Thursday, June 5, 2014

Soldiers' Reunion 1899

Recently I came across an intriguing article in the 12 August 1899 issue of the Paducah Sun. It mentioned a soldiers' reunion to be held in Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky 16-18 August 1899. A total of 20,000 people were expected to attend, including "some of the leading generals and officers of the civil war."

The first day of the reunion was to be devoted mainly to the ladies and children, but no details were given. The latter half of the second day and the third day were to feature prominent speakers. Again, no details were given. Princeton was to be "decorated with thousands of flags and above the court house gate an immense flag will float one hundred feet high." Kentucky Governor William Bradley and his staff were to attend, along with other prominent people from various parts of the country."

Nothing more was found about the reunion in the Paducah newspaper, but a short article in the Evansville Courier on 18 August 1899 gave a few more details.

"A reunion of the blue and gray veterans of several Kentucky counties was held in the city [Princeton] today, the chief exercises being held at the fair grounds. In the morning there was an industrial parade. More veterans in attendance wore the blue that wore the gray.

"At the speaking Judge Marlow of this city welcomed the visitors and Lawyer Headley of Madisonville responded on behalf of the county. The general response was given by Captain C.J. Murphy of Evansville. After his address a wheel of flowers more than two feet in diameter was given him by the ladies' choral society."

Reunions of Civil War veterans were popular at the turn of the century. A large reunion was held in Evansville not long after the one in Princeton. Wouldn't it be wonderful if someone has a photograph taken at the Princeton reunion?

Published 5 June 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

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