Memorial Day tribute to Civil War soldiers

Minnesota's year-long effort to mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War will include a special tribute to fallen soldiers on Memorial Day.

Members of the Governor's Civil War Commemoration Task Force announced plans today to place special flags on gravesites throughout the state.

The flags will mark the graves of 150 Civil War soldiers at first, and eventually at every known resting place in Minnesota.

More than 2,300 Minnesota soldiers were killed during the Civil War, state Rep. Dean Urdahl noted at a news conference.

"Many were immigrants new to America. They came here because of the promise of freedom and a new life where the individual mattered," Urdahl said. "Minnesota had been a state only three years when the war started. But Minnesotans enlisted in the Union Army at a rate unequaled by any other state."

The task force also has a rededication ceremony planned Monday for the grave of a Civil War soldier at St. Paul's Oakland Cemetery.

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