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Quincy Historical Society celebrates Civil War's 150th anniversary

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  July 12, 2011 08:32 AM

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The Quincy Historical Society is welcoming in the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with an exhibit of its own at the Adams Academy, on display now until next summer.

The exhibit, titled Quincy and the Civil War: The Unfinished Work of the Revolutionary Generation, is entirely home grown, said Quincy Historical Society Executive Director Dr. Edward Fitzgerald, and displays Quincy’s important role in the well known, historical event.

“There are things that the soldiers collected, artifacts, bullets, other memorabilia of Revere, a drum that was apparently used as a recruiting drum here in Quincy to rally people to sign up for the union army,” Fitzgerald said

They are items that have been clouded in obscurity, information lost amongst the larger, more overwhelming waves of information that have shrowded the history in the past – until now.

Perhaps the most notable item in the collection is a US flag, unfurled by Elizabeth Van Lew the morning the troops entered Richmond, Virginia for the first time.

Van Lew also befriended Paul J. Revere, the grandson of the famous Paul Revere, while he was imprisoned in a Virginia cell. His family, from Quincy, remained in the city long after Revere’s death.

There is also the tale of Frances Souther, a Quincy resident who was perhaps the first Massachusetts soldier to be killed in a battle with the confederates.

All in all, the exhibit is meant to bring a greater understanding about the war to Quincy residents.

“What we’re doing is trying to, along with the exhibit, is to dig out a lot of history that has been not worked with before,” Fitzgerald said. “There are things that a lot of people wouldn’t know about, not because they aren’t interested, but the information hasn’t been readily available.”

Artifacts have been gathered from the Civil War Veterans Group, the Grand Army of the Republic, and is other material the Quincy Chapter recovered from the war. Other artifacts have been gathered by the Historical Society and added in as well.

“In general, the civil war always interest people, there will always be people who are interested in the subject in general, and it think that’s true in Quincy as well,” Fitzgerald said.

Over the next few months, the society will be planning speakers, reenactments, and lectures surrounding the exhibit and the commemoration.

In the meantime, locals are encouraged to view the exhibit on Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Admission is $3 for adults, $1.50 for seniors and students.

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