1814 Society Members Gather for Annual Event

Over 75 members of The 1814 Society from 10 different states recently gathered in Washington, D.C. for their annual event. This year’s event was hosted at President Lincoln’s Cottage on the grounds of the Soldiers’ Home, which the Federal Government founded in 1851 as a home for veteran Soldiers.

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The staff ride makes a stop in Spotsylvania, Va.

The cottage served as President Abraham Lincoln’s family residence for 13 months during the Civil War, and he regularly commuted between there and the White House. Members who attended the guided tour also learned President Lincoln was living at the cottage when he prepared the Emancipation Proclamation.

“We considered the Lincoln Cottage a perfect site for our group,” said Beth Schultz Seaman, Manager of The 1814 Society. “It’s a lesser-known site that is rich in history and whose origins began with the ‘relief and support of invalid and disabled soldiers of the U.S. Army’.”

Following the tour and cocktail reception, guests settled in for an update on the National Army Museum by project leaders. AHF Executive Director BG Creighton W. Abrams, Jr. (USA-Ret.) welcomed the attendees and applauded that at 906 members strong, The 1814 Society has donated over $3.1 million to the Capital Campaign and will be recognized through their sponsorship of an artistic representation of the U.S. Army campaign streamers in the Museum’s main lobby.

The first guest speaker, Dr. Charles H. Cureton, Chief, Museums Division, U.S. Army Center of Military History, gave a sneak peek of the Museum exhibits and shared the stories and historical significance behind some of the artifacts and artwork that will be displayed at the Museum.

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LTG and Mrs. Joseph DeFrancisco (USA-Ret.) and Dr. Cureton.

Mr. J. Randall Robinson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy & the Environment and Project Executive Officer for the Museum, shared the Army’s perspective on the importance of the Museum and acknowledgedThe 1814 Society members for their support. “Each of you is here because of your optimism and because of your dedication to telling the Army story,” Robinson remarked. “You are a part of something very big …. Let’s continue to move forward and do this. First a groundbreaking – then a ribbon cutting!”

Several 1814 Society members continued their weekend by attending The Army Historical Foundation’s overnight staff ride of the Wilderness Campaign led by LTC Gustav Person, (NYARNG-Ret.). Also known as Grant’s Overland Campaign, the tour traced a series of Civil War battles fought in Virginia during May and June 1864, including stops at The Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, North Anna, and Cold Harbor.

For more information, or to join The 1814 Society, contact Beth Schultz Seaman at (703) 879-0006 or email Beth.Schultz@armyhistory.org.