History of our colors

1st Minnesota Regiment soldier
1st Minn. Regiment - Don Troiani Gallery

In 1861 some Stillwater area men answered the call of President Abraham Lincoln to aid the Union and formed Company B of the 1st Minnesota Regiment. They marched from Stillwater to Fort Snelling and became a unit that served with distinction during the Civil War. When these men left Stillwater, they wore red wool shirts and black wool pants.

The regiment is best known for the dramatic charge at the battle of Gettysburg where they suffered huge casualties. They were ordered to charge into a situation where they would be outnumbered by at least 5 to 1. The purpose was to buy time with human lives.

Lt. William Lochran, an Irish-born lawyer from St. Anthony, later wrote, "Every man realized in an instant what that order meant -- death or wounds to us all; the sacrifice of the regiment to gain a few minutes' time and save the position, and probably the battlefield."

The regiment fully and instantly obeyed the order, suffering up to 82% casualties among those making the attack; this action contributed significantly to the preservation of a key Union defensive position on the heights of Cemetery Ridge.

When Stillwater High School was formed, the students picked the colors and the team name of “Red and Black” to honor those veterans who fought so bravely for our nation. Our colors and our once nickname are rooted in pride, passion, and speak to the rich tradition of our school and community.

We have many veterans who were Stillwater Ponies, both athletes and students that raised their hands to defend this country in places like Europe, the Pacific, Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our students, athletes, and alumni of Stillwater Area High School can be proud of our Red and Black colors. They mean so much to those that defend our country – yesterday, today, and well into the future. The next time you see the Red and Black colors of the Stillwater Ponies, you should be filled with pride for the other colors of Red, White and Blue.

- Exerpts from PoniesFootball.com

Read more about the Ponies nickname and logo.