Massachusetts Veterans Gather at Forbes House in 1924

One of the places that I still need to visit in my neighborhood is the Forbes House in Milton. In the 1920s the home was owned by Mary Bowditch Forbes, who amassed a sizable collection of Civil War and Lincoln related memorabilia. The family were strong Unionists during the 1860s and were responsible for the construction of a number of gunboats and the organization of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Company A.

In 1924 Mary welcomed local G.A.R. members to the house to unveil an exact replica of Lincoln’s boyhood home. The film portion of the video begins at the 2:40 mark. It’s well worth your time. You will even notice an African-American G.A.R. member, which I know will warm the heart of Barbara Gannon. Enjoy.

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

Purchase your copy today!

4 comments… add one
  • TF Smith Aug 27, 2013 @ 17:32

    Great piece of film. The “Civil War veteran/Great War veteran” connection is an interesting one; here’s a SEP cover:

    There’s probably a thesis or dissertation comparing the organization and political impact of the GAR vis a vis the Legion for someone looking for social history Phd.


  • Dale Fishel Aug 26, 2013 @ 14:27


    A great slice of history…thank you for making it available!

    Dale Fishel

  • Barbara Gannon Aug 26, 2013 @ 14:01

    That was amazing, the men seemed alive again. Seeing an African American veteran like that was great. I cannot be the only person that looks at scenes like these and feels a profound sense of sadness that these men are all gone.

    • Kevin Levin Aug 26, 2013 @ 14:11

      I had a feeling you would appreciate it. Looking forward to a visit later this week.

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