Soldiers Monument Dedication
June 2, 1886
Smethport, PA.
From: McKean, The Governors County, Rufus Barrett Stone 1928

Submitted by PHGS member Lloyd Lanphere


June 2, 1886---On this day the Soldiers’ Monument in the Courthouse grounds was dedicated. The B. B. & K. R. R. sent over eleven carloads of passengers from Bradford. Mayor Shannon and ex-Mayor Jordan were present, six G. A. R. posts were represented. Hon. Lucius Rogers called the meeting to order, and introduced Hon. L. Emery, Jr as president of the day. Addresses made by Gen. J. P. S. Gobin, department commander, Adjutant-General T. J. Stewart and Major A. Wilson Norris. Letter of regret were read from John A. Logan, General Beaver, A. K. McClure, Chauncey Black and others. The following passage is quoted from Lieutenant-Governor Blacks’ letter:

“The people of out Commonwealth in the erection of numerous impressive and enduring memorials of the heroism of our soldiers are not merely gratifying a National and noble sentiment; they are also providing incitements to patriotic duty in the farthest future. These bright shafts rising heavenward in all parts of this imperial State will point a solemn lesson to posterity when possibly even a greater crisis than that of 1861 shall have to be met.”

Said Major Norris, alluding to the embarkation of the Bucktail recruits on the Susquehanna:

“That voyage is worthy of a conspicuous chronicle in the history of this Nation. Surmounting the flagstaff made of a hickory pole, and from which swung the Stars and Stripes was a bucktail. The three rafts, packed with 300 men, floated swiftly down the current swollen by recent rains. “As they sped along on the high waters the hills resounded with their drums and fifes as the strains of their martial music welled up from the river. Of the million of men who enlisted in the Union Army no more remarkable force followed the country’s flag than these stout- hearted lumbermen. From the beginning to the close of the war their record is one unbroken line of distinguished and perilous service noted throughout for the consummate and deadly skill with which they used their rifles. The annals of the war have no brighter pages than those which recount the history of the Bucktails.”
“I have taken these Bucktails,” continued Major Norris, “ as the types of the men who went into the war from this county. In making particular mention of them, I simply illustrate the patriotism and the valor that moved the 58th Pennsylvania at Cold Harbor, and in the capture of Fort Harrison, that stiffened the ranks and nerved the arms of the 150th at Gettysburg, and enabled the 210th to conduct itself with so much gallantry at Fort Steadman and on the Jerusalem Plank Road. The men from this county who served in these regiments were composed of the same heroic stuff out of which the 42nd was formed, and the record they made was not only resplendent with brave deeds, but was a continuous recital of fidelity to duty and patient, uncomplaining service.”

In fitting language Hon. P. R. Cotter, of the 5th Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, made the presentation speech. This was followed by the beautiful Grand Army ritual of monument dedication, impressively conducted by J. K. Wallace and E. R. Mayo.

From: McKean, The Governors County, Rufus Barrett Stone 1928

Note: John M. Clark 1st PA Lt Artillery made the journey down the Susquehanna with the Bucktails
42nd PA-Edgar Wells, Clark Wells
150th PA Albert Lanphere
58th PA George Lanphere
210th PA Henry McDowell

Back to McKean County

If you have anything of genealogical or historical interest to add to this site, or if you are interested in becoming a member of the Painted Hills Genealogy Society, please contact us at:
Painted Hills

This page is maintained by the PHGS
Last Update January 30, 2020