Fort Howard Flag 1861-1865
This U.S. Flag was the last to fly over Fort Howard. The upper left hand star has the following written on it: "From Major Shaylor, Old Fort Howard during the War, 1865."
The 34 stars arranged a "Great Star" in the canton with 13 stripes. This rare pattern was used between 1818 and the Civil War. The 34 stars represent the 34 states of the Union from 1861 to 1865 under President Abraham Lincoln.
The Story of the Flag Told by Deborah Martin
On May 18th, 1861, there was a flag raising at Fort Howard which is thus touched off in the columns of the Bay City Press. "About three o’clock a chapter on Cherry Street became as a limb of orioles, or as the turning over of a leaf in a brilliant quickstep. It was lively –it was gay. There was an unusual flag on the ferryboat. There was an unusual alacrity in the ferrymen, boss and assistant.
The short of it is that Miss Mattie Underwood and her music scholars were going over to capture Fort Howard and raise above its mouldy battlements a superb flag manufactured for the purpose. By a brilliant maneuver, Major Shaler, the venerable custodian of this ancient stronghold was made prisoner, and with him they made their way to the parade ground within the walls of the fort –the halyards were run up and the red, white and blue was sent to the head of the flagstaff one hundred feet high by the united efforts of the battle scarred veteran and the beautiful and gallant thirteen.
And the major said that although he came there a captive and was a prisoner without the hope of rescue or redemption, yet it was one of the happiest days of his life. To see the stars and stripes once more floating from the old flagstaff was enough to fill him with pleasure and gratitude.
Deborah Martin- History of Brown County