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Civil War group buys flag, flagpole for cemetery

July 6, 2011

Representatives from The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War gave an American flag and money to buy a flagpole for Oak Hill Cemetery to the city Tuesday.

The group is charged with caring for the graves of Civil Wars veterans, and the donation helps to accomplish this, Mayor Jill Didier said.

The small cemetery at 114th Street and Capitol Drive is home to two Civil War veterans: Private Johann Bahler of Company I, Wisconsin Infantry, and Levi Halsted, surgeon with the 7th Wisconsin Light Artillery, said Dean Collins, chaplain for the Sons. Halsted also is known as the Wauwatosa pioneer who built the Little Red Store, the community's first railroad station and post office, in 1854.

For the past 15 years, the Col. C.K. Pier Badger Camp One and Auxiliary have helped maintain Oak Hill Cemetery. Prior to work sessions, a flag is raised and the Pledge of Allegiance recited. But they have had to use a makeshift flagpole fashioned from plumbing pipes.

The group has provided nearly $1,800 to buy and install an aluminum flagpole.

"It's a nice gesture as it highlights the years of service your camp has provided," Didier said.

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