Preserving Our Heritage

bdtex

Brigadier General
Moderator
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Regtl. Quartermaster Chickamauga 2018
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
7,796
Location
Houston,TX area
#61
This is a wonderful article about Connecticut's Civil War flags.

http://connecticuthistory.org/hall-of-flags-memorial-to-connecticuts-civil-war-colors/

Categories: Civil War, Civil War Monuments at the Capitol, War and Defense

Hall of Flags: Memorial to Connecticut’s Civil War Colors
CapitolHallFlags-610x398.jpg

Currently 55 Civil War era flags are on display in the Hall of Flags at the Connecticut State Capitol building - Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, George F. Landegger Collection of Connecticut Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive
By Tara M. Cantore

The Hall of Flags in the Connecticut State Capitol is filled with the history of the state’s military past. The building’s west wing contains the battle flags of the state’s military from the Civil War to the War on Terror. A vast majority of the flags in the oak and glass cabinets come from the Civil War era, installed in the capitol shortly after the building opened in 1879.

In 1865 the Connecticut General Assembly declared battle flags to be sacred. They announced, “the battle-torn and battle-hallowed flags of our brave regiments be most sacredly and tenderly preserved, and used only on public occasions of great solemnity and importance.” Prior to 1879, the flags were stored at the State Arsenal. The new capitol building opened in January 1879. During the January session of the General Assembly, legislators passed House Joint Resolution No. 141 that stated: “Resolved by this Assembly. That the comptroller, adjutant-general, and quartermaster-general shall be a board to have charge of the battle flags of the State, now stored at the state arsenal, and they are directed to cause suitable cases to be erected in the Capitol, and the flags placed therein.” With the resolution approved on March 11, 1879, officials placed a total of 80 flags in the capitol in 1879 as part of a grand parade. Today, 55 Civil War flags are on display in the Hall of Flags.

Carrying the Regiment’s Colors
The battle flags, also known as “the colors,” were a rallying point for troops during the Civil War. Carrying the colors into battle was an honor and privilege, as well as a dangerous job. Those that carried the colors needed to be courageous. The flags also symbolized national and regional pride for the soldiers as they went into battle.



CCSUColorBearerHallofFlags.jpg

Pictured is a sketch of a color-bearer from the Civil War era by Alfred Waud, ca. 1860-65. It was considered an honor and privilege to carry the colors into battle – Library of Congress,Prints and Photographs Division



There were practical reasons for the flags as well, as the regimental flags marked the position of the unit during battle. The smoke and confusion of battle often scattered participants across the field. The flag served as a visual rallying point for soldiers and also marked the area where to attack the enemy.

Each unit had two flag or color-bearers. One carried the state flag and the other carried the national flag. It was an honor to carry your unit’s colors, and it was an honor to capture the colors from the enemy. Each national flag indicated the unit to whom it belonged, that way, if the enemy captured the national colors, dishonor fell only on the individual unit, rather than the entire Union. In order to protect the colors from capture, in addition to having two color-bearers, each unit had two color guards. Tremendous acclaim fell upon the soldier who saved his unit’s colors or captured the colors of the enemy.

The colors were considered so sacred that, even when wounded and close to death, Col. John L. Chatfield of the 6th Connecticut Regiment showed greater concern for the regiment’s colors than for himself. On July 18, 1862, Chatfield’s leg shattered below his knee and he received a wound in his right hand. When comrades carried him to the back of his regiment and gave him transportation to head home, he asked about the colors. After learning they were safe, he replied, “Thank God for that! I am so glad they are safe! Keep them, keep them, as long as there is a thread left.”

Sergeant David Kittler carried the state flag of the 11th Connecticut at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862. When he received an order to charge forward he refused because he did not have the support of a full color guard. A Connecticut officer immediately slashed him with a sword for being a coward. Corporal Henry A. Eastman had no issue with charging forward, and felt honored to carry the state colors. Eastman said, “Give me the colors!” He grabbed them from Kittler and moved forward while the regiment cheered him on.

Connecticut’s Flag Creators
Hartford sign painter and artist, Frederick F. Rice, made the first national flags purchased for Connecticut’s troops during the Civil War. Connecticut Adjutant General Joseph Williams and Quartermaster General John M. Hathaway asked him to make the flags. Each flag that Rice created was hand-painted and unique. The national flags he created had eagles in their cantons. The eagles appear to be protecting the federal shield from attack on the flag.

During the early part of the war, Rice painted the majority of Connecticut’s regimental flags. These flags had a split shield that included the Connecticut seal on it. The last flags ordered from Rice were for the 14th, 17th, 19th, and 20th regiments.



VeteransBattleFlagDayHartford-e1398887496802.jpg

Pictured is a scene from Main Street in Hartford during the historic Battle Flag Parade on September 17, 1879 – Connecticut Historical Society and Connecticut History Online



In January of 1862, Connecticut’s Governor William A. Buckingham appointed his son-in-law, William Aiken, quartermaster general for the state. In the summer of 1862 it became Aiken’s job to purchase the colors for the state’s military. John Almy lobbied Aiken to use Tiffany & Co. for all future flag purchases. The Almy family was close friends with the Tiffany family, and Almy was therefore able to purchase flags from Tiffany at a less expensive price than other states paid. The first flags ordered from Tiffany & Co. were for the 18th, 21st, 19th, and 20th regiments.

The Connecticut troops found that flags painted on silk split easily in the wind, especially during the winter months. Aiken then began ordering embroidered flags from Tiffany. Aiken told Tiffany the design he wanted embroidered on the flag, and Tiffany created a pattern. The flag contained the Connecticut crest of a small eagle on a wreath mounted on the shield. A gold border surrounded the shield. The embroidered flags had a three-dimensional eagle and lettering. The final cost for the embroidered flags ranged from $100–$160 each. With inflation today, the cost equates to approximately $2,266–$3,626.

Battle Flag Day—September 17, 1879
In 1879 the Connecticut General Assembly decided to transfer the Civil War battle flags from the state arsenal into cabinets in the new state capitol building. A committee decided to have a removal ceremony on Wednesday, September 17, 1879, the 17th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam. Invitations to attend and escort their old colors went out to all of the soldiers and sailors that served in the war. General Joseph R. Hawley proved a unanimous selection as the grand marshal for the Battle Flag Day Parade.

The planned festivities quickly turned into a tremendous celebration. The Hartford Office of the Board of School Visitors closed schools that day. Officials solicited individuals and businesses to help finance the festivities. A committee created to report on the condition of the flags found some flags still in good condition, but others almost completely destroyed. A committee of ladies worked diligently to prepare the flags for the celebration.



Hartford_Battle_Flag_Day_1859-e1323359606853.jpg

Battle Flag Day on Main Street, September 1879, Hartford – Connecticut Historical Society and Connecticut History Online



Over 10,000 veterans participated in the parade. Each corps met up in East Park in Hartford where they placed tents for the headquarters of each organization and where each unit chose officers and color-bearers for the day, as well as reported on the number of men present. According to reports, it was a beautiful clear day. Visitors began to arrive in Hartford at 7:00 am and people filled the streets throughout the day. Hartford received more than 100,000 visitors that day.

The parade started around 12:30 pm and made its way from Ford Street towards the state arsenal. Throughout the march, the on-lookers greeted veterans, cheering and waving handkerchiefs. Beautiful patriotic decorations filled the streets. In addition to the veterans marching, there were bands and music, state and city officials comprised 14 carriages, and even the disabled veterans participated, occupying two large four-horse omnibuses and several decorated carriages.

After arriving at the capitol, the veteran battalion formed a line that faced the north front of the building, with the color-bearers in the center. Once assembled a mass of veterans reached from the capitol all the way to the terrace. The bands played “Marching Through Georgia.” General Hawley made a formal presentation of the battle flags to Governor Charles B. Andrews on a platform raised in front of the building. Hawley addressed the crowd and the governor. In his speech he stated, “We come in obedience to an invitation to our beloved Commonwealth, to bring these eighty flags from their temporary resting place to their final home, in this new and beautiful Capitol.” Governor Andrews went to formerly accept the flags. He said:

For more than four years of conflict wherever the camp was the hardest, wherever the siege was the fiercest, wherever the march was the longest, wherever the fight was the sorest, they were always to be seen. . . . They come back to use riddled by shot, tattered and torn, blackened and grimed with the smoke and powder of battle, but they bring us no word of flight or dishonor. They speak to us of the many displays of manly and heroic virtues which amid the duties of war have illustrated the character of the sons of Connecticut.

After the speeches, one at a time, the color-bearers brought their battle-torn flags forward. Various reports state that many had tear-filled eyes during this solemn ceremony. When the ceremony finished, all the veterans made their way to dining tents at Bushnell Park.

A call went out to the women of Hartford to cook and bake for the veterans for the celebration. The women donated an abundance of food. Businesses also made donations. Years later reports stated that Battle Flag Day was one of the greatest days for the city of Hartford.



BattleFlagMedallionfront-300x298.jpg

Pictured is the front of a participant medallion from Battle Flag Day – Courtesy of Matthew Warshauer



BattleFlagDayMedallion.jpg

Pictured is the back of a participant medallion from Battle Flag Day – Courtesy of Matthew Warshauer

Restoring Connecticut’s War-Torn Battle Flags
The first effort to restore the Civil War battle flags was in 1939, 60 years after their arrival in the Hall of Flags. According to an article in the Hartford Courant, Mrs. Katherine F. Richey, known at the time for her remarkable flag restoration skills, took on the restoration of 20 flags. Originally asked to fund the project in 1939 for $5,000, the General Assembly refused, but eventually appropriated $1,000 for the work. In 1939, each flag’s estimated restoration costs were $50 to $60— approximately $840 to $1,008 today.

During the 1980s the Connecticut State Capitol underwent a major interior restoration. During that restoration, Geraldine (Gerry) Caughman, a member of the League of Women Voters and a League tour guide at the capitol, offered to donate a few hours of her time to move the flags during the renovations. When Gerry opened the display cases, she found that time had taken a toll on the Civil War battle flags. In an article in the Hartford Courant on December 30, 1985, Gerry is quoted saying, “A lot of them had literally fallen right off the staff. . . . We couldn’t touch all of them cause they were too fragile.” The project was only supposed to take up a few hours of Gerry’s time, but it turned into 26-year mission for her. She became the caretaker of the flags, and earned the nickname of the “Flag Lady” at the capitol.



11_14_16BattleFlags.jpg

The flags of the 11th, 14th, and 16th Regiments are located in this glass cabinet in the Hall of Flags at the Connecticut State Capitol building – Courtesy of Stacey Renee



Gerry asked Dr. Patricia A. Trautman at the University of Connecticut to examine and estimate the restoration costs. While Trautman was examining the flags, the Connecticut General Assembly team overseeing the capitol restoration walked into the room. They immediately saw the flags were in an extremely delicate and fragile state and from that moment forward displayed a determination to preserve these treasures. UConn received the $110,000 contract to restore the flags. Dr. Trautman, along with a team of eight history and textile experts, took part in the project.

In an article in the New York Times from 1985, Dr. Trautman said that restoring the flags was going to be difficult due to their condition. She added that there had been some previous efforts in the past to preserve and restore some of them.

There are several different methods to restore and preserve textile pieces. During the 1980s UConn restoration, the method used was to sandwich the flags between two layers of a thin and sheer fabric called crepeline. The crepeline fabric is the piece meant to take the brunt of the abuse from the elements while still allowing the flags to be visible.

By 1987 the repair of the flags was put on hold, when officials realized it was too expensive to preserve all 110 flags. UConn finished work on 73 of the flags at the cost of $147,000, and estimated a cost of more than $300,000 to finish the work on the remaining 37 flags. The legislative management committee paid $75,000 towards the work and UConn paid $35,000 of the cost to restore the 73 flags. In an article in theHartford Courant, Rep. Paul D. Abererombie, R-North Haven, said, “the degree of work has been much more extensive than the team expected when it estimated it would cost about $1,000 each to restore the flags.”

State leaders agreed to let UConn out of the contract to restore all the flags. In 1987 there was no decision made on what to do with the remaining 37.

Future of Connecticut’s Battle Flags
Since the restoration project during the 1980s, a few flags have been restored each year. According to the meeting minutes from the Capitol Preservation and Restoration Commission, the average cost to restore a flag today is approximately $10,000.

In order to preserve the history of the battle flags, Gerry Caughman wrote and published a book in 2006 titled, Qui Transtulit Sustinet: Connecticut Battle Flag Collection. The two volume series describes the history and current state of the battle flags, and provides several illustrations and photographs of the relics.

In 2006, officials appropriated $50,000 for the conservation of the battle flags. An additional $50,000 was approved each year for 2007, 2008, and 2009. The flags of the 18th, 24th, and 28th Regiments were conserved and placed on display in 2008. In 2009, however, the funding was put on hold for the project.



BattleFlagsPlaqueCaughman.jpg

A plaque was dedicated to the “Flag Lady” Gerry Caughman and placed in the Hall of Flags on September 20, 2013, for all her hard work preserving the flags – Courtesy of Stacey Renee



Gerry Caughman, the beloved “Flag Lady” of the capitol building, died on July 7, 2012, at the age of 78. With the passing of Gerry, the “mother” to these old relics, one may wonder the future of the flags. According to Eric Connery, Support Services Administrator for the Joint Committee on Legislative Management for the Connecticut General Assembly, funding was provided to restore five flags over the course of the next two to three years. Due to their fragile nature, some of the flags that still need conservation will not be able to be displayed on their poles in the Hall of Flags, but will be displayed in glass frames.

The flags represent a very important piece of Connecticut’s history. Thousands of men died protecting the Union, and these flags show future generations where we have come from as well as the stories behind these battle-scarred relics.

Tara M. Cantore is an adjunct professor teaching English and public speaking at Paier College of Art, and a graduate student in US history at Central Connecticut State University.

This article was published as part of a semester-long graduate student project at Central Connecticut State University that examined Civil War monuments and their histories in and around the State Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut.

- See more at: http://connecticuthistory.org/hall-...ticuts-civil-war-colors/#sthash.cQgct4hM.dpuf
Outstanding. I tentatively have a trip to Connecticut planned in 2017. You just added something to the itinerary. Hope I make it.
 

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

bdtex

Brigadier General
Moderator
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Regtl. Quartermaster Chickamauga 2018
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
7,796
Location
Houston,TX area
#62
This has been a helluva Saturday morning with coffee reading thread. Outstanding sir.
 

Legion Para

Captain
Retired Moderator
Joined
Jul 12, 2015
Messages
6,487
#63
http://andspeakingofwhich.blogspot.com/2012/03/isaac-carman-and-48th-ohio-at-vicksburg.html


Isaac Carman and the 48th Ohio at Vicksburg

photo+(6).JPG


The 48th Ohio Volunteer Infantry regiment (better known as the 48th O.V.I.) was organized in February 1862 under the command of Col. Peter J. Sullivan. The regiment fought at Shiloh, Corinth, Chickasaw Bayou, and in the expedition to Arkansas Post. Engaged in the Vicksburg Campaign as part of Landrum's Brigade, A.J. Smith's Division, XIII Corps, the 48th Ohio fought in all the major battles leading up to the Siege of Vicksburg.

On May 19 and again on May 22, 1863, Grant's Union Army of the Tennessee assaulted the Confederate defenses in hopes of quickly taking Vicksburg. On the 19th, only Sherman's Corps was involved, but on the 22nd the assault included all three army corps. One of the units participating in the assault on May 22 was the 48th Ohio. After an opening artillery barrage pounded the Confederate lines, the regiment, along with other units in the brigade, attacked the fortifications nearest the Southern Railroad (near the present-day Vicksburg NMP Visitor's Center. Men from several units in the brigade, including the 48th O.V.I., captured a portion of the Railroad Redoubt and bagged a number of prisoners. When the 48th's flag, along with those of the 77th Illinois and 22nd Iowa, was planted on the parapet of the fort, the flags immediately attracted the attention of Confederate artillery. Corporal Isaac H. Carman* of Co. A was pinned down near the top of the works and close to the flags. Using his bayonet, he dug in. Nearby, a soldier from the 77th Illinois crawled into a shell crater. Working together, Corp. Carman kept firing into the Confederate lines while the Illinois soldier reloaded their rifles.

photo+(7).JPG
In time, the Confederates, including elements of Waul's Texas Legion, organized a counterattack to retake the Railroad Redoubt. Carman and his comrade from Illinois could clearly hear the voices of Confederate soldiers as they gathered for the attack. Realizing the danger they and the flags were in, Carman ran back under fire to get permission to remove the flags from the parapet. After getting approval, Carman forward and grabbed the 48th O.V.I.'s flag just in time. At the same moment, the Confederates launched their counterattack.

Securing the flag, Carman ran a hundred feet under enemy fire to his regiment. As Carmen later wrote, “How I got down and paced the hundred feet to our ditch, through all that fire, I cannot tell. In my great haste I ran right into the bayonet of one of my own company, who was then in charging position, driving its entire length into my leg and thigh.” Although severely wounded, Carmen planted the flag in front of the regiment as the men of the 48th pulled him into the safety of their lines. Carmen had saved the flag. For his actions that day, Corporal Isaac Harrison Carman was awarded he Medal of Honor. The 22nd Iowa's flag was also rescued. The 77th Illinois flag, however, was captured.

When the monument for the 48th O.V.I. was dedicated on May 22nd, 1905 (forty two years after the battle and six years after the military park was established), Isaac Carman was among the few veterans able to be present. In the photo at the top, he is the third person on the left, with his coat unbuttoned. On the far left is his son. The image below is a photo of the same monument at Vicksburg Military Park today. In the center of the page is an image of Sgt. Thomas William Wissinger, Co. E. Wissinger, from Miami, Ohio, who served as a flag bearer in the 48th O.V.I. He is shown here with the unit's flag, and it clearly includes battle honors for Vicksburg. Please note that he is wearing a distinctive Zouave-style uniform.
photo+(8).JPG

As for the regiment's service following the Siege of Vicksburg, the 48th participated in the Red River Campaign in April 1864, and the entire unit was captured at Mansfield, Louisiana. They were sent to prison at Camp Ford near Tyler, Texas. After being paroled, they were part of the Mobile campaign in the last year of the war, and were finally mustered out in May, 1866. To learn more about the 48th O.V.I., there is a superb website dedicated to the history of the regiment athttp://www.48ovvi.org/index.html.


* Carman's name is sometimes spelled 'Carmin' or 'Carmen.' On this tombstone, however, it is spelled Carman. He died in 1919.

20yr75CL.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Legion Para

Captain
Retired Moderator
Joined
Jul 12, 2015
Messages
6,487
#72
Color Sergeant John C. Nutting, 4th New Hampshire Infantry.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Legion Para

Captain
Retired Moderator
Joined
Jul 12, 2015
Messages
6,487
#73
Preserving our past isn't something new. After the war selling CDVs of our treasured banners was commonplace. The following collection of New Hampshire Civil War Regimental flags was auctioned off some years ago.

"Exceptionally rare collection of 52 cartes de visite featuring views of battle flags from 18 different New Hampshire Regiments, taken by Kimball & Sons, Concord, NH, and entered according to act of Congress in 1866. Each carte glued down on sheet of cardboard. With printed caption below each view identifying the regiment with which each flag is associated, including the following New Hampshire Regiments: 1st NH Vol. Cav. (4); 1st NH Heavy Artillery (3); 1st NH Vol. Inf. (2); 2nd NH Vol. Inf. (2); 3rd NH Vol. Inf. (3); 4th NH Vol. Inf. (2): 5th NH Vol. Inf. (2); 6th NH Vol. Inf. (6); 7th NH Vol. Inf. (5); 9th NH Vol. Inf. (5); 10th NH Vol. Inf. (2); 11th NH Vol. Inf. (3); 12th NH Vol. Inf. (4); 13th NH Vol. Inf. (2); 14th NH Vol. Inf. (2); 15th NH Vol. Inf. (2); 16th NH Vol. Inf. (2); 18th NH Vol. Inf. (1). "
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
7,623
#75

bdtex

Brigadier General
Moderator
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Regtl. Quartermaster Chickamauga 2018
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
7,796
Location
Houston,TX area
#76
Is it permissible here that Confederate flags be preserved as well? I hope that "Preserving Our Heritage" isn't just about the North.

View attachment 126953


Folks in the community of Louisiana, Missouri are doing their best to preserve history. One may read about it here.

I wish them Godspeed.
Outstanding. That was a great read. I think they've done it.
 

Legion Para

Captain
Retired Moderator
Joined
Jul 12, 2015
Messages
6,487
#77
Is it permissible here that Confederate flags be preserved as well? I hope that "Preserving Our Heritage" isn't just about the North.

View attachment 126953


Folks in the community of Louisiana, Missouri are doing their best to preserve history. One may read about it here.

I wish them Godspeed.
This thread is for all Civil War flags, Union and Confederate. Thanks for posting this @Drew.
 

WJC

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Messages
10,254
#80
People today can hardly imagine the unquestionable pride and determination that a Civil War era regiment on both sides put into the care and protection of their flag. To lose your unit's flag in battle was embarrassing and brought shame to the unit. The fighting and causalities around the "colors" was nearly always the worst. The color guard of a regiment was not only expected to say they would do everything they could to protect the colors but stand behind those words with their lives if necessary.

View attachment 130454


After the war many regiments entrusted their colors to the original color bearers. These men were expected to be at every reunion with the colors and keep them protected between gatherings. As the years passed many of the veterans were granted the privilege of not only having the regimental flag at their funeral but some pieces of the flag were cut from the colors and laid to rest with the old soldier. And if the man who was caring for the flag passed on his wife was given specific instructions by the soldier on who to pass it on to before he died. In this way some flags were passed down to where they are still in families today. Regretfully many were lost in this process too.

Civil War veterans of the 13th Iowa Volunteer Infantry bring their regimental colors to the capital for internment in 1894.


View attachment 130455

The Iowa Civil War Battle flags displayed in the state capital building rotunda. They were hung here for almost 100 years.


Some states concerned about the future of these flags asked the aged veterans to return them to their state for safe keeping and prosperity. This is how many of these stands of colors came to reside in state capital buildings. This was a temporary and unfortunate fix however. As time passed the flags hung in the state capitals and literally fell apart in glassed compartments that were neither temperature controlled or bug resistant over many years.

In the case of the state of Iowa in 2001 it was determined to preserve the flags as much as possible. So the flags were removed from the capital rotunda in Des Moines and taken to the state historical building for conservation work. Some three hundred flags are in the collection of the Iowa Historical Society and only a fraction have been preserved. Some are so far gone that it is nearly impossible to do anything with them but no one wants to be the one to make a decision on them.

Now in 2015 the state of Iowa is in bad way. The curator of the Iowa Battle flag program left in late 2013 or early 2014. No replacement has been hired and there is presently no intention of finding one.
Thanks for your response and interesting information!
One wonders how any of these remaining flags will fare going forward, as our population seems to be losing interest in history and our schools and universities are no longer teaching it.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Similar threads




(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top