Disbanding of Marion Craig Post, Formed 1883, Unknown Paper (Probably 1929?), Col. N.J. Maxwell Scrapbook Collection
Transcribed by Tami McConahy, Published to the Col. Maxwell Museum Webpage by David L. Welch
Francis Marion Craig CDV (right), Co. A, 62nd PVI, 1st Soldier from Mercer County, PA that died in the Civil War, Col. N.J. Maxwell Photoalbum, Bruce Glenn/Max Glenn Collection - Died at Battle of Fredericksburg, December 12, 1862
Marion Craig Post G. A. R., Disbanded Organized in 1883
But Three Survivors Remain of the Original List of Charter Members, Rest Having “Moved On.”
Time, that master builder of the centuries, exacts with impartiality a toll for each succeeding year. As the span of life grows shorter does this ravager increase his demand. We of the human family pay a varied tribute. Bad health, crippled limbs, impaired senses all are included in the collection of the march of progress with no receipt given, Life is a one way bridge, time takes all. It is not to be wondered then with this monster that parasites on us all that its insidious growth should be the medium of foreclosing on a splendid Grove City organization that has recently been practically disbanded due to the paucity of members and their advanced age.
Reference is made to the Marion Craig Post of Grove City, Grand Army of the Republic. For years the gallant quartermaster of the Post, Col. N. J. Maxwell (web author's note: my great great grandfather Col. Norman J. Maxwell) has kept alive the organization in remembrance of the comrades of the bellum day of ‘60 to ‘65. Each year at this time has this soldierly old gentleman and his comrades planned for their decoration of the graves of comrades in the local and surrounding cemeteries.
But the octopus Time has exacted his last payment from the Marion Craig Post. No longer can his demands be met. The task of love in remembrance of those with whom they fought has been turned over to their juniors in the game of war; the World War Veterans have accepted this responsibility.
Marion Craig Post was organized on April 16th, 1883. It was No. 325. The charter members of the organization were: Jacob Albaugh, N. J. Maxwell, John L. Cochran, R. C. Craig, J A. Bolander, W. P. C. Emery, S. A. Emery, W. P. Sutherland, B. R. Welch (web author's note: my great great grandfather Bascom Rayen Welch), ‘D. M. Madden, J. W. Anderson, Archie Glenn, J. W. Campbell, J. C. Campbell, J. W. Ramsey, L. D. Bumpus, W. C. Robb, J. A. Gilmer, A.B. McKay,
A. E. Lawrence, W. M. Frew, W. S. Emery, J. P. McCoy, J. C. Weakley, Milton Hines, D. C. Johnson, W. J. McKay, C. L. Fithian, J. M. Coulter, B. F. Junkin, A. T. Black, Isaac Hilkirk, J. S. Yard, W. J. Harshaw, J. M. Wingard, George Atkinson, Isaac White, D. W. Styers, George Westlake. Of this group of charter members their yet survive: Col. N. J. Maxwell, David Styers, A. B. McKay.
The first commander of the Post was Col. N. J. Maxwell, the senior vice commander was W. J. Campbell, and the junior vice commander Isaac White. From this handful of men the post grew in numbers to a peak of over 200 members. Today with the post members and veterans of the war all totaled there are but 11 veterans of this war living within the borough limits of Grove City.
Francis Marion Craig for whom the post was named was born at North Liberty. The family moved to Iowa when he was but a lad where they made their home for a long term of years. With other members of the family he returned to Pennsylvania in 1850, making their home this time in Grove City (then Pine Grove). He graduated from Westminster College and at the time of the outbreak of war in ‘60 was following his trade as a printer in the office of the Westminster Herald. On July 22nd, 1861 after he had passed his 22nd birthday he enlisted in Co. A 62nd regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, infantry.
The regiment was commanded by Col. Samuel W. Black. He served in the ranks during the peninsular campaign. Just before the battle of Fredericksburg he was chosen second lieutenant of his company and received his death wound while gallantly fighting with his command in that regiment. He was dead before his commission arrived.
As each succeeding Memorial Day has come and gone it has brought forcibly to the attention of the residents of this community who have gathered at Woodland Cemetery to pay their respect to the hero dead the fast thinning ranks of these boys in blue who fought for the preservation of our national unity. Military and civic organizations have lent their support that the treasured traditions of this date might be kept intact. And now the end has come; Marion Craig Post is no longer a unit. From now on history will describe these men not only survivors of the Civil War but a trio of survivors of what was once a splendid body of men.
The rapidly approaching Memorial Day of May 30th will have a dual significance for Grove City folks this year. The hero dead of our six wars, the survivors of these struggles, embracing volumes of American History, will be but a part of the ritual for us of Grove City. An added regret must be added to our cherished memory of local landmarks, the Marion Craig Post is no longer intact.
The following is the honor roll of the boys in blue living in the Grove City community: Col. N. J. Maxwell, David W. Styers, M. B. Montgomery, Amos Bowers, John Boyles, H. Walker Henderson, Ephriam McCommons, Alex. McKay, Rev. John P. Barbour, Sylvester Gulick and O. P. Campbell.
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