Saving History Saturday: Wilson’s Creek Foundation Donates Artifact Collection

On August 1o—the 161st anniversary of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek—the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Foundation officially signed over ownership of newly acquired artifacts to the battlefield. The ceremony took place in front of the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Visitor Center.

The collection of artifacts relates to Colonel Franz Sigel. A colonel at the Battle of Wilson Creek, Sigel would be promoted to brigadier general later in 1861 and major general in 1862.

The items recently became available for sale from a private individual who had a family connection to Sigel. Donald Waterman, whose stepfather was a descendant of Franz Sigel, worked with the Foundation and Civil War appraisers to value the collection and agreed on a purchase price.

Highlights of the collection include the following items:

  • A presentation sword belonging to Sigel
  • Sigel’s commission as major general of volunteers, dated March 21, 1862, and signed by President Abraham Lincoln and Edwin M. Stanton
  • A .22 Flobert-style target pistol owned by Sigel
  • A framed engraving of Sigel as a young man

Established in 1950, the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Foundation is one of the oldest private non-profit support groups associated with the National Park Service. Since its first purchase of 37 acres on Bloody Hill, site of the heaviest fighting in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, the Foundation has worked to preserve and protect the battle site. To learn more, visit their website.

About Terry Rensel

Terry is currently the Executive Director of the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust (CVBT), located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He has Bachelor of Arts degrees in History/Political Science and Broadcast Communications from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in Bradford, PA. and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, AK. Prior to joining CVBT he spent 12 years living and working in Alaska.
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