Tuesday, July 10, 2012

THE FLAG

I spend a lot of time at the Grant County Historical Museum and Veterans Hall in Elbow Lake, Minnesota.  Since my paternal grandparents settled in Pomme de Terre in 1873, I have collected numerous stories and artifacts pertaining to this area in Minnesota.  Part of the mystique of history is trying to understand events and the people who lived through them.  This year Minnesota commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Sioux Uprising of 1862, which occurred in southern Minnesota but which spread fear throughout the state.  Small forts were constructed between Fort Snelling in St. Paul, to Fort Abecrombie on the western border on the Red River.  The United States was also fighting the Civil War, so significant military support was not available to be sent to this area. Military units with supplies traveled constantly  through the Pomme de Terre area, where a Fort was constructed which mostly served as a stagecoach station and a refuge for local settlers.  However, Hatch's Battalion was stationed here for some time and military families as well as Indian guides lived within the log walls.  The fort was used for a short period--perhaps 3 to 4 years before it was deemed safe and the settlers returned to a normal routine.  There is a replica of Fort Pomme de Terre at the museum and for years a flag attached to a simple branch with a partial log stand has stood in the middle of that display.  It is crudely made with hand stitching on rough textured red, white and blue cloth.   It has 2 blue stars.   No record of origin or donation  has ever been found, so who made it?   Did it belong to a soldier,     a settler .................?     who?