Charles Searls Morgan carried the flag into battle as a corporal in the 21st Maine Infantry Regiment, Company K, when he was fatally wounded in Port Hudson, Louisiana, more than 150 years ago.

His memory is being honored, fittingly, with the dedication of a flagpole and a flag presentation 9 a.m. Saturday at the Chelsea Grange.

“We will be honoring all the veterans who attend,” Chelsea Grange member Kay Khalvati said. “They can be in uniform or not.”

However, the focus of the event will be a 19-year-old who never traveled more than 15 miles from home before he signed up to fight in the Union Army along with other young men from Chelsea and neighboring towns.

Elmore Morgan, of West Gardiner, had made the request to have the flagpole at the Grange hall on Togus Road, Khalvati said, because he didn’t want Charles Searls Morgan’s sacrifice to be forgotten.

In addition to the dedication, the Kennebec County Honor Guard is scheduled to do the flag presentation.

Thanks to the letters that the soldier regularly sent home to his mother, Alton Morgan will relate the details of the last months of Charles Searls Morgan’s life.

“I have to try to get in the mind of a 19-year-old,” Morgan said Wednesday from his South Portland home.

Both Morgans are distant cousins of Charles Searls Morgan.

“I will try to speak of his involvement and point out that he wanted stamps and letters. He was homesick,” Morgan said.

Charles Searls Morgan also wrote a poem about the flag he carried, which also will be read at the ceremony.

While Alton Morgan is the keeper of family documents, he credits Elmore Morgan as the guiding force for family reunions and letting younger family members know where they come from.

Khalvati said the event is open to the public and refreshments will be served.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ


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