Thursday, May 26, 2011

Banquet Honoring Spanish-American War Soldiers

On Monday, May 29, 1899, a banquet was held at the West House on the return of the soldiers from Company B of the Sixth Ohio Regiment, who had served in the Spanish-American War. According to records in the historical files of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center, Company B of the Sixth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry was organized in April 1898. The regiment arrived in Cuba in January 1899, and was in Cuba until April 22, 1899. The unit was mustered out of service on May 24, 1899, at Camp McKenzie, Georgia, and returned to Sandusky on May 26, 1899.

There were 275 guests at the banquet, held in the ball room on the fourth floor, which was decorated with palms, flowers, and candelabras. Toastmaster for the evening’s events was Judge E. B. King. He said, in part, “I can say that the soldiers of the Sixth Ohio have fully performed the service which they called upon to perform…It can be truthfully said that there have been no better soldiers in the volunteer service than the Sixth Ohio.” Captain Charles E. Stroud, pictured below, said about Company B, “Over a year ago you placed in my charge over a hundred of your brave sons, who had answered to their country’s call. Today I count it the highest honor and privilege of my life to have brought them all safely home.”

Owner and editor of the Sandusky Register, I.F. Mack gave a tribute to the veterans of the Civil War. He said, “The same spirit which had animated and inspired the boys of the Civil War had inspired the boys of the Civil War had inspired the boys of ’98, and perhaps would inspire those of another war thirty years hence.” Several other military men, public officials, and local pastors spoke at the banquet. A double quartet, consisting of four men and four women sang the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and the “Star Spangled Banner.”

A huge parade in downtown Sandusky welcomed Company B home on May 26, 1899.

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to learn more about the many men and women who have served in the military service to their country.

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