Mary A. Livermore
MY STORY OF THE WAR

 

ARRANGED BY STATES.

 

PLATE

MAINE.
 
1ST MAINE HEAVY ARTILLERY

I

NEW HAMPSHIRE.
 
5TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

VI

VERMONT.
 
HEADQUARTERS GUIDON OF THE OLD VERMONT BRIGADE

I
1ST VERMONT CAVALRY

VI

MASSACHUSETTS.
 
20TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

VI
21ST REGIMENT INFANTRY

II
24TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

II
54TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

VI

RHODE ISLAND.
 
1ST RHODE ISLAND CAVALRY

VI

CONNECTICUT.
 
1ST CONNECTICUT HEAVY ARTILLERY

II
11TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

I
14TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

II
16TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

VI

NEW YORK.
 
7TH NEW YORK HEAVY ARTILLERY

III
18TH NEW YORK CAVALRY

VIII
40TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

II
48TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

V
105TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

V

NEW JERSEY.
 
1ST NEW JERSEY CAVALRY

V
9TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

V

PENNSYLVANIA.
 
78TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

VIII
83D REGIMENT INFANTRY

V
150TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

V

OHIO.
 
MCMULLEN'S 1ST INDEPENDENT OHIO BATTERY

VII
78TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

VIII

INDIANA.
 
32D REGIMENT INFANTRY

VIII

KENTUCKY.
 
9TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

VIII

ILLINOIS.
 
13TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

III
129TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

VIII

MICHIGAN.
 
2D REGIMENT INFANTRY

III
24TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

III

WISCONSIN.
 
"OLD ABE," WISCONSIN'S WAR EAGLE

VII
2D REGIMENT INFANTRY

VII

MINNESOTA.
 
1ST MINNESOTA ARTILLERY

III

IOWA.
 
9TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

VII

MISSOURI.
 
7TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

VII
8TH REGIMENT INFANTRY

III

KANSAS.
 
2D REGIMENT INFANTRY

VII
2D KANSAS BATTERY

VII
   
HEADQUARTERS GUIDON OF THE 6TH ARMY CORPS

I


CONFEDERATE BATTLE-FLAGS.

BATTLE-FLAG CAPTURED FROM GENERAL BRAGG

IV
BATTLE-FLAG OF THE 42D MISSISSIPPI REGIMENT

IV
BATTLE-FLAG OF THE 12TH MISSISSIPPI CAVALRY

IV
BLOOD-STAINED SILK FLAG OF THE 9TH TEXAS REGIMENT

IV
BATTLE-FLAG OF AUSTIN'S BATTERY

IV
BATTLE-FLAG OF A SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT

IV
BATTLE-FLAG, BLACK (NO QUARTER), SUPPOSED TO HAVE BELONGED TO A TEXAS REGIMENT

IV
SILK BATTLE-FLAG

IV

THE Publishers deem a few words of explanation necessary respecting the colored battle-flag plates which occupy so prominent a place in this volume. No patriot eye can look upon these battle-stained mementos of the war without mingled feelings of admiration, pride, and, sadness. They have been wafted by the sighs and prayers of a struggling people, and hallowed by the blood of patriot sons. They have a peculiar fitness and place in this record of a woman's work for and among private soldiers, for they were the men who proudly and bravely carried them. Private soldiers were the true heroes of the war. Their bravery was as great, their judgment often as good, and their capacity for commanding often equal to those under whom they were content to fight without distinction or reward.

It was no part of the original plan to introduce in this volume so many of these flags. It was at first thought that a single frontispiece page, composed of two or three flags in fac-simile, would be a novel and appropriate feature, and lend additional interest to the work. But it proved a difficult and delicate matter to select only two or three from many thousand flags entitled to representation; for the Publishers wished to act with strict impartiality and without rendering themselves open to the criticism of exalting one flag, regiment, or state over others entitled to equal praise. In this dilemma it became apparent that if flags were introduced as illustrations at all, the North ought to be generally represented.

To this end an artist and a photographer were sent to the capital of each northern state, to make photographs and color sketches of the flags. Serious and unexpected obstacles met them at the very outset, for nearly every state had provided a permanent place for its tattered banners, and rightfully guarded them with tender care. In several states legislative enactments made it seemingly impossible to obtain permission to disturb the flags in the least, ---no hand was even permitted to touch them---much less to remove them from their glass cases for any purpose whatever. And yet it was absolutely necessary to take them out of the cases and arrange them properly before they could be photographed and color sketches made. One by one all obstacles were surmounted, and the Publishers are at last enabled to show the flags with exact fidelity to the originals, both in appearance and color.

In selecting the flags the Publishers endeavored to exercise a wise and careful discrimination. Their artists photographed a number of flags in each state capital, selecting those that were represented as possessing the most interesting history. From these the Publishers made a final choice, and they were guided in this by first obtaining from reliable sources a history of each flag, finally selecting those that appeared to have the greatest interest attached to them. They cannot hope that they have been completely successful in making this selection, but they acted wholly from the best information they could obtain, and carefully weighed every fact and incident, and the authority for them, before making their decision. If one color-bearer or regiment performed more conspicuous service than another, it was only because of better opportunity. All were brave men, and the Publishers regret that every Union battle-flag could not find a place in this book. If all the heroic deeds of those who died under their folds, and of those who took their places and kept the colors flying, could be gathered, they would fill a volume.

The most difficult task of all was to obtain the story of each flag and establish its truth. Many of the men who so proudly carried them in battle sleep in unknown graves on southern battle-fields, far away from their northern homes. "Southern dews will weep above them as gently as though they lay in their northern village church-yards; grass and grain will cover them; winter will decorate their resting-places as with monumental marble, and summer will spread over them its flowers of red, white and blue ; the labors of the husbandmen may obliterate these hillocks of the dead, but the power of their sacrifice will forever circulate in the life of the nation."(1) Of the survivors many have died since the close of the war, and twenty-five years have made the memory of those who are left much less reliable than they think. Conflicting statements have arisen even from those who were eye-witnesses of some of the scenes described, but these differences were generally respecting minor details. Even official statements do no always agree. In one state capitol is exhibited a flag on which is pinned a piece of paper purporting to give its history. The story is very thrilling, but only a small part of it is true. The writer of it (unknown) simply got the story of two flags mixed and attached his "history" to a single flag, which is daily gazed upon by visitors, who naturally regard this particular flag as the most interesting of them all. To get at the truth under such circumstances was by no means easy. A vast amount of correspondence, too, was necessary. Veterans of the war are widely scattered. One comrade would refer to another, and he to another, often in a distant state, and frequently after long and patient search information was returned that the man sought for died many years ago. Sometimes the most meagre data came in response to repeated appeals, and where the most was expected the least was obtained. Many letters were returned marked "unknown" or "uncalled for." It is much to be regretted that a full history could not be obtained of all the flags. Earnest and patient effort was made in every case.

It will be seen from the above statement that the labor and care involved in producing these illustrations have necessarily made this part of the work both difficult and slow, and in consequence the publication of the volume has been delayed nearly two years.

One page is devoted to a few of the many hundred Confederate battle-flags captured by Union soldiers. With two exceptions these are from photographs and color sketches made from the original flags, in the keeping of the War Department at Washington. The statements pertaining to these flags are taken from Government Record and presumably are correct.

The Publishers invite further information from any source respecting the flags shown in this volume, so that in future editions of the work a still fuller history of each one may be given. Despite the greatest care, inaccuracies may have crept into the narratives, and the Publishers will gladly correct any misstatements.

Finally, the Publishers return their sincere thanks to all --and their name is Legion --- who have in any way helped them in this undertaking. The uniform courtesy of governors and state officials made it possible to obtain photographs and color sketches of the flags; and veterans of the war, and others, have imparted valuable information, without which the story of these flags could not have been written.

 

THE FLAG OF OUR UNION.

Flag of the brave! thy folds shall fly,
The sign of hope and triumph high!
When speaks the signal-trumpet tone,
And the long line comes glistening on
(Ere yet the life-blood, warm and wet,
Hath dimmed the glistening bayonet),
Each soldier's eye shall brightly turn
To where thy sky-born glories burn;
And as his springing steps advance,
Catch war and vengeance from the glance.
And when the cannon mouthings loud
Heave in wild wreaths the battle-shroud,
And gory sabres rise and fall
Like shoots of flame on midnight's pall
There shall thy meteor-glances glow,
And cowering foes shall sink beneath
Each gallant arm that strikes below
That lovely messenger of death.
   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
Flag of the free heart's hope and home ---
By angel hands to valor given!
Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,
And all thy hues were born in heaven.
Forever float that standard sheet!
Where breathes the foe that falls before us,
With Freedom's soil beneath our feet,
And Freedom's banner streaming o'er us!

J. RODMAN DRAKE.

 

WITH
Descriptions and Explanations.

NOTE BY THE PUBLISHERS.---No expense or pains have been spared to make these chromo-lithograph plates accurate in drawing and coloring. The flags were first photographed, thus insuring fulness of detail, and a color-sketch was then made of each flag, by a skilful artist, directly from the flag itself. The photographs were then transferred to stone, from which the plates herewith presented were printed. Each plate requires no less than sixteen printings to produce the various colors and tints necessary to a faithful representation of the flags, thus requiring one hundred and twenty-eight engraved stones to produce these eight plates The engraving and printing were done by Messrs. Wm. H. Dodd & Co., Hartford, Conn.

----------------

PLATE I.

 

NO. 1.---FLAG OF THE ELEVENTH REGIMENT CONNECTICUT VOLUNTEERS.

THIS regiment saw over four years' service, and took an active part in many of the most noted battles of the war, including Newbern, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Drury's Bluff, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, etc. The national color carried by the regiment, and which is now deposited in the state capitol at Hartford, consists of the remnants of two flags. One of these flags was presented by the Sons of Connecticut residing in New York, when the regiment passed through that city en route for the war, in 1861. In time it became so badly worn and shot-riddled that it could hardly be unfurled, and a new flag was presented to the regiment March 1, 1863, by Miss Julia A. Beach of Wallingford, Conn., through its colonel, Griffin A. Stedman, to whom she was engaged.(2) The new flag, and what remained of the old one, were tied to the original staff, and were in this manner carried by the regiment till the close of the war.

The first color-sergeant was George E. Bailey, Jr., of Deep River, Conn., a large, fine-looking man, who was killed at the storming of the stone bridge at Antietam. The 11th led the charge, and lost one hundred and eighty-one men in this battle. The state flag was carried in this battle by Sergeant David Kittler, who refused to go forward in the charge because the color was not supported by a full colorguard. Kittler was immediately wounded by an officer, who slashed him across the arm with his sword for refusing to advance. At this moment Corporal Henry A. Eastman of Ashford stepped forth and said, "Give me the colors!" and, taking them from Kittler, went forward amid the cheers of his comrades. Eastman carried the colors for some time, and was finally promoted captain.

At the battle of Drury's Bluff the flag was carried by Sergeant Orrin Wilson. Four of the color-guard were wounded. At the battle of Cold Harbor one of the colorguard was killed, and Color-Sergeant Metzger and two members of the color-guard were wounded. In that short, terrible and unsuccessful charge, nearly one-half the regiment were killed or wounded in the short space of five minutes. In this battle the flag was struck by many bullets, and the flag-staff was shot completely in two. The staff was then bound together with pieces of a harness belonging to the horses of a battery near by.

July 30, 1864, at the "Crater" in front of Petersburg, a rebel shell burst among the color-guard, killing one and wounding six. The one killed was literally blown to pieces, and his brains were spattered on the flag and staff.

While in front of Petersburg the camp of the regiment was in a ravine, through which flowed a small stream of water. One day a violent storm quickly made the stream a roaring torrent, and the camp was suddenly under water. The men hardly had time to reach high ground before the camp was swept away. Corporal Reisel of the color-guard tried to save the colors, but was borne down by the débris in the water and drowned. The colors were carried down the stream some distance before they were recovered. This flag was among the very first to enter Richmond, April 3, 1865.

 

No. 2. --- HEADQUARTERS GUIDON OF THE OLD VERMONT BRIGADE.

This was the oldest brigade in the service from Vermont, and had mustered on its rolls, in all, almost ten thousand men. At one time hard fighting had reduced its numbers to eleven hundred.

The Vermont Brigade was composed of the 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th, and 6th Vermont regiments, to which was subsequently added the 11th. It was a portion of the 6th Corps, and General Sedgwick proudly spoke of it as "the best brigade in the Army of the Potomac." Its history is written on every page of that of the Army of the Potomac, and no brigade in that gallant army performed more brilliant service or received greater honor.

 

No. 3.---MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN SEDGWICK'S SIXTH CORPS HEADQUARTERS FLAG.

No corps in the Union army was better known or more honored than the old 6th; and no corps commander was better loved than Major-General John Sedgwick, ---" Uncle John," as he was called by "the boys." At the close of the war this headquarters flag came into the possession of Colonel James H. Platt, a member of General Sedgwick's staff and Judge-Advocate-General of the army. In 1868 Colonel Platt presented the flag to the Association of Vermont Officers, and in a letter to the association said: --

"This flag should be especially dear and sacred to the old Vermont brigade, as it is the only one that our beloved Sedgwick ever used while he commanded the immortal 6th Corps. It was his headquarters battle-flag. Always carried near his person in every action in which he commanded the corps, it will be recognized by every soldier of the Old Brigade at once, and must awaken in their hearts vivid memories of the numerous fields upon which, under its folds, they achieved so much of their imperishable renown. It will recall the noble Sedgwick, who loved them so well and was so well loved in return, who was at once the brave soldier, the able commander, the sincere friend; the best soldier and the noblest man it was ever our good fortune to serve under. It will also recall our brave comrades who sealed their devotion to their country by their heroic deaths upon the field of battle under its folds. I have regarded it as a precious and sacred relic; and, believing I had no right to retain it all to myself, have long contemplated presenting it to this association. I respectfully request my old comrades, through you, to accept it as a valuable addition to their store of relics ; that they will permit it to grace the hall at their annual reunions, and cherish it as a memento of our beloved Sedgwick and the old Corps."

General Sedgwick was killed May 9, 1864, at Spottsylvania. He was at the most advanced point of the Union line of battle, near a section of artillery at a fatal angle in the works, accompanied by members of his staff, and was directing the movements of the men then occupying the rifle-pits. His manner, attitude and gesture as he stood communicated to the enemy that he was an officer of rank and authority, though he wore no uniform, not even a sword. From across the little valley which separated the Union forces from the enemy's line, from one of their sharpshooters concealed in the woods, came the swift messenger of death, which pierced his left eye and killed him instantly.

His body, immediately after death, was placed under a bower of evergreens, hastily constructed to receive it, among the pine woods, and was laid out upon a rough bier made for him by soldiers' hands, and this, his old headquarters flag, was thrown over his face. All day long, as he lay upon this bier, there came from all parts of the army the old and the young, time well and the wounded, officers and men, to take their last look at the beloved chieftain.

 

PLATE II.

 

No. 1.---FLAG OF THE TWENTY-FIRST REGIMENT MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS.

THE national flag of this regiment is reddened with the blood of the brave Sergeant Thomas Plunkett, shed while the 21st was charging upon the enemy's works in front of Petersburg, December 12, 1862. The regiment was met by a terrible storm of shot and shell, and when within about sixty rods of the enemy's line Color-Sergeant Collins, who had carried the flag through five battles, was struck by a shot, and fell. Sergeant Plunkett instantly seized the flag, and bore it onward to the farthest point reached by the Union troops during the battle, when a shell, coming with fatal accuracy from the rebel works, burst over the flag, and brought it to the ground wet with Plunkett's blood. Both of his arms were shot completely off. Plunkett died in Worcester, Mass., in 1884, and in honor of his memory this flag was taken from the State House in Boston and placed beside his coffin, a mute but eloquent reminder of his great sacrifice.

 

No. 2.---FLAG OF THE FORTIETH REGIMENT NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS.

This regiment was organized in the city of New York, and left for the seat of war July 4, 1861, with one thousand men splendidly armed and equipped. Its national flag was presented by Hon. Fernando Wood, mayor of New York, on behalf of the Union Defence Committee. It was one of the fighting regiments of the war, and sealed its devotion to the nation whose emblem it carried by the loss of nine hundred and thirty-six men in battle. Of its color-bearers five were killed in battle, four were wounded, and two died of disease.

Color-Sergeant Joseph Conroy carried this flag into action at Fair Oaks, and was killed on that field. Color-Corporal Charles Boyle then took the colors, was wounded and ordered to the rear, refused to go, and was killed soon after. Color Corporal George Miller bore it at Robinson's Field, Glendale, Malvern Hill, Haymarket, Bull Run, and Chantilly. He died of disease. Color-Corporal Alfred Conklin carried it at Williamsburg, Fair Oaks and Malvern Hill. He died of disease, at Harrison's Landing. Color-Corporal Edwin Howard carried it at Bull Run and Chantilly; was distinguished in all the battles of the regiment, and wounded at Fredericksburg. Color-Corporal Oliver P. Bisbing carried it at Williamsburg and Fair Oaks, and was killed in the last named battle. Color-Corporal John Brundage carried it at Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Glendale, Malvern Hill, and Bull Run, and was killed in the latter battle. Private Joseph Browne carried it at Haymarket, Bull Run, and Chantilly; was distinguished in eight engagements, and was promoted Color-Sergeant. Color-Corporal Robert Grieves carried it at Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, and Malvern Hill; was wounded and promoted at Fair Oaks. Color-Corporal Thomas Read carried it at Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, Bull Run, and Chantilly; was always distinguished, and was afterwards killed at Fredericksburg. Color-Corporal Thomas Braslin carried it at Fair Oaks, and was dangerously wounded. Color-Corporal Horatio N. Shepherd carried it at Malvern Hill, Bull Run, and Chantilly. Color-Corporal Jacob D. Bennett carried it at Williamsburg. Color-Corporal William Moyne carried it at Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, and Malvern Hill; and Color-Corporal Joel Slattery carried it at Malvern Hill, Bull Run, and Chantilly; was afterwards badly wounded at Fredericksburg.

 

No. 3. --- FLAG OF THE FOURTEENTH REGIMENT CONNECTICUT VOLUNTEERS.

To tell the story of this flag is to write the history of the Army of the Potomac. The regiment saw long and severe service, and was everywhere known as the "Fighting Fourteenth." It participated in thirty-three battles and skirmishes, besides the long siege of Richmond. This list includes all the great battles of the Army of the Potomac from Antietam to the close of the war. Its casualties were seven hundred and eighty-eight.

All through Grant's campaign, from the Wilderness to Appomattox, the 14th had its full share of work, glory, and losses. Its colors are so torn by shot, shell and bullet that they cannot be safely unfurled without being supported by ribbons. Ninety-one different soldiers held commissions in the 14th during its term of service. Three of its field officers were brevetted to be brigadier-generals, and several to colonelcies. It was a familiar saying that "he who joins the 14th will be a captain or a dead man in a year's time." Its colors were proudly borne in the battle of Antietam, and were passed from hand to hand as their brave bearers fell. In this battle the staff of the national flag was shot in two by a bullet, and the eagle's head knocked off with a piece of shell. Color-Sergeant Thomas J. Mills of New London was mortally wounded, and dropped the flag as he fell. Sergeant George A. Foote, Jr., of Guilford, instantly volunteered to take it and carried it the rest of the day.

At the battle of Fredericksburg, as the regiment charged up into the jaws of death on Marye's Heights, Sergeant Charles E. Dart of Rockville carried the flag, and fell mortally wounded. Again Sergeant Foote attempted to carry it, but was shot in the leg and fell. Sergeant Foote was a brother of the late Mrs. Gen. Joseph R. Hawley, and was one of the most gallant soldiers of the war. Of her brother's part in this battle Mrs. Hawley writes:--

"The color-sergeant fell, terribly wounded, just as the regiment had been ordered to fall back. Foote stooped, and tried to pick up the flag; the brave old sergeant held on to it, saying, 'Twill take care of it,' and suddenly rose to his feet, but instantly fell back dead. As Foote stooped to pick it up, he was shot in the leg and fell. After lying on the field a short time, he tried to rise, but was instantly fired upon by the rebels, wounding him slightly in the head and hip. All the rest of that awful day he lay still where he had fallen; three times our men charged over him, of course trampling on his wounded leg, while he, half-delirious, begged them to kill him to end his sufferings,---but none had time then to attend to one poor wounded fellow.

"That night he managed to crawl off to a little hut near the field, where some other wounded men had hung out a yellow flag. Here they lay, with a little hardtack and still less water, till the third day after the fight, when they were visited by a rebel officer with a few men, who spoke roughly to them, asking them what they were here for. Foote coolly lifted his head, and said, 'I came to fight rebels, and I have found them; and if ever I get well I'll come back and fight them again.' 'Bully for you !' said the officer; 'you are a boy I like!' and at once gave him some water out of his own canteen, sent one of his men for more, washed his leg and foot, and bound it up as well as he could, paroled him, and helped him across the river to the Lacy House hospital. In fact, he and his men gave him a blanket, and cheered him as the wagon drove off. Foote said afterward, 'I didn't know but he would blow my brains out, but I didn't mean he should think we were sneaks.'

"The poor fellow's leg had to be amputated; and, although he was commissioned a lieutenant for his gallantry, he was never able to be mustered in, nor did he recover strength to survive the war but a few years, dying in 1869."

After Foote was wounded, the state flag was picked up by Private William B. Hincks (afterwards major) and Captain Doten, both of Bridgeport, and by them brought safely off the field.

At Chancellorsville Sergeant Samuel Webster, while carrying the national flag, was wounded in the wrist, and afterwards transferred to the Invalid Corps. At Morton's Ford battle, in 1864, Sergeant Amory Allen of Hartford, while carrying the national flag, and Corporal Chadwick of Lyme, of the color-guard, were killed in a charge upon the enemy across the Rapidan. Corporal John Hirst of Rockville picked up the flag as Allen fell, and bore it the rest of the day. At the battle of Hatcher's Run, Henry Hospodsky of Rockville, of the color-guard, was wounded.

Of the battle of the Wilderness, in 1864, Major Hincks writes: --

"On the morning of the second day's fight the brigade to which the 14th belonged drove back the rebel outposts for upwards of half a mile. It being almost impossible to hear an order in the horrible din, the adjutant took the colorbearer by the shoulder, and, pointing to the trunk of a fallen tree, shouted for him to kneel by it. Many officers and men of the 14th then rallied around the colors, together with a handful from the other regiments, other members of the 14th extending the line by deploying as skirmishers, and fighting from behind trees, Indian fashion. Corporal Charles W. Norton of Berlin was severely wounded at this time, while carrying the flag. Later in the day, during an attack by Longstreet's corps, Corporal Henry K. Lyon of New London, a brave soldier who carried the national gag, was mortally wounded. Handing the flag to Lieu tenant-Colonel Moore, the dying soldier said, 'Take it, Colonel; I have done my best!' Colonel Moore gave it to John Hirst of Rockville. The regiment at this time was almost surrounded, and in danger of being captured, but Sergeant Hirst brought the flag safely from the field, and carried it from that time through every battle until the close of the war."

Corporal Robert Wolfe of Waterbury, a member of the color-guard, was wounded in this engagement, and subsequently at the battle of Ream's Station.

At the battle of Gettysburg, the 14th held one of the most important positions in the line of the Second Corps, on which line the rebel charge. spent itself in vain. In this battle the 14th charged upon the enemy and captured the colors belonging to the 14th Tennessee, 1st Tennessee, 16th North Carolina, and 4th Virginia, besides capturing many prisoners.

At the close of the war the flag was carried, amid the plaudits of thousands, before the President, at the grand review in Washington; thence it was borne back to old Connecticut, to be deposited in its final resting-place at the Capitol.

 

No. 4---FLAG OF THE TWENTY-FOURTH REGIMENT MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS.

The flag of this gallant regiment is inscribed with the names of twenty-three battles in which it participated. Further than this its history cannot be learned.

 

No. 5.--- FLAG OF THE FIRST MAINE HEAVY ARTILLERY.

The 1st Maine Heavy Artillery was in service three years, but served in the field only the last year of the war, joining the Army of the Potomac near Spottsylvania Court-House in May, 1864. The colors were then in charge of Sergeant James M. Smith of Ellsworth. He, with eight other noncommissioned officers, composed the color-guard. On May 19, 1864, out of the nine three were killed and four wounded, leaving the sergeant and one corporal unhurt. Seven men immediately filled their places, and on June 18 following, while storming the enemy's works near Petersburg, two were killed, and Sergeant Smith with five others wounded, leaving only Corporal Ames, who thus twice passed through the furnace of fire, only to be taken prisoner four days later. On the above named 18th of June the regiment advanced over a level field about seven hundred yards. Sergeant Smith fell near the rebel works, with a leg shattered. Under cover of the smoke from the batteries, he quickly rolled up the flag, and, drawing the case from his pocket, slipped it over the colors; then, with the help of the staff, he worked himself off the field. Major-General Robert McAllister, who witnessed this charge, wrote of it as follows: "In all my army experience no scene of carnage and suffering is so impressed on my mind as that fatal charge made by your regiment on the 18th of June, 1864 . . . . The brigade moved off, your fine regiment handsomely in the front. You went gallantly, not to meet success. That was impossible. . . you were a forlorn hope. In a few minutes out of your regiment, which advanced nine hundred strong, six hundred and thirty-two were laid low on the battle-field."

Four days later this regiment formed a part of the 3d Division, 2d Corps, which was flanked by the enemy. Intently engaged in front, it was suddenly attacked in the rear. The line faced about, and immediately, among the thick undergrowth, the blue and the gray became mixed, lines broken, and men fighting in squads; prisoners were taken and retaken, flags were captured and again yielded up to a superior force, the regiment all the while working itself out of the thicket. Nobly the color-guard defended their flag, one of their number being snatched from the squad a prisoner, until they gained a more open space, where they planted their standard, around which the regiment rallied and held their ground against further attack.

April 6, 1865, the regiment formed the skirmish line of the vanguard of the 2d Army Corps, following General Lee's retreating columns. It made seven distinct charges on the hastily constructed works of the enemy. Their captures during the day amounted to forty-seven wagons, three pieces of artillery, two battle-flags, and three hundred and fifty prisoners. Sergeant Woodcock, who carried the flag at this time, showed such reckless bravery in displaying his colors, always a little in advance of the skirmish-line, that the colonel sent an orderly bidding him to be more cautious lest the flag fall into the enemy's hands. During the war five from the colorguard were killed, eleven wounded, and one taken prisoner.

 

No 6.---FLAG OF THE FIRST CONNECTICUT HEAVY ARTILLERY.

The 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery was one of the largest and most efficient organizations sent to the war from Connecticut, and was ranked by military judges as the best volunteer regiment of heavy artillery in the field. It left Hartford for the seat of war in June, 1861, and soon after, by special orders from the War Department, its organization was changed to consist of twelve companies of one hundred and fifty men each. It now numbered eighteen hundred officers and men, under a high state of discipline. It was in service four years and four months, and was splendidly equipped with a siege train of seventy-one pieces of artillery, many of them very heavy guns. It took a prominent part in the siege of Yorktown, and in the series of battles at Hanover Court-House, Gaines' Mill, Chickahommy, Golden Hill, Malvern Hill, siege of Fredericksburg, Kelly's Ford, Orange Court-House, siege of Petersburg, siege of Richmond, Fort Fisher, etc.

At Malvern Hill, during the night of June 30, fourteen heavy guns were dragged up the steep ascent and occupied the highest ground on that battle-field. The guns were served with great rapidity and caused tremendous havoc amid the enemy's advancing column.

General McClellan had great confidence in the Connecticut Heavy Artillery, and Major-General W. F. (" Baldy") Smith writes "I saw much of the 1st Connecticut Artillery during the campaign of 1862, and was surprised at the skill and gallantry of its officers and men. During the time I commanded the 18th Corps before Petersburg, I called heavily upon it for siege guns, and never before during the war have I witnessed such artillery practice as I saw with that regiment, which has not its equal in artillery firing."

Its great services were recognized by an order directing the names of its battles to be emblazoned on its flag.

 

PLATE III.

 

No. 1.---FLAG OF THE THIRTEENTH REGIMENT ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS.

THIS flag is stained by the life-blood of Patrick Reilly, color-sergeant, who was killed at Ringgold Gap, November 27, 1863. He was shot through the breast and fell in such manner as to be rolled up in the flag.

 

No. 2.---NATIONAL FLAG OF THE TWENTY-FOURTH REGIMENT MICHIGAN VOLUNTEERS.

The fatality that attended the color-bearers, officers, and men of this regiment at the battle of Gettysburg was very great. It had in its ranks on the morning of this memorable fight four hundred and ninety-six officers and men. It lost in killed and wounded three hundred and sixteen. The 24th was a part of the Iron Brigade, which was the first infantry engaged at Gettysburg. It carried into this battle only a state flag, which was presented to the regiment by the citizens of Detroit. This was carried by Color-Bearer Abel G. Peck, a tall, straight, handsome man, and as brave a soldier as ever gave up his life for his country. He was instantly killed almost at the beginning of the famous charge of the Iron Brigade. The flag was then seized by Private Thomas B. Ballon, who was desperately wounded immediately after, and died a few weeks later. The flag was then carried by Private August Ernst, who was instantly killed. Corporal Andrew Wagner then took the colors and carried them until shot through the breast, from the effects of which he died about a year after the close of the war.

When Corporal Wagner fell, Colonel Henry A. Morrill took the flag, and gallantly attempted to rally the few survivors of the regiment. But Private William Kelly insisted on carrying it, saying to Colonel Morrill, "You shall not carry the flag while I am alive." The gallant fellow held it aloft and almost instantly fell, shot through the heart. Private L. Spaulding then took the flag from the hands of Kelly, and carried it until he was himself badly wounded. Colonel Morrill again seized the flag, and was soon after shot in the head and carried from the field.

After the fall of Colonel Morrill, the flag was carried by a soldier whose name has never been ascertained. He was seen by Captain Edwards --- who was now in command of the regiment---lying upon the ground badly wounded, grasping the flag in his hands. Captain Edwards took the flag from him and carried it himself until the few men left of the regiment fell back and reached Culp's Hill. Captain Edwards is the only man who is known to have carried the flag that day, who was not killed or wounded.

This grand old flag is no longer in existence. It was so riddled and torn with shot and shell that scarcely a square foot of it remained intact. The staff was shot and broken in pieces also. The men had great affection for the old flag, and after the battle of Gettysburg they agreed to cut it up and distribute the pieces to the survivors. This was done, and to-day in many a Michigan household a small piece of faded blue silk is cherished as one of the sacred mementoes of the war. The flag shown in the illustration is the national color carried by the regiment.

 

No. 3.---FLAG OF THE EIGHTH REGIMENT MISSOURI VOLUNTEERS.

This was the first flag on the parapets of Forts Henry and Donelson. It was riddled at Shiloh; was carried up to the breastworks in the charge at Vicksburg; was upon the breastworks at Kenesaw, where the regiment went over the works, and changed sides with the rebels, and fought hand-to-hand. It led the way in the march to the sea; waved over Fort McAllister, and on the flag-staff at Columbia, S. C., and Raleigh. It was carried in many battles and skirmishes.

 

No. 4.----FLAG OF THE FIRST MINNESOTA ARTILLERY.

History unknown.

 

No. 5.--- FLAG OF THE SECOND REGIMENT MICHIGAN VOLUNTEERS.

This flag was presented to the regiment by the ladies of Niles, Mich., and during the war was followed by no less than two thousand one hundred and fifty-one men. Of that number three hundred and twenty-one lie buried on southern soil. If this old flag, that so many brave men followed to the death, could only tell its own story, what a tale it would tell of love of country, of patriotism, of glory, of suffering, disease, wounds, and death. It was carried through forty-four battles and skirmishes, and was the first Union flag to enter Petersburg. It was carried in Burnside's "Geography Class," from Virginia to Maryland, Kentucky to Mississippi, back to Kentucky and Tennessee, and finally back to Virginia, there to participate in the closing scenes of the rebellion.

 

No. 6.---FLAG OF THE SEVENTH NEW YORK HEAVY ARTILLERY.

This flag and that of the 5th New Hampshire were the only ones that went over the rebel works at Cold Harbor. An officer of the 5th New Hampshire Regiment writes:

"The 7th New York Heavy Artillery was a very gallant regiment. At Cold Harbor both regiments went over the rebel works together, and no other colors but those of these two regiments were anywhere near that point." Both regiments, however, were driven out with great loss, but, before falling back, captured and sent to their rear about two hundred and fifty prisoners. The 7th New York Heavy Artillery also performed splendid service at Ream's Station, and covered itself with glory. In this engagement it was reduced to a mere handful.

 

PLATE IV.
CONFEDERATE BATTLE-FLAGS.

 

No. 1.---CONFEDERATE BATTLE-FLAG CAPTURED FROM GENERAL BRAGG'S REBEL ARMY AT LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN.

THIS flag was captured by Sergeant F. N. Potter of the 149th Regiment New York Volunteers, November 24, 1863, in a desperate hand-to-hand fight, from a rebel sergeant, who was disarmed and taken prisoner by Sergeant Potter. The latter was soon afterwards wounded. (Now in the keeping of the War Department, at Washington, D.C.)

 

No. 2. --- CONFEDERATE BATTLE-FLAG OF THE FORTY-SECOND MISSISSIPPI REGIMENT.

Captured before Petersburg, in a hand-to-hand fight, by Corporal Charles H. Dolloff of the 11th Regiment Vermont Volunteers. Seeing the furious charge of the Union troops, the rebel color-bearer tore the flag from its staff and attempted to destroy it, but was prevented by the quick movements of Corporal Dolloff, who captured the flag and its bearer. (Now in the keeping of the War Department, at Washington, D.C.)

 

No. 3.---CONFEDERATE BATTLE-FLAG OF THE TWELFTH MISSISSIPPI CAVALRY.

This flag was captured with its bearer, at Selma, Ala., April 2, 1865, by Private James P. Miller of the 4th Iowa Cavalry. (Now in the keeping of the War Department, at Washington, D.C.)

 

No. 4.---CONFEDERATE BLOOD-STAINED SILK BATTLE-FLAG OF THE NINTH TEXAS REGIMENT.

Captured in battle by Private Orrin B. Gould of the 27th Regiment Ohio Volunteers. The 9th Texas Regiment, with this flag at their head, charged upon the 27th Ohio. Private Gould of the 27th shot down the rebel color-bearer and rushed forward for the colors. A rebel officer shouted, "Save the colors, men," and at the same time shot and wounded Gould in the breast. Gould, with the flag in his hands and a bullet in his breast, rushed back to his regiment, waving the flag defiantly in the face of the enemy. (Now the property of the state of Ohio.)

 

No. 5.---CONFEDERATE BATTLE-FLAG OF AUSTIN'S BATTERY.

Captured at Columbus, Ga., April 16, 1865, with its color-bearer, inside the rebel line of works, by Private Andrew W. Tibbetts of the 3d Iowa Cavalry. (Now in the keeping of the War Department, at Washington, D.C.)

 

No. 6.--- CONFEDERATE BATTLE-FLAG CAPTURED AT MALVERN HILL.

Captured July 1, 1862, by Sergeant W. J. Whittrick of the 83d Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. It was taken from a South Carolina regiment, who piled up their dead to resist the attack of the Union Brigade. (Now in the keeping of the War Department, at Washington, D.C.)

 

No. 7.---CONFEDERATE BATTLE-FLAG, BLACK (NO QUARTER), PROBABLY FROM TEXAS.

Captured within the rebel lines near North Mountain, Maryland, August 1, 1864. The "Lone Star" in the centre of the flag no doubt indicates that it belonged to a Texas regiment. (Now in the keeping of the War Department, at Washington, D.C.)

 

No. 8. --- CONFEDERATE SILK BATTLE-FLAG.

Very handsome, and one of the first Confederate flags captured in Virginia. It contains the words "For Liberty We Strike" in gold letters on the centre stripe. (Now the property of Post No. 2, G. A. R., Philadelphia, Pa.)

 

PLATE V.

 

No. 1.---FLAG OF THE FIRST NEW JERSEY CAVALRY.

THIS was one of the first regiments of volunteer cavalry that entered the field in the war of the rebellion, and was one of the last to leave it. According to the official report of the Adjutant-General, this gallant regiment was engaged in no less than ninety-seven actions, including many of the most noted battles of the war, and this flag was carried through ninety-two of them. The regiment was recruited three times to the full maximum, and as often melted away before the enemy's fire. The flag of a regiment that performed continuous service, and whose record is one of brilliant achievements, must have a thrilling story; but all efforts to obtain it have proved fruitless.

In the preface to the "History of the First New Jersey Cavalry," written by the chaplain of the regiment and published soon after the war, the following reference is made to the flag: --- "Though soiled and tattered, it has a glory that belongs alone to itself and the men who carried and followed it so bravely." Notwithstanding this suggestive statement, not a single incident pertaining to the flag is given in the book.

 

No. 2.---FLAG OF THE FORTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS.

This flag was presented to the regiment by Mrs. General Viele, October, 1861, at Annapolis, Md. Part of the staff was shot away at Fort Wagner. It was borne in action at Port Royal Ferry, Pocotaligo, Morris Island, and Fort Wagner. The regiment was also engaged in the battles of Drury's Bluff, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Chapin's Farm, Fort Fisher, and several minor engagements. Of the bearers of this flag, Sergeant George G. Sparks was wounded and transferred to the invalid corps; Corporal G. Vredenberg was wounded and discharged; Corporal James W. Dunn was wounded, promoted Captain, and killed at Fort Fisher; and Corporals Alonzo Hilliker, Alexander Hyers, and Sidney Wadhams were killed.

At the battle of Cold Harbor, the 48th lost one flag, not through cowardice, but sheer bravery. The color-bearer was shot down, and another seized the fallen standard only to perish beneath its folds. Then a third man, Color-Sergeant William H. Porch, lifted its proud challenge to the foe and planted it upon the parapet, in the very midst of the rebel host, where he too died, pierced with bullets, and flag and bearer fell together over the parapet, into the arms of the enemy. The flag was never recovered.

Of the death of Sergeant Porch, Rev. A. J. Palmer, D.D., who served three years as a private in this regiment, says:

"It may be doubted if in the whole history of the Forty-eighth a more gallant deed will be chronicled than that of the death of Porch. He had been falsely twitted with cowardice at Drury's Bluff because he had taken the colors to the rear, when ordered to do so, when our force retired; some one, who did not know that he was but obeying orders, had accused him of showing the white feather. No charge could have stung his noble soul more keenly. Porch was a gentleman and a hero. He had been a student at Pennington Seminary, New Jersey, and was the first to write his name on the roll of Company D. He was an educated, well-to-do boy from New Jersey, and his death was a spectacle which his comrades ought never to forget. Sergeant John M. Tantum(3) was his bosom friend, and, just as our men reached that second line of rifle-pits that bristled with bayonets and swarmed with rebels, Tantum cried to Porch, 'Now, Billy, show them that you are no coward!' To mount that bank was instant death, and yet without hesitancy and without a single word Porch leaped up the bank alone. He was shot by a score of bullets, and, throwing his arms around his flag, fell with it into the midst of the foe. Not another man followed him ---he was left alone there in the keeping of his flag and of glory."

For a regiment to lose its colors in battle is esteemed a reproach. In this case it was, on the contrary, a high honor, which was recognized at headquarters; for, although an order had been issued that a regiment losing its colors should not carry them again for three months, a special order was issued permitting the 48th to carry colors immediately.

 

No. 3.---FLAG OF THE 150TH ("BUCKTAIL") REGIMENT PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEERS.

This regiment was recruited in the mountain region of Pennsylvania, where the deer range, and where every member, before he could be mustered in, was obliged to produce the evidence that he had shot a buck, which was the tail of the animal. This he wore in the front of his cap when he went into battle. The regiment was always designated as the "Bucktails." They were known as expert marksmen, and were correspondingly feared.

At the battle of Gettysburg the regiment was posted in an orchard, between the Chambersburg pike and the woods where General Reynolds was killed. The rebels attacked the regiment in great force, but the rapid and accurate fire of the "Bucktails," followed by a gallant charge, threw the enemy into confusion, and caused them to beat a hasty retreat. But the rebels soon renewed their attack with a greatly increased force and with desperate fury, and poured a destructive cross-fire from the woods into the regiment, inflicting great loss among the "Bucktails," particularly in the vicinity of the colors, causing the line to waver. The regimental flag was borne by Sergeant Samuel Phifer, than whom no braver soldier ever lived. Colonel Huidekoper ordered him to stand fast, and, in tones which rang like a bugle-call, cried, "Bucktails, rally on your colors " The regiment instantly reformed, and, in spite of the fact that they now numbered less than two hundred men, they checked the rebel advance, and held the position until they were nearly surrounded, when, to escape capture, they fell back to Seminary Ridge. In this last desperate struggle Sergeant Phifer gave up his life at almost the last moment before the regiment retired, dying with his face towards the enemy, his hand waving the flag, while his life-blood flowed from numerous wounds. His gallantry had attracted the attention of the rebel General Hill, as the following extract from the diary of Colonel Freemantle, published in Blackwood's Magazine for September, 1863, will show --

"General Hill soon came up. He said that the Yankees had fought with unusual determination. He pointed out a field in the centre of which he had seen a man plant the regimental color, around which the regiment had fought for some time with great obstinacy, and when at last it was obliged to retreat, the color-bearer retired last of all, turning around every now and then to shake his fist at the advancing rebels. General Hill said he felt quite sorry when he saw this gallant Yankee meet his doom."

Corporal Gutelins, who was now the only member of the color-guard unwounded, seized and carried the flag. The regiment finally abandoned its position on Seminary Ridge, and fell back into the town of Gettysburg. Up to this time --- about four P.M. --- the flag was safe, although every member of the color-guard, excepting Corporal Gutelins, had been killed or wounded. Gutelins had nearly reached the town when He too was struck by a ball. He still insisted upon carrying the flag, but in passing through Gettysburg became confused, and was separated from the regiment. Becoming weak from loss of blood, he sat down for a moment on a step to rest, in company with a wounded comrade. Instantly the rebels were upon them, and Gutelins was shot dead, with the colors clasped in his arms. Before his comrade could release the flag-staff from Gutelins' dying grasp, the rebels had cut off his retreat, and the flag thus fell into the hands of the enemy.

The flag was soon afterwards presented by the rebels, with a grand flourish of trumpets, to Jefferson Davis, and was found with his effects when he was captured in Georgia, in the spring of 1865. At the close of the war, repeated efforts were made by Colonel Huidekoper and General Simon Cameron to secure the return of the flag to the state of Pennsylvania, and it was finally transmitted by the Secretary of War to the Adjutant-General of Pennsylvania, October 25, 1869, with a letter, in which the Secretary says: "I am directed by the President to send herewith the flag of the 150th Pennsylvania Volunteers, said to have been captured at Gettysburg, and recaptured with the baggage of Jefferson Davis." The flag is now deposited, with the other tattered ensigns of the state, in the Capitol at Harrisburg.

 

No. 4.---FLAG OF THE EIGHTY-THIRD REGIMENT PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEERS.

In May, 1861, Governor Curtin addressed a message to the Legislature of Pennsylvania, informing that body that the "Society of the Cincinnati of Pennsylvania" had presented to him the sum of five hundred dollars, to be used towards arming and equipping Pennsylvania soldiers. The governor asked that the manner of its use should be directed by statute.

The "Society of the Cincinnati" was originally composed of surviving soldiers of the Revolution, who pledged lasting friendship and aid to each other. Washington was at its head, and Mifflin, Wayne, Reed, and Cadwalader were members of it. The gift thus tendered to the state of Pennsylvania was accepted by the Legislature for the state, and was devoted to the purchase of a battle-flag to be carried at the head of one of the Pennsylvania regiments.

The flag thus acquired was presented to the 83d Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, and was presented to them while in camp at Hall's Hill, Va., by Hon. Edgar Cowan, United States senator from Pennsylvania, who represented Governor Curtin on this occasion.

This flag was borne in the most desperate fighting at Gaines' Mill, where the commander of the regiment was killed. A few days later, at Malvern Hill, the 83d held a vital point in the line, and lost one hundred and forty-four men in the struggle. Corporal Ames, the color-bearer, was killed by a bullet, which at the same time pierced and splintered the flag-staff. The flag fell, and he fell upon it. It was picked up by Sergeant Alexander Rogers, who waved it over his head and gallantly advanced to the front of the regiment. During the most desperate fighting Sergeant William Wittich of the 83d, seeing one of the enemy's battle-flags lying upon the field, in advance of our lines, dashed out and secured the flag. For this act of heroism he was promoted to a lieutenancy, by order of General Porter, commanding the corps.

Sergeant Rogers bore the old flag gloriously through a dozen bloody fights, and was finally killed in the first day's battle in the Wilderness, on the 5th of May, 1864. Finally, a new staff, and eventually a new flag, took the place of the old. It was still, however, the same valor-inspiring emblem, and wherever its star-lit folds could be discerned amid the smoke and carnage of the fray there gathered the true and tried hearts, whose every beat was responsive to its safety and honor.

In the battle of Laurel Hill, on the 8th of May, 1864, the 83d was ordered to storm intrenched works strongly held by the enemy. The charge was fearlessly made, and some of the men succeeded in crossing the enemy's works, where they fell to bayoneting the foe; but the odds were too great, and the regiment was forced to fall back, with a loss of over one hundred and fifty in killed and wounded--some of the bravest and most daring going down in this ill-advised charge. The flag on this occasion was carried by Corporal Vogus, who had rescued it when Sergeant Rogers fell at the Wilderness, three days before. While the regiment was charging up to the breastworks, he received a severe wound in the side, and fell with the flag. Corporal John Lillibridge of the color-guard immediately seized it, and was about to carry it forward when Vogus recovered and, again taking the flag, pressed forward and planted it on the breastworks of the enemy. In a few moments afterwards he was shot through the breast. Fearing that the flag might be captured, and more careful for it than for himself, he seized it while he was in the act of falling, and hurled it to the rear, where it was caught by Corporal Dan Jones. Jones was shortly after wounded himself, and, while getting off the field, handed the flag to a soldier of the 44th New York, and it was soon afterwards returned to the regiment.

The number of battles in which this flag was carried, as published in orders and recorded in the Official Army Register of 1885, is twenty-five.

 

No. 5. --- FLAG OF THE NINTH REGIMENT NEW JERSEY VOLUNTEERS.

Color-Sergeant George Myers carried this tattered flag at Roanoke Island, Newbern, Southwest Creek, Kingston, Goldsboro, Walthall, Drury's Bluff, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and in every campaign and battle in which the 9th New Jersey participated. Myers was a brave soldier, and this flag always waved in the thickest of the fray.

In the unequal battle at Drury's Bluff, Va., May 16, 1864, Myers had a narrow escape. Under cover of a dense fog a division of rebels suddenly burst upon the Union line, and, although they met with a withering fire from the New Jersey Riflemen, and were four times hurled back in confusion and dismay by the terrific volleys thrown among them, it was at last evident that the Union line must give way. The 9th New Jersey had lost most of its officers and men, when suddenly the exultant rebels burst in upon the survivors with redoubled fury, determined to be avenged for the terrible injuries inflicted upon them. Sergeant Myers, undismayed, and calm and collected as if on parade, seeing himself and a few comrades surrounded by the enemy, with scarcely a hope of escape, stripped from the staff the silken shred, which had been his inseparable companion for years, and, hastily buttoning it within the folds of his blouse, grasped a rifle, and, calling upon those near him to follow, dashed through the advancing line of rebels, dealing heavy blows for life and liberty, and thus escaped capture and saved the flag. His clothing was perforated with bullets.

 

No. 6.---FLAG OF THE 105TH REGIMENT NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS.

This flag was presented to the regiment by the ladies of Le Roy, Genesee County, N. Y., and was carried in many battles. Seven color-bearers were killed or wounded while carrying it. It bears the marks of many bullets and a piece of shell, and its staff was cut in two by a ball. The regiment was engaged in nine battles before it had been in the field nine months.

 

PLATE VI.

 

No. 1.---FLAG OF THE FIFTH REGIMENT NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS.

OVER two thousand two hundred men were enrolled in this regiment during its three years' service. It lost over half the command in six different engagements. At Gettysburg, every fifth man of the number engaged was killed or mortally wounded. Its casualties in action, during its term of service, were appalling. Its first flag --- which had upon it the blood-stains of three men, one a captain --- was worn out at Fredericksburg. In this battle the regiment was first in line, and its dead were found nearer the enemy's position than those of any other troops. The flag was carried in this battle by Color-Sergeant Reuel G. Austin, who was wounded, and it was then carried by Sergeant George S. Gove, who was also wounded. The flag was then seized by Sergeant John R. McCrillis, who carried it off the field at the close of the day.

During the battle Captain James B. Perry, a most gallant officer, was shot in the breast and mortally wounded. It was impossible to take him to the rear under the terrific fire then raging, so he was cared for by his comrades where he lay. Turning to a brother-officer, the wounded soldier said, "I know I shall not recover from this wound, but I am content if I can see the old flag once more." The flag was brought to him, but his sight had failed and he could not see it. Its folds were put in his hands, and, pressing the banner to his lips, he murmured his farewell to it and to his comrades at the same time, and died with the flag in his grasp. The flag carried by the fifth at Gettysburg was one of a second set presented to it. In this battle seven men were killed or wounded with this flag in their hands.

No regiment fought more valiantly, and few, if any, were in a greater number of desperate battles. Its history is sad but glorious. Wherever the Army of the Potomac met the enemy, there lie the bones of the 5th New Hampshire.

 

No. 2.---FLAG OF THE FIRST RHODE ISLAND CAVALRY.

Rev. Frederick Denison, chaplain of the 1st Regiment Rhode Island Cavalry, relates the following story of this flag: -

"Color-Sergeant G. A. Robbins (Troop 1., 1st Cavalry R. I.), finding that capture was inevitable, stripped the regimental standard from the staff, broke the staff and threw it away. Opening his bosom, he wrapped the colors about his body, and so concealed them. He was captured, but on his way to Richmond, after a number of days, escaped and found his way back into our lines. Finding at length, the headquarters of the broken but brave and honored regiment, he reported for duty, and then drew from his breast the loved and precious flag --- an act that drew tears of gratitude and admiration from all beholders, and shouts of applause from his brave comrades, and won instantly for him a lieutenant's commission."

 

No. 3. ---FLAG OF THE SIXTEENTH REGIMENT CONNECTICUT VOLUNTEERS.

The 16th Connecticut Infantry Regiment was thrown into the hottest of the battle at Antietam, a brave but undisciplined and undrilled body of men, but twenty days from home. The regiment came out of this battle with a loss of two hundred and thirty-eight in killed, wounded, and missing. Subsequently it followed the fortunes of the Army of the Potomac, and saw service at Fredericksburg under Burnside, and participated in other engagements, finally being ordered to Plymouth, N. C.

Plymouth was a fortified post defended by a line of earthworks and by a fleet of Union gun-boats anchored in the river. Sunday evening, April 17, 1864, the picket line of the regiment was driven in by the rebels, and this attack was followed by a heavy artillery fire and an unsuccessful assault upon the earthworks. During the night the rebels brought their troops into position, and the light of morning showed they had completely invested the place with an overwhelming force. The Union troops consisted all told of only sixteen hundred men fit for duty. This force was surrounded by three brigades of rebel infantry --- Hoke's, Ransom's and Kemper's---sixteen regiments in all, with eleven batteries of field artillery and two companies of cavalry, the entire force amounting to over thirteen thousand men, the choicest troops of Lee's army. They were aided by the rebel ram Albemarle, which drove off and sunk the fleet of wooden gun-boats in the river and poured a destructive fire into the Union camps. For three days the federal troops defended the garrison with the utmost gallantry, but one redoubt after another was carried by the rebels, until on Wednesday morning, April 20, it was evident that the Union troops could hold out but a few hours longer. All demands for surrender had thus far been met with refusal. After the last flag of truce from the enemy had returned to their lines bearing a refusal to surrender, a tremendous fire of musketry and artillery was opened on the Union line; the rebels fairly swarmed over the last line of breastworks, and poured into the Union camps with the confidence of victory near at hand. At an angle in the breastworks they captured a portion of the artillery and turned the guns on the Union forces, by this act cutting the 16th Connecticut in two, part of the men, with the color-guard, being on one side, and a part, with some of the field officers, on the other. At this juncture, with every hope of escape destroyed, surrounded by nearly ten times their number, Lieutenant-Colonel Burnham shouted to the color-guard: "Strip the flags from their staffs and bring them here." To tear each flag from its staff was the work of a moment; but who should carry them across a field five hundred feet, through that merciless hail of grape and canister? It required brave men, and they were not wanting. Color-Sergeant Francis Latimer took the national color, Color-Corporal Ira E. Forbes the state flag, and, crossing the most exposed part of the field, safely delivered them to Colonel Burnham. Corporal Forbes then returned and brought back the flag of the 101st Pennsylvania Regiment. The only thought now was to save the colors from capture. An attempt was made to burn them, and was partially successful. What was left was torn into small pieces and distributed among members of the regiment near at hand, who at once concealed them on their persons.

Hardly had the flags been disposed of and the last pieces distributed, ere the defenders of the garrison found themselves prisoners of war. The rebels demanded the colors and were greatly chagrined at not obtaining them. Believing them to be concealed, they made a thorough but unsuccessful search for them.

The Union soldiers captured in this engagement were incarcerated in various southern prisons, most of them at Andersonville, where they suffered untold horrors. The 16th lost more men at Andersonville and other rebel prisons than any other Connecticut regiment. Nearly two hundred of this regiment alone---or nearly one-half of the entire number captured---died in Andersonville. No words can describe their terrible sufferings. A large number of the survivors died soon after the war, of disease contracted in those fearful pens. Few if any of those now living are free from the life-long effects of horrible starvation and exposure. All through the terrible days of their imprisonment the little patches of the old flag were carefully guarded and preserved by those to whom they were intrusted.

After the war a beautiful white silk flag was procured for the regimental organization. A meeting of the survivors was held, and the little shreds of the old flag were assembled from widely scattered sources and sewed together in the form of a shield and scroll, and these were sewed on the centre of the new white silk flag.

A year after the close of the war the rebels were so determined to find the missing colors that they ploughed up the ground covered by the camps of the Union forces and levelled the breastworks at that end of the town, believing the flags had been buried by our men. They found nothing to reward them but the flag-staffs, which had been thrust into a hole under the breastworks.

One of the flags of the 16th was an elegant state flag which was presented to the regiment by the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company, Hartford, and had an inscribed silver shield on its staff, with the name of the donors. After the flag was stripped from its staff, torn up and passed around, this silver shield was removed by Color-Sergeant Latimer and hastily secreted in the lining of his dress-coat.

All through his long imprisonment Sergeant Latimer carefully guarded this cherished relic; but when exchanged and presented with clean clothes at Annapolis, in his delight at getting rid of his dirty, vermin-filled rags, he threw them on the lively pile accumulated from those ahead of him in line, utterly forgetful of the silver shield sewn into the lapel of his old coat. His grief was great when he discovered his loss; but it was too late, and the shield was forever lost.

 

No. 4.---FLAG OF THE FIFTY-FOURTH (COLORED) INFANTRY REGIMENT MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS.

The 54th Massachusetts was a brave regiment of colored troops, commanded by Colonel Robert G. Shaw, a man of refinement and gentle manners, and brave as a lion. The national flag carried by this regiment was the gift of certain young colored ladies of Boston, and was presented to the regiment by the great war governor, John A. Andrew, after a speech full of eloquence and deep feeling, and passed from his hand to that of Colonel Shaw. It was the only national flag carried by the regiment during its term of service, and was borne in the following actions:---James Island, July 16, '63; assault of Fort Wagner, July 18, '63; siege of Fort Wagner, July 18, Sept. 7, '63; siege of Charleston, 1863, '64, '65; battle of Olustee, Feb. 20, '64; James Island, July 2, '64; Honey Hill, Nov. 30, '64; Devaux's Neck, Dec. 9, '64; and Boynkins Mills, April 18, '65.

The 54th led in the terribly fatal assault upon Fort Wagner, on the night of July 18, 1863, and the flag of the regiment was the object of the most determined bravery. The attack, although a failure, was signalized by unsurpassed daring, and thousands of men were sacrificed. The fort was surrounded by a moat filled waist-deep with water. Behind this rose a great bank twenty-five feet in height. Before the assaulting columns were formed, a storm arose, and it grew suddenly dark. It was about eight o'clock when the word of command was given to the 54th, who led the charge six hundred and fifty strong, commanded throughout by white officers. Colonel Shaw's last words as the regiment moved forward on the double-quick were, "We shall take the fort or die there." The charge was made with magnificent courage. As the troops approached the ditch, they met a withering fire. The garrison outnumbered them two to one. Before that murderous fire of grape, shrapnel, and musketry, the intrepid regiment of black men wavered, broke, and fled. Some followed their brave colonel through the ditch, and up the bank behind it, among them Color-Sergeant William H. Carney, who planted the flag in the most gallant manner upon the ramparts, and there maintained it until all hope of taking the stronghold was abandoned. There Colonel Shaw was shot through the heart, and fell back dead in the ditch, and many of his brave colored soldiers died by his side.

Most of the color-guard were killed or wounded. Finally Carney retired through the ditch, filled with dead and wounded, in the darkness, toward the federal lines, amid the storm of bullets and cannon-shot, and was wounded while doing so in the breast, both legs, and the right arm; but he struggled on, crawling on hands and knees, with the flag, until some distance from the fort. Here, at a point where Captain Luis F. Emilio was engaged in rallying the 54th, --he having succeeded by casualties to the command of the regiment on the field of battle, --- the flag was brought to him, and, as it would serve no purpose in the darkness as a rallying-point, he directed the gallant Carney to take it to the rear.

A more ghastly scene was never witnessed than that on the slope and around the ditch of Fort Wagner the next morning. The dead and dying were piled on one another three feet deep, and the rebels claim to have buried over one thousand Union soldiers on the beach the next day. Colonel Shaw was buried "in a pit, under a heap of his niggers," but it was not in the power of the rebels to dishonor him.

At the battle of Olustee this flag was borne with conspicuous gallantry by Acting Sergeant James H. Wilkins, who escaped miraculously, though more than half the color-guard were killed or wounded, and the color-corporal (with the state flag) was mortally, wounded at Wilkins' side.

Ever after this flag was carried with bravery and devotion by Sergeant Charles W. Lenox, who escaped severe wounds, but was frequently struck by spent balls or shot through his clothing.

 

No. 5.--- FLAG OF THE FIRST VERMONT CAVALRY.

It is to be regretted that no history of this flag is at hand. Its tattered and smoke-stained folds are eloquent with the names of glorious battles, from Mount Jackson to Cedar Creek. No soldiers performed more valiant service in the war of the rebellion than did the Green Mountain boys. Not a single flag did they surrender to the enemy during the four years of the rebellion.

 

No. 6.---FLAG OF THE TWENTIETH REGIMENT MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS.

The most diligent inquiry has failed to discover the story of this flag. It is inscribed with the names of no less than twenty-six battles.

 

PLATE VII.

 

OLD ABE, THE FAMOUS WAR EAGLE OF THE EIGHTH REGIMENT WISCONSIN VOLUNTEERS.

THIS famous bird was captured in Upper Wisconsin in 1861 by a Chippewa Indian, and was presented to the 8th Wisconsin when that regiment left for the seat of war. One of the tallest men of the regiment was detailed to carry and take care of him, with the understanding that at the end of the war he was to convey him to Washington and present him to President Lincoln. He was usually carried on a war shield, mounted at the top of a staff, and above this shield a perch was made to which Old Abe was tied by a cord. For three years he was carried beside the colors of this regiment, and during that time he was in twenty-two battles, and thirty skirmishes, and was wounded in three of them. At the battle of Corinth, it is said, the rebel General Price ordered his men to capture or kill him at any hazard, saying that he would rather have them capture the eagle of the 8th Wisconsin than a dozen battle-flags; and that if they succeeded he would give his troops "free pillage in Corinth." During this battle the cord that confined him to his perch was severed by a ball, and Old Abe soared far above the sulphurous smoke. The rebels sought in vain to shoot him. Suddenly he caught sight of his regiment and flag, and, sweeping down, alighted on his perch. During a battle he was sometimes on the ground, then on his perch, uttering wild and terrific screams, and the fiercer and louder the storm of battle the more excited was he. He would stand by a cannon, which was being served with the greatest rapidity, without flinching, and the rattle of musketry had no terrors for him.

With the close of the regiment's period of service, Old Abe's fighting days were over, and he became the ward of the state of Wisconsin, to be "well and carefully taken care of as long as he lived," and his remarkable civil career was then begun. He made numerous triumphant journeys through the country, always proving a great attraction. His feathers were eagerly sought for at $10.00 each. Thousands of children throughout the North---from Maine to Oregon -were organized into a society, called "The Army of the American Eagle," for the purpose of selling a little pamphlet history of Old Abe's career, with his photograph, and their labors netted to the fund for sick and disabled soldiers the sum of $16,308.93. More than twelve thousand letters were received from boys and girls interested in this ingenious device for raising money for the soldiers. At this time a western gentleman offered $10,000 for him, and P. T. Barnum offered $20,000; but money could not buy him. A distinguished sculptor made a marble statue of him; and while Old Abe was on exhibition in Boston a celebrated artist painted his picture in oil, which still hangs on the walls of the Old South Church in that city.

On all his journeys he received a constant ovation. During the Centennial Exhibition, the Wisconsin legislature authorized the governor to detail a veteran soldier at state expense to take Old Abe to Philadelphia and care for him during the exposition. He was constantly surrounded by throngs of visitors, and his photographs were sold by the thousand. His fame had long before spread over Europe, and foreigners were greatly interested in him. Some of his feathers are now owned and prized by eminent persons, many of whom purchased them at round figures. A New York gentleman has one mounted in gold, and many important documents have been signed with pens made from Old Abe's quills. No other bird ever achieved such fame or reached such a distinguished place in history.

Old Abe died in 1881, and his preserved and stuffed body may now be seen in the War Museum at the state capitol in Madison, Wis.

 

No. 1.---FLAG OF THE NINTH REGIMENT IOWA VOLUNTEERS.

The 9th Iowa Regiment entered the service in August, 1861. At the battle of Pea Ridge, Ark., March 7, 1862, after a most extraordinary march of forty-two miles, the regiment displayed great valor and was engaged for ten hours in stubborn fighting, losing two hundred and thirty-seven men killed and wounded. But they held their ground against fearful odds, and that night they slept upon their arms, ready to re-form their lines at a moment's warning.

Five months after this battle the regiment received a handsome silk flag from some ladies of Boston, Mass., and the following comments on the presentation of this flag to the regiment are taken from Lieutenant-Colonel Abernethy's journal: :--

"Camp 9th Iowa, near Helena, Ark., Sunday, August 3, 1862. -The regiment was formed at 2 P.M. to receive the stand of beautiful colors sent by a committee of ladies of Boston, Mass., as a testimonial of their appreciation of our conduct at Pea Ridge. Colonel Vandever delivered a short speech at the presentation and seemed much affected, as did many others present, at the respect and honor thus manifested by the noble women of a distant state, and at the associations connected with the occasion."

This flag was guarded and cherished with religious care, and was borne over many a field of blood.

On the 22d of May, at Vicksburg, in line with the whole Army of the Tennessee, the regiment led the assault. Its flag went down a few feet from the rebel works after the last one of the color-guard had fallen, either killed or wounded. In the few terrible moments of this assault the regiment lost seventy-nine killed and wounded, or nearly one-third of their number, in action. The assault failed, and the Union soldiers found themselves lying in ravines, behind logs, close up to and partly under the protection of the rebel earthworks. There they were compelled to lie until darkness gave them a cover under which to escape. Sergeant Elson had fallen, frightfully wounded, upon the flag. Captain George Oranger drew its dripping folds from under the bleeding body of its prostrate bearer, and after dark brought it safely off the field, concealed beneath his blouse.

Eight other brave boys followed up the flag as color-guard in that memorable assault, namely:---Corporals Otis Crawford, Lewis D. Curtis, Zadoc Moore, Albert D. Strunk, James H. Gipe, Jasper N. Moulton, John Logue, and James Smith.

Though covered with blood, and riddled by both shot and shell, the flag was afterwards safely carried through the second siege of Jackson, and the battles of Brandon, Cherokee Station, Tuscumbie, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, and Ringgold, besides more than a score of lesser engagements. It travelled two thousand miles of Confederate soil, traversed six states in rebellion, vent up to the cannon's mouth at the heights of Vicksburg, clambered up the rocky steep of Lookout Mountain, stood on the brow of Missionary Ridge on that bleak November night after the great battle of Chattanooga, in the midst of those shivering, hungry, and tired soldiers, and at last was no longer fit for service.

At this time the members of the regiment re-enlisted in a body for another "three years or during the war," and by unanimous vote the old flag was placed on the retired list and returned to the original donors in Massachusetts.

One month later, while the regiment halted for a day at Nashville on its way home on a thirty days' veteran furlough, another silk flag was received from the same committee of Massachusetts ladies, to take the place of the old one.

In connection with the extract previously quoted from Lieutenant-Colonel Abernethy's journal, the following interesting story, by Miss Phebe Adam, explains how it happened that a committee of Massachusetts ladies presented flags to the 9th Iowa Regiment. In a recent letter she says:---

"It seems to me that I ought to explain how it happened that Massachusetts women were interested in sending flags to an Iowa regiment. My brother, McG. Gordon Adam, who went from Massachusetts and was engaged in the practice of law at Decorah, Iowa, when the war of secession began, enlisted as a private soldier in Company H, 9th Iowa Infantry. In a home letter, shortly after the battle of Pea Ridge, he wrote to us that the regiment had not in that battle a flag to rally round, and added, 'Will not some of my Massachusetts friends send us one?'

"As soon as this was known among his Boston friends, they determined to supply the want, and the money to procure one came in so abundantly that not only a flag but a standard was sent to the regiment, reaching it while stationed at Helena, Ark. Colonel Vandever was asked by the donors to permit Private Adam to unfurl and present the colors on behalf of his Massachusetts friends; but my brother was too ill with fever, at the time, even to witness the presentation. The box was, however, opened by the side of his sickcot, and the colors were unfurled for him to see them. This brief account of the flags will show that, although carried out in Massachusetts, the idea of our sending them was suggested by Private McG. Gordon Adam, and his name rather than that of his sister should be forever connected with them.

"In a letter written during convalescence with regard to the presentation of the flag, my brother writes: --

"'How disappointed you and my friends at home will be that I could not unfurl the colors and address the regiment in your behalf. I was not able to sit up when the flag arrived, and shall not be strong enough to go through with such an affair for a month, perhaps. I wrote a line to Colonel Vandever, telling him that I was too ill to comply with the kind wish of the ladies. He wrote me that he would delay the presentation if I wished it, but I wrote him not to wait as the time of my recovery was very uncertain, and I did not wish to deprive the regiment for so long a time. Colonel Vandever then sent me word that he would send through me a formal written acknowledgment of its reception. I have talked with a great many officers and men of the regiment, who came to see me while I was ill, and I will tell you what I have heard through them of the presentation, as I know how anxious you will be about it. As soon as the flags were unfurled and the address of the donors was read by the adjutant, Colonel Yandever read a printed reply, copies of which were delivered to the regiment. When he got to the last paragraph he choked for several moments, and three-fourths of the regiment were in tears. Not a single cheer was given for the flag at this time. What with the address and the reply, and the surprise at so splendid a testimonial from far-off Massachusetts, the men and officers were so affected that an attempt to cheer would have been a total failure. But when the colors were planted near the colonel's tent, the boys collected round them and cheered like madmen. Nothing could have a better effect on the regiment than this gift. The men were dispirited by their continued privations, because many of them, like myself, have never seen a paper in which their conduct at Pea Ridge received anything but the ordinary newspaper praise bestowed on the whole army. The poor fellows were surprised and delighted to find that they are understood and appreciated away off in old Massachusetts.

"'Your gift has infused a fresh spirit into the men. They look brighter and happier, and would die to the last man before the colors should fall into the hands of the rebels. I should like to write more, but am too weak to do so.'

"On the 29th of August, 1863, the flag was returned to us, accompanied by a letter from Colonel Carskaddon, then in command of the regiment. It showed the hard service it had been through, for it was torn and blood-stained, or, I should say, is torn and blood-stained, as it is preserved in our own home as a precious relic of the war.

"Colonel Carskaddon says at the close of his letter:

'We return this flag to you, because it has fulfilled the mission on which you sent it. Beneath it many a martyr to constitutional liberty has gone to his last rest. It is to us, and we trust it will be to you, the emblem of an eternal union cemented by the best blood of patriots.'

"When the regiment returned to Iowa on its veterans' furlough, the flag created a perfect furor in Dubuque. People hurrahed and cried over it. It was very difficult to preserve it from destruction, as everybody was trying to obtain a little piece of it as a relic of the fight in which some father, son, or brother served, perhaps was wounded or killed. Only one old lady got a piece. She begged the colonel, with tears in her eyes, to give her a small piece, as her two sons had fallen under it.

"After the battle of Vicksburg, my brother wrote to me as follows :

'The poor old 9th has been put in the front again at Vicksburg and suffered dreadfully. Your flag has been baptized by the blood of many a brave fellow. I had hoped that it would be the first to be planted on the hills of Vicksburg, for the 9th went farther than any other regiment and stood for two hours within twenty feet of the enemy's guns, but they were not sustained, and the remnant of the brave little band was at last compelled to fall back. During the assault, which was so bloodily repulsed, our color-bearer got on top of the enemy's works, and, being a little ahead of the boys who were clambering up the acclivity, he stuck the flag-staff firmly into the ground and cheered the men on to protect it. The brave fellow was shot down, and our charging party was almost annihilated and driven back. The color-sergeant had fallen on the flag, with a bullet through his thigh; his blood is on it. Afterwards each of the color-guard successively, excepting one, was shot down. We were obliged to lie close until dark, and, when the retreat commenced, Captain Granger took the flag along. It is riddled with balls and stained with blood, and unfit for further use. The boys are discussing whether to send it back to you, or to the governor of Iowa.'"

 

No. 2.--- FLAG OF THE SECOND KANSAS BATTERY.

History unknown.

 

NO. 3.---FLAG OF THE SECOND REGIMENT WISCONSIN VOLUNTEERS.

The 2d Wisconsin Regiment was a portion of the Iron Brigade of the West, of which General McClellan said, "They are equal to the best troops in any army in the world."

In the battle of Antietam the entire color-guard of this regiment was killed or wounded; but the flag was safely brought off the field.

At the battle of Gettysburg the first volley received from the rebel line cut down nearly thirty per cent of the regiment, and out of thirty-three men in the color company twenty-three were killed or wounded in thirty minutes. When the last color-bearer was killed, Private R. E. Davison picked up the colors and rushed to the front with them, and bore them in advance of the regiment in the charge of the Iron Brigade, shouting to the boys to "come on." For gallantry on this occasion he was made sergeant. The regiment went into this battle with three hundred men and in half an hour lost one hundred and sixteen in killed and wounded. That night there were but fifty of the three hundred men left to answer roll-call. In these and subsequent battles the flag was riddled and torn by bullets, the flag-staff was often shot and was once cut entirely in two. At Gettysburg it was so badly rent and torn that it was sent home and placed in the state capitol, and a new one was provided by the state.

The following interesting statement is taken from a letter recently received from Private R. E. Davison:

"At the battle of Antietam we had a full color-guard; they were all killed or wounded. When the last one fell, I picked up the national colors and carried them. I did not have them more than five minutes before I was wounded by a minie-ball in my right shoulder, that put an end to my operations on that day. After I was wounded, I turned the flag over to a man belonging to Company C, who already had the state colors. He told me afterwards that he carried both flags the rest of the day, and was not wounded. The next time the flag came into my hands was at the battle of Gettysburg. Our color-guard was not full at this time. We had one sergeant and one corporal as color-bearers, and two corporals as guards. In the first of the fight the color-sergeant and guards were killed or wounded, and as the flag went down I sprang forward and caught it, and carried it through the rest of the fight. Captain Rollins made me a sergeant on the field, and I was complimented in general orders. I carried the flag from that day until the regiment was discharged, in 1864. In the seven days' fight in the Wilderness the flag-staff had two or three bullet-holes put through it while in my hands, and I know not how many holes through the flag."

 

No. 4.---FLAG OF THE SEVENTH REGIMENT MISSOURI VOLUNTEERS

The 7th Missouri Regiment carried an American and an Irish flag side by side. The Irish flag (shown in the illustration) was a beautiful silk one, and was presented to the regiment by Surgeon P. S. O'Reilly and a few other friends. It was carried through many battles, including Corinth and the siege of Vicksburg.

The first two boats that ran the gauntlet of the rebel batteries at Vicksburg carried the 7th Missouri Regiment. While these boats were passing the batteries, Color-Sergeant FitzGerald defiantly waved the flag at the enemy. On the 22d of May the regiment stormed the rebel fortifications at Vicksburg, making a most gallant charge. It reached the rebel works (Fort Hill), when Private Patrick Driscoll raised a scaling-ladder and held it while Color-Sergeant FitzGerald, with the Irish flag in his hands, bravely ascended. FitzGerald reached the top of the works, and triumphantly waved the flag, but was instantly shot dead. Another soldier seized the flag and ascended the ladder only to suffer the fate of his predecessor. Eight men were killed in a few minutes under this flag, during this memorable assault. The regiment finally fell back, bringing its flag with it.

 

NO. 5. ---FLAG OF THE SECOND REGIMENT KANSAS VOLUNTEERS.

"This was the only Federal flag on the battle-field of Wilson's Creek, when General Lyon was killed. Three color-bearers were killed or wounded while carrying it. It was finally carried from the field blood-stained, bullet-marked, tattered and torn."

This statement, pinned to the flag, is perhaps the only history that will ever be written of it, for the reason that the men who carried it were killed, and most of the officers and men who supported it are either dead or cannot be found. The flag is made of bunting, and the blood-stains are plainly discernible upon it. It is now deposited in the state capitol at Topeka.

 

No. 6.---FLAG OF MCMULLEN'S FIRST INDEPENDENT OHIO BATTERY.

History unknown.

 

PLATE VIII.

 

No. 1. ---FLAG OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT OHIO VOLUNTEERS.

THIRTEEN members of the color-guard who defended or carried the regimental colors during the period of service of the 78th were killed or wounded. In the battle of Atlanta, July 22, 1864, Color-Sergeant John Spring, who held aloft the flag, was shot dead. He fell in the road in front of the line of battle, with the flag tightly clasped in his arms.

Sergeant John F. Kennedy, and his comrade Joe Brown, seeing the flag about to be taken by the enemy charging the line, rushed out of the ranks, and, rolling the dead body of Spring off the flag, safely returned with the standard to the regiment. Sergeant W. Sutton then carried the flag, and was wounded in both thighs, and died shortly after. Sergeant James C. Aerick then took the flag, and was mortally wounded. Later in the same battle, while the flag lay on the ground by the side of its dead defender, a rebel rushed forward and had nearly succeeded in capturing it, and was stooping over for the purpose, when Captain John Orr completely decapitated him with his sword. For saving the flag on this occasion he received a gold medal from the Board of Honor of the Army of the Tennessee. The flag was carried through the rest of the battle by Sergeant Russell Bethel, who was slightly wounded.

 

No. 2.---FLAG OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEERS.

This flag was carried through the campaigns of the Army of the Cumberland, including the battles of Stone River, Chickamauga, the Atlanta campaign of 1862, battle of Nashville, etc. At the battle of New Hope Church, Georgia, May 27, 1864, while the regiment was under a heavy fire, a soldier of the 19th Ohio became separated from his regiment and attached himself to the 78th. While gallantly performing his duty a shell completely decapitated him, and dashed his head against the flag of the 78th, staining it with his blood.

 

No. 3.---FLAG OF THE THIRTY-SECOND REGIMENT INDIANA VOLUNTEERS.

This flag was carried through many battles, including Shiloh, Stone River, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, the Atlanta Campaign, Resaca, Peach-Tree Creek, Siege of Corinth, and many minor engagements and skirmishes. It is part of the regimental history that the first four color-bearers were killed while carrying the flag at the head of the regiment, each man being shot through the head. The 32d Indiana was composed of Germans, and this flag was presented by German ladies of Indianapolis. The staff has two bullet holes in it.

 

No. 4. ---FLAG OF THE NINTH REGIMENT KENTUCKY VOLUNTEERS.

In the battle of Stone River the color-bearer of this flag was instantly killed, and the flag fell to the ground. Moses Roark, a mere boy, instantly picked it up, and bravely carried it through the battle. He was promoted to color-sergeant, and carried the flag through every engagement in which the regiment afterwards participated.

 

No. 5.---FLAG OF THE 129TH REGIMENT ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS.

Color-Bearer Frederic D. Hess carried this flag in the charge upon the rebel works at Resaca, and was one of the first upon the enemy's breastworks, where he stood erect amid the rain of shot and shell, and waved the flag to cheer his comrades on. While holding it in his right hand a ball shattered the arm, but he immediately raised the falling colors with his left, which soon shared the fate of his right arm; but with his bleeding stumps he still clung to the flag, staining it with his life-blood.

 

No. 6.---FLAG OF THE EIGHTEENTH NEW YORK CAVALRY, Known as the "CORNING LIGHT CAVALRY."

History unknown.


notes

1. Rev. Dr. E. H. Chapin on presentation of New York battle-flags, at Albany, N. Y.

2. General Stedman was killed in front of Petersburg in 1864.

3. Sergeant Tantum was afterwards killed at Strawberry Plains.

 


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