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A President By Your Side: Charles Marshall Austin & Abraham Lincoln
Charles Marshall Austin, a young Union soldier from New York, was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg. Family records reveal that while he was recovering from his wounds in a Washington, D.C. Hospital, President Abraham Lincoln stopped at his bedside. Presumably, because Austin had on his person an autograph book, the President complimented the young man on his penmanship. Lincoln then initialed Austin’s book and gave him two photographs. The President later arranged for the young man’s employment at the War Department in Washington, D.C.
Discharged from his military commission, in 1872 Austin became a Master Mason in King Solomon’s Primitive Lodge No. 91 at Troy, New York and served as its Master from December 1876 to December 1878, and again from December 1884 to December 1885.
The autograph book and photographs registered in the Henry W. Coil Library and Museum were donated by Brother Bruce Cameron and his wife, Ruth Austin Cameron - the daughter of Charles Marshall Austin. Bruce Cameron was a member of Amity Lodge and an affiliate member of Mt. Davidson Lodge, both in San Francisco.