—Ohio Soldier' and Sailor' Orphans' Home —
General Orders No. 11)
Headquarters Grand Army of the Republic,
Washington, D.C., May 5, 1868.
I. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their
country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city,
village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose, among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have
bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and
its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their
death a tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the Nation can add to
their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders.
Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant
paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of free and undivided republic.
If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn
trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.
Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland
the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise
above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence
renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred
charges upon the Nation's gratitude,—the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.
II. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the
hope it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to
honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to
call attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of
comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.
III. Department commanders
will use every effort to make this order effective.
By command of:
JOHN A. LOGAN,
N. P. CHIPMAN,
Presented in memory of Mrs. Sarah B. Richter, Past Presedent
Dept. of Ohio, Women's Relief Corps, Auxiliary to the G.A.R.
of the Cincinnati W.R.C. Hospital Committee, June 3rd, 1937.