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No. 4 APRIL 2003


President Rutherford B. Hayes spoke of his Civil War service as the "best and happiest portion of my life." He frequently participated in reunions of the Army of the Tennessee, the Army of West Virginia Society, and the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS). In 1888, Hayes was elected Commander- in-Chief of MOLLUS. He served in that position until his death in 1893. During that period, membership increased from 4,800 to 8,100. However, it was his own regiment, the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, that remained nearest and dearest to him.

This image shows Hayes (seated just left of center holding his top hat) and his 23rd Ohio comrades at Lakeside, Ohio, where they gathered for their annual reunion in August 1883. The photograph was taken in front of the Lakeside Hotel. Today, the 129-year-old hotel remains the historic focal point of this Chautauqua community on Lake Erie dedicated to Christian values and cultural excellence.

Rutherford B. Hayes at the 23rd OVI reunion at Lakeside, Ohio, 1883