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Statue, I am pained almost to have to make the report which I am compelled to make. Our collections bave been almost nothing, and something has got to be done about that, and done right away. I have tried very hard to gei different persons to take hold of the matter, but the times have been inopportune. You may remember that there was a large subscription made for the family of GENERAL SHERIDAN, amounting probably to $200,000. That prevented a great many of his intimate friends who were large subscribers from subscribing to the statue fund. Then there was a GARFIELD celebration at Cleveland, which came at an inopportune time, and a large amount was subscribed to that. And our members didn't feel like making a call upon the old soldiers for this subscription. We have got now to take hold of this thing to carry it through.
We have got to get it by small subscriptions. There is no other way to do it. I have prepared papers and subscription notes which I would have distributed before this, but waited until after GENERAL -ALGER's report of his collections made from the Grand Army.
I hope that every member of this Society will take some active interest in this matter and help us with this fuvd. It is utterly inpossible, so long after the war, and so long after a man's death, notwithstanding his great deer's, to expect the fund to be raised by voluntary subscriptions. We have got to take the papers around and have the people subscribe. I feel very much discouraged about it, but if the Committee be continued, I will take a personal interest in the matter, and not trust further to chance subscriptions.
We may bave to send collectors around, and be put to some little expense, but we have got to do it, and it has got to be done by the Society of the Army of the Cumberland. We want to raise $30,000, and we have only got $2,000 in two years. That looks discouraging, but I still have hopes that we will get the greater part of that money this year.
GENERAL MORGAN :
It is rather a poor showing in two years with the purpose of raising $30,000. I was a good deal surprised at the report from the
Grand Army. Our papers state that there are 400,000 members in that organization. The number of posts I do not know; but I want to ask this question, and see if I can get an answer. Is there a single member of any of these posts that constitutes these 400,000 men, who would object to a five cent assessment? If any of you figure up that, that will amount 10-I am not very good at figures, but I think it will foot up to $20,000. Now my idea is, that every commanding officer of every post in the United States should receive a notice from this Society, asking them to collect their various posts together, and by vote assess every member of each post five cents, and the difficulty will be settled.
GENERAL FULLERTON :
GENERAL ALGER has already done that. He sent an order to every post of the Grand Army in the United States, and requested them to make a ten cent subscription. That would have brought $40,000 if they had made it. They have got, instead, just $1,086.
I belong to the Grand Army post of Illinois, and I never heard that we had been called upon for this subscription. If the Secretary of this Society will write a letter to every commanding officer of a post, and ask him to appoint a mau or a committee to go around and take up a five cent subscription from the soldiers and people of the town, we can raise that money. I venture to say that in my town I can raise $100.
I may not have been present, but I never heard it discussed. Such a thing as getting up and reading an order amounts to nothing; there has got to be somebody take hold of it. If the Secretary of this Society will write to each and every post of this country and have a committee appointed, they will raise the money.
It is a fact that possibly all the posts have not taken action on it. Of course there may have been only twenty or thirty members who were present, possibly out of a post of one hundred and fifty members, but the posts have contributed who are able, and for our Secretary to send a request to each of the post commanders would not be a good thing. I think another opportunity possibly might bring it. It is possible the thing was hurried. The request was that the subscription be sent to GENERAL ALGER in Boston. May be the Posts were not represented. They may have failed to return their money. I think if the order was issued again to the Posts by GENERAL ALGER for a five cent contribution, it might be a good thing, but for the Society to request the post commanders, I think, will do no good.
THE PRESIDENT :
The Society has first to take up this report. Shall the Committee be continued ?
CAPTAIN DOWLING :
As the matter of the Grand Army of the Republic has been referred to in this matter, I want to say that I fully agree with the sentiments expressed by COMRADE MCGINNISS. I think most of the Encampments have taken such action in the matter as would preclude taking a subscription direct. I think it would be impracticable to send out the order referred to. Most of the Grand Army men are poor. They have got a great many calls made upon them at home, and matters of charity to look after and take care of.
I know that that order was promulgated by GENERAL ALGER, and in this state was sent out by the commander whom I succeeded. I believe that it was properly set forth, and if members who are in the habit of attending posts would be brought in and talk the matter over, an interest would be easily aroused in the post by which a large
amount of money could be raised. But the comrade who thinks that the order was not properly promulgated is not familiar probably with the action of his own post.
If the members would make it a practice to attend all of their post meetings at their homes, you would find a greater interest could be aroused in the Grand Army ou this subject. I believe that the Grand Army this year can raise half of that money.
What do you think about the five or ten cent subscriptions?
CAPTAIN DOWLING :
I don't think that that would make any difference. I think, 10 doubt, that an amount would be raised in Ohio that would be equal to the five cent subscription from every member of the Association, in that way, because comrades who are not in the habit of attending posts would subscribe.
I concur heartily, in particular, to what CAPTAIN DOWLING says. The trouble is, when these suggestions come from the Commander-inChief and Department Commanders, there are only a few members of the posts present, and it is forgotten and laid aside. I have no doubt that every soldier in the United States would be willing to give five cents, if the opportunity and the notice came together, but it is laid aside and forgotten. I do not at all agree to the suggestion that it is not practicable for the Secretary of this Society to call upon each commander.
CAPTAIN DOWLING :
If this matter had been taken in hand in the first place by committees, as suggested, we would have had the money.
The Grand Army has been trying to raise a subscription to the LOGAN Monument without success.
Mr. President and Comrades—A few moments ago you settled upon a list of names as Vice-Presidents of our Society. I am satisfied that most of those Comrades are well known to the soldiers in the states in which they live. I would suggest that our Secretary be requested to write a circular letter to the different Vice-Presidents of the Society of the Army of the Cumberland, empowering them, by vote of the Society, to urge the collection of and to receive subscriptions for the SHERIDAN Monument, whether from the army posts or individuals, and that they use their best efforts during the coming year to make these subscriptions as large as possible, and to report the results of their work at our next meeting at Columbus, Ohio; and I offer that as a resolution.
I move its adoption.
I am satisfied, if we ever raise the money for the statue to GENERAL SHERIDAN, it must be raised from the individual influence of this Association. I believe we must all take a personal interest in it, and I move to amend the resolution by adding that every member of the Society of the Army of the Cumberland be requested to use their influence, as well as the Vice-Presidents, and I also would suggest that every member of the Society of the Army of the Cumberland now pledge themselves individually to raise in their community, either through the Grand Army of the Republic, or through their own efforts, at least twenty dollars for this purpose, and report it at the next meeting