Monday, December 18, 2017

Frazier's Farm or Frasier's Farm?

While working on my images for General Lee's Immortals, I made an interesting discovery. There is inconsistency on the spelling of Frazier's farm. Ok. There are a lot of inconsistencies on spellings in that time period. But this inconsistency happens to be on battle flags.

In December 1862, Branch's brigade received new Army of Northern Virginia battle flags.  These flags had their battle honors painted in white paint, in a very distinctive pattern. Of the five flags issued, four survive. The fifth flag, belonging to the 7th North Carolina State Troops, was cut up at the end of the war near Lexington, North Carolina. A scrap of this flag survives at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. On this particular issue of flags, the June 30, 1862, battle (a part of the Seven Days Campaign), is spelled "Fraziers Farm."

However, in a later issue of Army of Northern Virginia flags to the 28th North Carolina Troops (May 1864), it is no longer" Fraziers Farm," but it is now "Frasiers Farm." This flag was captured on July 28, 1864, near Malvern Hill, Virginia. A replacement was issued shortly thereafter. This 28th North Carolina flag has been further modified. Now, the battle honor reads "Frasers Farm." This flag was surrendered on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House.

 Being the inquisitive soul that I am, I pulled out my copy of Glenn Dedmondt's The Flags of Civil War North Carolina, and started to look at just the spelling of Frazier's Farm. It would appear that the odd spelling on the flag of the 28th North Carolina was an odd occurrence. Eight other flags bear the name "Frazier's Farm." (I also checked Dedmondt's books on Alabama and South Carolina, and once again the spelling is consistent.)

So our next question is why? Why did the lettering on two different flags issued to the 28th North Carolina, get misspelled, once with "Frasier's Farm," and the next time with "Frazier's Farm." Just who was painting these flags on these two different days?

Of course, these are questions I cannot answer. There is not even a consistent spelling of the family who lived on the farm during the 1862 battle. Is it Frayser's Farm? Frazier's Farm? Or, Frasier's Farm? (Or, maybe Glendale...)

No comments: