Random Recollections
by FQC Gardner

Copyright, all rights reserved


19. Our Wedding
We were married at St, Michael's Church, in Charleston, on April 14, 1917.

Winthrop Cowdin gave the bride away; my parents came from Arkansas for the wedding; the ushers were my brothers Dan and Drew, Captain Alfred Hasbrouck and Captain Marion Battle; the best man was Captain Percy Bishop; the bridesmaids were Louise Buffington and Margaret Barker, of Fall River and the maid of honor was Helen Pond of Brookline, Mass. General Townsley, his staff and a number of officers from Ft. Moultrie were present. The War had begun on April 6th, and the only reason I was able to get a 10 day leave of absence was that my best man happened to be the Personnel Officer in the office of the Chief of Coast Artillery.

The officers all wore full dress uniforms, and the guests at the reception (at 2 1/2 Lamboll Street) following the ceremony all said that the wedding had been a beautiful one. I had a very distinct recollection that the bride had been a very beautiful one, but I was rather hazy about the rest of it.

After the reception we came to Summerville and spent several days at the Pine Forest Inn, which, in those days, was a famous resort. The we went to the Grove Park Inn, at Ashville, for several days, then to the Chamberlain Hotel, at Fort Monroe, for a day or two, and then to the Belmont Hotel (then quite new, but now long since torn down) in New York for a day or two before going to Fort Totten. Our stay at the Belmont was extended several days on account of a delay in the Railway Express. Your grandmother was the fifth generation of an only daughter. The original maternal grandmother had willed to her daughter an old mahogany gate leg table, upon which the new bride had had her first meal in her new home, and the custom had been continued in each succeeding generation. This table had been shipped by express from Charleston, but was delayed somewhere in route. We couldn't possibly go out to Fort Totten until the table arrived, so we decided to stay on at the Belmont (at some $25 a day) until it did arrive.

One evening, as we sat down to dinner in the hotel, preparatory to going to the theater, the Head waiter brought me a telegram. It was from the Chief of Coast Artillery, and it directed me to report to him in Washington next morning -- I had no idea for what. I turned in the theater tickets, hastily packed my bag and caught the next train for Washington.


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