“This is the first Thanksgiving day that I ever spent away from home,” Private George W. Harwood wrote in 1862 as he waited to fight for the Union Army in the Battle of Fredericksburg. His letters are part of an exhibition called “Free Soil – Free Men: Needham and the Civil War, 1861-1865” at the Needham Historical Society. It is a collection of local memories of the young men who heeded President Lincoln’s call for volunteer soldiers, and the town they left behind.
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