Monday’s Cannon Salute from Oysterville!

May 31, 2023 | 3 comments

Oysterville Memorial Day Gathering 2023 – Chris Goeser Photo

This year, for the first time: The Honorary Oysterville Militia (T.H.O.M.) was without the leadership of its founder, our beloved General Nyel Stevens.   Yet we heard the order loud and clear, “Carry on!”

Acting Chaplain Lt. Cate Gable reads the names of the fallen – Chris Goeser Photo

Our traditional Memorial Day Cannon Salute in honor of those members and other loved ones “lost in the line of duty” went with ‘nary a hitch on Monday.  Well maybe “half a hitch.” As we were partway through the steps leading to the “Fire!” command, someone said to me, “What about Cate?”  Yikes!

Pvt. Charley Wachsmuth sets the charge – Chris Goeser Photo

So we all did a mental back-up while our Acting Chaplain, Lt. Cate Gable, read the names of the 41 T.H.O.M. members who have died since the organization’s inception in 2004, Oysterville’s sesquicentennial year.  She read the names in rank order beginning with “General Nyel LeRoy Stevens.”

Adjutant General Sydney Stevens tells the history of cannons in Oysterville at the beginning of Monday’s ceremony. – Chris Goeser Photo

This year, for the the first time:  I, as co-founder and Adjutant General, had taken on the role of leadership (the easy part) and Lt. Chester N. Wachsmuth, Jr. (known to most of us as “Tucker”) prepared the cannon and charge and led the firing squad, Pvt. Charley Wachsmuth and Lt. Charlie Talbott (the hard parts.)

“Fire!” – Chris Goeser Photo

The event was well attended by the loved ones of the fallen and by friends, neighbors and those who just wanted to see and hear the “big boom.”  It all came off (just about) flawlessly — another Oysterville day to remember!


  1. Cuzzin Ralph

    Adjutant Gen & Cuzzin Sydney, I’m glad to see that firing of the cannon came off without a hitch (or half hitch!) Sorry I couldn’t have been there. Lt. Cuzzin Ralph T.H.O.M

    • sydney

      Maybe we should work on a visit coordinated with a THOM Cannon firing! Meanwhile, I hope the video brings the latest “BOOM” to you in better focus. Love, S.

  2. Donna Downes

    I have been ready ( for many years ) about this and hope to come next year now that I actually live here.


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