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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The American Legion's Centennial

By Robert Yott
Copyright ©2019 All rights reserved by the author.

This year, 2019, the American Legion is celebrating its Centennial. It was established just thirty years after another veteran organization, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), had passed its peak of power and influence; its membership diminishing. But the GAR had ensured its legacy would be secure and forever written in the annals of this country’s history. Its leaders and members, which included five US presidents, had set the standards to which future veteran organizations would aspire to and in many cases, surpass.

Initially, the Grand Army of the Republic was a political lobbying group born under the guise as being a benevolent veteran organization. Its existence was born out of necessity and for nearly a half a century its influence would affect political, economic and social policies; effects which are still felt today. To celebrate the life of the American Legion and to fully appreciate their achievements, we must first look at the past.

By November 1865, six months after the Civil War had ended, 800,000 soldiers would be welcomed home to cheering crowds. Jobs became scarce however, as the market could not absorb such a large influx of recently unemployed, abled-body veterans. While these men were off fighting, immigrants and stay-at-homes had taken their place in the workforce. Also, nearly a half-million men returned home with debilitating wounded or were discharged for ailments and disease. Their meager pensions hardly sufficed to care for their families, let alone themselves. Many veterans flocked to the cities seeking relief; a large portion resorting to begging or seeking shelter in county poor houses.

In Washington, politicians were too embroiled in a bitter battle over Reconstruction to give notice to the veterans’ needs. With no adequate hospital care or provisions provided, veterans became discouraged and various veteran organizations began to form across the country to raise awareness of their plight.

Governor Richard Oglesby and political upstart General John A. Logan, both of Illinois and both Radical Republicans, recognized the potential of these organizations and realized that, if these veterans were brought together under one banner and convinced to accept their political agenda, then a virtual voting bloc could be the result. Intending to remain anonymous and to keep their intentions under wraps, the two employed Dr. Benjamin Stephenson and Chaplain William J. Rutledge, also of Illinois, to form a new veteran organization. On April 6, 1866, the first post of the Grand Army of the Republic was established in Decatur, Illinois.

At a glance, this group appeared to be a benevolent society based on fraternity, charity, and loyalty however its ulterior motives were cloaked in secrecy. The appeal of this new patriotic society was strong and numerous veteran groups were eagerly absorbed into it. By November, 200,000 veterans representing ten states, called departments, had been recruited into the new organization. By 1868, over 2,000 posts in 21 departments had been organized and membership had risen to about 250,000. Considering who eligible voters were at that time this number was certainly enough to influence any state and local election, and possibly assured President Ulysses S. Grant’s victory in the 1868 presidential election. But partisanship took its toll on the organization. Many veterans felt they have been used by the very politicians they helped to elect and by 1871, membership dropped to below 25,000.

The 1870s was a time of transition for the GAR. Their open partisanship at the time of their inception was almost their undoing. But there were those who refused to see it die. Claims agents and politicians who always sought to benefit from the veterans wanted to see life breathe back into the dying organization. Still, others believed the GAR could be a benevolent society it once claimed to be. In 1871, remaining posts across the nation were ordered to shrug off their cloak of partisanship and begin focusing on fraternity and charity. By doing, once defunct posts were reopened and new posts were established. Colonel Alfred Gibbs Post, No. 130 of Warsaw was one of these new posts to be organized at this time.

Warsaw-native Abram B. Lawrence, a successful businessman locally and abroad, was the driving force behind this post. In 1862, Lawrence was approached by Governor Edwin D. Morgan and asked to help form an infantry regiment. That September, the 130thRegiment of Infantry was mustered into service and Lawrence was commissioned 1stLieutenant and served as its quartermaster. He rose through the ranks and was breveted lieutenant-colonel; eventually serving directly under General Grant. After the war Colonel Lawrence, who had retained his life brevet, often frequented Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Here, his contacts presumably urged him to form in Warsaw a new post of the GAR.

Gibbs Post No. 130 received its charter on July 29, 1871. There had been approximately 40 posts established in New York up to that time. The first posts to organize in New York were Patrick O'Rourke Post No. 1 of Rochester; chartered on October 8, 1866. The second was Edward P. Chapin Post No. 2 of Buffalo; chartered the following day. So, one has to wonder how Gibbs Post received the designation of No. 130 since it appeared each new post was given the next available numeric designation. It is quite possible that Colonel Lawrence who early on became active at the department level, pulled some strings in order to obtain the same numeric designation as the 130th NYVI, the regiment he helped raised. One other exception to this rule was Edwin M. Carpenter Post No. 109, of Castile which organized shortly after Gibbs Post.

Named in honor of the late Colonel Alfred Gibbs, past commander of the 130th NYVI and the First New York Dragoons, Gibbs Post was the first GAR post to organize in Wyoming County. There were fourteen charter members. Colonel Lawrence was elected the post’s first commander. Other officers included AA Luther, Senior Vice-Commander; JA Stowe, Junior Vice-Commander; Wilson Agar, Quartermaster; EM Jennings, Adjutant; Jacob K. Smith, Surgeon; Reverend CM Booth, Chaplain; WD Martin, Sergeant Major; AW Hough, Officer of the Day; George D. Lawrence, Officer of the Guard.

Under the firm leadership of Colonel Lawrence, the post wasted no time making a name for itself in the community. The following spring Gibbs Post would introduce to Wyoming County a new tradition, Decoration Day. This national custom was born on May 5, 1868, when General John A. Logan, National Commander, GAR, issued General Order No. 11:

“The 30th day of May 1868 is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance, no form or ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit”.

On a rainy May 30, 1872, Wyoming County’s first observance of Decoration Day was conducted under the auspices of Gibbs and Carpenter Posts. Public notices had appeared in the local newspapers and a call was made to all veterans and civilians alike in Wyoming County to come to Warsaw to participate in the ceremony. Despite the wet weather, the turnout was impressive. As the veterans remembered the fallen and decorated the graves of those whose remains were fortunate enough to be returned home the rains continued to fall; almost as if, as one participant remembered, the Heavens were weeping for the fallen.

The GAR also encouraged reunions, known as campfires to be held where veterans from the various units raised in the district could “come together in mutual affection and fond memories.” Here comradery was revived as the old songs were sung and the veterans retold their tales of experience past. Friends and families were also encouraged to attend. In the winter of ’72-73, Gibbs Post held their first campfire in Warsaw. The poor weather had forced many of the planned festivities inside the highly decorated Irving Hall where small tents were erected to replicate guard tent, commissary, quarter-masters, etc. Veterans of the First New York Dragoons did manage to perform maneuvers and drill in the dreary weather before retiring inside. Later festivals would include infantry and artillery drills and sham battles. The Dragoons and the 136thNYVI would continue to hold annual reunions throughout the tri-county area but most were held in what is now Letchworth State Park.

Throughout the 1870s Gibbs Post played a prominent part in the county when it came to festivities and rallies. Lectures and fundraisers brought in necessary funds used to assist their less fortunate comrades, their widows, and offspring. Besides known for their benevolence, Gibbs Post was also viewed as the epitome of patriotism in the community. It was this patriotism which led more than forty of its members to apply to Governor Samuel Tilden for the formation of the 4th Separate Company of Infantry, 31st Brigade New York National Guard in 1876. Of course, Lawrence was commissioned captain and commanded the company.

Better known as the Letchworth Rifles* in honor of William Pryor Letchworth, the Rifles were known for its’ marksmanship and military training. They were called to service three times in 1877, the first duty guarding government property for two days in Portageville. To what extent is uncertain. The second time was a call to put down the railroad riots in Attica and Buffalo and the third, to suppress a riot on the Rochester and State Line Railroad Gainesville on October 18, 1877.

On Decoration Day of 1877, the Rifles led the procession followed by other members of Gibbs Post and visiting veterans. Among them were three veterans of the War of 1812; William Walker, Dea. [sic] Salisbury, and Mr. Bisby.

The Letchworth Rifles, along with Hurlburt’s Cornet Band held military balls at what was referred to as Soldiers’ Hall in the Irving Opera House. They also participated in the grand opening of the New York State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home at Bath in 1879 and were invited to assist in the inauguration of President-elect Garfield in March of 1881. According to a January 1882 local paper, membership was at 73 and its future seemed secure, however, the company abruptly disbanded on January 1, 1882, when membership fell below 46, the minimum required for state and county aid. Many refused to re-enlist when their five-year enlistment was up. It’s possible that a past tragic event may have contributed to this.

On the evening of April 10, 1879, Dr. Jacob K. Smith was returning home from a house call north of the village after a heavy rain. Traveling down the Old Buffalo Road it was believed his carriage wheel went off the Oatka Creek Bridge which caused Dr. Smith to be thrown from his carriage. His body was found in the early the next morning. Dr. Smith was the commander Gibbs Post and Second Lieutenant of the Letchworth Rifles at the time of his death. His demise may have affected Colonel Lawrence deeply and contributed to the disbandment of the Letchworth Rifles and also negatively impacted Gibbs Posts as well.

Many had joked the GAR was an acronym for Generally All Republican since its membership was primarily Republicans but with the passage of the GAR-backed Arrears Act of 1879which made veterans eligible for disability since the time of service and not time of application, an astounding rise in membership was realized. Remembering there was strength in numbers, claims agents saw the passage of this act as a recruitment tool and the doors were thrown open to veterans of all political affiliations. In Western New York it was no different and in the early 1880s Wyoming County saw the opening of at least nine new GAR posts. This growth now meant Memorial Day, which had been changed from Decoration Day in 1882, would be observed all across the county; ensuring no veteran would be forgotten on this solemn occasion.

Over the course of 1884 over 100 new posts have been organized in New York and membership had increased to 23,000. Gibbs Post had 80 members. Nationally, the membership was reported to be at 253,000. These new posts also meant more members would attend department-level encampments across the state; enabling veterans to reunite with comrades they haven’t seen in nearly twenty years. Many local veterans also became active members at the state level of the organization; serving as officers in the current department commander’s administration.

The GAR had been structured into three levels. At the local level were posts. Members here would elect delegates to attend encampments at the state level, known as departments. Department encampments, usually 4-6 days long were held twice a year; an annual encampment held around the beginning of the year and the semi-annual encampment held in the summer. The more active posts in the state would be given the more prominent place in the parade. Delegates would be elected at these encampments to attend the national encampments held once a year; usually around September. Cities across the country would vie for the honor of hosting these encampments as it meant tens of thousands of visitors to their municipality. Railroads would even offer discounted rates for GAR members while the local townsfolk would open their doors to them.

The eighteenth annual state encampment was held in Rochester on January 30, 1884, and 30 members of Gibbs Post took the 7:30am Rochester & Pittsburgh RR out of Warsaw to attend. They established their headquarters at the New National Hotel at a rate of $2 per day. At the encampment, Gibbs Post was lauded for the role it had played in their county and state since its inception. These actions were awarded by a prominent position nearer the front in the parade. Gibbs Post commander-elect I. Sam Johnson was also elected to the department’s Council of Administration; a department which looks into legal matters regarding the GAR. This move may have been motivated by recent events.

Weeks prior Colonel Lawrence, who had been active in the state militia for the past several years, announced he had received permission to organize a new post. On Monday, January 28, the Jacob K. Smith Post, No. 185 was founded with twenty-five charter members; the Rev. Matthew Gaffney, commanding. Lawrence had submitted a letter to local papers explaining his reasoning for this but unfortunately, copies of this letter have yet to be located by the author.

Upon their return home from the encampment members of Gibbs Post passed scathing resolutions at their regular meeting rebutting Lawrence’s letter; claiming he had ulterior motives for organizing a new post. The resolution did absolve the members the new charter of any wrongdoing; believing they were duped by Lawrence. Gibbs Post then submitted their complaint to the department’s Council of Administration. A committee was formed to investigate and in late December 1884, they published Special Order 274; Jacob K. Smith Post No. 185 was ordered to surrender its charter. Additionally, all post members could request transfer membership to Gibbs Post with no fees attached. On January 5, 1885, the two posts were consolidated, just ten days before past Department Commander “Corporal” James Tanner spoke at the Methodist Church in Warsaw.

Across the nation, the GAR was promoting patriotism. In 1888, upon hearing of a school professor donating flags to local schools, New York’s Lafayette Post followed suit. Soon, the GAR as a whole adopted the practice. Here in Western New York, it was no different.

On February 23, 1891, the Congregational Church was filled beyond capacity as 100 students of Warsaw’s Union School put on a program in honor of Washington’s Birthday. Gibbs Post was well represented and after the program Comrade I. Sam Johnson, on behalf of Gibbs Post, presented to Professor Smith a beautiful 12x20 foot flag. After a few remarks, the flag was raised high behind the platform and Gibbs Post rose as a body and sang “Rally ‘round the Flag Boys” with the public joining in on the chorus. Comrade Johnson said that “… this gift was made by Gibbs Post because its members loved and venerated the flag which they had fought for, and wished it placed over the citadels of learning, and in the care of the younger generations that they might better understand what it represented and learn to love and honor the ‘old flag.’” Eighteen months later Gibbs Post would make a gift of another flag to the county of Wyoming, to fly over its “Temple of Justice” otherwise known as the courthouse.

In August of 1897, Buffalo played host to the 31stNational Encampment of the GAR. Wyoming County was well represented as an estimated 50,000 veterans descended down on the city for the nearly week-long convention. As it happened, the First New York Dragoons decided to hold their 28thannual reunion simultaneously and 365 veterans of that regiment made their headquarters, dubbed “Camp Gibbs”, at Dr. DW Harrington’s residence on Main Street. Comrade Harrington had leased the church next door and two vacant stores across the street to accommodate his fellow veterans. Although this separate camp meant many of the veterans were separated from their GAR camps it mattered little. These veterans were satisfied to march with their old messmates as a separate unit in the Grand Parade.

On July 1, 1903, Warsaw residents awoke to gunfire. Members of Gibbs Post had fired a salute at sunrise to announce the day that was 31 years in the making. Thousands of visitors were already arriving as Warsaw prepared for its fourth day of celebrating its centennial. This day was recognized as Grand Army and Monument Dedication Day. The monument was the result of the Wyoming County Soldiers’ Monument Association which was established on Wyoming County’s first Decoration Day back in 1872.

The parade formed at 12:30 on East Buffalo Street with Department Commander John S. Koster and Medal of Honor recipient Charles A. Orr at its head. The parade consisting of members from GAR posts from the county, Rochester and Buffalo passed in review and ended at a large tent near the monument, beneath which it lay the names of 1,575 soldiers from Wyoming County who had offered their lives between the year of 1861-’65.

The dedication began with an opening address by the secretary of the Monument Association, Colonel Lawrence, who filled in for its president, Mr. Letchworth who was unable to attend due to illness. The afternoon was filled with many stirring speeches and at the close, the distinguished guests visited with the local veterans. The ceremony concluded with a fine meal being served to the nearly 500 post members and guests at the Opera House.

By a legislative act, the authority of the monument was transferred from the Monument Association to a board of perpetual trustees consisting of the County Judge, County Clerk, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, and President of the Village of Warsaw, and their successors.

In September of 1912, members of the Major Knapp Camp No. 141, Sons of Veterans invited the newly organized Boy Scouts of Warsaw to the Gibbs Post Hall to present them with a new flag. The Reverend S. D. Huff accepted it on their behalf. The theme for the evening was Patriotism and the boys were then given instructions on patriotism and its importance and listened attentively as the aging members of Gibbs Post related past tales and experiences. They were told it was not a “fever of enthusiasm” which carried a soldier through battle but rather patriotism; a conviction of duty. Afterward, the scouts were treated to cake and ice cream. The Boy Scouts would be marching in the annual Memorial Day procession from this point on.

August 19, 1919, opened up a floodgate of memories and emotions for every Civil War veteran in the county. For this was the day that residents from every corner of the county and beyond turned out to welcome home the 1,250 county residents who had served in the “War to end all wars.” Despite the wet interludes, thousands had turned out to enjoy a day full of activities and once again Gibbs Post played a prominent role, leading a memorial service at the monument.

The celebration may have been bittersweet to members of the local GAR posts. Even as their ranks were thinning it appeared remaining members were not quite ready to pass the torch. That following May, as a new veteran organization was sweeping the country much as their organization had done just over a half-century prior, Gibbs Post Commander James E. Bishop, placed an ad in the local papers calling for recruits to join the Associate Society of the GAR. This organization was meant to serve as an auxiliary to, be sympathetic with, and to help maintain an organization that stands for “Patriotic Americanism.”

This may have seemed a vain move but to those who had fought a war which “saved the nation” theirs was the greatest generation. For nearly fifty years, the GAR posts across the nation introduced and led their communities in the various patriotic events and traditions throughout the year. They always held a prominent place in parades and played a leading role in the community. They were not about to cede their place so easily.

In that same paper as their call for recruits for their new auxiliary, Gibbs Posts laid out the program for the upcoming Decoration Day observances. In it, they, of course, were the headline feature followed by the school children but what was conspicuously missing was that they failed to name the new, local veteran organization by their namesake Walter Klein Post, No. 532. Instead, they were referred to them as members of the American Legion. Whether this slight was intended or not, the presumed animosity would not be everlasting. The following year, the Walter Klein Post sent a delegation “to cooperate with the GAR in the proper observance of that national holiday.” This must have appeased the aging veterans because the headlines in the Western New Yorker that year announced in bold letters MEMORIAL DAY JOINT CELEBRATION.

In 1934, Charles Holly of Warsaw, age 91, one of only five remaining Civil War veterans in the county and the last surviving members of Gibbs Post, made plans for the Memorial Day services. He was assisted by Walter Klein Post and their Woman’s Auxiliary; Major Knapp Camp, Sons of Union Veterans and auxiliary, and the Warsaw fire department. Mr. Holly would continue to participate in these services until his death on June 1, 1936. He was Warsaw’s last Civil War veteran.

On February 1, 1941, Adelbert Foster, 93, of Pike, the last Civil War veteran in Wyoming County, died. With his passing so went the GAR in the county.

The Grand Army was never meant to be perpetual; its membership was reserved for only those who had served honorably between the war years of 1861-’65. But it left behind a legacy which is still seen today. The GAR was the premier veteran’s advocacy group; having reached a peak membership of 425,000 members by 1890. And, they were integrated! This was unheard of on those days. Even here in Wyoming County, Gibbs Post gave special status to Frank Hodge, a former slave who had served one of the local officers during the war and made Warsaw his home. Although not a veteran, Mr. Hodge had the honor of Color Bearer for their many functions, including Decoration Day. He can be seen in their photos.

The GAR secured for the veterans, among other legislation, pensions for their service and later, pensions for nurses who cared for the wounded. They took to heart the words of Abraham Lincoln to “…care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan”.No longer did a veteran fear living out his life in a poor house; or dying alone, buried and forgotten in a pauper’s grave. Collectively, the GAR had established thirty state soldiers’ homes and orphanages across the country. Additionally, they ensured every veteran answered the “final roll call” would have an Honor Guard, complete with a grave marker indicating their service, flowers, firing squad, and Taps.

In March of 1881, Gibbs Post appointed a committee as per an act of Congress, to identify any unmarked graves of veterans in the vicinity. The government would provide a headstone for those in need of one. By 1889, ten headstones had been installed in the county by this committee.

The GAR made it their mission to promote patriotism and proper flag etiquette on a national scale. As one Comrade Hall pointed out at a campfire hosted by fledgling Briggs Post of East Gainesville in December of 1882, “…national holidays and these public campfires as a ready and practical means for educating the children and youth of this generation in all that is patriotic and loyal under the old flag. Any nation dies when the fires of patriotism burn low on her altar - the hearts of the people.” Shortly thereafter, the GAR was donating flags to schools, post offices, and municipal buildings. By 1895, over 17,000 flags could be seen atop these buildings. They adopted and taught to school children the official flag salute to be used during their recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. The GAR urged the observance of Flag Day and Washington and Lincoln’s Birthday and sponsored essay contests centered on the patriotic influence of the flag. They were also the first to stand, uncover and/or salute as the Colors passed in review or the first notes of the Star-Spangled Banner were played.

Monuments are another reminder of the GAR. Near the end of the 1870s, monument or “Silent Sentinels” were erected in cemeteries to watch over those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Soon, monuments began to spring up across the country in town squares, local and national parks and battlefields. Again, Gibbs Post and Wyoming County were ahead of the rest of the country in this aspect. At the county’s first observance of Decoration Day in 1872, members of Gibbs and Carpenter Posts held a special meeting held in Irving Hall. The result, which was announced prior to the march to the cemetery, was the formation of the Wyoming County Soldiers’ Monument Association. Mr. William Pryor Letchworth would be president of the association. The monument was raised in January of 1878 but it would not be until 1886when it was finally completed.

The torch had been passed but not to their official heirs, the Sons of Veterans. Rather, it was passed to another veteran organization, the American Legion. In Warsaw, it would be the Walter Klein Post No. 532 of the American Legion. It is the American Legion and other like-minded organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars which carry out the traditions set by the GAR. They were pioneers without equals and theirs would be a tough act to follow.

The Grand Army of the Republic may be gone but it will never be forgotten. They are the forefathers of every veteran organization who has taken up the cause of their “less fortunate comrades” while promoting patriotism. As long as veteran organizations across the country continue to proudly carry the torch which has been handed to them, their memory will not fade away.

Grand Army Posts of Wyoming County:

Alfred Gibbs Post No. 130, Warsaw, July 1871-1936

Edwin M. Carpenter Post No. 109, Castile, 1871-1875,

John P. Robinson No. 101, Perry, February 1881

ATA Torbet Post No. 218, Arcade, August 1881

Rowley B. Taylor Post No. 219, Attica, August 1881

James A. Garfield Post No. 229, Pike, September 1881

John Buford Post No. 238, Johnsonsburg, November 1881

Briggs Post, East Gainesville, December 1882

William B. Lawrence No. 301, Gainesville, October 1882

Stephen & Nelson Wing Post No. 414, Eagle/Bliss, 1883-1919

George G. Pierce Post No. 488, Castile, June 1884-1919

Jacob K. Smith No. 185, Warsaw, January 1884-December 1884

Charles W. Bills Post No. 291, Wyoming

Of course, with more active posts meant there was an increased need for a support system. Recognizing this, the GAR called for the formation of Allied Orders to assist in their work. The Sons of Veterans(later changed to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War) was organized in 1881 and became the legal heir and successor to the GAR. The Ladies of the GARvied for official recognition from the GAR but lost out to the Woman’s Relief Corps in 1883. In September of 1883, Woman’s Relief Corps of Gibbs No. 6, Warsaw applied for a charter with the $5 charter fee paid for by post. They met 20 times a year. The cost to join was $1 for the initiation fee, $1 for their medal a $1 in annual dues.

In 1891, there were a total of 170 WRC or Corps statewide for the approximate 644 GAR posts in New York. There were four in Wyoming County. Locally, Gibbs No. 6 had 35 members; 18 of which attended that year’s Decoration Day ceremonies. Forty-seven graves had been decorated. They had $22.47 in the relief fund with $10.50 having been expended thus far. During the 1892 department encampment, Gibbs No. 6 president was Esther J. Bradley. Past presidents included Alice Harrington and Mary E. Johnson. By 1901, there were 232 Corps and 8886 members in the state.

Women's Relief Corps in Wyoming County:

Gibbs No. 6, Warsaw, October 1885-

Buford No. 142, Johnsonsburg

Taylor No. 219, Attica, February 1892 until at least 1971 (present?).

Geo. G. Pierce, Castile No. 150

Ladies of the GAR, Attica

Sons of Veterans Camp

John J. Robinson Camp No. 39, Perry, October, 1917

A. W. Jones Camp No. 94, Johnsonburg at least August 1905

Captain Stephen L. Wing Camp No. 101, Bliss NY December 1914

Rowley P. Taylor Camp No. 124, Attica, May 19, 1911

Major Knapp Camp No. 141, Warsaw, organized June 2, mustered in November 3, 1911.

*More on the Letch worth Rifles can be found in Volume XII, No. 1 of the Historical Wyoming.

About the author: Robert Yott, author of From Soldiers’ Home to Medical Center lives in Mitchellsville and is a carpenter by trade. He built his own cannon with limber and his unit represents Wheeler’s Battery at Civil War reenactment, parades, and educational programs. A portion of his artifacts from the Civil War and Bath Soldiers’ Home collection was on display in September 2012 at the New York State Museum in Albany as part of their exhibition commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

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