More on the Civil War Flag Mystery
Fellow blogger, history researcher and Lowell Historical Society BOD member Eileen Loucraft has discovered more background on the Civil War flag found at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.
The flag was donated to the Lowell Memorial Auditorium by a Mrs. Charles (Mary Sawyer) Knapp of Fort Hill Avenue in November of 1929. The particulars were found in a Lowell Sun story ( 11.29.1929)recounting that Mrs. Knapp – who had a large collection of war relics – felt that the “guidon under which a Lowell boy, Solon A. Perkins, was killed in action, and the flag was given by his mother to my husband… carefully preserved by mounting under glass in a beautifully hand-carved frame…” deserved the honor of a place in the Auditorium. For years – it seemed – prior to just coming into her hands – the flag was kept in the banking room of the Middlesex National Bank (also identified as the Middlesex Trust).
At her invitation the LMA trustees visited her home, observed the flag and unanimously agreed to add the flag to the collection. It was installed at the Auditorium on November 12, 1929.
My research shows her husband Charles L. Knapp as treasurer Middlesex Trust Company, a Trustee of the Lowell Cemetery and Clerk of the City of Lowell water board.
Eileen also found a January 1919 Sun “Man About Town” column – describing the flag as a wall decoration hanging over the chair of the bank President – F. P. Gilly. The bank president shared the Solon Perkins story with the Sun writer. Thanks to Eileen Loucraft for her research and this information.