Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Revisiting Branch-Lane brigade flags.

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....

1 comment:

Linda Houck said...

The flag that was over Lee in the Rotunda only covers wartime up until September of 1862. There are 8 names on one side and 5 on the other. This leaves space for more battle honors to be posted. Since there were not more honors posted, it seems that this flag was retired or captured at the time. Information on the flag and pictures were sent to me by Ms. Rebecca Rose, flag collection, Museum of the Confederacy. I have since had a reproduction made to carry on the battlefield during events that my unit attends, parades, and other ceremonies.
John Houck, Cmdr, 37th NCVT