Flag Information: This is the 33 star flag that flew over the garrison at Fort Sumter, SC at the time of its bombardment by Confederate troops on April 12 and 13, 1861. On April 14, as the small troop of Union soldiers is allowed to retreat with honor, their Commander, Major Robert Anderson, lowers the flag vowing to one day fly it over the garrison again. In February of 1865 Fort Sumter is abandoned by Confederate troops but at the direct order of President Lincoln the flag is not to be returned to the garrison until April 14, exactly four years to the day after it was lowered. A large group of Union officials intend to sail to ceremony including President Lincoln. However, when the Confederacy surrenders on April 9, President Lincoln decides that his attendance will be flaunting the Union victory and he remains in Washington. The Rev. Henry Ward Beecher delivered a powerful oration to crowds of Union supporters as the flag is raised and he prays that "As long as the sun or stars endure, may it wave over a nation neither enslaved nor enslaving." The joy was short-lived however for that very night at Ford's Theater Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.
Barn Information: This flag is painted on siding from a barn built in Racine County, WI c. 1877 probably by Herman Frank. Frank was a German immigrant who began farming on the East Coast but was attracted to the rich soil of the Midwest and the liberal constitution of WI that allowed immigrants the right to vote. After two generations, this farm was purchased by the Henkel's. The Guckenberger's lived on the farm next door and two of their children married. It was their intention to stay in Racine and continue to farm. Mr. Guckenberger's Dad convinced them that farming was a perilous life with financial disaster looming at every harvest. So, young Mr. Guckenberger and his new wife (and eventually their children) spent the next 30 years in the US Air Force traveling the world on its orders. But, like George Washington, Mr. Guckenberger served his country well but always wanted to go home to farm. When his Dad passed away, he divided the estate with his brother and became a farmer. They also inherited the Hinkel Farm and now raise corn and soy on the joined properties.