19 March 2008 by Published in: General News 2 comments

The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (“MOLLUS”), a veteran’s organization for Union officers of the Civil War, established its museum and headquarters in a building on Pine Street in one of the oldest parts of Philadelphia. The museum is presently located at 1805 Pine Street. When I was a child, my aunt and uncle lived at 2021 Pine Street, just over a block away, and I never knew that the place existed. I only discovered it in the 1990’s. The place has an interesting collection: a very impressive library, including all of the MOLLUS publications, the stuffed and mounted head of George Meade’s war horse, Old Baldy (which is actually kind of creepy, if the truth be told), weaponry, including an original lance carried by a trooper of the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry, and lots of other interesting ephemera. A few years back, the name was changed to the Civil War and Underground Railroad Museum.

Unfortunately, the building where the museum is housed in crappy condition and the place is dead broke, and has been for some time. Consequently, everything is being moved. The following was posted on the Gettysburg Discussion Group today by old friend Paula Gidjunis:

The Civil War and Underground Railroad museum, at 1805 Pine St in Philadelphia will be closing at the end of July, 08 for about 2 years in preparation of their move. The museum will be moving to the former 1st National Bank of the United States at 3rd and Walnut which will provide more room for their holdings. If you plan on seeing the museum and haven’t done so, you should do it by July or you will have to wait until 2010. This is the website, however, I must tell you that it hasn’t been updated in awhile, but the basic info is correct. http://www.cwurmuseum.org/pages/PhilaCivilWar.htm

Also, the home page wasn’t working this AM, the other pages were. The CW and UGRR museum is the home of Meade’s horse, Old Baldy’s head and it contains the saddle that John Reynolds was on when he was killed. Other items of note, items belonging to Meade, Grant, Lincoln and a large collection of military escutcheons.

If you have the opportunity to visit the museum before it closes in July, do yourself a favor and do so. It’s well worth the visit, and you really should get the ambience of seeing it in its crummy old run-down surroundings.

Scridb filter


  1. Thu 20th Mar 2008 at 4:03 pm

    This is interesting considering they were, just in the last year, on the hunt for a new executive director!

  2. Thu 27th Mar 2008 at 10:38 pm

    A quick follow-up: The Loyal Legion had provided the bulk of the direction for the Museum until the mid-1980s, when the Museum’s Board passed to the control of non-MOLLUS persons. A slow slide culminated in 2001 when the Board made plans to move the collection to Richmond for the planned Tredegar museum. With the help of MOLLUS members and powerful PA political interests, the Museum was saved and is now under the control of a reconstituted Board with MOLLUS representation. Part of that Board’s efforts have been to secure the new space.

    MOLLUS today has members from coast to coast, who are engaged in preservation efforts and history-related events.


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