Dowagiac Area History Museum’s Fall Lecture Series to feature Civil War author next week

Published 11:00 am Thursday, August 31, 2023

DOWAGIAC — The Dowagiac Area History Museum’s Fall Lecture Series continues at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6 with the program Michigan’s Civil War Battle Flags, by Matt VanAcker, Director of the Michigan Capitol Tour and Education Service in Lansing and author of the book, Lansing and the Civil War. VanAcker will have books available for purchase and signing after the program. 

Approximately 90,000 Michigan soldiers fought in the American Civil War and almost 15,000 made the ultimate sacrifice. The bullet torn, blood-stained battle flags that these men carried and died beneath were their proudest possessions—they stood for the Union, for their loved ones back home, and also as the rallying point in combat. 
The Michigan Capitol Battle Flag collection includes 240 battle flags carried by Michigan soldiers in the Civil War, the Spanish American War and World War I. Matt VanAcker, the Director for the Michigan Capitol Tour and Education Service in Lansing, will discuss the collection. His talk will include flag terminology, the importance of flags in battle, some specific regimental histories in connection with the flags, including those that formed in the Dowagiac area, and the history of the collection, including current conservation efforts. 

Programs in the series also include: The Freshwater Clam, Pearl and Pearl Button Industry of the St. Joseph River Valley, by local historian Rick Ladonski on October 4; and Kathy Johnson doing a re-enactment of Kate Beckwith Lee on November 1. 

The programs are free to museum members and $5 for non-members. Membership will be available at the museum. This series is sponsored by the Friends of the Dowagiac Area History Museum. The museum is at the corner of Division and West Railroad streets. For more information, call the museum at 783-2560 or visit