Wartime Collectables
Military Antiques

Andrew H. & Gale V. Lipps
P.O. Box 165
Camden, SC 29021   USA

ph. 803-463-6935 (text o.k.)
Email wartime@wartimecollectables.com
(Email is far better than phone!)

Militaria updated 7/13/20 

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Boy Bugler of Merrill’s Horse Cavalry
Gettysburg Anniversary, 75th

In October of 1862, 13 year old William B. Caton watched as Captain Lewis Merrill's Cavalry Regiment passed his farm in Sturgeon, Missouri. He followed the enthralling cavalry men to join. Capt. Merrill told him he could stay IF he could learn to play the bugle. He did and became a Private & Bugler in Company E, the 2nd Missouri Cavalry, known as "Merrill’s Horse" Bugler Caton served with the regiment until he mustered out Sept. 19, 1865. Capt. Lewis Merrill's cavalry regiment served in the field against Confederate guerrilla's in Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee, then into Georgia before mustering out.

William Caton, still a youth at the wars end, became a notable figure at Veterans Reunions after the war. In July off 1938 he attended the 75th Gettysburg Reunion accompanied by his son, named after his wartime commander.

His group includes wartime CdV's in uniform, self inscribed on the reverse. There is an inscribed GAR badge and importantly his Federally awarded, boxed and 75th Gettysburg Reunion Attendees badge as well as his son's Attendants badge.

Fox reports that Merrill's Horse suffered 3 Officers Killed or Mortally Wounded 1 Officers Died of Disease, and 53 Enlisted Men Killed or Mortally Wounded.

 

Merrill Horse

Verse One:

The "Merrill Blue Caps" have been out in the field,

And have chased the wild foe to his den;

They have conquer'd Poindexter, caused Porter to yield,

And peace reigns triumphant again.

Missouri, the star-link of State now is free

Wherever the "Blue Caps" have been;

All glory and honor to Merrill shall be,

He's the Champion and pride of his men.

All glory and honor to Merrill shall be,

He's the Champion and pride of his men.

Verse Two:

Where many vile rebels lay biting the dust,

And Major Hunt charged in the van.

The guerrilla chief monster entrench'd in his den,

Lay waiting to deal the death blow,

But routed and whipp'd, their chief, Poindexter, fled,

While "Merrill's Horse" charg'd on the foe.

But routed and whipp'd, their chief, Poindexter, fled,

While "Merrill's Horse" charg'd on the foe.

But routed and whipp'd, their chief, Poindexter, fled,

While "Merrill's Horse" charg'd on the foe.

 Verse Three:

Next to the death-knell at Memphis they're called

To cope with their thrice maddened foes,

Where steel meets with steel each foe is appalled

At the death groans, as crimson blood floes.

But Robinson thrice had led on to the charge,

When balls pierced his side, and he fell.

Ere leaving his Major to charge with his men,

"'Tis the last," said he "Major, farewell."

Ere leaving his Major to charge with his men,

"'Tis the last," said he "Major, farewell."

 Verse Four:

The battle was ended, the foe left the field,

The gain was but loss to us then---

But, true to our cause, and sworn never to yield,

We resolved to fight Porter again.

On! onward we trailed him as southward he roamed,

Till at Moore's Mill the contest began,

Where rifle balls whistled and dread cannon moaned,

To the music of Guitar's bold plan.

Where rifle balls whistled and dread cannon moaned,

To the music of Guitar's bold plan.

Verse Five:

Four hours Porter fought, feeling sure of success,

Till our presence to him was made known;

"Great God!" cried the guerrilla, "the Blue Caps play chess,

I will fight the Militia or none!"

His lines broke asunder, his comrades dismayed,

To the victors the battle field gave,

And proudly the "Blue Caps" in armor arrayed,

Cried "Our banner forever shall wave."

And proudly the "Blue Caps" in armor arrayed,

Cried "Our banner forever shall wave."

Verse Six:

At Kirksville the death stroke to Porter was played,

And hundreds of rebels licked dust;

The guerrilla bands scattered, their leaders estrayed,

Their cause since forever seems lost;

There the heartless you Coudrey dashed unto the foe

Where hall-showers of lead rest the air,

And laughing at smoke clouds and armor's bright glow,

Seemed pleased at the conflict of war.

And laughing at smoke clouds and armor's bright glow,

Seemed pleased at the conflict of war.

Verse Seven:

Once more the land-pirates assembled their bands,

But Hunt and the "Blue Caps" were there,

And near Compton's Ferry the chased the brigands,

Entrusting some lead to their care;

Suprised at such fare, a skedaddle began,

Into Grand River, pell-mell went they,

Instead of retreating the Butternuts ran,

And the daring "Blue Caps" won the day.

Instead of retreating the Butternuts ran,

And the daring "Blue Caps" won the day.

Verse Eight:

Our Colors and Standard these names bear aloft,

'Wid the battle red banners of fame,

And as oft as we can, while a rebel is left,

We will add our stripes a new name.

While a star or a stripe to our flag-staff belongs,

Any foe of our ensign will meet,

We'll protect it, adore it, and praise it in songs,

Or make it our last winding sheet.

We'll protect it, adore it, and praise it in songs,

Or make it our last winding sheet.

 

75th Anniversary Battle of Gettysburg Reunion

Those who served in the battle of Gettysburg July 1863 realized even as the battle cleared that they were on historically hallowed ground. Following the war many state and veteran sponsored reunions were held and the tenth, twenty-fifth, and fiftieth year anniversaries were major events. Most believed that the 1913 50 year reunion would be the last.

However the Federal Government organized a 75th Reunion Blue & Gray Encampment in 1938 Gettysburg. Invitations were sent, train fare provided,tent accommodations were set up and each veteran was allowed to.be accompanied by an attendee to assist. There were approximately 8,000 remaining veterans of the Civil War, average age was 94, and 1,359 Federal and 486 Confederate Civil War veterans attended the 1938 Reunion. Each Veteran and each Attendee was presented with a named Federal medal for their participation. The U.S. Army and the Boy Scouts of America provided further assistance at the reunion. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's July 3 address preceded the unveiling of the Eternal Light Peace Memorial.

William B Caton, Bugler for the 2nd Missouri Cavalry, living in Winfield, KS, attended with his son as his attendee. He had named his son after his famous Cavalry Commander Lewis Merrill.

 

75th Reunion Roster

http://segtours.com/blog/archives/2454