriarchs Militant, the POS of A commandery, the K of P commandery and the Knights of St. Johns.  The company itself came last and all along the route was cheered. The march was north on Plum to College, west to Water, north on Water to Jefferson, west on Jefferson to Washington, north on Washington to Market, east on Market to Water, south on Water to Main and west on Main to the courthouse.  There, a great throng had assembled on the court house steps and yard and the streets adjacent being completely blocked. Short and eloquent addresses of welcome were made by General Wallace and May Elmore, a short address and prayer by Dr. Burroughs. Then the boys were conducted to the YMCA gymnasium where dinner was served and it was the proper sort of a dinner, too with a score of pretty girls as waitresses. The guns were stacked between the tables and the bundles deposited at the side of the guns, while the men fell upon the friendly enemy on the table. At one end of the west table sat past Captain Wert while at the other end sat Capt. Wilhite, Lts. Elston and Harney were correspondingly seated at the east table. The napkins were in the national colors and everything was in perfect keeping. Still with all the tun and pleasure there was sadness. One seat at the east table was covered with the flag and no one sat there and as the members looked upon it they thought of their dead companion, Frank Britton.  When the dinner was over there was an informal reception and mothers and sweethearts claimed their soldiers. Finally the boys got off for their individual homes and the reunions in many households Saturday were indeed joyous ones.  
Continued: The whistles and bells which sent the boys away welcomed them home just as noisily as they dismissed them.  The flag was carried by Henry Shoemaker, who was the first member of the company to be discharged on account of ill health. About 150 school children headed to Supt Kenaston carried flowers and flags and gave the boys a welcome from the courthouse steps.  The Sgt’s position made vacant by the promotion of George Harney has not been filled. There are several applicants for the position.  Sam Dean, Charles Gilkey, Charles Wray, Howard Bratton and Bernie Pride were left at Indianapolis as a guard for regimental effects. Each company had to leave five men.  The sick men rode around the parade in a cab. In it were Perry Sering, Si Rogers and Will Richmond. IRA LUDDINGTON who was discharged from the hospital last Friday persisted in making the march with the rest of the boys. There is a movement on foot to have the reassembling of the 158th regiment take place in Crawfordsville on the expiration of the furlough on Oct 18. This is the first day of the big street fair and the presence of the regiment here would be a great feature. The camp would be in the fair grounds and that is a much more desirable place than Camp Mount. The regimental officers are said to favor the project and a great effort will be made to push the thing through.

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