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Flag of the 52nd Virginia Infantry. - Other Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Mon Aug 23rd, 2010 07:44 pm
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Old Blu
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Does anyone know where this flag may be found?  I have already talked to the MOTC and there is no record.
I will be putting a head stone on my G-Grandfathers grave in Oct. put on by the UDC.  Any help would be appreciated.  But there was a flag.

HEAD Q'RS 52d VA. INFANTRY,
Dec. 31, 1863.
COL. GEO. W. MUNFORD, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Va:
Colonel: By the hands of Adjutant William Galt, I return to the custody of the Commonwealth, to be laid up among her treasures, the tattered remnant of a flag, which was during last year, presented to the 52d Virginia Infantry, by his Excellency, the Governor. It has floated over the Regiment on the fields of Cedar Run, 2d Manassas, Sharpsburg, 1st Fredericksburg, 2nd Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg. Under its folds many a brave son of Virginia has fallen in maintenance of the Confederate cause, and, on the bloody field of Sharpsburg "the last enemy, Death," arrested it from the hands of a gallant bearer, * who, while living, was ever prompt to carry it defiantly in the face of his country's foes.
Let it then be cherished as a memorial of the honorable services of the men, who, amid fiery trials, have never faltered beneath it; and be pleased, sir, to send in its stead, as you have kindly promised to do, another, upon whose folds, yet unbaptised in blood, and untarnished by the smoke of battle, may be read, with fresh inspiration, the just doom of tyrants, and Virginia's everlasting resolve of resistance to oppression.
I am sure I but utter the heartfelt wishes of my countrymen, when I pray that, in the coming year, and ere the new flag can have lost its freshness, it may please God to vouchsafe to our bleeding country the balm of peace, and the blessings of Independence.
Very Respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
JAMES H. SKINNER,
Col. Comd'g 52d Va. Infantry.
* The color-sergeant, Charles Bush, a native of Henrico county, fell mortally wounded, and in his last moments bequeathed the undrawn balance of his pay to purchase a flag for his regiment.



 Posted: Mon Aug 23rd, 2010 09:01 pm
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Captured Confederate flags have suffered the following fates:


1. Sent to the war department and given a capture number
stenciled somewhere on the flag. These were returned to the states of origin or the MOC the most part in 1905.

2. Given as gifts by Stanton, or borrowed from the war department and never returned. No one knows their fate, but most probably in private collections.

3. Captured and kept as war souveniers by various individual soldiers. Many of these flags were later donated to the state governments, usually be descendents of those who captured the flag. These flags are the lawful propeerty of the individual states and can be found in their military museums or archives. This is the source of the IL Confederate flag collection.

4. Remain in private hands. These come up for auction from time to time and sell in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the flag. A couple of years ago, Gen. Stuarts HQ flag sold for a kings ransom IIRC

5. In the collection of the Chicago Historical Society. They are very closed mouthed about their collection, rarely display any of them and generally provide little or no information about their collection. It is believed to exceed a hundred flags. It is known for example, that they hold the flag of the 8th Texas, Terry's Texas Rangers.

 

In addition many uncaptured flags were secreted away  rather than be surrendered. No one knows the ultimate fate of these.

Last edited on Mon Aug 23rd, 2010 09:05 pm by 9Bama



 Posted: Mon Aug 23rd, 2010 09:04 pm
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Uniion flags captured by Confederate units were stored in a warehouse in Richmond. Sadly, they were destroyed in the burning of Richmond at war's end.



 Posted: Tue Aug 24th, 2010 07:07 am
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Wouldn't it be interesting to learn that many of those gifted or burrowed in number 2 ended up in number 5. You did say the Chicago Historical Society is very closed mouthed about the collection, so it could be possible.



 Posted: Tue Aug 24th, 2010 01:45 pm
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Hellcat,
It could be possible, but I doubt it. Most of the flags that were loaned out or "borrowed" were to prominent folks in and around D.C. I would have a hard time seeing them getting into the CHS hands. My feeling is that the flags in their posession came from donations from families of veterans who had brought flags home as souvenieers.
A year or so ago, I had a copy of a magazine article from a museum curators publication (professional type journal) that described the fate of a number of flags including the loaning of flags held in the care of the War Department.
I will look to see if I can find it as I am going from memory right now.

I did get pretty heavily involved in the return of a flag from the IL collection to Alabama a couple of years ago and became very interested in the subject.



 Posted: Wed Aug 25th, 2010 06:06 am
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I didn't say I bvelieved that was the case, just that it would be interesting to find out that happened. Though it would be more interesting to hear what's in the publication beyond just working from memory.



 Posted: Wed Aug 25th, 2010 03:10 pm
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I'll look for it



 Posted: Wed Aug 25th, 2010 05:18 pm
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Hellcat wrote: I didn't say I bvelieved that was the case, just that it would be interesting to find out that happened. Though it would be more interesting to hear what's in the publication beyond just working from memory.

Hellcat,

This post from another forum detals the article and authors. I cannot find my copy.

 

In an article entitled “ The Return of the War Department Captured Flags to the States, 1905-1906” published in the Winter 2008 edition of Military Collector & Historian author Charles M. Nussbaum suggests otherwise. On page 261, he writes.”Many of the US flags that were captured by Confederate forces were forwarded to the Confederate War Department located in Mechanics Hall in Richmond. Sadly, these flags were destroyed when the building was burned in the evacuation of Richmond on April 3, 1865

“There is no credible source or inventory that indicates the number of flags destroyed. At least 237 U.S. flags were recaptured from Confederate units in the field and were eventually returned to the applicable states by the United States War Department or to West Point.” (emphasis mine)

Mr Nusbaum further states that …..”22 Confederate flags had been given to capturing units or loaned to individuals or units and not returned” (emphasis added)... These loans were made by the US war department, by the Secretary of War or by Joint Resolution of Congress during the period 1862-1886.

The flags in the Minnesota collection are the legitimate trophies of war and the legal property of the State of Minnesota. The record however does suggest that many federal flags perished in a fire, were returned to the original units, or reside at West Point, not are stashed in somebody’s basement. Finally, the record seems to suggest that in some instances, Confederate flags were indeed, stashed in somebody’s basement.

A copy of the above article was provided to me by the IllinoisMilitaryMuseum



 Posted: Thu Aug 26th, 2010 11:29 pm
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Well looking at the pictures furnished on the Richmond Museum, I did purchase 2 flags today. 

1. The 1861 Virginia Flag.

2.  A 4x4 Southern Cross. I figured that would be close.

The 3x3 was a Cavalry flag.

Thanks to all y'all anyway.



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