From the 4 October 1915 issue of The New York Times.


Veterans of the Gray Invited to Hold Annual Renion at the Capital.


Yankee, Transplated to Kentucky After War, Conceives Graceful Compliment.

The veterans of the columns in gray which General Robert E. Lee hurled against the City of Washington, and which were beaten back time after time by the stubborn lines of blue, have been invited now to march into the city and take possession as friends of that which they sought as enemies.

To crown as everlasting the establishment of unity between the North and the South and to follow harmoniously the reunion of the blue and the gray at Gettysburg two years ago, Colonel Andrew Cowan, commander of the First New York Battery of the Sixth Corps throughout the civil war, at a meeting of the Second Corps Society in Washington on last Friday night, proposed that the United Confederate Veterans be invited to hold their annual encampment in 1917 in the capital of the nation they sought to sever.

After Colonel Cowan had made this proposal he asked his Union audience for its opinion. “What say you?” he said. There was silence for a moment while the full meaning of the proposed invitation was sinking in, and then, realization of the significance of a Confederate encampment in Washington dawning, the soldiers of the Second Corps rose and cheered, giving the invitation emphatic indorsement.

Colonel Hilary A. Herbert of the Eight Alabama Infantry of the Confederate Army, ex-Secretary of the navy, and now a lawyer in Washington, was called upon, and, after reviewing the progress of peace between North and South, received the invitation for the Confederate Veterans, to whom he was commissioned to carry it.

General Nelson A. Miles, who was present, indorsed the invitation, and resolutions confirming it were passed by the Society of the Second Corps. Military and patriotic societies of Washington and the civil authorities of the city will be asked to unite in the invitation.

Colonel Cowan, who was at the Waldorf-Astoria last night, told how the inspiration to suggest the Washington reunion of Confederate Veterans came to him. Nearly fifty years ago, Colonel Cowan went to Kentucky to live. A Yankee in one of the hotbeds of secession, he at first was scarcely welcome. The hatred and bitterness of the war were still too fresh in the memory of the defeated Southerners. But Colonel Cowan stayed in Louisville; he made friends with the men against whom he had fought; and gradually he saw the hostility of Southerners receding in their hearts before patriotism for the United States.

Colonel Cowan, three years ago, was made an honorary member of the famous “Orphan Brigade” of Kentucky Confederates, and two years ago he met his Confederate friends at Gettysburg. At that time, with others, he laid plans for the erection by Congress of a monument on the battlefield of Gettysburg to commemorate the reunion, and he is still devoting much time to the accomplishment of this purpose. Then, as a consummation to the progress of peace, Colonel Cowan conceived the idea of the Confederate reunion in Washington.

As I stood in the reviewing stand in Washington last Wednesday,” he said last night, “I saw three Confederate soldiers in gray marching with a Massachusetts post, each supported on either side by a comrade in blue—and I was glad. It occurred to me, as I saw those comrades in blue and gray marching arm in arm, that it would be patriotic and inspiring, and the capstone of peace and good-will, if the survivors of the Southern armies should vote to hold their annual reunion two years hence in the capital of the nation, their capital as well as ours.”

The Confederate reunion of 1917 is the earliest that may be held in Washington, as the place of the 1916 encampment has already been designated.