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Title: A Union Soldiers' Picnic
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Saturday, October 8, 1864, a Union soldiers' picnic was held at Williamsport, as had been extensively advertised would take place. Vast preparations had been made to entertain the crowd that was sure to assemble. The day dawned clear and bright, and the sky was as pure as the spirit that made it; scarce a cloud was to be seen, and the mellow haze later in the day told of the beautiful Indian summer time. This ideal weather induced the farmer and mechanic to put aside their accutomed labor, to pay a proper tribute to the meritorious public services of their soldier neighbors. National banners were flung out from all the public buildings and from many of the private residences, and the citizens prepared to enjoy the day. At last the delegations from the country began to arrive, coming in wagons, carriages, on horseback and on foot, in long lines, headed by bands of musid, with gay banners and streamers, mottoes and escutcheons waving over all. Almost the entire county turned out to enjoy the occasion. Hundreds of soldiers were present, in bright military dress, at home on furlough from the active scenes of war, or perhaps just ready to go out and join their comrades in the service. At last, when all the long line of delegations had arrived through the dust, and had verily began to wonder what was the program of the day, the chief marshal and his assistants, with red scarfs, appeared on horese, and formed the numerous lines into one long line of teams, fully three miles in length, and marched the grand cavalcade, amid the wildest enthusiasm, through the principal streets to the fair ground, where the ceremonies of the day were enacted. Williamsport had never before witnessed a pageant so brilliant and imposing. Wagon loads of young ladies, adorned with national colors and crowned with garlands of autumnal flowers and leaves of amber and golden hue, passed through the surging streets, drawn by four and six-horse teams. A company of soldiers was quickly organized and marched around before the admiring crowd in all those beautiful changes of military tactics which so completely stir the hearts of the beholder. Eloquent and patriotic speeches from Messrs. McMullen and Hull were enjoyed, as was also a picnic dinner of the choicest viands the county of Warren could produce. The Republican, the weekly newspaper, stated, "Such a gathering has not been seen in this city of rocks since 1856."

[Page 301.]

Date: 1/1/1913
Origin: Past and Present of Fountain and Warren Counties Indiana
Author: Thomas A. Clifton, Editor
Record ID: 00001268
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Entered By: Leslie J. Rice

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