I'm perplexed. In the past, I have always written that Branch's brigade carried either state flags or First Nationals until issued battle flags in November/December 1862. Everyone remembers these flags, and one, that of the 37th NCT, was chosen to stand watch over the mausoleum of Lee at Lee Chapel in Lexington, Virginia.
Well maybe I was wrong, but I'm not sure.
One thing that has always led to this line of thinking is a general order from Branch, dated July 20, 1862, stating which battle honors were to be inscribed on the flags of the brigade. Branch ends the missive with: "The Quartermaster of the Brigade will furnish flags inscribed as above." To me, that means they received new flags.
However, I received something the other day that has me perplexed. Nicholas Gibbon, who served as a staff officer in the 28th NCT and on Branch-Lane brigade staff, wrote in his diary/memoir : "on the 26th [of June] just before our Brigade left camp the battle flags were handed out."
So, did the brigade get battle flags in June 1862, and again in November/December 1862? What happened to the June 1862 issue? Out of five regiments, you would think that we could find a reference to at least one of those flags being captured, sent back to Raleigh when the new flags arrived, or something.
I will confess - this is so very frustrating....