6,000 Union Army Veterans Gather to Recall the Campfires of Old

Aug. 27, 1903, Civil War Reunion

Aug. 27, 1903, Civil War Reunion

The entire Aug. 27, 1903, edition of the Herald is available here.


Aug. 27, 1903: The Los Angeles Times (and by extension, the Chandler family) is frequently treated as if it was the only paper in the city’s history. Those who delve into the subject know better, of course, but access to The Times’  long-dead rivals, such as the Examiner, Herald-Express and Daily News, is difficult because it involves microfilm, which is regrettable  because the Examiner, for example, was a far superior paper in many respects – certainly when it came to crime coverage.

The California Digital Newspaper Collection has a wide assortment of papers, although few of them cover the Raymond Chandler era (1930s-1950s) that is so popular in the public imagination.

Here’s an issue from the Herald, which noted on its masthead that  it was the oldest morning paper in Los Angeles, having been founded in 1873.

About 6,000 veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic gather at Eastlake Park (now Lincoln Park) for a reunion, with lunch, speeches and a massive bonfire. The band and drum corps from the Soldiers Home played “America, the Beautiful,” “Marching Through Georgia,” “Rally Round the Flag” and “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching.”  Including wives and children, the total attendance was estimated at 10,000, the Herald said.

Those who think traffic in Los Angeles is a new problem – and that the streetcars were the perfect solution – please note:

The Los Angeles Railway company tripled its service to the park on both the Maple Avenue and Downey Avenue lines and even with the many additional cars the traffic was badly congested at times and the veterans had to wait for accommodations both going and coming.

Among the speakers was Will A. Harris, the son of a Confederate soldier, who spoke out against the lynching of African Americans.

William H. Potter of Alhambra appears before Judge Trask on an insanity charge. He is found to be suffering from “a plethora of money and has for years been busily engaged in having ‘a good time,’ so called,” The Herald said. “To blow in $500 in a day or two was a common occurrence with him, but as there did not appear to be any sign of actual insanity, Potter was discharged.”

Aug. 27, 1903, Herald

Aug. 27, 1903, Civil War Reunion

Aug. 27, 1903, Lynching

Aug. 27, 1903, Civil War Reunion

Aug. 27, 1903, Bugler
Aug. 27, 1903, Civil War Reunion

Aug. 27, 1903, Bathroom
The well-appointed bathroom of 1903 has a bathtub, commode, sink, stained-glass window and a mystery basin whose use we can only guess.

Aug. 27, 1903, Civil War Reunion

Aug. 27, 1903, Court Briefs

Aug. 27, 1903, Civil War Reunion

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About lmharnisch

I work at the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1903, African Americans, Civil War, Parks, Streetcars, Transportation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 6,000 Union Army Veterans Gather to Recall the Campfires of Old

  1. aryedirect says:

    Top of the list of things not to love about the Old West: “When negroes quit ravishing we’ll quit lynching, and not before.”

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