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8-6-16

Dirty Shame
Saloon—and Museum


Ivan Foley/Landmark photo

A new look. A collection of flags now can be found high on the walls of the Dirty Shame Saloon on the Platte County Fairgrounds. The Dirty Shame, a popular hangout during the fair every year, is now known as the Dirty Shame Saloon and Museum. Shown here are two featured flags behind the stage area inside the saloon, pictured with Gary Fleming, Jr., this year's fair board president. The historical flags are from the 1864 Battle at Camden Point during the Civil War. At left is the 34-star American Flag from the July 13, 1864 Camden Point Battle, and at right is a replica of the specific flag from the skirmish that day, known appropriately as the Camden Point Battle Flag. Fleming explained the display this way: "We're going for the history of the county. We're not trying to make a statement of any kind. Not trying to represent one side or the other, it's just history of the county." A Confederate cavalry force approximately 200-300 strong under Colonel J.C.

Thornton was organizing around Camden Point in 1864. On July 13, Thornton's men held a picnic in an open pasture near the town. Detachments of the 2nd Colorado Cavalry and 15th Kansas Cavalry, totaling 700-1,000 soldiers, ambushed Thornton's picnicking force, routing it and killing two and wounding approximately 25 Confederates. The Federals suffered one killed and 14 wounded. Three of these wounded Federals later died from their wounds.

Four additional Confederates were captured and executed by Federals after the battle ended. Ammunition, weapons, and gunpowder were captured and Camden Point was burned. In addition to these flags dedicated to local history, Fleming worked to acquire flags representing every branch of the United States military and each is hung with an accompanying description framed below it, similar to the frames shown under the two flags above the stage. "We wanted to represent all the veterans of the country," Fleming said.