[Originally printed in the New Bedford Mercury. June 4, 1869]
Messrs. Editors: — Doubtless your columns are overtaxed with reports of the doings of Saturday, &c., nevertheless, we of Mattapoisett, would much like to see ourselves in print. I therefore venture to send you a sketch of
DECORATION DAY IN MATTAPOISETT.
A tribute to the memory of our twenty-four worthies (including all who have died since the war closed,) was paid by a general gathering of citizens, at Remington Hall, on Saturday afternoon, where Mr. Noah Shearman and a few able assistants, organized a procession under escort of our own band.
Our two clergymen preceded the men who had served in the army or navy during the rebellion; these were followed by a carriage neatly draped with flags containing children who had a neat banner on which was the motto “Our Fathers died that our country might live.”
Next followed 24 young ladies, each bearing a wreath or other device in leaf and flower and a small flag, attached to the staff of which was a label bearing the name, initial of company and number of regiment, or name of vessel, and the place and date of death of the fallen brave. Then came about 150 children of the schools laden with flowers in baskets, wreaths &c.; and many citizens, nearly all bearing flowers.
This formed, the procession marched to the cemetery, where after the placing of a flag, wreath and bouquet up the grave or family lot of a soldier or sailor, and the reading of a sketch of his records in the war, by the Miss who carried the flag, and appropriate selection of poetry was read by Mr. Shearman. Five flags, wreaths, &c., were placed in the front aisle of the cemetery, in memory of as many gallant boys who had no lot upon which to place them. The children and citizens followed scattering flowers in abundance at each flag station.
Remarks were made by Rev. B. F. Manwell and Rev. William Faunce, fitting selections from the poets were read, Pleyel’s Hymn was sweetly played by the band, the benediction pronounced by Rev. Mr. Fraunce and the procession moved to the hall again and were dismissed at about 6 o’clock.