Monday, January 23, 2012

Flag of the 16th North Carolina State Troops

It seems that I've been making an annual January  trip to Charlotte the past two or three years. The annual trip always seems to coincide with the annual meeting of the 26th North Carolina Troops, Reactivated. Last year it was to speak at the unveiling of the conserved flag fragments of the 58th North Carolina Troops. This year, it was simply to be a part of audience at the unveiling of the conserved flag of the 16th North Carolina State Troops.
The 16th North Carolina State Troops (6th North Carolina Volunteers) was the first regiment entirely made up of men from western North Carolina. They were mustered into service on June 16, 1861, in Raleigh. This regiment spent the duration of their service connected with Confederate armies in Virginia, and after mid--1862, members of the famed Light Division.

Following the battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863, the regiment was issued a new flag, a 3rd bunting Richmond Depot, with unit designation in yellow and battle honors in blue. This flag was captured on July 3, 1863, at the battle of Gettysburg, by Pvt. Elijah M. Bacon, Company F, 14th Connecticut Infantry. Bacon was later awarded the Medal of Honor. This flag was one of many returned to the states by the Federal government in the early part of the 20th century.

As many of you know, for the past several years, the folks in the 26th North Carolina Troops, Reactivated, have been raising funds to preserve Confederate battle flags (among other projects). The flags that they have conserved include those of the 26th NCT, 58th NCT, and 1st NCST. We should all commend them for the great work that they do.

No, I was not speaking this time. I just went to observe. But I did get to stand on the stage and have my picture made before they rolled the flag back into the vault. As I wrote on my facebook page, any day you get to stand beside a flag that bore the shell and shot of the battlefield, is a great day!

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