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Civil War Captured Flags - Chattanooga Campaign (U.S.)


Last modified: 2015-04-04 by rick wyatt
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List of flags

Flags taken at Missionary Ridge

  1. First National flag, captured by the 93rd Ohio Infantry (Smithsonian). (NOTE: this is probably the flag of the 58th North Carolina, 54th Virginia or 63rd Virginia of Reynold's Brigade).
  2. 5 star First National flag, taken by the 8th Kansas Infantry (Kansas Museum Of History) (NOTE: based on their location in the battle and who they went up against, this is probably a flag from one of the regiments of Tucker's Mississippi Brigade).
  3. Hardee flag taken from the 13th Louisiana Infantry (Chicago Historical Society). Captured by the 15th Indiana Infantry.
  4. Hardee flag taken from the 18th Alabama Infantry (Alabama Dept. Of Archives And History). WD #86. Captured by the 13th Illinois Infantry.
  5. First National flag, WD #89, currently identified as the 41st Mississippi Infantry, captured by the 31st Ohio Infantry (Museum Of The Confederacy). (NOTE: based on the maps of the park, this is an Alabama unit flag. Possible units that lost it include 22nd Alabama - a replacement, or older flag than the one lost at Chickamauga - or the 34th Alabama Infantry, moved over to support Deas' Brigade from Manigault's. Please note that this flag is identified as the 41st Mississippi in the MOC flags book. I don't buy that as Turchin's Brigade, whom the 31st Ohio was part of, hit Manigault's line and the 41st Mississippi was with Tucker's Brigade to the south. More on the 41st Mississippi later though.)
  6. unknown flag pattern, captured by the 79th Indiana Infantry. Based on location of their assault by brigade this is either a flag from Tucker's Mississippi Brigade (who were routed on the top of the ridge) or the 28th Alabama (who had lost their flag the day before on Orchard Knob - so the Tucker ID is most likely).
  7. Bragg pattern flag, rectangular version, probably of the 19th South Carolina Infantry, WD# 88. (Museum of the Confederacy). Since the flag of the 10th South Carolina of this same pattern is in a museum in Charleston, we went with that of the 19th SC, who were combined with the 10th at Missionary Ridge.
  8. Hardee flag, 36th Alabama Infantry, captured by the 88th Indiana Infantry and torn up according to their OR report. Since no designation was mentioned in that report we assumed that this flag was unmarked.
  9. Bragg pattern flag, first version, of the 9th Mississippi Infantry, Tucker's Brigade, captured by the 15th Ohio Infantry (Mississippi State Museum).
  10. Bragg pattern flag, first version (possibly) of Ketchum's/Garrity's Alabama Battery captured by the 26th Ohio Infantry (Location unknown today). Since this Union regiment when attacking up slope faced the guns of Mebane's Tennessee Battery and Slocumb's 5th Company of the Washington Artillery of New Orleans, we deduced that this capture took place on the east side of the ridge in one of the rear guard actions mounted by the Confederates at various road junctions. Neither of the other artillery units were ever in Bragg's Corps.
  11. unknown pattern flag of either the 41st or 44th Mississippi Infantry (possible) of Tucker's Brigade, captured by the 25th Illinois Infantry (location unknown). Their OR report states that they captured the flag of the 42nd Alabama Infantry, but this would not have been possible based on the locations of the competing brigades. The 42nd Alabama was in Moore's Brigade and they were too far away from the assault of the 25th Illinois to have met them. Lee and I looked over the units with "4's" in their numbers of the Confederate units that faced the 25th Illinois and this is what we came up with. Here is a second flag (including #5 above) that has a 41st Mississippi possibility.
  12. unknown flag pattern, taken from Tucker's Mississippi Brigade, captured by the 86th Illinois Infantry (location unknown). This is based on their OR report.
  13. possible Deas' Brigade pattern (Polk variant) of the 19th Alabama Infantry (probable), captured by the 35th Ohio Infantry (location unknown). There is also a possibility that this is the flag of Water's Alabama Battery, although a letter in the unit file in Alabama states that the flag came from the Waters family to the donors to the state museum - so that one may not hold up.
  14. First National flag taken from Gen. Bragg's HQ by the 22nd Illinois Infantry (private collection). This is the flag that sold last year that we discussed.
  15. Hardee pattern flag of the 38th Alabama Infantry, WD#91 (Alabama Dept. of Archives and History), taken by the 2nd Ohio Infantry.
  16. Possible artillery flag capture by the 2nd Minnesota Infantry. Their OR report mentions their flag bearer crossing flags with the flag bearer of a defending Confederate artillery battery, who lost a few guns to the 2nd Minnesota. Thus, if a flag was captured, it was from this battery.

This concludes the flags taken at Missionary Ridge. The big loser here seems to have been Tucker's Mississippi Brigade which lost at least 5 flags and the brigade had 6 units!

Flags taken at Lookout Mountain

  1. Hardee flag of the 29th Mississippi Infantry captured by the 149th New York Infantry(Museum Of The Confederacy). This is WD#95.
  2. Hardee flag of the 34th Mississippi Infantry captured by the 149th New York Infantry (Museum Of The Confederacy). This is WD#94.
  3. Hardee flag of (possibly) the 24th Mississippi Infantry captured by the 60th New York Infantry, WD# 93 (Museum of The Confederacy). I say "possibly" here even though the MOC catalog has it with the ID of the 24th Mississippi. However, in the 1885 Southern Bivouac, the colonel of the 24th Miss. states that he saved his colors and brought them to Missionary Ridge. Thus, we must entertain the possibility that this is a flag from one of Moore's Alabama Brigade regiments, who came up in support of Walthall's Mississippi Brigade and were heavily engaged and may well have lost another flag (See next item). However, as none of Moore's regiments were in the battles of Perryville and Murfreesboro (which are the two battle honors on this flag), we may be back to a Mississippi unit ID.

    Reasons for the altering of the ID of flag # 3 above from that of the 24th Mississippi:

    A) The Southern Bivouac report stated above that the flag was saved and brought to Missionary Ridge.
    B) The 27th Mississippi was also in Walthall's Brigade but an 1897 account from one of their veterans states the flag was brought off with a broken staff, so the are removed from the capture possibility.
    C) The 30th Mississippi's flag is in the hands of the descendents of the regimental colonel, which would not have been possible had it been captured. This flag was issued to the unit in early 1863.
  4. Hardee flag from Moore's Alabama Brigade (possible 37th Alabama) captured by the 149th New York Infantry (location unknown). The OR report of Gen. John Geary describes a flag that matches two others taken already on Lookout Mountain (the Hardee flags of Walthall's regiments detailed above) so that is how we deduced this was a Hardee flag. It was taken to the hospital by the soldier that was wounded while capturing it and it has not been found since. A statement in the unit files at the Alabama Department of Archives and History from a veteran of the 37th Alabama states that their flag given to them at Demopolis was lost on Lookout Mountain (or Missionary Ridge, but the two get confused in these reports and Moore's Brigade didn't do much on Missionary Ridge).
  5. Bowen variant flag (red field, white Latin cross) of the 39th Georgia Infantry captured by Capt. Forbes of Geary's staff, probably from the wagons left on the mountain (Georgia Department Of Natural Resources).
  6. 42nd Alabama Infantry - probable Hardee pattern flag. The files for this unit in the Alabama Dept. of Archives and History details the loss of this flag at Missionary Ridge, but the brigade (Moore's) was not that heavily engaged there, unlike on Lookout Mountain. Thus, we must consider it being lost on Lookout. I do not find a corresponding Federal OR report about this flag. See Point 11 above for a flag declared as the 42nd Alabama being taken by the Federals. The only way this could have been done is if the 42nd was pulled from Moore's line and sent to reinforce the line of Tucker's Brigade as Moore's men fought too far to the south from where the Illinois troops captured this flag. Still, if the ID is indeed correct, then this point here is a duplicate point and can be removed.

Flags taken at Orchard Knob

  1. unique flag of the 28th Alabama Infantry, captured by the 41st Ohio Infantry (Alabama Department of Archives And History).

Flags taken at Ringgold Gap

  1. First National flag of Semple's Alabama Battery, WD# 92, captured by the 149th New York Infantry (Museum Of The Confederacy).
  2. Hardee flag of Semple's Alabama Battery, WD#87, captured by the 149th New York Infantry. Location unknown today.

Flags captured at Graysville, GA

  1. Charleston Depot flag of Ferguson's South Carolina Battery, WD# 90, captured by the 69th Ohio Infantry (Museum Of The Confederacy).

Flags captured at Loudon, TN.

  1. ANV Second Bunting battle flag from Longstreet's Corps, WD# 96, taken by the 82nd Illinois Infantry (Museum Of The Confederacy).

This concludes what we came up with. Of the most interest to us was the flag from the units from North Carolina or Virginia of Reynold's Brigade (#1 in the Missionary Ridge section) as well as the altered ID possibility for WD#89.

Greg Biggs, 18 March 2004