The 15th Minnesota, Co. H's, Farewell Dinner

Contributed by Ray Crippen

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General:

The following article appeared in the Worthington Advance on July 7, 1898. It relates the the farewell dinner held by the town of Worthington, Minnesota for its hometown unit during the Spanish American War.

The 15th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry did not serve outside of the continental United States. The was mustered in between July 9 and July 18, 1898 at St. Paul, Minnesota, less than a month before an armistice would end the fighting (though the war would officially continue on until December 10, 1898). Originally, the unit consisted of 46 officers and 1,280 men.  During its term of service, twenty men died of disease, six officers resigned or were discharged, 47 enlisted men were discharged on disability, three were given a general courtmartial, and nine men deserted.  The unit was mustered out at Augusta, George\ia in March 27, 1899.



The Article:

NOBLES COUNTY
SOLDIERS

Are given a big feast and good advice and leave for the front with the best wishes of the people.

Saturday forenoon a message was received from Gov. Clough by Capt. Dolan, to organize his company and be ready to leave Wednesday, to be mustered in the service of the United States.

Our boys and those of neighboring towns have been waiting the call for some time with considerable anxiety and eagerness, and to say it was received with rejoicing is putting it mildly.

There being quite a number of those that had previously enlisted, and some dropping out, the boys at once set to work to secure men enough to fill the company to its full number, by going to Adrian, Bigelow, Lakefield, Jackson, Dundee, Fulda and Avoca, at the same time the citizens of Worthington were not idle, but as soon as the call was learned of set to work in arranging a reception for the boys and gave them a great send off such as could be cherished in their memory with pride. The court house grounds were secured for the occasion. Electric lights were put up and the whole grounds decorated with flags and bunting, long tables set and loaded down with shining table ware and an abundance of the most delicious and palatable eatables procurable in the city, which was furnished and arranged by the ready and loyal mothers, wives, and daughters of our citizens.

The people assembled early on the grounds, the band from Indian Lake and our city band took place on the court house steps which was filled with citizens and the speakers and in a short time the company marched to the ground greeted with cheers. The audience was then addressed by C.M. Crandall, Rev. Bull, Judge Brown and Rev. Merrill. They gave the boys encouragement and advice impressing upon them that the action they were taking was one worthy of the greatest honor that could be bestowed. After the speaking was concluded the boys marched to the tables and partook of food and coffee to their hearts' content. A dance was given in the Masonic hall which was enjoyed by a large number.

Wednesday morning the boys were placed in line and good bye's were exchanged and decorated with flowers and colors, after time for this part had passed they were marched to the depot to await the arrival of the train. They had not long to wait but during this time deafening cheers were givn in honor of the boys, captain and "mascot." On the arrival of the Luverne company, they were greeted with hearty cheers which continued until the train left the station. It was really a touching scene which no words can describe, there wer many stout hearts that gave way to tears to see the boys leave.

The Adrian boys arrived Tuesday noon bedecked with flowers color and name of some feminine finger that placed them there.

One of the recruits walked here, from Avoca a distance of 26 miles to enlist and one from Adrina reduced his weight 20 pounds in order to get in.

During the exercises Tuesday evening a sky rocket was shot into the team of Frank Hansberger's causing it to break and run away. They were found about six miles from town, on the McKeever farm yesterday morning.

L. L. McCartney present the boys with a young owl as a "mascot."

The Indian Lake band received many compliments for the excellent music rendered. What they lacked in numbers is made up in quality. This occasion was the first appearance of our band since reorganization and they did fine.

Judge Brown adjourned Court until the volunteers departed.

Dr. Dolan appears to be a great favorite as captain. He close his office until he returns.

There were over 2000 people present at the evening services.



Bibliography:

Worthington [MN] Advance, July 7, 1898.

Statistical Exhibit of Strength of Volunteer Forces Called into Service During the War with Spain; with Losses from All Causes. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899).


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