Editor's note: This clipping is taken from the notebooks of Mary Cochran Heath and is dated April 8th, 1896. James Raley fought for the Union in either Ohio Company H or I [I'm not sure which] of the OVI [Ohio Volunteer Infantry]. He was born in 1842 and died in 1921. His wife, Emma, was born in 1843 and died in 1922.

In the scrapbook, this clipping from 1896 is pasted in next to the one describing Catherine Heath's celebration. I have not yet managed to date that clipping yet to anything more specific than "before 1905". In the scrapbook, clippings from a range of years are pasted next to each other. Perhaps Mary saved the papers and then pasted in the articles wherever they fit best?

Birthday Anniversary

A number of friends and relatives of Mr. James Raley assembled at his home on Wednesday, the eighth of April, 1896, to celebrate his fifty-fourth birthday. Mr. Raley was a soldier in the late war, having enlisted on August 7, 1862; taken prisoner at Sabine Cross Roads on April 8, 1964, and exchanged on October 25, 1864, and he was again surprised and captured on the present occasion, but surrendered gracefully and appeared to enjoy it most decidedly. The surprise did not affect his appetite in the least. The day will long be remembered by reason of its memories; by this we mean, the social chat, the pleasant rehearsal of days of your, and the singing of old songs that we sang in war times. The ranks of our soldier boys are thinning so rapidly and in a view years these reunions will cease to be. Let us honor them shile we have the opportunity.

The soldiers present were:

  • Henry Bell,
  • William Starrick,
  • A. P. West,
  • Harry Curl,
  • Alexander Henry, and
  • Joseph Pool
Although now their hair is turning gray and the marks of the hardships they endured are plainly visible, they are still to us our "brave boys in blue," who unflinchingly offered their lives as a sacrifice for our country.

God-guided patriots nobly have won;
Liberty stands on our mountain tops,
Hoary lightning her torch from the fires of the sun.

Fearful he cost, but priceless the treasure!
Battlefields were but the altars of God;
War-clouds the incense and cannon the measure,
Lives, the free sacrifice redd'nin the sand.

           Mrs. A. P. West

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