The two sashes in this box belonged to two of the bravest cavalry officers I ever knew. The smaller one was worn by Henry A. Durivage, 1st lieutenant of the second company, Mass. unattached cavalry, who was lost overboard from the steamer North America on the Mississippi river at the head of the Passes, April 21, 1862. The larger one belonged to Capt. Solon Perkins of the same company, who was killed near Port Hudson, La., in June 1863. Both were dear friends, and better or braver men never lived.
The Lowell Memorial Hall burned to the ground in March, 1915, taking with it many relics of Lowell history. Fortunately, prior to her death in 1896, Mrs. Perkins gifted the flag to Charles L. Knapp, then treasurer of the Middlesex Trust Company, Trustee of the Lowell Cemetery, and Clerk of the city of Lowell Water Board. The Memorial Hall building was reconstructed under the guidance of the original architect, Frederick W. Stickney, and is now called the Pollard Memorial Library.
Discovery of the Perkins flag must be credited to Steve Purtell and Gus Kanakis, who saw it in the basement propped against a wall behind a piano. They brought it to the attention of the Greater Lowell Veterans Council, who began the search for conservators for both the frame and the flag.