I’d like to write a bit about the 13th Regiment Association and its annual Circular. The association was formed to facilitate companionship among the veterans that served in the “13th
” Officers were elected each year, but the secretary remained the same; Charles E. Davis, Jr. of Company B. Between the years 1888 and 1922, Mass. the association published a pamphlet, or circular, for the membership, announcing the time and place of the annual re-union dinner in . There are 35 circulars in all. They are rare, and hard to find, (but more on that later). Soon, letters, articles and poems began to appear within its pages, - vivid tales of personal war-time adventures. In time the circulars became highly regarded for the history they contained. Sets of them were requested by librarians at the Library of Congress, and the U.S. War Department. Boston
Each Circular included:
- A list of newly elected officers for the coming year;
- Association treasury reports and dues assessments;
- A list of former comrades who had passed away;
- And, a list of attendees at the previous re-union dinner.
An article of general interest to the membership would follow the ‘business’ reports. In number one, (1888) there was a reprint of General James Beaver’s address to the First Corps Survivors at
, given the same year. Number two contained a biography of General George Lucas Hartsuff, the popular commander who lead their brigade in the summer of 1862. Secretary Davis’ “official history” of the 13th Regiment actually grew out of a series of narratives he began for the circulars. Gettysburg
In Circular #3
re-printed period newspaper clippings that detailed the unit’s departure for the front on July 30th, 1861. The narrative continued in the next two issues, appearing in Circulars nos. 4 & 5. Between these years the Association’s “History Committee” rejected another writer’s manuscript intended to be the official history, because it was incomplete and un-publishable. The committee urged Davis Davis to continue his narrative and this became ’s well regarded book, “Three Years in the Army; The History of the Thirteenth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers.” Davis ’s book did not contain any personal anecdotes of the war, but the Circulars did. Davis
I will post more on the circulars soon.