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West Branch Bulletin: July 8, 1865 – The Fourth of July Grand Celebration Soldiers Welcomed Home

The national anniversary was eminently successful in Williamsport. The preparations for the soldiers’ dinner had been admirably carried out thanks to the energy and efficiency of the committee of arrangement, especially the ladies, who were indefatigable in their efforts to procure donations from citizens for the grand picnic dinner.

The morning was beautiful, and the weather was such to inspire all with the feeling that our community was highly favored in the prospect of the day.

The 7 o’clock train brought a number of soldiers from the 203rd Regiment and they were met by a military band and escorted to the Court House where they were informed of the preparations being made for all returned soldiers.

A procession went from the Court House to the “pleasant green grove” on Academy Street, arriving at 10 o’clock.

A speaker’s stand had been erected on the grove. The ceremonies were opened by electing F.C. Campbell, president of the day. The Star-Spangled Banner was played in excellent style by the Williamsport Brass Band, and the Hon. H.H. Cummins read the Declaration of Independence and an oration given by W.H. Armstrong.

The town was unusually quiet throughout the whole day owing to the action of the Councils and Burgess in inviting the liquor vendors to close their establishments that day, an invitation which we believe was generally respected.

In the evening there was a fine pyrotechnic display on the river bank under the charge of Messrs Nash, Norris and Davis.