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Headstone dedication held Saturday for Civil War soldier

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The city held a dedication ceremony Saturday at North Watertown Cemetery on Bradley Street for a Civil War soldier with a Watertown connection.

City officials honored Pvt. Asa Philip Forbes, who was 16 years old when he and three stepbrothers signed up to serve with the 147th New York Infantry Regiment on Aug. 25, 1862. The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War volunteered to get a headstone for him.

The headstone was dedicated on Saturday, with the soldier’s descendants in attendance.

Pvt. Forbes, who was born in 1846 in Oswego, fought in the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. He and one of his stepbrothers were captured, and Pvt. Forbes was a prisoner in a Confederate camp for three months until he was released and subsequently rejoined the fighting.

His great-granddaughter, Carol Forbes Cooper, grew up in Watertown and talked Saturday about her life here and her ancestors’ lives. Her father, also named Asa Philip Forbes, was the first man from Watertown to enlist when World War I broke out. All of his boys served in World War II.

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