Union Soldiers Guarded Body After Lincoln Assassination

Last of the Union soldiers who were President Abraham Lincoln's last bodyguard toured White House and Lincoln Memorial during observance of Lincoln's birthday.

| Good Old Days

From a newspaper article:

"A 93-year-old Pennsylvanian, only survivor of President Abraham Lincoln's last bodyguard, was received at the White House by President (Theodore) Roosevelt Tuesday, as part of the chief executive's observance of the Emancipator's birthday.

"The veteran was William Henry Gilbert of Craley, Pennsylvania, one of six Union soldiers who guarded Lincoln's bier at Philadelphia where the body lay in state before being taken to Illinois for burial.

"Wearing the uniform of the 'boys in blue,' Gilbert was introduced to President Roosevelt by Representative Haines, Democrat, Pennsylvania. During the interview, Gilbert sat in one of Lincoln's cabinet chairs and viewed the famous Lincoln bed.

"Leaving the White House, Gilbert went to the Lincoln Memorial and joined in memorial exercises there. As he climbed slowly the long flight of steps to the statue of his former commander, the Marine Band played DeKoven's 'Recessional'.”

The age of William Henry Gilbert and that of my father, James Henry Gilbert, and the fact that Henry is used in the family name over and over, suggests that the Civil War vet could be my grandfather.

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