Category Archives: Isaac’s Speeches

January 10, 1916

For Installation Jan 10, 1916 

Mr President Ladies of WRC & Comrades 

As a GAR post we have reason to be satisfied with our record   for the past yr we have lost no members & mist but 2 meetings  our thanks as an organization are due the Masonic fraternity of Wellman for the free use of this well furnished & well cared for hall for the past yr & while we hear the oft repeated peace on Earth & good will toward men we are thankful it still applies to this part of the Earth  it does not apply to Europe  never since we became a Nation has there been greater cause for giving thanks for blessings that we have recd than at the present time  for 50 yrs we have had almost (except for Cuba & Philipines) uninterrupted peace & prosperity  50 yrs ago last Summer when we returned to our homes from the civil war none seemed to think but that we had made good Soldiers,  they seemed Satisfied with the results but the question arose, would we make good citizens  no doubt many good people worried as to the result of Army life on our good behavior & feared lest military manners might have a tendancy [to] make us undesirable citizens, the saloons got ready for a bigger trade  police court judges lookt for a rushing business  farmers watched their chickn coop & mellon patches & turkeys roosted high, but what did happen as a fact, of course we were full of joy & there was something doing when Johny came marching home, probably we had forgotten some of our table manners   didn’t know what to do with a napkin & maybe even forgot to Eat our pie with a fork but there was something doing from that time on, & this country took on a new lease of life, & flourished as it had never flourished before, since the war counting Lincoln the best soldier of us all, we have had 7 of the 11 pres [presidents?] in Evry dpt of life   veterans have been in high places & now the few that are left tho well past the meridian of life are with few exceptions in comfortable circumstances & of an average respectability our association with the WRC that most creditable type of American womanhood is enuf of itself to give us respectability  we greatly appreciate these meetings & the many good dinners & social times we have enjoyed & we hope to so conduct ourselves to be worthy the respect & Encouragement of our Sister organization & worthy to be considered a firm defender of the Stars & Stripes  I could pay no higher tribute to a comrade than to say he Served his country well & I could pay no higher tribute to American womanhood than to Say She was a member in good standing of Ed Hamlin WRC No. 88

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January 8, 1915

The war in Europe was on Isaac’s mind as he wrote this speech, as well as a movement to redesign the American flag.

For joint Installation on Jan 8 1915

Ladies of WRC & Comrades

Im again assuming the duties of this office  I thank my comrades for their continued & united Support & confidence the past year & I hope to perform the duties assigned to me to the best of my ability & in behaf of our post I thank you ladies for meeting with us on this occasion  & for the excellent dinner we have enjoyed  I believe I voice the sentiment of both post & corps in hoping we may have many more installations & many more dinners all in the spirit of DC&L in the years yet to come   the thanks of Ed Hamlin post are due the Masonic Order of Wellman for their Kindness their unselfish generosity & Patriotism in tendering us the use of their hall for a meeting place as long as our organization exists & free of all cost  Surely comrades we appreciate their kindness altho our years are growing many & our numbers growing few & less with each returning year yet taking our organization as a whole local state & Natl we have much yet very much to be thankful for 

Never since we became a nation has there been greater cause for giving thanks for blessings that we enjoy of all the nations of the earth  I mean of all the great Nations of the earth (for we rank as one of the great Nations) we alone can quote with right good will that oft repeated Christmas saying, peace on earth & good will to men & we are thankful at least I feel that we ought to be thankful that 3000 miles of Atlantic bring deep roll between our peaceful shore & the war cursed lands of Europe  no firing acros that line as has been going on down on the Arizona line dropping Mexican bullets on American soil Killing innocent men women & children & wounding others   we are thankful they cant shoot acros that line of 3000 miles & now that we have so much to be thankful for & so little to complain of I want to offer a resolution a joint resolution to both post & corps  you no doubt have all heard & read of the attempt being made to change the face of our Natl flag  anyhow it has raised a storm of protest all over the country Especially in GAR & WRC circles   I pledge my allegiance to that flag under which so many of my comrades fot [fought] & died & earnestly protest against any change being made in it & while this Salute can in no sense take the place of the regular flag Salute, it is good patriotic sentiment & expresses the feeling of that post but I must offer my resolution before I forget it  

Resolved that we the members of Ed Hamlin Post 112 dpt [department] Ioa [Iowa] GAR together with Ed Hamlin WRC No 88 in joint installation assembled go on record as being unalterably opposed to any change being made in our Natl flag   Especially do we object to any part of the confederate or rebel flag being added to old glory  

Adopted with much hand clapping & voted publisht in Advance [Wellman Advance newspaper] & National Tribune.

January 10, 1913

Isaac’s Speech – WRC Installation – January 10, 1913

Mrs. President Ladies of WRC & Comrades 

We commence the new yr under Comparatively favorable condition  our regular meeting day in dec was discouraging to our organization  we met here at the usual hour a few of us  the weather was cold & the room was cold  finaly Adjt Bradford asked us to go to the PO & hold our meeting  we were only fairly Settled when a motion was made [that] we disband  after a Short discussion the motion carried with little opposition tho I believe Each one felt in their hearts they were doing Something they disliked very much to do the main regret seemed to be the Severing of our fraternal relations with the WRC & our last act as an organization was a resolution (past unanimously) thanking our Sister organization for their many acts of kindness  the many helps social & financial & our sincere appreciation of the Same,  this it was resolved should be put in shape & written out by the Comdr to be read at this meeting  when the WRC install their officers,  in one Sense our organization made then a will bequeathing to the WRC Evry thing belonging to dpt headqrs  this marble tablet & gavel which Mrs. C C Gardner had taken great pains to secure & bring from Washington DC & presented to the post by the WRC Jan 2 1903  also the desk presented a short time before this at which our adjt [Adjutant] conducts the business of the post  also a sum of Confederate money sent to our post by _______[left blank] to be held as a remembrance of war times  the drums were not mentioned but had it been necessary to present the resolution here I should have included them in the list,  at the last meeting of the WRC a Committee was appointed to confer with a like Committee from the post to see if this matter of disbanding could be reconsidered  Mrs Longwell being chrmn of the committee Kindly askd them to meet at her home  the result was a meeting of comrades was called at the PO last fri & in point of Nos [numbers] & in point of Enthusiasm the meeting Exceed any post meeting in 3 yrs or more & more of a feeling of J C & L was exhibited than I Supposed existed in Ed Hamlin post  the quest of disbanding was Soon reconsidered & officers were elected for the Ensuing yr & all seemed determined to do what they could to keep the post alive for a time at least & the credit of this belongs to the WRC in genl & to the Committee of which Mrs Longwell was chrmn in Particular  it was decided at this meeting that from now on the Post dispense with all services & ceremonies on decoration day turning that matter over to the Cittizens under the direction of the WRC  I thank you ladies in the name of my comrades for the intrest you have manifested in our organization not only at this time but for many yrs past  I thank you for the privilege of meeting with you on this occasion & for the Excellent dinner you have so well served  I thank you all

February 22, 1911

for Reply to Welcome of Post – feb 22 1911 

            Mrs President ladies of WRC & visitors  I greatly appreciate the kind words of welcome from our President  We greatly appreciate the pains patience & patriotism displayed by our WRC in providing this Entertainment, & in behalf of the post & other visitors I thank the ladies one & all for their kind invitation to be present at this memorial to one of our greatest Soldiers & Statesmen   for Entertainments of this kind anniversaries of our great men & patriotism in genl we depend largely on our WRC & they are Equal to the occasion Evry time 

            Altho they were organized in the far West their [WRC] influence was soon felt in the far E [East] in helping to raise Mt Vernon (the home of him [George Washington] whose birth we celebrate this Eve) from the Partial obscurity into which it had fallen thru decay & neglect   the influence has been materially felt away in Southern GA at Andersonville that prison pen & living grave to many of our brave Soldier boys  Now thru the influence of WRC transformed into a quiet peaceful cemetery well kept with Providence Spring yielding its clear Sparkling waters a living monument to gods goodness & Mercy, 

thruout the length & breadth of our land the influence of the WRC is felt in Evry Soldiers Home where many an old Soldier with his life companion live in a cottage by themselves Surrounded with Evry comfort, Evry Community that is fortunate Enough to have a WRC in their midst has reason to be proud of the organization   in Silence & without display they distribute their Charities a load of coal here & there food & clothing, delicacies for the sick, their reward an inner conscience that Says well done   a practical exemplification of the golden rule, their members are selected for their patriotism & intelligence an Elegant organization of women  It is an honor to any woman to be a member of the WRC & an Exhibition of Superior judgment when she signs an application for membership in that order  I have allways felt that when my wife joined the WRC She Exhibited the Same good judgment She did when she choose a husband

January 7, 1910

Isaac wrote the following speech for the GAR installation services on January 7, 1910.

Ladies of WRC & Comrades 

            This being our first meeting in 1910 I wish you all a prosperous & happy new yr & may the prosperity of our land & the comforts of life that we Enjoy Compensate in part for the Sorrows of the past yr   

in assuming again the duties of this office for the 14 time I thank my Comrades for their unanimous & continued confidence  we have missed no meeting the past yr & the few in No [number] it was more than made up in TC&L [one of Isaac’s abbreviations] 8 applications were sent from our post for admissions to our Soldiers home & 2 of our Comrades are there now & Enjoying life & the comforts of home  I hear from them frequently & here is a bill of fare of their Christmas dinner & ladies & comrades the more I think of these things the more I am impressed with the thot [thought] that the Soldier of the Civil war is the best cared for has the most reason to be thankful & the least reason to complain of any man or Set of men living rich or poor 

in the first place he lived to return from the war to home & loved ones after many hardships & being shot at  no one but the recording Angel knows how many times & he Should feel thankful & if he was injured in any way he is provided with a pension according to his injury & when old age comes on & he is physically unable to earn a living he recvs a pension according to his age & in the mean time he is up held & Encouraged morally Socially & financially by the best organization of women in the US  an organization all that of Self is lost in the good they may do for others  they are indeed & in truth our auxillary & last but by no means least we have our Soldiers homes State & Natl where Evry comfort of life is furnished & all as free as the air we breathe truly the Soldier of the Civil war has much to be thankful for & little to complain of  

& ladies I want to thank you for meeting with us on this occasion & for the most Excellent dinner that we Enjoyed  the only criticism I have to make is you have done too much  you have taken too much pains as the Saying goes  the game is not worth the powder but deserving or undeserving we appreciate it  I assure you we do & I thank you not only as an organization but I thank you Each one individually for the good dinner & the most Excellent music furnished & the pains taken genly [generally] to make this a pleasant time & that Each comrade may Show his appreciation  I ask for a standing vote of thanks from Ed Hamlin Post to our sister organization  we now Stand  til called by Pres [president] WRC 

January 1, 1909

This is the speech Isaac gave at the GAR and WRC installation ceremony.

                                             For Installation Jan 1st 1909                                                                                   As Commander of Post 12th or 13th time

Ladies of WRC & Comrades

 It is not my intention to worry you with a very long Speech  you well know I Couldn’t do it if I wanted to & I well know that I wouldn’t do it if I could in again assuming the duties of this office  I feel that we have great cause to be thankful  we have cause for congratulation in the fact that no member of our organization has died Since last installation  we have no use for the blank death roll of members just recd from dptmt hdqrs in making our report for the year just closed  I thank my comrades for their good opinion & confidence in again electing me to this office  however I value the good will & confidence the TC&L of Each comrade for more than I value the office  I promise with your help to do all I can to build up & Keep up our organization

 I expect to give it my Earnest attention & my best Effort & to comply as near as possible with order No 4 which was read at our last meeting & I hope all will rember & put to practical use the words of our installing officer that we listened to a little while ago when he Said I now present to you the officers of your choice  I counsel you to help them in the discharge of their duties to Strengthen their hands & Encourage them in their labors with your help he says their term of office may be very Successful  Without it = well they might as well not have been elected or words to that Effect & truthful words & very aptly spoken  I am confident that I shall need the help & Encouragement of Evry comrade & I am just as confident that we will all need the Encouragement of our Sister organization in the years to come just as we have needed it & recd it in yrs gone by

Let us Each one So conduct himself as to be worthy in a measure of their respect & consideration  there are other good & patriotic organizations of Women Soldiers aid Societys & ladies of the gar & others but we have only one auxillary & Surely no other organization of men is Sustained & Encouraged by So good an organization of women  no other organization that I have Ever heard or read of is so Royally Entertained & with Such pains & patience & patriotism as Ed Hamlin Post is Entertained on installation day & on Evry hand we have undoubted Evidence of help & Encouragement both Social & financial  here we have our flag & here we have our desk at which our adjt [adjutant] does the business of the post & the gavel I hold in my hand a most appropriate gift brought from Mt Vernon on the Potomac river the home of Washington made from a tree planted by Washingtons own hand & this marble Slab once part of a mantel in the White House in Washington City & used by Pres Roosevelt & many other Presidents & notable men til finally thru the instrumentality of Ed Hamlin WRC 88 it found its way to our table additional testimony that Ed Hamlin Post has an auxillary in deed & in fact & last but not least I must not forget our grand good dinner composed of the best that Ioa affords & more too & gotten up in the best Style of culinary art   Surely we are favored as an organization beyond anything we might Expect or deserve  Comrades I cant find words to Express my Appreciation of these favors,  ladies I can only Say I thank you, I thank you for meeting with us in this joint installation  I thank you for the grand good dinner, I thank you for the best of music furnished for this occasion, & now that Each Comrade may Express his appreciation of these favors I ask for a Standing vote of thanks from Ed Hamlin Post                                                                 

April 6, 1906 (conclusion)

This concludes Isaac’s speech on April 6, 1906…

now it is more than likely, it is very probable, that one Shot from an Iowa boy brought that leader down, & consternation at his loss, & the delay incident to a change of Commanders, consumed the time & greatly helped to Save the day,  genl Johnston is represented at that time as being in the prime of life, 6-2 in tall Strong & active a born leader of men, & it was feared the news of his death might have a demoralizing Effect on their men, So the word was given out that it was another Johnston – Geo M. Johnston who had been provisional gov of Ky,[1] but he too was Soon mortally wounded & their Story was too quickly confirmed, had Albert Sidney Johnston lived to carry out the plans So well begun, Buregard would probably have watered his horse in the Tenn riv, but where would Grant have watered his,  So I say that that one Shot & in all probability fired by an Iowa Soldier had much to do with Saving the day at Shiloh,  one reason given by genl Sherman in his memoirs for not fortifying was we had no orders to do so,  now who Should these orders have Come from & who Should they have been issued to,  in the usual order of military affairs they Should have come from the Commanding genl, & been issued to Divis Comdrs & while this localizes the responsibility in a measure, I fail to See wherein it is any Excuse at all for the oversight,  genl Grant in his memoirs States that Criticism has been often made that the union troops Should have been intrenched at Shiloh, but after taking the matter under consideration he Says I concluded the troops needed discipline & drill more than they did Experience with the Shovel & axe,  after weighing well all the circumstances I concluded he Says that drill & discipline were worth more to our men than fortifications,  now however that maybe we needed no experience with the Shovel & axe we had that before the war & Could have thrown up a breast work in one day, yes in ½ a day that would have cost many a Johny reb his life before he got on our Side of it & the Cracking of the guns on the Skirmish line only helped to hasten Such work, & the closer it got the more we hastened,  I have Seen Soldier boys who gave Evry Evidence of being constitutionally tired, born tired, but who would work with all the vim & Energy they had under Such circumstances,  the failure to throw up breastworks here Cost the Country dear & nearly changed the fate of the war, but it taught our Commander a lesson he never forgot,  from that day he never moved his army any distance to the front without intrenching it, & if the mistake of one genl did imperil the whole army it was more than Rectified by the men that carried the guns, & who tho raw in discipline & drill & needed instruction in both as the Commander Said, yet they were united in purpose & Steadfast in the faith of a noble cause the Preservation of the union, the valor of the American volunteer Soldier was fully Established at Shiloh, & we heard no more the boast that 1 reb could lick 5 yanks,  also the question of whose Soil was going to be invaded was Settled then & there for good,  from that day on the war in the SW was waged on the Enemys Soil, 

[1] Neace, James Clell & Harnard, Edgar Porter, Kentucky Had Two Confederate Governors, 2000, published at the Breathitt County, Kentucky website – http://www.breathittcounty.com/JCN-2governors.html

Shiloh Battlefield - Sign showing the battlefield diagram and an explanation of what occurred the first day of the battle.
Shiloh Battlefield – Sign showing the battlefield diagram and an explanation of what occurred the first day of the battle.

So that Shiloh is considered by many one of the most decisive battles of the war, & nearly ¼ of the federal army there Engaged was from Iowa,  history Says that of the 73000 men Engaged on both Sides more than 20000 were Killed wounded or prisoners,  now to get a better Idea of the magnitude of this battle let us rember [remember] that the population of this co [Washington County, Iowa] was 20718, & just imagine if you please all the people of Washington co geathered on one TP [Township?] or less, & all Killed wounded or prisoners, men women & children  it would require them all to Equal in numbers the casualties at Shiloh, & in adition the ground Strewn with all the diferent weapons & Equipments used, guns napsax dismounted canon artillery wheels 6 mule teams with big government wagons upset & part of the mules killed with dead horses in all directions & the noblest animals we had at that time, now this picture is not over drawn but just gives a fair Idea of that terrible 2 days

Map of the first day of battle at Shiloh
Map of the first day of battle at Shiloh

Courtesy – Civil War Preservation Trust