Though small in numbers, this club had, from its first gathering, with a purpose boldly proclaimed at the meetings and fearlessly shouted in the streets, impressed itself upon the imaginations of unattached Democrats of the town.
From it sprang, in different parts of the city, clubs like the Young Guards
, Breckinridge Guards, Chalmette Guards, Southern Guards, as from a mother organization.
It was not long before it became noticed by keen eyes on the banquette that the small group following the main parade was like an island on fire in a quiet sea. Among those sharp eyes were others belonging to young men, still unplaced in the campaign because dubious.
In this estuary the first parade of the club turned the tide to fulness.
As it marched along it was flanked by two stalwart scouts who kept the crowd moving either side of the procession.
There are many veterans, old men now, young then, who still remember those scouts of 1860 and how well they kept the ways free.
The ethics of the clubs of both parties leaned to mercy.
No crowns were cracked; but order—as the primal law of parades—was rigidly maintained.
In this first procession the club made converts as it marched.
It attracted them by a debonair step; and won and retained them by cheers full of fire and already aggressive with ‘Dixie.’
The tide rose swift and high in one night, as that of the bay of Fundy.
At the next procession of clubs, now increased in number, the Young Men
's Breckinridge and Lane
club, with Ernest Lagarde
, first president, and his successor in office, Fred Ogden
, paraded two thousand strong.
No longer a faction of the Democratic
host, it had become the procession, since, wherever placed, its banners were first sought and its gay and ringing shouts were eagerly listened for.
As the growth of the club developed, the Young Bell Ringers
began gradually to haunt the banquette.
They were there to watch the swing and to pass comments on