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Bob Lind, Published May 27 2012

Neighbors: Single American flag honors six Union soldiers’ gravestones

FARGO - They aren’t conspicuous, those six tombstones in a row in Fargo’s Riverside Cemetery. But there must be something special about them, because they have their own flag pole.Fred Hudson, Fargo, wrote to Neighbors about them.

“My family and I enjoy taking walks through Riverside,” Fred wrote. “The cars drive slow, the trees are beautiful, the wildlife is amazing, and it gives us a chance to have great conversations.

“One set of gravestones there has always intrigued me: six stones underneath a solo American flag.”

Well, those stones mark the graves of six men with ties to a key chapter in U.S. history. All were members of the Union Army in the Civil War.

Roll call

The stones are worn and some are hard to read. From what can be read on them and from records kept by Tom Shafer, manager of the Riverside Cemetery Association, at least a little can be learned about these men.

All of them came from other parts of the country.

They are:

• William P. Morris, who was with the Indiana Infantry, who died in 1904. His last home was Fargo.

• Sgt. Frederick W.P. Fleming, with Company G, 34th Massachusetts Infantry, who died in 1905. Last residence: Shoreham, Minn.

• John W. Lowe, with Company H., 132nd Ohio Infantry, who died in 1910. Last residence: Fargo.

• James M. Allister, with Company A., 26th New York Infantry. The date of his death and last residence is unknown.

• Capt. J.P. Richmond, with Company G, 28th Illinois Infantry, who died in 1912. Last residence: Chicago.

• Henry D. Baker, with Company D., 1st Ohio H.A. (heavy artillery), who died in 1891. Last residence unknown.

Honoring the veterans

Metal emblems honoring the military veterans, who served between 1861 and 1866, stand by each stone.

The flag pole was erected in 1923.

If you visit Riverside this Memorial Day to pay your respects to someone buried there, you might stop by this patch of ground. Yes, it’s a small patch, but it has six significant links to the nation’s past.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com