The Power of Passion: How a Lack of Momentum is Dooming New Hampshire Battle Flags

By Savannah Rose ’17

In my last post, I looked at preservation of Civil War artifacts at the local level, but not even at the state level do these items receive the attention they need. I spent my winter break back home in New Hampshire and decided to take a visit to our capitol building to visit the Hall of Flags. I have seen and read about the Hall before, but I hadn’t visited it in a few years. I arrived at the capitol building after a few hours of driving, opened the large doors to the governmental building, and immediately arrived in the Hall of Flags, all ranging from the Civil War to Vietnam.

The Hall of Flags contains 107 battle flags ranging from the Civil War to the Vietnam War. Photo courtesy of author.
The Hall of Flags contains 107 battle flags ranging from the Civil War to the Vietnam War. Photograph by the author.

The State House has possession of battle flags from regiments deriving from the state of New Hampshire from more than 150 years ago. The first flags came to the State House in 1866, months after the last shots of the Civil War were fired. The flags resided in the Concord City Hall, entering their current home in the state capitol building in 1900, and have not been touched since. Straight from the battlefield, the flags create a magnificent exhibit of loyal colors, showing the pride the state had for its citizens who fought in more than five different wars. The flags are tattered, faded, and worn out, not solely due to bullet holes and bloodstains, but by the way they are presented to visitors. Continue reading “The Power of Passion: How a Lack of Momentum is Dooming New Hampshire Battle Flags”

Saving Colonel Cross: How Money Determines Which Histories Are Preserved

By Savannah Rose ’17

This summer, I spent my weekends volunteering at the Lancaster Historical Society near my hometown in northern New Hampshire. I went to elementary school in Lancaster and suffered through lessons on local history, but it wasn’t until I arrived at college that I discovered an interesting piece of Lancaster’s heritage. I learned that the commander of the “Fighting Fifth” NH, Colonel Edward E. Cross, was born and buried in Lancaster, an astonishing and exciting discovery that brought the Civil War back to my hometown.

After discovering this, I anxiously waited to go home to see what belongings of Cross Lancaster had in its possession, only to be incredibly disappointed by what I found. The grave of Colonel Cross is currently locked away from the public, rarely open for viewers to enter the cemetery. I was understanding of this as it was a private cemetery, but nothing could prepare me for what I found at the historical society. The historical society, operating out of a house in town, was closed the first summer I came home forcing me to wait a year to see the artifacts relating to Cross. Last summer was the first time I saw the artifacts of Colonel Cross, all together in a pantry-sized case.

CWI Cross
Colonel Edward E. Cross’s artifacts reside in this small closet within the Lancaster Historical Society. Stacked on top of each other, the artifacts have to endure the temperatures of a New Hampshire winter. Photo courtesy of the author.

Continue reading “Saving Colonel Cross: How Money Determines Which Histories Are Preserved”