States’ rights were the biggest loser in the civil war.
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Next week marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, but it appears, somehow, there is still some bad blood between a pair of Northern and Southern states.
Here’s the controversy: The Minnesota Historical Society has a Confederate flag in its possession, captured from a Virginia regiment during the last day of the battle. For the sake of the anniversary, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell asked Minnesota to loan it to them (McDonnell is the governor who had declared April 2010 “Confederate History Month” at the behest of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, but then apologized for not mentioning slavery in the proclamation.) Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s response to the request was simple: No way.
The Minnesota 1st Volunteer Infantry Regiment captured the flag on July 3, 1863, the last day of the battle. On July 2, the Minnesota 1st had suffered massive losses after being ordered to conduct a diversionary strike on the Confederates while the Union collected reinforcements. At the end of the day, only 47 out of more than 250 Minnesotan men were still alive. One of those remaining was Pvt. Marshall Sherman (pictured right; he actually sat out the battle).