Mass. soldier’s scion stakes claim for his Civil War due

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WASHINGTON - The Army long ago presented the nation’s most hallowed award, the Medal of Honor, to a Civil War soldier from New York for capturing Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s eldest son. But sometimes history calls for a bit of revision.

Now, 146 years after the capture, the Army has agreed to take another look at whether it made a mistake and whether a young private from the Berkshires deserved the honor instead. Regiment accounts provide reason to think Private David D. White, of Cheshire, nabbed Lee during a barbaric battle in the wilds of Virginia in the war’s waning days.

The Army’s unusual reconsideration is a victory for White’s descendants, particularly his great-great-grandson, Frank E. White Jr., who has worked for decades to set the record straight. He recently enlisted the aid of Massachusetts lawmakers in the effort.

In reviewing the case, the Army also casts a light on a key battle that is largely unknown, except among historians and Civil War buffs who note its frenzied viciousness, even in the context of a war known for its brutality....

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