Philadelphia 1864: The Year of Decision:
This exhibit will focus on the major activities of the year 1864. Militarily, the exhibit will cover the appointment of U. S. Grant to Lieutenant General and the overall command of the Union armies, and his attempts to destroy the Confederate army and its spirit to fight.
The exhibit will cover Grant’s Overland Campaign, with reference to the participation of the United States Colored Troops and their bravery at the Battle of New Market Heights as depicted in the new League painting Three Medals of Honor now hanging in the Broad Street hallway.
Next will be General William T. Sherman’s march through Georgia, which ended that year with the capture of Savannah. Politically, the presidential election of 1864 will illustrate how Abraham Lincoln expected to be defeated by the Democratic candidate, General George B. McClellan, whom Lincoln twice relieved from command of the Union arm. Surprisingly, the soldier’s vote swung the election to President Lincoln. On the home front in Philadelphia, the exhibit will focus on the U.S. Sanitary Commission’s Great Central Fair, the success of which was due primarily to the League members, who organized the greatest wartime event in the city. The fair raised more than $1 million, making it the second most successful fair in the Union. The exhibit will also draw attention to the growing activities of the League, notably the erection of the Broad Street building.