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Many choice and beautiful flowers were placed upon the sacred spot, among them a sword of golden rod, it being similar to the one used by Colonel Ledyard on that day.
Mrs. Walter Denison, of the Lucretia Shaw Chapter, of New London, being present, an invited guest, sang “The Sword of Bunker Hill."
Mrs. Harriet A. Stanton, Chapter Poet, then read the following original poem:
SEPTEMBER 6, 1781.
When freedom veiled her face;
In honor of the place.
They raised our ensign high!
For which they dared to die.
Many a wife and mother sought
Along this well-worn way,
And with the mangled lay
Their memory green for aye.
A hundred years have passed away!
All nations' loud acclaim
The grandeur of our aim;
In honor of your names,
That shall long years remain,
Let every mind be pure
Our fathers' God! to thee we raise
A prayer of love and trust;
And grant her statesmen just;
That thine oppressed may trust.
Mrs. Emma Avery Simmons, Vice-Regent, read a paper entitled "The Death of Benedict Arnold," which was attentively listened to. Miss Mary E. Barrows delivered an eloquent address of some length, composed for the occasion, in which patriotism breathed in every line. We wish there was room for the entire address, but the following extracts give in part its sounding notes:
“On that September day, 1781, thirteen weak colonies; on this September day, 1898, a nation extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, then reaching out her arm of strength, clasps the hand of the infant republic "Hawaii" to nourish and cherish; then further still across the Pacific the chastening hand falls on Spain in the island of the Philippines, and southward to Cuba and Porto Rico. Out of this race of grandfathers of 1776 comes the strength and patriotism of 1812, who will not allow the impressment of our American men into the British Navy; of 1861 who will not allow our Constitution to be violated and the union of States to be ruptured. “The Union must be preserved; united we stand, divided we fall,' and two millions took the field to enforce that unity, and preserved the Nation as a whole. The army returned with tattered flags and uniforms, the soldiers' emblem of glory and duty performed, and many with shattered constitutions for life. To them we owe the prosperity of these latter thirty years. All honor to the bronze button worn by the fast thinning ranks of the Grand Army of the Republic men! To their sons have they handed down the mantle again, and today we have these heroes incarnated in the returning army of brave men, who fought and won the battles of Guantanamo, El Caney, and Santiago.
“Brave men and boys! doing their duty in the face of want, hardships and deadly climate of Cuba, in the trenches for twenty days without a dry thread in their clothes, standing in water, sheets of water descending from the clouds on their heads, heat by day, chill at night, deadly disease about them, doing their duty as at Valley Forge and elsewhere their forefathers of the Revolution braved whatever hardships and privations war may bring in its wake.
"We are a rich Nation—a powerful Nation—how powerful we had grown we did not dream ourselves, until we were compelled to try that power! Spain four hundred years ago was rich and powerful—the wonder of the world! but corruption and an overestimate of self has enervated her until she is what she is. Then let us as á country see that our politics and government are kept pure and clean, enough for the Lord God of Battles continue to abide with us as a Nation meant by Him to accomplish His own great work.”
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
All present felt that this was one of the most solemn anniversaries ever kept by the Chapter, and left the sacred spot with tender thoughts of all fallen heroes who had shed their blood for liberty, home and country.-HARRIET A. STANTON, Historian.
WILTWYCK CHAPTER.—A year ago your Historian's report began somewhat in this way: “The Chapter has enjoyed a year of peace and quietness; as in the history of the world, so it is with us. In peaceful times there is little to chronicle."
How dim was our outlook into the future! How little could we foresee what a few months would bring us! In the ranks of our Chapter, to be sure, discord and confusion have not come; but our hearts have all beat fast and our thoughts and hands have been full, because our country was at war. Strange it is to think that before the year is over this great tide of conflict has risen and fallen, till now it is only the sight of a uniform now and then and the knowledge that our own brave boys have not yet returned which helps us to realize that war with Spain is not merely a dream. So short has been the struggle, so swift the victory, that there is danger we may not heed the lessons of the war. We need to keep in mind the spirit of Kipling's beautiful hymn:
"God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle line,
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet
This record begins with December, 1897. Our first meetings were not marked by any unusual incidents. In December the annual reports were given; in January the delegates to the Continental Congress were chosen and interesting papers read. The February meeting was on the third day of the month. We had papers appropriate to Washington's Birthday, and sang the "Battle Hymn of the Republic.” How little did we anticipate the tragedy so near at hand! On the 15th, only twelve days later, came the terrible news of the loss of the “Maine,” and by the time for the March meeting every heart was filled with the fear that the call to arms must come and "Battle Hymns" would be sung once more throughout the land. We heard at this meeting reports of our delegates to the Continental Congress, and pledged our loyal support to the new President General of the Society. A large flag was presented to the Chapter by the delegates, after which "Rally Round the Flag" and "The Star Spangled Banner" were sung. It was an appropriate time for the presentation of “Old Glory.” Before the month was over flags were waiving from every flagpole, draped over doorways, hung over pulpits. The Nation was aroused.
It was not until after our April meeting, however, that war was declared. On May 5th was our first "war meeting.” Our State Regent sent a letter, asking what action the Chapter would take in relation to the war; a telegram was received from Miss Forsyth, who was in Washington attending the meeting of the National Board of Management, Daughters of the American Revolution, stating that the National Society had placed itself at the command of the President, and was ready to help in any way that the Government might advise.
Resolutions were sent from Wiltwyck Chapter to the Fourteenth Separate Company, expressing the pride and sympathy of the Chapter toward the "boys in blue.” This meeting was held at the home of Miss Louise Tremper. It was a busy session, full of enthusiasm. The house was draped with flags, patriotic songs were sung, and the spirit of these Daughters of revolutionary heroes was roused to an ardent desire to do something for the present war.
In June we found work ready to our hand. The National Society at Washington had asked for contributions toward a war fund and towards the work of the Hospital Corps of the Daughters of the American Revolution, as well as towards the assistance of our home soldiers. The Fourteenth Company, in answer to our inquiry as to what was needed for their comfort, suggested that we provide a set of cooking utensils for camp use.
This was the first thing decided upon. Mrs. Lawton, of Fairview, had collected some money for the benefit of the soldiers, which was received at this meeting. Each member of the Chapter was asked to contribute something towards a war fund, part of which was to be used by our own Chapter, and part sent to Washington, to be appropriated to the work of the committees of the National Board. A Chapter War Committee was appointed, authorized to spend the local fund for the benefit of soldiers and sailors as needed.
Two nurses went out from Kingston, under the auspices of Wiltwyck Chapter, and one from Brooklyn, also recommended by a member of our Chapter. We have received from the surgeons of the hospitals where these brave young women have been working many warm words of appreciation of their services. Miss Shaw went to Leiter Hospital in a time of intense heat, and finding that typhoid fever had just broken out and that nurses were terribly needed, she toiled day and night until her own health gave away; she had two attacks of illness, but after coming home for a rest, has gone back to her noble work and is now at Fortress Monroe.
Miss Dunn, who volunteered about the same time, but did not start until later, has been doing excellent work at Jacksonville. She is now at home, but may go to Cuba. Mrs. Mary Brynes Irwin, of Brooklyn, has been, I think, since August, at Fortress Monroe. Miss Sarah Hardenbergh, of our own ranks, was from the earliest days of the war anxious to go as a nurse, and offered her services both to the Hospital Corps of the Daughters of the American Revolution and to the Red Cross; but much to her disappointment was not called upon.