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“I don’t think I’ll go in the parade today,” said one of the old veterans who came to Kalamazoo to participate in the forty-fourth annual reunion of the Thirteenth Michigan infantry which opened here yesterday.
“You see, there were a lot of our boys who were put out of the marching line down at Chickamauga and I’ve been out ever since. I got a clip in the knee with one of those Rebels and since that time I haven’t been able to walk far at a time.
“But I would like to line up with the boys just once more. I haven’t marched in several years and it don’t hardly seem like old times for me to be out of the parade.
“I’m getting old now and maybe I won’t be here next year. More than 12 of the boys who were on deck last year couldn’t be present today. We’ve had to bury them and the chances are there are ‘several of the old timers who are lining up out there in the street that are making their last march.”
Backs Into Crowd
Then the old veteran’s eyes filled with tears and he wandered away from the crowd that assembled to watch the veterans fall in line for the afternoon parade in front of the Park Street Christian church where the reunion is being held.
The line of march extended down Main street and up Burdick street to the postoffice where the veterans were grouped on the front steps of the federal building and photographed.
After that they countermarched, headed by the Orcutt Post drum corps, to the Park street church and went into formal session.
Letters of regret were read from survivors ‘ who were unable to be present and a list of the “boys” who have been claimed by death during the past year was bulletined.
Last night a camp fire was held in the church and today the election of officers will be held.