President Lincoln spent most of his summers at the Soldiers’ Home, about three miles northeast of the White House. He was escorted to and from his summer quarters by members of the 150th Pennsylvania Volunteers, who camped on the White House lawn.
One of the members of the Bucktails, as the150th was known, was Pvt. Albert Nelson See, who joined the regiment in early 1864 and kept a year-long diary of his observations of Lincoln, camp life and Washington politics. That diary went on exhibit Sept. 26 along with some of his personal belongings at the visitors’ center for President Lincoln’s Cottage.
See wrote in his diary about the Battle of Fort Stevens on July 11-12, 1864, and about Lincoln’s appearance at the fort. “President L. was at the Ft. yesterday and day before and has been every day since the enemy came near so that there was a danger [when] he was standing on the wall of Ft Stephen when a man was killed beside him by a Sharp Shooter and several balls struck near him, but he never flinches.”
The diary was a gift from See’s great-granddaughter, Betty Kessler of Wichita, Kan.
The exhibit opened Sept. 26 and will close Dec. 31, 2013.