23RD OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY REUNION AT LAKESIDE, OHIO
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
Rutherford B. Hayes at the 23rd OVI reunion at
Lakeside, Ohio, 1883