Major Henry Lee Higginson '55 will speak on "Reminiscences of the Civil War" in the Living Room of the Union this evening at 8 o'clock. The lecture will be open to members of the Union only. His last talk before the members of the University was given on April 4, 1907, when he discussed matters of everyday interest, both public and local. Four years ago he spoke from the steps of University Hall on the occasion of the Republican torchlight parade.
Major Higginson served in the United States Volunteers during the Civil War, first as second lieutenant of the Second Massachusetts Infantry and later as lieutenant and then as major of the First Massachusetts Cavalry. He received severe wounds at the battle of Aldie in Virginia in 1863. Later in recognition of his gallant service, he was brevetted lieutenant-colonel.
Major Higginson has devoted his life to the interests of Boston and to Harvard. The first great gift that he gave to the University was a vast tract of land, which he wished to be named Soldiers Field in honor of those who had died for the Union during the Civil War. It was to be a place where all Harvard men could enjoy outdoor sports. In the autumn of 1899 he gave $150,000 to build a clubhouse which should "bear no name forever except that of our University." Plans for the building were drawn up by McKim, Mead and White, of New York, and it was immediately built. Major Higginson has held the office of president of the Union since its dedication. He is also one of the Fellows of Harvard College.
It was through his untiring efforts that the Boston Symphony Orchestra was founded and supported. When its existence was threatened in 1893 he again gave his assistance and was one of the first to subscribe to the fund for building Symphony Hall. In 1902 he was the only representative chosen from New England as Trustee of the Carnegie Institution at Washington, which was founded for the purpose of pensioning retired college professors. He was also one of the city's first rapid transit commissioners, being appointed to that office by Mayor Matthews in 1892. Major Higginson has long been a leader in all public movements in Boston.