History Podcasts



BORN: 1829 in Ross County, OH.
DIED: 1869 in Indianapolis, IN.
CAMPAIGNS: Shiloh, Stone's River, Occupation of Chattanooga, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Atlanta and Franklin.
George Day Wagner was born in Ross County, Ohio, on September 22, 1829. His family moved to Warren County, Indiana when Wagner was a young man, and he attended public schools. Working as a farmer, he was elected as a Republican member of the state House of Representatives in 1856. In 1860, he was elected to the state Senate, and was president of the Indiana State Agricultural Society until the Civil War began. Wagner joined the Union military in June of 1861, and eventually led a division in the Army of the Cumberland at the Battle of Stone's River. Promoted to brigadier general to rank from November 29, 1862, he led a division from Maj. Gen. Rosencrans' occupation of Chattanooga in September of 1863 to the Battle of Chickamauga. He later fought at Missionary Ridge, where his forces sustained heavy losses. Wagner also served in the Atlanta Campaign and the Franklin and Nashville Campaign. In the Battle of Franklin, Wagner diverged from his orders, action which resulted in the Confederates penetrating the Union center. Wagner asked to be relieved from duty, with the stated reason that he was concerned about his wife's health. He returned to Indiana, and received confirmation of his request in August of 1865. Setting up a legal practice in Williamsport, Indiana in 1866, he became president of the Agricultural Society again, and died in Indianapolis, Indiana, on February 13, 1869.

Pike County Rhoden murders: Baby's father pleads guilty, will testify against family

WAVERLY &mdash The air was thick with tension, and the quiet cries and sniffles of the surviving members of the Rhoden, Gilley and Manley families were the only sounds to be heard as Edward &ldquoJake&rdquo Wagner stood in a Pike County courtroom Thursday and pleaded guilty to killing eight people, including the mother of his daughter.

The stunning admission came on the fifth anniversary of the day that eight members of the Rhoden family were shot to death in four homes in three locations in rural Pike County. Wagner faced Pike County Common Pleas Court Judge Randy Deering as Deering read through each individual charge, he quickly admitted to each of seven counts of aggravated murder.

But when Deering asked Wagner for his plea to the aggravated murder charge for Hanna Mea Rhoden, the mother of Wagner&rsquos young daughter, Wagner paused. He hesitated. His Adam&rsquos apple bobbed, his face grew red. He held back tears.

Everyone waited on edge for the words.


In 1932, George Barnett, a prominent economist and president of the American Economics Association, forecasted a bleak future for organized labor. "The changes, occupational and technological, which checked the advance of unionism in the last decade, appear likely to continue in the same direction," he intoned.

In 1930, only 3.4 million workers belonged to labor unions--down from 5 million in 1920. Union members were confined to a few industries, such as construction, railroads, and local truck delivery. The nation's major industries, like autos and steel, remained unorganized.

In 1935, Congress passed the landmark Wagner Act (the National Labor Relations Act), which spurred labor to historic victories. One such success included a sit-down strike by auto workers in Flint, Michigan in 1937. The strike led General Motors to recognize the United Automobile Workers. Union membership soared from 3.4 million in 1932 to 10 million in 1942 and to 16 million in 1952.

Bitter labor-management warfare erupted as the Depression dragged on. In 1934, some 1.5 million workers went on strike. Auto and steel workers and longshoremen became involved in violent strikes. Police shot 67 striking Teamsters in Minneapolis. In August, textile workers staged the largest strike the country had ever seen--a total of 500,000 workers in 20 states. In Massachusetts alone, 110,000 workers went on strike, and 60,000 workers in Georgia struck. While some of the strikes aimed at higher wages, a third demanded union recognition.

Labor unrest forced the federal government to step into labor relations and to forge a compromise between management and labor. Under the Wagner Act of 1935, the federal government guaranteed the right of employees to form unions and to bargain collectively. It also set up the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which had the power to prohibit unfair labor practices by employers.

During the mid-1930s, a bitter dispute broke out within labor's ranks. It involved an issue that had been simmering for half a century: Should labor focus its efforts on unionizing skilled workers or should labor unionize all workers in industry, regardless of skill level? The country's major labor federation, the American Federation of Labor, consisted of craft unions organized by occupation. In late 1935, a group of union leaders, including John L. Lewis of the United Mine Workers, David Dubinsky of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, and Sidney Hillman of the International Ladies' Garment Workers, formed the Committee of Industrial Organization (CIO) to organize unskilled workers in America's mass production industries. The CIO formed unions in the auto, glass, radio, rubber, and steel industries, and by the end of 1937, it had more members than the American Federation of Labor (AFL)--3.7 million CIO members against 3.4 million AFL members.

Major General George Stoneman Led the Last American Civil War Cavalry Raid

Six-foot-four-inch Major General George Stoneman, powerfully built, ‘with a face that showed the marks of long and hard service in the field,’ watched as 6,000 men and horses formed up just outside of Mossy Creek, Tennessee, in late March 1865. These blue-clad troopers of the Cavalry Division of the District of East Tennessee were preparing for a raid into northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia, their orders to ‘destroy but not to fight battles.’ The war was winding down, but the punishment of Southern civilians continued apace, its aim to demoralize an already beaten people.

A wagon, 10 ambulances, four guns with their caissons, and two pack mules–one for ammunition and one for the men’s mess–rode along with the advancing Union column. The division, under the immediate command of Brig. Gen. Alvan C. Gillem, was composed of three brigades: Colonel William J. Palmer’s First Brigade, brevet Brig. Gen. Simeon B. Brown’s 2nd Brigade, and Colonel John K. Miller’s 3rd Brigade, as well as a battery of artillery under Lieutenant James M. Regan.

On March 23, the division moved east to Morristown, Tenn., where each man was issued five days’ rations, one day’s forage of corn, and four horseshoes with nails, to go along with the 63 rounds of ammunition each already carried. The land and the people, hard pressed though they were, would have to provide most of the Federals’ supply needs. On March 24, the division moved toward Taylorsville, Tenn., where they took the turnpike leading to Watauga County, N.C. In the land ahead, a tremor of fear passed through the population. Rumors of the approaching raid caused citizens to hide their food and valuables.

As commander of the East Tennessee district, Stoneman was personally accompanying Gillem’s cavalry division to oversee its mission. Originally, Stoneman had been ordered to raid into South Carolina, but Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s rapidly moving forces had precluded that need. His revised orders from Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas, commander of the Army of the Cumberland, were to ‘dismantle the country to obstruct Lee’s retreat’ by destroying parts of the East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad, the North Carolina Railroad, and the Danville-Greensboro line.

Ulysses S. Grant, the overall Union commander, believed that Stoneman’s raid, in conjunction with a simultaneous raid by Northern cavalry in Alabama, would ‘leave nothing for the rebellion to stand upon.’ While Stoneman ravaged, Brig. Gen. Davis Tillson’s 4th Division of the Department of the Cumberland would follow the cavalry column and occupy key mountain passes in northwest North Carolina to protect Stoneman’s and Gillem’s rear.

Very little in the way of Confederate defenses awaited Stoneman’s men. Confederate home guardsmen were scattered about in various places such as Watauga County, where Major Harvey Bingham had two companies, or Ashe County where a Captain Price commanded a small company. The area had been placed under the direction of General P.G.T. Beauregard, but the regular troops in his command were described as ‘insufficient to stop [Stoneman].’

Yet Stoneman would not march unopposed, as the people of Watauga County quickly demonstrated. At 10 a.m. on March 28, as the Federal forces moved on the Taylorsville turnpike toward the village of Boone, N.C., the troopers learned that a meeting of the local home guard would occur in Boone that same day. Stoneman quickly sent his aide-de-camp, with the 2nd Brigade’s 12th Kentucky Cavalry, to assault Boone and take on the home guard. The Union troopers responded, riding into Boone and down Main Street, firing at anything that moved.

Mrs. James Councill heard the firing and stepped out onto her porch, her child in her arms, to investigate when ‘a volley of balls splintered into the wood all around her.’ Home guardsmen and citizens grabbed their weapons and tried to fight back. Steel Frazier, a 15-year-old boy, was chased by six Federals to a fence, where Frazier took cover, turned, and took on his pursuers, killing two of them. He then retreated into the woods. Calvin Green tried to surrender, but when the Federals continued to shoot at him, he resumed the fight and shattered the arm of one of the invaders with his musket.

Other citizens, however, weren’t so lucky. Warren Green was shot to death as he tried to surrender Jacob Councill, an elderly man over the conscript age, was shot down beside his plow despite his appeals for mercy. When the smoke cleared, the Federals had killed nine, captured 68, plundered several homes and burned the local jail.

With Boone neutralized, Stoneman decided to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains and move to Wilkesboro, about 50 miles away on the Yadkin River, to obtain supplies and fresh horses. He opted to separate his command to accomplish this, sending Gillem with Brown’s brigade and the artillery, followed by Miller’s brigade, on a roundabout route to Wilkesboro in order to destroy a factory near Lenoir. Stoneman would take the direct route, through Deep Gap to Wilkesboro.

At 9 p.m. on March 28, Gillem reached Patterson’s Factory, a cotton mill at the foot of the Blue Ridge, and took the workers by surprise. Finding a useful supply of corn and bacon, the men spent the night there. The next day the column moved on to Wilkesboro, leaving a rear guard to destroy the factory and any food that remained.

By late afternoon of March 29, Gillem’s men had caught up with Stoneman just outside Wilkesboro. That evening, Stoneman sent the 12th Ohio Cavalry into Wilkesboro where ‘they came in with a yell and ran completely through the place, frightening a small body of Confederates out of their wits and out of the place.’ The weather presented a problem that night, however, as ‘the very heavens opened their floodgates,’ swelling the Yadkin River so much that it became impassable. Stoneman’s men had been in the process of crossing the river in order to head north when it rose, thus becoming separated by the river. At least one man drowned during the aborted crossing.

The blue cavalry could do no more than inch a few miles east until the Yadkin became passable. Their time was spent ‘carrying off all the horses and mules, and burning the factories,’ as well as doing a little drinking, for ‘the stuff was warm in the stills.’ The Federals even seized the horse of the local citizen James Gordon, one of Jeb Stuart’s men who had been killed at Spotsylvania, and paraded it in front of the man’s house for a couple of hours.

It was not until April 2 that Stoneman was able to ford the Yadkin River and get his men moving once again. The Federals pointed their horses north, toward Virginia and the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad.

The march to the Virginia border took Stoneman’s men through Dobson to Mount Airy, N.C. While in Mount Airy, the Federals learned that an enemy supply train had passed through the town earlier that afternoon on its way across the Virginia border to Hillsville. Stoneman immediately ordered Palmer to pursue and capture the train. On the morning of April 3, the rest of the division followed Palmer’s detachment north. By 1 p.m., the Federals had reached Hillsville, where they caught up with Palmer’s empty-handed detachment. The pursuit was renewed, however, and within a few hours 17 Confederate wagons filled with forage were in the hands of Brown’s brigade.

Stoneman divided his forces once more in Hillsville in order to cover more of the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad. He ordered Miller to take 500 men from his brigade, move to Wytheville, and destroy the railroad bridges and supplies there. Stoneman took the main body in the direction of Jacksonville, Va.

Shortly after dark, Stoneman’s advance met some weak resistance. The battle-hardened Federals quickly responded, however, driving the Rebel force several miles. By midnight, the situation had calmed enough for Stoneman to bivouac his men.

The next morning, April 4, Stoneman’s force moved out early and reached Jacksonville by 10 a.m. The general sent out yet another raiding party from this point, consisting of 250 picked men under the command of the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry’s Major Wagner. Wagner’s objectives were the railroad bridges in and around Salem, Va. The division’s main body resumed its march that afternoon and occupied Christianburg, Va., by midnight.

The destruction now began in earnest. On April 5, Stoneman ordered Palmer and his 1st Brigade to tear up the railroad tracks east of Christianburg while Brown’s brigade dealt with the tracks to the west of the town. With the Federal forces divided into four separate detachments, over 150 miles of the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad were ruined.

Miller’s detachment, however, met with trouble in its raid toward Wytheville. A Confederate force of infantry and cavalry contested his advance, charging them with a yell. Miller’s men, although they successfully repulsed the Rebels, suffered 35 casualties in the skirmish. Stoneman ordered Miller to retire to Hillsville and then to Taylorsville, Va.

Meanwhile, Wagner and his detachment were playing a significant, if unknowing, part in Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House. Reaching Salem by 2 p.m. on April 5, Wagner’s men set about their work. Although they were delayed by word that Lee had evacuated his Petersburg trenches, the Federals managed to destroy the nearby railroad bridges by April 7. Wagner next moved to within six miles of Lynchburg, but reports of the presence of a strong Confederate force nearby turned them away. His mission completed, Wagner moved to rejoin the main body.

The effects of this small detachment went far beyond its actions. Lee, as he retreated west from Petersburg, had hoped to pivot south and move his army through Danville to join forces with General Joseph E. Johnston in North Carolina. Rapid Union moves had closed that option to Lee, leaving the west as his only avenue of escape. Reports of Wagner’s activities soon reached Lee at Amelia Court House. Lee, in the light of rumors that this was part of a Union army invading Virginia from the west, concluded that he was hemmed in and surrendered his once unconquerable force on April 9.

Stoneman set his forces in motion to return to North Carolina on April 7. The 2nd and 3rd brigades moved uneventfully south through Patrick County, Va., toward the state line. Palmer’s brigade, however, had somehow misinterpreted the route it had been directed to take and went through Martinsville, Va., by mistake. About 250 Confederate cavalrymen met Palmer in the streets of the town and killed one Union trooper while wounding five others. After a brisk skirmish, the Confederates were chased from the town.

Stoneman’s command was reunited by April 9 in Danbury, N.C. The war may have been over for Lee, but Stoneman wasn’t finished. In fact, Stoneman’s detour into Virginia had completely confused the people of North Carolina. Thinking that the dreaded raid was over, the state relaxed what little defense it had mustered. If Stoneman had proceeded to Salisbury from Wilkesboro in March, he would have found a large body of Confederates awaiting him. Instead, he feinted into Virginia before returning to North Carolina to reap a large harvest of destruction.

On April 10, Stoneman and his troopers continued their southward trek. By noon, at the village of Germantown, they stopped briefly to provide an escort for a party of ex-slaves who had fallen in behind the column. The escort took the blacks to east Tennessee, where a large number of them volunteered for active duty in the 119th U.S. Colored Troops.

Stoneman, confident that the Rebels would offer little resistance to his forces, once more divided his column. He detached Palmer’s brigade to destroy the large cloth factories around Salem and the rail lines around Greensboro. The remainder of the division moved at 4 p.m. The next day, April 11, they reached Shallow Ford, on the Yadkin River, and captured 100 muskets after chasing off a small enemy detachment.

Palmer’s brigade, meanwhile, had been greeted by the white flag. As they approached Winston and the neighboring town of Salem, their respective mayors, accompanied by two other prominent citizens, officially surrendered the two towns. The towns were, as a result, spared excessive harm. One citizen, a member of the local Moravian congregation, wrote that ‘had it not been for the noise of their horses and swords…it would have been hardly noticed that so large a number of troops were passing through our streets.’

Palmer immediately sent his men out into the countryside to work. One detachment captured and burned the Dan River Bridge, cutting a vital link in the Piedmont Railroad. A few hours earlier, Confederate President Jefferson Davis had traveled over that same bridge as he fled from Virginia to Greensboro with what remained of his government and treasury. Moving to meet Johnston to discuss future plans, Davis was told of the proximity of Federal cavalry. His narrow escape prompted him to grin, ‘A miss is as good as a mile.’ It would not be the last time Davis would dodge Palmer’s men.

Palmer’s men completed their objectives with speed and efficiency, unaware that the Confederate president was within their grasp. Lieutenant Colonel Charles M. Betts of the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry routed the 3rd South Carolina Cavalry at Buffalo Creek, just two miles from Greensboro, and then burned the bridge there. Other detachments fired bridges and factories at Jamestown, Florence, and throughout the countryside. Seventeen hundred bales of cotton were burned by Federal raiders at High Point, a North Carolina railroad de pot. By April 11, Palmer concluded that his detachment had done enough damage. The brigade turned back, rejoining Stoneman at Shallow Ford, west of Winston.

The reunited division next moved south with their eyes on the grand prize of Salisbury. The town was a major military depot for the Confederacy, containing several military hospitals, an ordnance plant, and the state district headquarters for the Commissary of Subsistence. Supplies recently evacuated from Raleigh and Richmond due to Sherman’s and Grant’s advances were also in Salisbury. Most important to the men in the saddles, though, was the six-acre, 10,000-man prison in the town. The prison, in operation since 1861, had a ‘frowning stockade, the dirty enclosure honeycombed with dens and holes in which the shivering captives. . . burrowed like animals.’ Nearby, about 12,000 graves stood as reminders of the tragedies that had occurred at the prison. The Federals didn’t know, however, that the prisoners had recently been evacuated because of the terrible conditions at the prison.

A small body of Rebels challenged the Federal advance near Mocksville, only to be dispersed by a savage Federal charge. By 8 p.m. on April 11, Stoneman bivouacked his troops in the road 12 miles north of Salisbury, within striking distance.

The division would not wait. At 12:30 a.m., with Miller’s brigade in advance, the Federals moved. The rattle and creak of caissons and the neighing of horses sounded in the night. After covering three miles, they reached the South Yadkin, a deep and rapid stream with few fords. Crossing the river unopposed, the Yankee troopers continued their trek until they reached a fork in the road. Since both roads led to Salisbury, Stoneman sent one battalion of the 12th Kentucky Cavalry by the old road and the main body by the western road. The Kentuckians were to demonstrate at Grant’s Creek, two miles outside of the town, and cross the upper bridge there if possible. The Federals were to then converge on Salisbury.

At daylight on April 12, the main column reached Grant’s Creek, chased away some pickets, and approached the bridge. Confederates emplaced across the creek announced that Salisbury would be defended, opening up with small arms and artillery fire and checking the horse soldiers. In the distance, behind the crack of the skirmishing, the chug of moving trains could be heard. The Confederates were trying to evacuate everything they could from Salisbury.

Across the creek was a hodgepodge of about 500 men and two batteries of artillery. Two hundred ‘galvanized’ Irish who had been recruited from among Federal prisoners, several junior reserves, some local citizens, and even a few artisans in the employ of the Confederate government prepared to defend the town. The regular commander of Salisbury, Brig. Gen. Bradley T. Johnson, was in Greensboro that morning, leaving Brig. Gen. W.M. Gardner in command.

At Gardner’s side that spring morning was the silver-haired Colonel John C. Pemberton, former commander of all Confederate forces at Vicksburg, Miss. Although he had resigned his generalcy in 1863 in disgrace, Pemberton, in January 1865, had taken a commission as a lieutenant colonel of artillery in defense of Richmond. Upon the evacuation of Richmond, Pemberton had fled to join his old friend Davis, but Stoneman’s troopers had cut the railroad nearby and compelled him to stop in Salisbury. Now, Gardner had an experienced man to help him hold the Federals long enough to allow Salisbury’s supplies to be evacuated. The officers had placed their men wisely and removed the flooring of the bridge to hinder a Federal crossing, but their men were quite inexperienced.

The Federal cavalry division, however, was anything but inexperienced. Rather than risk heavy casualties in a forced crossing of the creek, Stoneman ordered Gillem to send out flanking elements to turn the Rebel positions. Gillem assigned the 13th Tennessee Cavalry to cross Grant’s Creek below the enemy position while another detachment moved across the creek lower than the 13th Tennessee. Meanwhile, a detachment of the 11th Kentucky Cavalry was directed to cross the creek two and a half miles above the bridge and ‘get in the rear of Salisbury and annoy the enemy as much as possible.’ They were to also keep an eye out for the trains escaping from Salisbury.

Gillem, as soon as the parties sent across the river became engaged and the rattling fire of the 11th Kentucky Cavalry’s Spencer rifles announced that the enemy’s left had been turned, ordered the main body to cross the bridge. The Federals first laid a deadly fire across the creek so that a detachment could repair the bridge. Then Palmer’s brigade charged in handsome style, followed closely by Miller’s brigade, and hit the Rebel positions. The ensuing 20-minute fight soon had the Southerners on the run as they dropped arms, knapsacks, and all else that impeded their flight. Brown’s brigade followed in close support.

The Rebels were falling back all across the line. A Federal flanking element came across some tracks about two miles outside of town, blocked them, and was soon rewarded with the whistle of an approaching train. The Federals fired into the train and captured it, finding among the cargo the sword, uniform, papers and family of slain Confederate Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk. All along the battlefield, the Federals had captured 17 stands of colors, 18 artillery pieces and hundreds of prisoners. Pemberton later said he witnessed ‘the capture of our last piece of artillery and narrowly escaped the same fate myself.’

The horse soldiers reassembled on the other side of Grant’s Creek and continued the pursuit. As they charged into Salisbury, the battle continued in the streets. One ‘galvanized’ Confederate, although shot through the lungs, continued to fight back until he fell on the porch of Mrs. M.E. Ramsay. ‘Though the balls fell thick about him,’ Mrs. Ramsay dashed onto her porch and dragged the soldier inside. As she cared for his wounds, the man gasped, ‘I die a brave man I fought them as long as I could stand.’ The man would actually survive and return to thank Mrs. Ramsay three weeks later.

Soon, Salisbury was secured. The Federals gladly set about the task of destroying the Rebel supplies, facilities and prison. Until midafternoon of the next day, four entire squares in Salisbury were filled with burning supplies. The conflagration was visible 15 miles away. All told, the Federals destroyed more than 10,000 stands of small arms, 10,000 rounds of artillery shot, 70,000 pounds of powder, 100,000 uniforms, 160,000 pounds of bacon, 20,000 pounds of harness leather, 10,000 pounds of saltpeter, 35,000 bushels of corn, 50,000 bushels of wheat, $100,000 worth of medical supplies, four large cotton factories, and the hated prison itself.

While in Salisbury, Stoneman sent out a detachment to capture the vital railroad bridge over the Yadkin, six miles above town. The 10-year-old bridge, the longest span of the North Carolina Railroad, was considered vital to the collapsing Confederacy. Beauregard had sent one-armed Brig. Gen. Zebulon York, a Louisianian, with about 1,000 men to defend it at all costs. These men provided the Confederacy with one of its last successes of the war.

As the Federal detachment approached the bridge, resistance erupted. The Confederates were entrenched on the high bluffs across the river, laying down heavy fire to prevent a crossing. One boy who was there watched as the Confederate guns mowed down trees and held the Federals at bay. The Union troops brought up captured artillery from Salisbury to shell the Rebels, but to no avail. By nightfall of April 12, the Federals returned to Salisbury with ‘no wild cheers [and] no war whoops of victory.’

Regardless of their failure at the Yadkin bridge, Stoneman’s troops did manage to destroy a considerable amount of railroad track around Salisbury. The damage ensured that the flight of the Rebel government would have to depend not upon trains, but rather upon horses. On the night of April 15, Jefferson Davis rode past Salisbury on his way to Charlotte–in a carriage.

Moving as quickly as ever, the cavalry division, minus Palmer’s brigade, left Salisbury at 3 p.m. on April 13, en route to Statesville. (Palmer had been sent to destroy railroad track in the direction of Charlotte.) By nightfall, the advance guard entered the town, firing as they went. Statesville was only occupied for a few hours by the Federals, long enough to destroy some government stores and the railroad depot. The office of the Iredell Express, ‘a paper which was obnoxious from the warmth with which it had advocated the cause of the Confederacy,’ was also burned.

The Federals soon left, headed west. Statesville, however, had not seen the last of the Union foe. After midnight on April 14, Palmer’s men arrived, fresh from their successful raid toward Charlotte and the South Carolina border. The brigade remained in Statesville until April 17, skirmishing with local bands of defenders.

Palmer was then ordered to watch the line of the Catawba to help prevent the Confederates from using the ridges and valleys in the area for guerrilla warfare. Moving to the town of Lincolnton, the Federals captured a large trunk of valuables, including $2,000 in gold. Upon discovering that the trunk belonged to Mrs. Zebulon Vance, wife of the governor of North Carolina, Palmer collected ‘every article and every cent’ and returned the trunk to her with his compliments.

Rumors were flying about the end of the war. On April 19, Palmer was notified by three Confederate soldiers of the armistice between Sherman and Johnston. Stoneman and the main body reached the village of Taylorsville, N.C., on April 14 and were greeted with news of Lee’s surrender. Regardless, the Federals continued moving west.

On Easter Sunday, Stoneman’s men reached the town of Lenoir. Gillem had called Lenoir a ‘rebellious little hole,’ sentencing it to receive its full share of punishment. Stoneman’s presence, however, prevented the troops from excessive mischief. The flying reports of the war’s end prompted Stoneman to judge that his mission was complete. As a result, Stoneman left the division for east Tennessee on April 16, along with a guard detachment and about 900 Confederate prisoners. The prisoners themselves–mostly hungry and exhausted old men and young boys–had a tough trip ahead of them. Stoneman directed Gillem to take the 2nd and 3rd brigades and move toward Asheville, aiming at the mountain passes in the area. Gillem, already known to North Carolinians as’supercilious, insulting, and unfeeling’ because of the destruction he had brought, eagerly complied.

The war dragged on in the North Carolina mountains for the cavalry division, regardless of the cessation of hostilities by the major armies. Gillem had begun his trek to Asheville, only to find a bridge over the Catawba River, a couple of miles east of Morganton, blocked by Rebels. About 50 men under Maj. Gen. John McCown, not the 300 men that the Federals had estimated, were waiting at the crossing with one artillery piece. As the two Union brigades approached the river, they met with a continuous and effective fire which prevented their efforts to cross. To avoid useless casualties, Gillem sent a small detachment to outflank the Confederates and cross about two miles upriver. A battery of artillery was then dismounted and placed in a strategic position to bombard the Confederate gun.

Just as the flanking movement began to unnerve the Rebels, the Union battery opened fire. The first shot missed, but the veteran gunners readjusted. The second shot slammed home, breaking the axle on the Confederate gun’s caisson. With their enemy now bereft of artillery cover, the dismounted cavalry troops charged their enemy. It was only a few minutes until the Rebels had been ousted from their rifle pits and the road lay open. Morganton and its supplies of corn and bacon were soon in Federal hands.

As Gillem continued to pound away at them, the Confederates kept trying to scrape together what they could to defend their homes. Brigadier General James G. Martin, a Petersburg veteran, was the commander of the District of Western North Carolina. When he learned that Federal cavalry was headed for Asheville, he moved his command–one brigade and one regiment–to the land around Swannanoa Gap, placing his regiment in the gap itself to defend Asheville.

Gillem reached Swannanoa Gap on April 20 and found it to be effectually blockaded by about 500 men with four pieces of artillery. Once again, Gillem used the tactic that had successfully carried the command through the Confederate homeland. He ordered Miller to remain at the gap and ‘deceive the enemy by feints’ while he took a detachment to outflank the Rebel right. The flanking movement, due to the mountainous terrain, had to be an extremely wide one. The Federals rode hard. On April 21, Gillem reached Rutherford, 40 miles south of Swannanoa Gap. By dusk of April 22, the Federals had fought through only’slight resistance’ to cross the Blue Ridge at Howard’s Gap. Gillem now lay squarely in the Confederate rear.

The veteran General Martin had not been deceived. He ordered his lone brigade to meet the Federals at Howard’s Gap and repulse them. On April 22, however, news of Johnston’s surrender to Sherman finally filtered to the Confederates. On the basis of this news, Martin’s men refused to obey his order to stand and fight. Gillem, therefore, met only slight resistance at Howard’s Gap, when he could have faced a force equal to his own. Fortune was smiling on the Federal cause.

With Swannanoa Gap in Federal hands, Gillem continued his march on Asheville. At daylight on April 23, Gillem’s advance entered Hendersonville. There he received information that some Confederate troops and artillery had been waiting for him in the town the day before, but had retired toward Asheville. Gillem detached the 11th Kentucky Cavalry, with the 11th Michigan in support, to ‘pursue, attack, and capture’ the enemy force ‘at all hazards.’ By noon the Union detachment had found the Confederates, seizing four artillery pieces and 70 men. The Federals had become the masters of the countryside.

Early in the afternoon, the cavalry division left Hendersonville to cover the remaining distance to Asheville. After three hours of riding, the Union troops halted their horses as a few Confederates presented Gillem a flag of truce. Martin had sent word from his headquarters in Asheville that he had received official notification of the truce. As a result, a meeting between Gillem and Martin was arranged for the morning of April 24 to discuss surrender terms.

The meeting went off quietly and in order. The Confederates agreed to cease resistance, following the terms Sherman had granted to Johnston at Durham Station. Gillem accepted and informed Martin that he would return his division to Tennessee. To prevent the Federals from foraging on their return trip, Martin agreed to give them what supplies he had. On April 25, Brown’s and Miller’s brigades began the long ride back. Gillem himself turned to other duties, leaving the column to join the Tennessee legislature, which was then assembling. The war, it seemed, had finally come to an end for the Cavalry Division of the District of East Tennessee.

Mysteriously, though, the Federals returned to Asheville on April 26 and sacked it. Martin said that he ‘had heard of no worse plundering anywhere.’ General George Thomas, it turned out, had notified Stoneman that Abraham Lincoln had rejected the terms of surrender between Sherman and Johnston. Stoneman’s cavalry was to ‘do all in its power to bring Johnston to better terms.’

The raid, after this last act of destruction, came to a close. Yet fate had something else in store for these veteran Union horse soldiers. The shooting war had ended, but Jefferson Davis and the remains of the Confederate government were still in flight–and they were close to Stoneman’s troopers. On April 23, Palmer was notified of Lincoln’s assassination and ordered to pursue Jefferson Davis to ‘the ends of the earth.’ Palmer, breveted to general and placed in command of the division, began moving his brigades south. He sent one by way of Spartanburg and the others from their position near Asheville, planning to join them at the Savannah River in South Carolina.

The grand chase was on. Moving through Anderson, S.C., where the Federals captured and ‘disposed of’ 300 bottles of wine, the division crossed the Savannah River and entered Georgia. As Palmer’s men moved through the state, they barely missed capturing the fugitive president on several occasions. In consolation, the division did capture four brigades of Confederate cavalry and General Braxton Bragg and his wife (who were on their way to be paroled at the time). Finally, on May 15, Davis was captured in Irwin, Ga., by another Federal unit, the 4th Michigan Cavalry.

Stoneman and his cavalry division thus passed out of the war and into local legend. The raid had been a powerful one. A force of only 6,000 men had destroyed uncountable tons of supplies and miles of railroad tracks, shocked the local citizens with the reality of war, traveled more than 600 miles through enemy territory, and assisted in the capture of Jefferson Davis. Stoneman, one historian appraised, had utilized the methods of Sherman in a’splendidly conceived, ably executed attack upon the war potential and the civilian population of the South.’ Sherman himself, the author of the concept of total war, admiringly referred to Stoneman’s raid as ‘fatal to the hostile armies of Lee and Johnston.’ Stoneman and his men, beyond any doubt, had amply fulfilled their orders ‘to destroy.’

This article was written by Chris Hartley and originally appeared in the May 1998 issue of America’s Civil War. For more great articles be sure to subscribe to America’s Civil War magazine today!

America’s top Indian fighter

With the end of the Civil War, the citizen soldiers of the U.S. Volunteers disbanded. Custer reverted to the rank of captain in the regular army, though he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and became acting commander of the newly formed 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment. In 1866 Custer and his 7th Cavalry reported to western Kansas to take part in Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock’s expedition to awe hostile Plains Indians with the military strength of the U.S. Army. Unable to adapt successfully to Indian warfare, Custer began acting erratically. He ordered deserters shot without trial. Instead of waiting for supplies to be loaded at Fort Wallace, he abandoned his regiment and went to Fort Riley to visit his wife. A court-martial at Fort Leavenworth found Custer guilty of misconduct in 1867 and suspended him from rank and pay for one year.

Custer and his wife, Elizabeth (Libbie) Bacon Custer, were deeply committed to each other and wrote long passionate letters when separated. They were partners in Custer’s romantic pursuit of glory and fame, acting the roles of the cavalier and his lady. Custer was said to have had a theatrical presence and sensibility. He perfumed his cascading blond hair and augmented his often specialized uniforms (ranging from a brocaded velveteen jacket during the Civil War to a frontiersman’s buckskins in the West) with a red tie and a large broad-brimmed hat (which also protected his fair skin from sunburn).

The army’s inability to subdue the Plains Indians led Custer’s superiors to give a soldier with his aggressive instincts a second chance. They returned him to duty before his court-martial sentence expired, and in September 1868 he rejoined the 7th Cavalry in southwestern Kansas. In November his command surprised and destroyed the Southern Cheyenne chief Black Kettle’s village on the Washita River. (Black Kettle and his people had already been the target of a controversial surprise attack by the army in 1864 known as the Sand Creek Massacre.) This somewhat dubious success—the majority of the Indians are thought to have been women, children, and older people rather than warriors—was the army’s first major victory over the Southern Plains tribes following the Civil War, and it established Custer’s reputation as America’s top Indian fighter, which he retained well after other army officers’ exploits had surpassed his.

The Real History of May Day

For most Americans, closing their laptop or clocking out at the end of an eight-hour shift at a restaurant or construction site is the norm, give or take a half-hour or so for lunch . And as tiring as a day of work can be, it’s easy to forget that over a century ago, people died to afford us the right to an eight-hour workday.

Much of this country’s radical labor tradition has been erased by our political leaders’ allegiance to big business and a reverence for markets and capitalism . But the modicum of rights still afforded to workers in 2021 stem from the 19th century unioni sts , anarchists, and socialists who first defied the capitalists who created the abhorrent working conditions of the Industrial Revolution.

One of the key moments in the story of organized labor came on May 1, 1886, when 300,000 workers walked off the job throughout the country in an organized strike , leading to several days of protest and tragic violence that would enshrine in history the recognition of May Day— a day of international worker solidarity.

What is May Day?

We tend to think of Labor Day as this country’s day of tribute to workers, as it provides a day of rest in the form of a holiday. While Labor Day did arrive on the heels of labor agitation— specifically, following the deaths of 13 workers during the Pullman Strike of 1894 — it presents a more sanitized celebration of workers now more closely associated with sales at big box retailers than unions or radical reformers . Labor Day was formally recognized as a national holiday by President Grover Cleveland in 1984, and since then, the perception has followed that September is the only time that the United States formally recognizes the working classes’ contributions to the country’s history and social fabric.

This simply isn’t the case. May Day is t he original Labor Day, and even if it’s not recognized in any official capacity by the U.S. government , it’s a distinctly American phenomenon, though one now recognized across the world annually by dozens of countries.

How did May Day come to be?

So how did this international day of worker solidarity come to be? To answer that, we have to trace the black clouds of U.S. industry back to their origins in the billowing smokestacks of the 19th century , when the Second Industrial Revolution had children crawling through coal mines and scores of workers dying every year due to calamitous working conditions. Galvanized by a growing sense of collectivism and an emergent faction of vocal labor organizations such as the National Labor Union , formed in 1866, workers across the industrial centers of the United States began to clamor for their rights.

A key moment in this pursuit came in 1884 with the rise of the “Eight-Hour Movement,” when the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions held its national convention in Chicago , declaring that, “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labor from and after May 1, 1886.” It was a sentiment that would later prove prophetic, but not without years of struggle and bloodshed.

The Haymarket Riot

Chicago had long been a hotbed of agitation and organizing, with a railroad strike in 1877 erupting in violence . Nearly ten years later, the air of unrest endured . As the May 1 deadline set by the FOTLU approached, “an estimated quarter million workers in the Chicago area became directly involved in the crusade to implement the eight hour work day, including the Trades and Labor Assembly, the Socialistic Labor Party and local Knights of Labor,” according to an archived synopsis published by the Industrial Workers of the World in 1993.

At first, the demonstration was relatively quiet, but that all changed o n May 3rd, when a demonstration at McCormick Reaper Works ended in a violent skirmish between demonstrato rs and police that ended with the deaths of a few workers. The next day, a gathering at Chicago’s Haymarket Square was organized to protest the previous day’s killings. At first, the proceedings were calm, with even Chicago mayor Carter Harrison in attendance.

The tranquility again gave way to violence when someone threw an explosive at police the person responsible has never been identified, but the action caused the police to fire their weapons indiscriminately at the rally’s attendees during a speech by activist and newspaper editor August Spies.

As History explains, what followed became known as the Haymarket Riot, and sparked a bloody legacy :

The police and possibly some members of the crowd opened fire and chaos ensued. Seven police officers and at least one civilian died as a result of the violence that day, and an untold number of other people were injured.

The friction between U. S. authorities and the labor movement continued from there, with several prominent organizers convicted and executed for alleged ties to the Haymarket incident.

Eight anarchists - Albert Parsons, August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Oscar Neebe, Michael Schwab, George Engel, Adolph Fischer and Louis Lingg - were arrested and convicted of murder, though only three were even present at Haymarket and those three were in full view of all when the bombing occurred.

As the memory of Haymarket loomed large in mind of the labor movement’s and beyond, more and more unions latched onto the idea of an eight-hour day as a necessity.

In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt included the policy in his presidential platform , paving the way for the idea to reach a mainstream societal acceptance. It wasn’t until 1916 that a law supporting an eight-hour work day was passed by Congress, in the form of the Adamson Act, which allowed railroad workers that right . It was the first law of its kind to apply specifically to workers employed by private companies.

Still, i t took until the Great Depression and the passage of the National Industrial Recovery Act (which was later replaced by the Wagner Act ), for the right to maximum hours and minimum wages to apply to workers on a federal level.

Without the legacy of Haymarket and the pivotal actions taken on May 1 , 1886, it’s hard to see how any of that would have been possible. Though there is no concrete link between May Day and the eventual adoption of an eight-hour workday, at least as it is codified in law, it’s inarguable that the efforts of tho se 19th century activists were instrumental in achieving the now- standard concession.

May Day today

Today, May Day is an important day of solidarity for anyone with class consciousness in the U.S. , but oddly , it isn’t really celebrated much stateside . T he spirit of Haymarket, however, has been recognized in various other countries, most notably in Europe , wh ere it is enshrined in the form of public holidays.

Though we can thank Grover Cleveland for Labor Day , May Day has been all but erased from the American calendar, partly due to President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s pledge to make May 1 “Law Day ”—an ironic pledge of allegiance to the so-called “rule of law, ” and the forces that proved to be the chief opponents of the Labor Movement.

T hat doesn’t mean you can’t keep the spirit of May Day alive, and observe it with the full breadth of its history in mind. T his May 1 , think of the workers who sacrificed their lives to give you the right to organize your workplace and to end your work day after eight hours.

Sam writes about work, productivity, relationships and everything in between. His work is featured in GQ, Rolling Stone, Vox, BBC Work/Life, and other publications. Send tips via email.

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“Labor Day was formally recognized as a national holiday by President Grover Cleveland in 1984"

That recent, huh? I would have sworn Rea gan was president in 1984. )

100th Infantry Regiment

Mustered in: September 1861 to January 1862
Mustered out: August 28, 1865

The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
Under the supervision of Gen. G. A. Scroggs, recruiting for this regiment, as one of his brigade, was commenced September 2, 1861. It was organized at Buffalo, and there, mustered in the service of the United States for three years, between September, 1861, and January, 1862, with James M. Brown as Colonel. It received its numerical volunteer designation February 5, 1862. At the expiration of its term of enlistment, the men entitled thereto were discharged, and the regiment retained in service.
The companies were recruited principally : A at Buffalo, Franklinville, Springville and Ogdensburg B at Attica, Batavia, Bergen, Caledonia, East Pembroke, Greenwood, Greigsville, Jamestown, Le Roy, Lodi, North Hector, Pearl Creek, Persia, Pavilion and Victor C at Buffalo, Brighton, Pembroke, Rochester and White's Corners D at Buffalo, Grand Island, La Salle, Tonawanda and Wheatfield E at Buffalo, Brocton, Cattaraugus, Dunkirk, Mayville, Portland and Westfield F, originally intended for the Astor Regiment, and G at Buffalo H at Buffalo, Arkwright, Cherry Creek, Ellington, Hanover, Irving, Silver Creek, Smith's Mills and Villanova and I and K at Buffalo.
The regiment left the State March 10, 1862 served in Naglee's Brigade, Casey's Division, 4th Corps, Army of the Potomac, from March, 1862 in the 1st Brigade, 2d Division, 4th Corps, Army of the Potomac, from May, 1862 at Gloucester Point and Yorktown, Va., from August, 1862 in Naglee's Brigade, 1st Division, Department North Carolina, from December, 1862 in Davis' 2d, Brigade, Naglee's, 2d, Division, 18th Corps, in South Carolina, from January, 1863 at St. Helena, S. C., from February 12, 1863 on Cole's Island, S. C., 18th Corps, from March 24, 1863 on Folly Island, S. C., 10th Corps, from April 3, 1863 on Morris Island, S. C., from July 10, 1863 in Terry's Division, 10th Corps, from October, 1863 in Stevenson's Division, 10th Corps, from January, 1864 on Morris Island, S. C., from February, 1864 in 2d Brigade, 1st Division, 10th Corps, Army of the James, from April, 1864 in 3d Brigade, 1st Division, 10th Corps, from May, 1864 in same brigade and division, 24th Corps, from December, 1864 in 2d Brigade, 1st Division, 24th Corps, from May, 1865 and it was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Col. George B. Dandy, August 28, 1865, at Richmond, Va.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 9 officers, 115 enlisted men of wounds received in action, 2 officers, 68 enlisted men of disease and other causes, 3 officers, 20 enlisted men total, 14 officers, 384 enlisted men aggregate, 398 of whom 1 officer and 79 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy.

The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908. volume II.
One Hundredth Infantry.&mdashCols., James M. Brown, George F. B. Dandy Lieut.-Cols., Phineas Stanton, Calvin N. Otis, Louis S. Payne, Warren Granger Majs., Calvin N. Otis, Daniel D. Nash, James H. Dandy, George H. Stowitz, Frederick A. Sawyer. The 100th, known as the 2nd regiment, Eagle brigade, or the 3d Buffalo regiment, was principally recruited at Buffalo, where it was organized, and mustered into the U. S. service from Sept., 1861, to Jan., 1862, for three years. This regiment is included by Col. Fox among the "three hundred fighting regiments" of the war and earned its reputation for gallantry on many a hard fought field. It left the state for Washington on March 10, 1862, 960 strong, and soon after its arrival was assigned to Naglee's (1st) brigade, Casey's (2nd) division, 4th corps. It joined in McClellan's Peninsular campaign, its losses at Fair Oaks being particularly severe&mdash176 killed, wounded and missing. Col. Brown was killed here and Col. Dandy, of the regular army, was assigned to the command of the regiment. At the conclusion of this campaign it was stationed for several months at Gloucester point and Yorktown, and then moved with its brigade to North Carolina. The regiment was present at all the operations about Charleston harbor during the spring of 1863, and, under the command of Col. Dandy, engaged in the desperate assault on Fort Wagner in July. While the assault was unsuccess-. ful the regiment behaved with signal gallantry, planting the flag presented to it by the board of trade of Buffalo, on the fort, though at a fearful cost of life. The brave color-sergeant fell dead beside the colors, and the regiment sustained a loss of 49 killed, 97 wounded and 29 missing&mdasha total, of 175 out of 478 engaged. . Its loss here of 66 killed and mortally wounded amounts to over 13 per, cent. of those in action. During the subsequent siege of Fort Wag-ner its losses were 11 killed, 31 wounded and 7 missing. It next took part in the operations in Charleston harbor from September, to December, attached to Terry's division, 10th corps, but sustained, no further losses in action. In . Plaisted's brigade, Foster's (1st) division, 10th corps, the regiment sailed up the James river in May, 1864, with the Army of the James, under Gen. Butler, and took part during that month in the operations against Petersburg and Richmond, engaging the enemy at Port Walthall Junction, Chester Station, Swift creek, Procter's creek, Drewry's bluff and Bermuda Hundred. Its, losses during this campaign were again very heavy, . amounting to 280 . in killed, wounded and missing. It was next engaged in the assault on the works of Petersburg the battles of Deep Bottom, Strawberry Plains, Fort Harrison, Darbytown road and Fair Oaks. In the action at Strawberry Plains, it lost 81 in killed, wounded and missing, at Pair Oaks, the loss was 17, and while in the trenches before Petersburg it met with frequent casualties, aggregating 28 killed, wounded and missing The l0th corps was discontinued in Dec., 1864, and the regiment became a part of the 3d (Plaisted's) brigade, 1st (Terry's) division, 24th corps. It was actively engaged at the fall of Petersburg, April 2, 1865, when it made a gallant and successful assault on Fort Gregg and sustained a loss of 59 in killed and wounded among the former was Maj. James H. Dandy, a brave and efficient officer. It then participated in the pursuit of Lee and was present at Appomattox. On the expiration of its term of enlistment the original members, except veterans, were mustered out, and the regiment, composed of veterans and recruits, continued in service. In July, 1865, it was consolidated with the 148th and 158th N. Y., and was finally mustered out of service, under Col. Dandy, Aug. 28, 1865, at Richmond, Va. Corp. John Kane was awarded a medal of honor for gallantry. Its loss during service was 12 officers and 182 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded 1 officer and 131 enlisted men died of disease and other causes 71 enlisted died in Confederate prisons&mdashtotal, 397, out of a total strength of 1,491

NYSMM Online Resources

Civil War Newspaper Clippings
This is also available in PDF format. These are large files however, they are exact images of the pages.

Other Resources

This is meant to be a comprehensive list. If, however, you know of a resource that is not listed below, please send an email to [email protected] with the name of the resource and where it is located. This can include photographs, letters, articles and other non-book materials. Also, if you have any materials in your possession that you would like to donate, the museum is always looking for items specific to New York's military heritage. Thank you.

Adriance, Cornelius B. Civil War military papers, 1863-1864.
8 items. (0.1 linear ft.).
Muster-in roll, muster-out rolls, commissions, and other military papers.
Located at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Library.

Chadwick Family. Papers (1843-1819).
2 boxes (.50 cu. ft.)
These papers include letters, diaries, and a personal narrative of Peter Remson Chadwick that relate to his military service during the Civil War. They provide detailed information about the Peninsular campaign, and other action he witnessed in Virginia and South Carolina. Finding aid available.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Cooper, Doris Lake et. al. I take my pen in hand: Civil War letters of two soldiers and friends : Sidney A. Lake and Conrad Litt, 100th N.Y. Volunteers, Co. "C", Buffalo, N.Y. Bloomington, IN : Authorhouse, 2008.

Cook (Edward L.) Papers, 1862-1865
Abstract: Primarily correspondence of Edward Leigh Cook, a resident of Nunday, N.Y. Cook was a Civil War Union soldier who served with the 100th New York Infantry, Co. F. and Co. H. The letters date from September 17, 1862 to September 6, 1865. Almost all were written to his parents and sisters while Cook served in Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida. (There is at least one item that seems to have been written by a comrade to Cook's sister Laura).
In most of his correspondence, Cook describes various aspects of military life: travel, weather, the rigors of life in the field, and his private cares and concerns. He also gives his account of a number of battles in which he participated (Fort Sumter, Fort Wagner) in vivid detail. Cook also makes note of a number of famous personages and events: a visit by General Grant, the Sherman Campaign, troop movements and reported observations by Generals Lee, Sheridan, Grant and others. He describes his reactions to the death of Lincoln, the end of the war, and his desire to return home as soon as possible following Lee's surrender and the cessation of hostilities.
University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Department of Special Collections
More information is here: http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt900006qx/

Corbett, Inis L. Records, 1894-1953 (bulk 1911-1951).
Description: 3 boxes. (1.5 linear ft.)
Abstract: Includes minutes from annual reunions (1911-1951) general membership records and correspondence kept by the secretary some materials related to veterans of 8th N.Y. Heavy Artillery Regiment clippings related to the organization's activities and official documents, including a muster roll (Co. B, 1865) and appointment of Edwin Nichols as Captain, 1864.
Note(s): Bio/History: The 100th New York Regiment broke camp at Fort Porter in 1862 to join the Army of the Potomac in the Civil War it originally numbered approximately 1,000 men. The regiment reunited annually, often together with Peter A. Porter's 8th N.Y. Heavy Artillery regiment.
General Info: Organization: Organized into seven series: I. Correspondence, notes and records. II. Minutes from annual reunions. III. Printed materials. IV. Deaths register. V. Account book. VI. Photographs. VII. Other official documents./ Preferred citation: Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society Archives, B64-5, 100th New York Infantry Regiment Veterans Association Records./ Inventory/ available in the repository:/ series level control./ Reunion minutes, muster roll, and clippings, A64-29/ integrated with present collection A64-29 discontinued 1991/12/30.
Located at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Library.

Dixon, William. Civil War papers, 1862-1864.
3 items. (0.1 linear ft.).
Appointment to rank of sergeant in 100th N.Y. Regiment, 1 Jan. 1862 letter to friends, recounting his experiences in the Battle of Fort Darling, Va., 18 May 1864 ALS, C.C. Porter, Lewiston, N.Y., to Soldier, expressing gratitude, [ca. 1862].
Located at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Library

Fenton, Reuben E. Military commission of John Wilkes Wilkeson. 1865.
Commission awarded posthumously for gallant and meritorious service in the field. Wilkeson died during the Battle of Fair Oaks in command of Company K, 100th New York Infantry.
Located at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Library.

Galloway, Richard. The medal. New York : iUniverse, Inc., 2005.
Note(s): Life during and after the American Civil war was a torrent of hardship and misery. Drawing upon extensive research, The Medal is a fictional account of one soldier's personal triumph through combat. POW life, slavery, personal conflicts, romance, and, most importantly, loved ones - lost and found.

Granger, James Nathaniel. Companion Warren Granger , Lieutenant-Colonel 100th N. Y. infantry and Grevt Colonel U.S. volunteers, a monograph by James N. Granger. [Hartford: Lockword & Brainard co., 1895] 42 pp. illus.

Hazard, George S. Introduction to the records of the Buffalo Board of trade regiment, 100th N. Y.S.vol's. Compiled and presented to the Buffalo historical society, by George S. Hazard. [Buffalo, 1889] 15 folios.

Henshaw, Charles. Letters, 1861-1862.
14 items.
Letters from a captain in the 100th Regiment of New York Volunteer Infantry, stationed at Camp Morgan and near Yorktown, Va., to his mother and sisters describing army life.
Located at Duke University Library.

Horn, John (John Edward) The destruction of the Weldon Railroad, Deep Bottom, Globe Tavern, and Reams Station, August 14-25, 1864 Lynchburg, Va. H.E. Howard, Inc. 1991.
Thank you to Chris Duryea for pointing out the section on the 100th, 152nd and 2nd Artillery.

Hulbert, Simon Bolivar. One battle too many : an American Civil War chronicle : the writings of Simon Bolivar Hulbert, private, Company E, 100th Regiment, New York State Volunteers 1861-1864. [Gaithersburg, Md] [Olde Soldier Books] 1987.

Hulbert, Simon Bolivar. Diaries, 1860 Jan. 1-1864 Aug. 9.
Pocket diaries, 1860 Jan. 1-1864 Aug. 9, of Simon Bolivar Hulbert begun when he was a young man in Westfield, Chautauqua County, New York, and covering his period of service with the 100th Regiment of the New York State Volunteers, to Aug. 9, two days before his death in Andersonville Prison. Hulbert was first captured near Richmond, Virginia, May 31, 1862, and released Sept. 14, 1862. He was recaptured May 16, 1864, and died Aug. 11, 1864. He writes briefly of his activities in Westfield and of army life, of his experiences as a prisoner of war in a cotton factory at Salisbury, North Carolina, and of waiting for his release at Belle Isle, his experiences at Libby Prison, and his final months at Andersonville. Typed transcription of the diaries additionally available. Some entries in pencil are faded and difficult to decipher.
Located at the New York Historical Society, New York, NY.

Hunt, Edith Johnson, et. al. Johnson-Hunt-Wilkeson genealogical papers, 1861-1962.
Description: 2 boxes. (1.0 linear ft.)
Actions: Reprocessed/retroconverted Date: 1992/02/14 Agent: Peter Nelson
Abstract: Notes, correspondence, registers and clippings related to genealogical research on the Johnson and Wilkeson families includes notes on Capt. Ebenezer Johnson (1760-1841), Elisha Johnson (1784-1866), Samuel Wilkeson (1781-1848) and Elizabeth Wilkeson Hamlin (1875-1951) descriptions of "The Cottage," Ebenezer Johnson's house on Delaware Ave., Buffalo Elisha Johnson's "Hornby Lodge" at Portage, N.Y., and his "Mansion" at Tellico Plains, Tennessee commissioning papers of Hugh M. Johnson (1842-1928), 1st Lt. in the 21st Regiment of New York State Volunteers during the Civil War and a published version of Lt. John Wilkeson's last Civil War letters to family before dying at the Battle of Fair Oaks, Va.
Note(s): Bio/History: Ebenezer Johnson was Buffalo's first mayor. His son Elisha was a surveyor, railroad and canal engineer, and mayor of Rochester, N.Y. (1838) who moved to Tellico Plains, Tennessee in 1854. Samuel Wilkeson, considered the father of the Buffalo harbor and the man most responsible for making Buffalo the western terminus of the Erie Canal, was elected mayor of Buffalo in 1836. His daughter Louisa married Mortimer Johnson, son of Elisha Johnson. Hugh M. Johnson, son of Elisha Johnson, was a lieutenant in the 21st Regiment of New York Volunteers during the Civil War. Tellico Johnson, also a son of Elisha Johnson, served with the Pennsylvania volunteers in the Civil War, farmed in Youngstown (Niagara County), N.Y., and lived in Buffalo from 1885 to 1903. Tellico's daughter, Edith Johnson Hunt, did much of the genealogical research in the present collection.
General Info: Introduction and inventory/ available in the repository:/ folder level control. Organization: Organized into eight series: I. Johnson family genealogy. II. Individual Johnson family members. III. Johnson family legal documents. IV. Edith J. Hunt correspondence. V. Hunt family. VI. Wilkeson family. VII. Miscellaneous printed matter. VII. Albums and miscellany./ Chronological arrangement within series.
Located at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Library.

Lyth, Alfred. Civil War letters and diaries, 1862-1865.
6 folders (153 items) (0.5 linear ft.).
Letters to family members from the field and from Andersonville Prison and Parole Camp, Annapolis, Md. Includes two letters from Tom Maharg, Lyth's tentmate, to Lyth in the hospital at Hilton Head, S.C., 1863. Also includes a certificate to obtain a marriage license for Lorenzo Jones of Gloucester, Va., 13 Oct. 1859.
Located at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Library.

Macauley, Dan, and Mark M. Maycock. Records, 1860-1951.
4 boxes + 3 oversize v. (4.0 linear ft.)
Daily and weekly roll books, 1860-1870 class summaries, 1933- 1940 library inventory, 1875 girls' hall monitor book, 1879-1884 daily school report logs, 1867-1872 alumni association minutes, programs and other records, 1871-1939 speeches made to students and faculty, including notes of first day addresses by the principal, 1916-1918 memorials to Frederick A. and Sophie F. Vogt, 1919 and 1939 anniversary programs, 1911 and 1919 Civil War letters to students and faculty from Dan Macauley and others, 1862-1864 and other papers, including a N.Y. State Regents diploma of 1875 and a history of Hutchinson-Central Evening High School. .
Located at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Library.

New York (State). Adjuatant General's Office. Special Order No. 362. 17 August 1861.

Otis, Calvin N. Diary of Calvin N. Otis, 1862.
Original at the New York State Military Museum, 2001.0043.

Payne, Lewis. Diary (1863).
A pocket diary in which Payne summarized his daily activities as well as the participation of the 100th Regiment in campaigns at Cole's Island, Folly Island, and Morris Island, South Carolina.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Pierson, Myron P. Myron P. Pierson papers, 1861-1924, 1861-1865 (bulk). 1861-1924.
2.0 cubic ft. (ca.).
Papers of Myron P. Pierson, pertaining primarily to his Civil War military career including appointments furlough papers ordnance records of Company B, 100th Regiment, New York State Volunteer Infantry, December 1863 diary, 1861-65 discharge, 1865 pension increase notice, 1924. Also, diary of Hellen E. Pierson, 1863 anonymous diary (of Myron P. Pierson?), 1877 and daguerreotype of Myron P. Pierson
Located at the LeRoy Historical Society, 23 East Main Street, LeRoy, New York 14482.

Proceedings of the . reunion(s) of the 100th N. Y. veteran association. Volumes I - LV, 1887 - 1941.

Root, Calvin. A true report of the movements of the One hundredth Regiment, N.Y.S.V., from December 26th, 1862, to October 6th, 1863. Buffalo : Published for the benefit of Mrs. C. Root, 1863. 27 p. 22 cm.
Located at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Library.

Sandrock, Frederick. Civil War commissions, discharges and orders, 1863-1865.
10 items. (0.1 linear ft.).
Located at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Library.

Sheldon, James, et al. Family papers. 1835-1920.
16 boxes. (8.0 linear ft.)
Correspondence, poems, speeches, diaries and legal and financial papers of James Sheldon IV (1821-1887), including court records (docket books, opinions and calendars) for sessions presided over by Sheldon, 1852- 1885, and loose judicial records and notes, 1821-1884. Correspondence and two legal documents of James Sheldon III (1792-1850), 1817-1828. Correspondence, writings, clippings, notes and collected papers of Grace Carew Sheldon, 1863-1920, including clippings of her newspaper columns on Buffalo history and notes on several New York State Civil War volunteer regiments. Correspondence and pattern books of Sara P. Sheldon Pan- American Exposition Guard records of Theodore B. Sheldon, 1901 three undated remedy and recipe books of Caroline C. McIntosh (later Mrs. Millard Fillmore) poems, letters and clippings of Edward W. Crosby, 1900- 1909 and a photo album compiled in 1950 depicting the Sheldon Homestead at 1094 Main St., Buffalo.
Located at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Library.

Smith, Henry P. Papers. 1835-1873.
13 folders (231 items) (0.5 linear ft.).
Letters to his wife, Christiana, and letters to Christiana from her brothers and sisters other personal letters from family and friends, including two from W.D. Murray, with the 100th regiment N.Y. Volunteers in Virginia, 1862 and letters and other papers concerning Henry P. Smith's lumber business in Tonawanda, N.Y. and elsewhere.
Located at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Library.

Stoddard, George N. the 100th regiment on Folly Island, from the diary of Private George N. Stoddard. Niagara Frontier I (1954) pp. 77-81, 113-16.

Stowits, George H. History of the One hundredth regiment of New York state volunteers, being a record of its services from its muster in to its muster out, its muster in roll, roll of commissions, recruits furnished through the board of trade of the City of Buffalo, and short sketches of deceased and surviving officers, by Geo, H, Stowits, late Major. [Buffalo: Print. house of Matthews & Warren, 1870] 424 p. illus.

Stowits, George H. et. al. Papers, 1837-1904 (bulk 1854-1904).
Description: 6 boxes. (3.0 linear ft.)
Abstract: Essays and adresses, mostly concerning education, history and the military, 1860-1901 and undated a diary describing a trip to the British Isles in 1856 a scrapbook including articles and addresses by Stowits, and clippings about him and G.A.R. matters, 1854-1904 a cash book, 1854-1860 a letter from Brigadier-General G.B. Dandy regarding Civil War military history, 1891 personal letters from John W. Francis, 1901 letters from New York State Superintendent of Schools Charles R. Skinner concerning education, 1902-1903 and miscellaneous papers including a list of principals of the Buffalo public schools, 1861-1902.
Note(s): Bio/History: Born in Fort Plain, N.Y. in 1822. Buffalo public school principal and veteran of the 100th New York Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. Active in the G.A.R. and an organizer of the Bidwell-Wilkeson Post. His History of the One Hundredth Regiment of New York State Volunteers was published in Buffalo by Matthews & Warren in 1870.
General Info: Inventory/ available in the repository:/ folder level control. Organization: Organized into six series: I. Writings and addresses, 1860-1901 and undated, subseries A-D as follows: A. Education B. History C. Military D. Various subjects. II. Diary, 1856. III. Scrapbook, 1854- 1904. IV. Cash book, 1854-1860. V. Letters received, 1891-1903. VI. Miscellaneous, 1837, 1902-1903./ Chronological arrangement within series. Preferred citation: Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society Archives, C64-10, George H. Stowits Papers.
Located at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Library.

Swift, William P. Diaries, 1861-1866.
.65 cubic feet. Photostats (negative) and photocopies.
Diaries, 1861-1866, of William P. Swift of Le Roy, Genesee County, New York. Topics include weather, family, troop movements of the 100th New York Infantry in Virginia and South Carolina, camp life, the surrender of Confederate forces, and the capture of Jefferson Davis. Includes daily notations of sermons attended and bible chapters read. Also includes entries after the war concerning work, marriage, and personal financial accounts for 1865-1866.
Accession 26076, 26077. Located at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia.
Thank you to Ed Worman for pointing out this resource.

Wagner, Adam J. Remarks : at presentation of Edwin Nichols diaries to Buffalo Historical Society, 1919 Aug. 16.
Description: 1 item (2 p.) + partial transcript 26 cm. (0.1 linear ft.)
Abstract: Concerns diaries of Captain Edwin Nichols, who served with the 100th Regiment N.Y. Volunteers during the Civil War.
Located at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Library.

Walbridge, Charles Eliphalet. Charles Eliphalet Walbridge papers, 1861-1895 bulk, (1861-1865).
43 items
Civil War letters re Walbridge's service as captain of company H, 100th New York Volunteers, and in various quartermaster posts. Correspondence re general progress of the campaign, camp life, government land auctions, the situation of the freedmen, and particularly to Walbridge's activities as a private freight and mule team operator in late 1865 and insights re business conditions at war's end. Other items include Walbridge's enlistment papers, 1868, for New York National Guard membership papers in Union army veterans organizations and bound volume of proceedings of the 100th Regiment New York State Vols. sixth annual reunion, 1892.
Located at the University of South Carolina.
More information is here: www.sc.edu/library/socar/uscs/1998/walbri98.html

Wilkeson family. Papers. 1861-1950.
20 items. (0.1 linear ft.)
Letters, an agreement and orders regarding company of infantry raised for the Eagle Brigade by John Wilkeson and others, 1861-1862 letters pertaining to Wilkeson family history, 1942-1950 a description of a flying saucer sighted by Margaret Wilkeson Burnett, 1948, and an invitation to the 100th anniversary of Liberia, 1947.
Located at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Library.

United States Army. 100th New York Infantry Regiment. Records (1862-1864).
1 box.
Collection Call Number: SC19815.
Group comprised mostly of consolidated and tri-monthly morning reports compiled by Colonel George B. Dandy.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment, 100th (1861-1865). Proceedings of the annual reunion. Buffalo: 1887-1890. Proceedings of 1st annual re-union includes Constitution and by-laws. 1st-4th [1887-1890] v. ports. 18 cm.

Moving Towards Victory

Capturing the town's Hessian garrison, Washington followed up this triumph with a victory at Princeton a few days later before entering winter quarters. Rebuilding the army through 1777, Washington marched south to block British efforts against the American capital of Philadelphia. Meeting Howe on September 11, he was again flanked and beaten at the Battle of Brandywine. The city fell shortly after the fighting. Seeking to turn the tide, Washington mounted a counterattack in October but was narrowly defeated at Germantown. Withdrawing to Valley Forge for the winter, Washington embarked on a massive training program, which was overseen by Baron Von Steuben. During this period, he was forced to endure intrigues such as the Conway Cabal, in which officers sought to have him removed and replaced with Major General Horatio Gates.

Emerging from Valley Forge, Washington began a pursuit of the British as they withdrew to New York. Attacking at the Battle of Monmouth, the Americans fought the British to a standstill. The fighting saw Washington at the front, working tirelessly to rally his men. Pursuing the British, Washington settled into a loose siege of New York as the focus of the fighting shifted to the southern colonies. As commander in chief, Washington worked to direct operations on the other fronts from his headquarters. Joined by French forces in 1781, Washington moved south and besieged Lieutenant General Lord Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown. Receiving the British surrender on October 19, the battle effectively ended the war. Returning to New York, Washington endured another year of struggling to keep the army together amid a lack of funds and supplies.

Who Are the Five-Star Generals in U.S. History?

Five U.S. Army generals have held the rank of five-star general, beginning in 1944: George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, Henry Arnold and Omar Bradley. Arnold also became the U.S. Air Force's only five-star general when his title was redesignated as "general of the Air Force" in 1949.

The U.S. Navy bestows a five-star rank, called fleet admiral. William Leahy, Ernest King, Chester Nimitz and William Halsey, Jr. were five-star admirals. Five-star army generals are given the title "general of the Army." The Army gave this title to generals prior to 1944, but the uniform did not include five stars. Previous holders of the general of the Army rank included Ulysses Grant, William Sherman and Philip Sheridan.

Only two men have held the title "general of the Armies of the United States." They are George Washington and John Pershing. Only Pershing held the title during his lifetime, and in accordance with the Army regulations of the time, he wore only four stars. In 1976, President Gerald Ford posthumously awarded the title to George Washington and declared that he would rank first among all Army officers. Admiral George Dewey was given the special "admiral of the Navy" distinction in 1903. As of 2015, he remains the only person ever awarded this title, and it is recognized as senior to the five-star Fleet Admiral rank.


United States of America 1859-1861

The 33rd state to join the union was Oregon in 1859. This was our Flag for the next two years under Presidents James Buchanan (1857-1861) and Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865). At the outbreak of the Civil War (1861), President Lincoln refused to remove the stars representing those states which seceded from the Union.

The 33-Star "Great Star" Flag

Although never an official version of the United States flag, this very popular variant design was proudly displayed by many patriotic Americans. It was never officially used by the military or any government organization.

It should be noted here that Congress had never made any regulation about what type of star pattern should be used on the "official" United States flag. Therefore, any pattern was acceptable. The Navy regulated the star pattern on their "boat" flags to horizontal rows, but the Army and civil government did not. This explains the many different star patterns.

The 33-Star garrison flag that flew over Fort Sumter is sometimes called "the flag that started a war." The fort's commander was Major Anderson when the first shots of the American Civil War were fired in Charleston harbor. He surrendered to the Southern forces under General Beauregard after three days of token resistance. The only two casualties of the fighting were two Confederate privates killed when their cannon accidentally exploded.

Ever since the Mexican-American War (about 1845) the Army had followed an unofficial tradition of using a "diamond" pattern for the stars on their garrison flags. The Fort Sumter flag is a good example of this practice.

United States of America 1861-1863

In the first 3 months of the war a star was added when Kansas joined the Union in 1861. It remained our Flag for the next two years. President Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) was the only President to serve under this flag as the Civil War raged.

The 34-Star Great flower Design 1861-1863

The "Great Flower"" flag, also sometimes known as "The Candy Stripe"" flag because it sometimes had a red and white "candy stripe" (not shown here) running down the left side. Five asymmetric petal shapes loop out from the off-center heart of a graceful "Great Flower" pattern of thirty-four stars.

The flag designer, military units, or even the northern physical locations that this interesting flag design was used at are currently unclear.

This clever variant had five clusters of six stars each with the final four stars being centered on the top, sides and bottom. The five clusters of stars form a Saint Andrew's Cross and the four single stars form a Saint George's Cross. Because of this, this design was also called the "Great Cross" Flag.

34-Star Round

United States of America 1861-1863

These national presentation colors were manufactured by the Evans & Hassall Company of Philadelphia for all the Union New Jersey regiments after 1863.

United States of America (1863-1865)

This flag became our flag when West Virginia separated from Virginia to join the Union in 1863. It remained our flag until the close of the Civil War. Presidents Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) and Andrew Johnson (1865-1869) served under this flag.

A jack is a flag that looks like the union or canton of a national flag or ensign. In the Union (United States) Navy, it is a blue flag containing a star for each state. For countries whose colors have no canton, the jack is simply a small national ensign. On a sailing vessel, the jack is hoisted on the jack-staff (flag pole) on a military vessel's bow (front end) when at anchor or in port.

Union Mounted Troops Guidon 1862

This is the regulation 35-star cavalry guidon that was carried by Mounted Union Troops in the Civil War. The inner circle contains 12 stars, the outer circle includes 19 stars, and each corner includes a single star. It usually would be "customized" by placing a troop letter or other designator inside the circle of golden stars.

The U.S. Cavalry later used Stars and Stripe guidons in the Plains Indian Wars. In fact, the cavalry was the last of the three branches of service of the U.S. Army to carry the Stars and Stripes into battle. This was also one of the three flags that Colonel George A. Custer and the Seventh Cavalry carried at the Battle of Little Big Horn.

In the Army of the Potomac, the Cavalry Corps used a swallow-tailed guidon with white crossed sabres centered over two horizontal stripes. The red over blue colors designated General George Armstrong Custer's headquarters. Custer was the youngest man given the rank of Major General in US military history, but when the US Army was downsized in 1866, Custer, because he lacked seniority and time in rank was temporarily reduced to his last permanent rank of Captain. Because of his outstanding war record, he was soon promoted up to Lt. Colonel and placed in command of the newly formed 7th Cavalry.

This image is a reasonably accurate stylization of the four guidons which General Custer carried during the war all were red over blue with white crossed sabers, but all were different. Other versions can be seen on the Chart of More Northern Regimental and Unit Flags and on the Personal Guidons Chart of General George Armstrong Custer.

General Phil Sheridan's Army of the Shenandoah headquarters used this swallow-tailed guidon which was horizontally divided into a red over white striped field featuring two contrasting stars in the design.

Army of the Potomac HQ Flag

Major-General George Meade adopted this flag for the Army of the Potomac Headquarters. It was a swallow-tailed guidon featuring no strips, but with a golden colored eagle set within a silver wreath centered on a plain magenta field.

General Ambrose Burnsides HQ Flag

Before he commanded the Army of the Potomac, the badge, anchor and cannon devices were used on General Burnsides's swallow-tailed HQ flag of the Ninth Corps. When he took command of the whole Army of the Potomac his flag devices came with him.

General Reynold's HQ Flag

According to General Orders 10 of the Army of the Potomac, all headquarters flags were changed to blue swallow-tailed guidons with white Maltese crosses and the corps number in red numerals in the center. John Fulton Reynolds was commander of the 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac. He was killed at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863.

4th Infantry Regiment
Irish Brigade

The 28th Massachusetts, designated the 4th regiment Irish Brigade, was commanded by General Meagher from 1861 until 1863. The unit's fame began at the first major engagement of the American Civil War. At the battle of Bull Run, the Union army was badly beaten and routed, but the Irish regiment had charged bravely and stubbornly held its ground. Even after its commander was wounded and captured, the Irish retreated in good order while panicked Union soldiers swarmed around them. Because of this, the "Irish" were usually placed in the center of the Union line and the rebels always knew when an attack was coming because the green flag with the golden harp of old Ireland was always at the head of every Union charge for the remainder of the war.

20th Maine Regiment Flag

The 20th Maine was organized in the state of Maine in 1862. It became part of the 1st Division of the V Corps of the Army of the Potomac. The regiment served at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Rappahannock Station, Mine Run, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Totopotomoy and Bethesda Church, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Five Forks, and Appomattox.

At the Battle of Gettysburg, the regiment under the command of Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, was stationed on Little Round Top at the extreme left of the Union line. It was here that the regiment fought its most famous action. When the regiment came under heavy attack from the Confederate 15th Alabama, which was attempting to flank the Union position, and completely ran out of ammunition, it responded by charging downhill with fixed bayonets, empty rifles, and in desperate hand-to-hand combat ending the Confederate attack and turned the tide of the battle. This famous action is depicted in the novels "The Killer Angels," and "Courage on Little Round Top", and subsequently became an important scene in the movie "Gettysburg."

The South - The Confederate States of America

Proposed Confederate Flag

Army of the Peninsula
Battle Flag

3rd Kentucky Mounted Infantry

Major-General John P. McCown was appointed to command of a division of the Confederate Army of the West in March of 1862. His troops, organized in two brigades, came from Texas and Arkansas. McCown was of Scottish descent, which probably explains the design of his battle flag for his division: Scotland's Cross of St. Andrew, a white saltire on a blue field.

This particular flag is that of the 39th North Carolina. The other remaining flags of this pattern have no red corners. This flag was probably issued to the Army of Kentucky in addition to McCown's Division.

When General Earl Van Dorn was assigned a Corps in the Army of the West in the trans-Mississippi theater, he personally designed this type flag for his command. Known as a "Van Dorn flag," it saw use until after the fall of Vicksburg in the west.

When General Van Dorn became Commander of the Army of the West in 1862 his flag came with him. Arriving too late to fight at Shiloh, Van Dorn's troops began adopting this flag in June, with the first issues (with slightly different star pattern and fringed edges) going to the Missouri Brigade. In August, the rest of the army received these flags which first saw use at Iuka and Corinth where some examples were captured. The crescent is taken from the Missouri state Coat of Arms was was designed to inspire Missouri troops as they crossed east of the Mississippi River.

Proposed Confederate Independence Flag 1861

This flag was one that may have been proposed as a design for the Confederate States of America in 1861. The original of this flag was a flag formerly in the collection of Boleslaw & Marie-Louise d'Otrange-Mastai. It is illustrated, in their landmark book "The Stars and the Stripes," on page 136 wherein they identified it as the 1861 proposal for a flag of the new Confederate States of America. Its actual identification remains speculative, but the original flag was sold in 2002 at auction by Sotheby's as one of four pieces in a set for $7,768.00.

A modern replica version, in miniature and full size, identified as a Confederate Battle Ensign, was widely available during the American Revolution Bicentennial Celebration in 1975. It was made by a short-lived California flag company, the Golden State Flag Company, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the United States. They were widely marketed through several grocery store chains, including Safeway and Pathmark.

Republic of Mississippi Flag

The first recorded use of the lone star flag dates back to 1810 when a troop of West Florida dragoons set out for the Spanish provincial capitol at Baton Rouge under this flag. They were joined by other republican forces and captured Baton Rouge, imprisoned the Spanish Governor and raised their Bonnie Blue flag over the Fort of Baton Rouge. Three days later the president of the West Florida Convention, signed a Declaration of Independence and the flag became the emblem of a short-lived new republic. By December the flag of the United States replaced the blue lone star flag after President Madison issued a proclamation declaring West Florida under the jurisdiction of the Governor of the Louisiana Territory. The lone star flag was used by the Republic of Texas from 1836 to 1839, and in 1861 became the first flag of the Confederacy.

The lone star flag was flown at the "Convention of the People" in Mississippi on January 9, 1861. It was later celebrated in the popular song "The Bonnie Blue Flag" (see lyrics) which was sung by southern troops on their way to battle. Although never officially one of the national flags of the Confederate States of America, it was considered one by the soldiers and southern people. The units from Louisiana and Texas adopted the Bonnie Blue as their official banner of the Confederacy.

First Confederate National Flag
(first version - March 4, 1861 to May 21, 1861)

This flag was adopted, but never officially enacted. In their haste to have a flag prepared for the flag raising ceremony on March 4, 1861, the Confederate Congress neglected to formally enact a flag law. When this flag was first raised over the capitol building in Montgomery, it contained seven stars, representing the Confederate States. This was also the flag used by the Confederate Army of the Potomac under General Beauregard at the First Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas) in 1861. This design was also used as the Confederate Naval Ensign between 1861-1863.

Strangely enough, one of the most persistent myths about Confederate flags concerns the First National flag. This myth states that this flag only saw combat at the First Battle of Bull Run, and was then replaced by the Army of Northern Virginia Battle flag (see below). In reality, of all the types of Confederate flags, this First National Flag (and its different versions) saw more battle service than any other and was still in use at the end of the war.

First Confederate National Flag
(second version - May 21, 1861 to July 2, 1861)

By the third week of April of 1861 two more stars needed to be added to the First Confederate National flag representing Virginia and Arkansas. The official change happened on May 1, 1861 with the addition of these two stars to the blue canton of the flag.

In reality, there was really no "correct" version of these flag since they came in the late days of Jacksonian America, where most flags were hand-made, and people pretty much did what they wanted with making flags.

First Confederate National Flag
(third version - July 2, 1861 to November 28, 1861)

Much like the flag of the United States the Confederate States added stars as they added states. By May, North Carolina was added, and by June Tennessee had joined to increase the number to eleven.

The actual number of states to join the Confederacy was eleven, thus possibly making this flag the most correct, however, eventually 13 stars were added (see below).

First Confederate National Flag
(final version - November 28, 1861 to May 1, 1863)

The First National Flag eventually had 13 stars. The admission of Kentucky and Missouri in September and December brought the circle of stars to thirteen. During battle this flag was sometimes confused with the Union Stars and Stripes, therefore it was replaced by the 2nd National flag in 1863. Although there were only 11 states in the Confederacy, there were stars added for Missouri and Kentucky because both sides claimed these states. Missouri and Kentucky actually had two state governments: the elected governments which seceded and joined the Confederate States, and provisional governments created by the Union who actually held them.

In actuality, there were multiple versions of this flag. Examples on file include those with a single star as well as these star counts - 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 , 15 and 17.

Second Confederate National Flag

Although popular legend states that because the pattern and colors of the Stars and Bars flag did not distinguish it sharply from the Stars and Stripes of the Union, it sometimes led to confusion on the battlefield. So the legend states it was decided to design a new flag for the Confederate States that was in no way similar to the Union's Stars and Stripes. However, the real reason this flag was designed had nothing to do with the U.S. flag. It had more to do with the Confederate Congress seeking a more "Confederate" flag, to honor the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, and to replace the First National Flag which had split feelings in the South.

Therefore, on May 1, 1863, a second design was adopted, using the "Southern Cross" Battle Flag as the canton on a simple white field. This second design was sometimes called "the Stainless Banner" and is sometimes referred to as the "Stonewall Jackson Flag" because its first use was to cover Stonewall Jackson's coffin at his funeral. The nickname "stainless" referred to the pure white field. This design was also used as the Confederate Naval Ensign between 1863-1865.

Second National Flag
(possible variant)

Second Confederate National Flag (or regimental colors)

This interesting Second Confederate National Flag, with its reversed colors in the canton, was captured at the Battle of Paine's Cross Roads (Painesville) in Virginia near the end of the Civil War in 1865 by Sgt. John A. Davidsizer of the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry. This action involved the burning of Confederate supply wagons at Painesville, Virginia, and seven Medals of Honor were awarded to Union soldiers as a result of this one action.

It should noted here that the Medal of Honor was routinely awarded for capturing the rebel flag during a Civil War battle, and the possibly exists that these units simply overtook the wagons and just plundered them for the flags before burning them, as this was not a pitched battle. It is even unclear if this flag is a variant Confederate national flag or an unidentified regimental color. It is currently housed in the collection of the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia.

Third Confederate National Flag

It was soon discovered that the Second Confederate National Flag (see above) was easily mistaken for either a white flag of surrender or parlay flag, especially when the air was calm and the flag hung limply, and it was decided that this flag also had to be modified. In 1865 it was officially replaced by this Third and last Confederate National flag which had a large vertical red stripe placed along its right edge.

Although not widely used because of the rapidly approaching end of the war, the flag was reported in Richmond newspapers in December of 1864 and by January of 1865, examples of this pattern were flying over Richmond hospitals and units of the James River Squadron. Some examples were also used as unit battle flags until the South surrendered on April 9th.

Army of Northern Virginia
Battle Flag

Army of Northern Virginia Battle Flag

Because the colors that different commands and regiments carried on the field were a major means of identification, local commanders designed special battle flags to distinguish units during battles. The most famous of these Confederate Battle flags was that of the Army of Northern Virginia.

The famous "Southern Cross" design was born when Southern Congressman William Miles suggested the design to General Beauregard, who took it to the army's commander General Johnston. The first battle flag was made in September of 1861 by Hettie, Jennie, and Constance Cary of Richmond.

Army of the Peninsula Battle Flag

The Confederate Army of the Peninsula was under the command of Confederate General John Magruder in the early days of the American Civil War, and it was General Magruder who ordered this flag made for his command in April of 1862.

The Army of the Peninsula fought against the invading Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Union General John McClellan, from late 1861 until June of 1862 before being merged with the newly reorganized Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, now under the command of the legendary General Robert E. Lee.

Naval Jack until 1863

Confederate States of America First Naval Jack

The First Confederate Navy Jack consisted of a circle of seven 5-pointed white stars on a field of light blue. Since a jack is a flag that looks like the union or canton of a national flag, the first Confederate Naval Jack was a blue flag containing seven stars just like the canton on the Stars and Bars. On a sailing vessel, the jack is hoisted on the jack-staff (flag pole) on a military vessel's bow (front end) when at anchor or in port.

The Second Confederate Navy Jack

The Second Naval Jack is basically a rectangular version of the "Southern Cross" as found on the canton of the Second Confederate National flag. The blue color in the saltire (the diagonal cross), however, is much lighter than on the national flag or the battle flag. It was flown by Confederate warships from 1863 to 1865.

After taking command of Confederate forces of the west in 1864, General Joseph Johnston modified the square Army of Virginia Battle flag for his Army of Tennessee, changing it to a rectangular shape similar to the Confederate Navy Jack. The attempt was met with disfavor by western commands who had fought under different flags earlier in the war. However, this rectangular flag later became the official flag of the United Confederate Veterans after the war, and today is mistakenly accepted as the "Confederate Flag."

First Florida Volunteer Division - 1863

First Regiment of Florida Volunteer Infantry Flag

The 1st Florida Volunteer Infantry was organized at the Chattahoochee Arsenal during March of 1861. The unit fought long and hard throughout the war and was at nearly every major battle in which the Confederate Army of Tennessee was engaged.

3rd Kentucky Mounted Infantry Regiment Flag

The 3rd Kentucky Infantry was organized in 1861 in Tennessee. It was a part of Kentucky's "Orphan Brigade," until late 1862 when it was reassigned to the Army of Tennessee. Further research now shows that these flags were not just for the Orphan Brigade but, rather, were the battle flags of General John Breckinridge's whole division. Formerly, the Reserve Corps at Shiloh, it was the only command at the Battle of Shiloh without standardized battle flags and in May of 1862, the division adopted these flags and continued to use them into 1863.

The 3rd Regiment became mounted in 1864 and would serve in Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama. As a mounted regiment it was removed from the Army of Tennessee and remained to fight in Mississippi under Nathan Bedford Forrest. On May 4, 1865, what was left of the regiment surrendered at Meridian, Mississippi.

Cummings' White Cross Battle Flag 1863

During the siege of Vicksburg, the Confederate volunteers from Georgia under the command of Brigadier General Alfred Cumming used this battle flag. It was one of the famous White Cross Battle Flags used by the Vicksburg Garrison in its struggle with the Union Army of the Tennessee of Union General U.S. Grant. This brigade was part of Carter Stevenson's Division, which probably all used similar flags, but only the flag of the 39th Georgia survives of this pattern.

The Confederate "Army of Tennessee" was named after the state, the Union "Army of the Tennessee" was named after the river, much to the confusion of history students ever since.

Missouri Raid Battle Flag

Bowen's White Cross Battle Flag 1863

General John Bowen's command established a distinguished combat record as a fighting division of the Army of the West at such places as Carthage, Wilson's Creek, Vicksburg, and Atlanta. According to legend General Bowen's wife smuggled in their first battle flag of this pattern into the Vicksburg siege. It had a blue field bordered in red and a white Latin cross set off-center toward the hoist edge.

The flag was used by all the brigades under Bowen's command. These flags first appeared in February of 1863. A later version was used by the troops of General Sterling Price's army in their 1864 Missouri raid.

3rd Tennessee Hardee Battle Flag

The earliest western Confederate battle flag was flown in Hardee's Corps of the Army of Tennessee. It had been designed by General Simon B. Buckner and first issued to his troops in January of 1862, who were part of the Army of Central Kentucky based in Bowling Green. It first saw action at Ft. Donelson where some of Buckner's Division had been transferred. What remained of the army after this transfer became General William J. Hardee's Corps, which retained the flag.

It's simple design of a blue field and a white center became known as Hardee's Battle Flag. Each Unit's flag were soon inscribed with names of battles they fought in. Later versions had white borders all around. Because of the large number of Tennessee regiments using this flag design it is sometimes referred to as the "Tennessee Moon" flag.

54th Georgia Infantry Volunteer Hardee Flag 1864

The 54th Georgia Infantry Volunteers were first formed in May of 1862. They were part of General Hugh Mercer's Brigade which had carried Charleston Depot battle flags as part of General William H.T. Walker's Division. Assigned to General Patrick Cleburne's Division in late July, 1864, the brigade finally received their Cleburne/Hardee battle flags after Atlanta's fall, just prior to the Tennessee Campaign.

By 1865, the Southern armies had taken so many casualties that they were consolidating units together to maintain their ability to fight. Two such units, the 4th Battalion Sharpshooters and the 37th Regiment Georgia Infantry were joined together with the 54th Georgia Volunteers Regiment in April of 1865 in North Carolina.

Cleburne's Texas Cavalry (dismounted) Hardee Battle Flag 1864

In November of 1863, the 17th and 18th Texas received their new flannel Hardee flags inscribed with the battle honors of the previous campaigns: Arkansas Post, Chickamauga, Tunnel Hill, and Ringgold Gap. During the Atlanta Campaign, the units participated in some of the hardest fighting of the war. This is the flag of the combined 17th and 18th Texas, it was not issued to the regiment until sometime in early 1864, when the rest of Cleburne's Division got new battle flags.

On July 22, 1864, while fighting in the Confederate front lines, the 18 Texas became cut-off, and nearly surrounded, forcing the surrender of a large number of its men. After a brief hand-to-hand struggle, the battle flag was taken by Union General William T. Clark. After the war, veterans of the 18th Texas made considerable efforts to locate their flag, which in 1914 was returned to Texas by General Clark's widow.

Recent speculation has questioned this flags identity, suggesting that it may have belonged to Good's Battery instead.

Hart’s Battery (Dallas Artillery) 1861-1862
(Second Arkansas Field Battery 1863)

The confusing history of Hart’s Battery started in northwest Arkansas and the Indian Territory where the artillery unit served as part of the Second Brigade of McCulloch’s Division during the winter of 1861-1862. At the two-day Battle of Pea Ridge (Elkhorn Tavern) on March 7-8, 1862, the Yankees captured two of the battery’s guns, along with its colors. For reasons that are still unclear, the battery was then disbanded "for shameful conduct in the presence of the enemy." Apparently cleared of the charges, the battery (or a new one using the same name) was reconstituted in late 1862, just in time to be part of another disaster.

Assigned to Colonel Robert R. Garland’s Texas Brigade at Fort Hindman (Arkansas Post), the battery was again captured with the rest of the garrison when Confederate forces surrendered on January 11, 1863. Although this surrender is also a subject of controversy, from all accounts, Hart’s Battery served their guns professionally and courageously during the siege. After being exchanged in April 1863, Hart's Battery (or a new one using the same name) was once again reconstituted, and possibly spent the remainder of the war in the Trans-Mississippi Army as part of the Second Arkansas Field Battery. There are few references to the name "Hart’s Battery" during the last year of the war.

This was a battle version of the First Confederate National Flag captured by Union forces at the Battle of Pea Ridge (Elk Horn Tavern) from an unidentified Arkansas brigade. It was made of wool flannel, with the words "Jeff. Davis" worked in black velvet letters.

At the Battle of Pea Ridge, two Confederate flags were taken from the forces of General McCulloch (see Hart's above). This was one of them.

Hood's Texas Brigade Flag

Fifth Infantry Regiment, Texas Volunteers 1861

The Texas Brigade (Hood' Brigade) was an infantry brigade that distinguished itself for its fierce tenacity and fighting capability. The original Texas Brigade (1st, 4th, and 5th Texas regiments) was organized in 1861, and gained fame under its second commander John Bell Hood. The brigade fought in the Seven Days Battle, (Gaines' Mill), Second Manassas, Gettysburg (Devil's Den), Seven Pines, Seven Days Battle, South Mountain, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, The Wilderness, Chickamauga and during the Knoxville Campaign. Of the estimated 5,353 men who enlisted only 617 remained to surrender at Appomattox Court House in 1865. The Texas Brigade, along with the Stonewall Brigade from Virginia, were considered to be the main shock troops of the Army of Northern Virginia. For much of the war, the Brigade was assigned to Longstreet’s Corps.

The flag of Hood's Texas Brigade was a combination of the Confederate First National Flag and the Flag of the Republic of Texas. The Fifth Texas had great pride for the flag they called their "Lone-Star Flag."

As part of the Army of the West and later the Army of Tennessee, the 10th Texas was first organized in 1861 as cavalry, but dismounted in 1862, and fought the rest of the war as infantry. As part of McCown's Division they fought at Corinth, Vicksburg, Richmond, Jackson, Chickamauga, and Atlanta before surrendering at Citronelle, Alabama, on May 4, 1865.

General Lee's Headquarters (HQ) 1862-1863

General Lee's Headquarters flag, used between June of 1962 and the summer of 1863, has an unusual star arrangement that was believed to have been designed by his wife Mary to reflect the Biblical Arch of the Covenant. According to legend this flag was actually hand-made by Mary Custis and their daughters.

It is currently housed in the collection of the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia.

This was the first version of the famous Polk Battle Flag (13 stars). It was designed by Major-General Leonidas Polk for use by his "1st Grand Division" (corps) of the Army of the Mississippi. Polk had seen how Confederate troops using the CSA First National Flag (the Stars and Bars) could, because of its similarity to the Stars and Stripes, become confused on the battlefield, and decided to design his own that would not be mistaken for an Union flag. This flag saw action from Shiloh through the final surrender of the Army of Tennessee. The red St. George's cross was the symbol of the Episcopal Church. Polk was the Bishop of Louisiana.

16th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment Polk flag

This unit fought at most of the major battles of the Army of Tennessee including Corinth, Mumfordsville, Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Missionary Ridge, Franklin, and Nashville. They surrendered to Union forces at Bennett Farm, which today is the City of Durham in Durham County, North Carolina.

They used a second version of the Polk Battle Flag, issued in the summer of 1862, which had a cross edged with white and only 11 stars. The Polk Battle Flag continued in service through 1863.

Second Cherokee Mounted Rifles 1862

This flag was first presented to Chief John Ross by Commissioner Albert Pike in 1861, and in 1862 became the first national flag ever carried by Cherokee troops in combat under the command of Colonel Stand Watie, a Cherokee Indian himself. It also began a military career that eventual allowed Watie to became one of only two native Americans on either side to ever become a general. His light calvary command participated in 27 major engagements and numerous smaller skirmishes. Most of their activities utilized guerrilla warfare tactics and Watie's men launched raids throughout the northern-held Indian Territory, Kansas and Missouri. He is credited with tying down thousands of Union troops. Watie was promoted to brigadier general in 1864. On June 23, 1865, he became the last Confederate general to surrender at the end of the war.

This flag still exists and is part of a collection of Confederate flags located at the Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Visitors Center located near Springfield, Missouri.

1st Choctaw Battalion Cavalry 1863

About 200 Choctaw braves enlisted in the Confederate service early in 1863, under the command of Major Pearce, and soon afterward found themselves in a disastrous engagement with Union soldiers at Tangipahoe. They flew this distinct banner which features the native weapons of the Choctaw tribe. Many of the Indians and several of the white officers were captured at the battle and some of the Indians were taken North and put on exhibition. This put an end to the battalion as a formal organization, but some of the Choctaws later became dismounted scouts in Spann's Battalion of Independent Scouts.

Annie Fickle´s Flag

Quantrill´s Raiders
modern fantasty flag

Quantrill´s Raiders 1862-1865

Quantrill´s Raiders were a loosely organized force of Confederate raiders who fought in the American Civil War under the leadership of William Clarke Quantrill. He and his men ambushed Union patrols and supply convoys, seized the mail, and occasionally struck towns on either side of the Kansas-Missouri border. The name "Quantrill´s Raiders" seems to have been attached to them long after the war, when the veterans would hold reunions. The same thing can be said about their flag.

According to local legend, Annie Fickle of Lafayette County presented a battle flag to Quantrill´s men in thanks for helping her get out of a Yankee prison where she was being held for aiding the enemy. In red letters, she stitched the name "Quantrell," a misspelling, on a plain black flag. The raiders appreciated her gift and carried the standard into several battles. Although Quantrill was killed in Kentucky in 1865, his "legacy" would live on, when many of his men continued on as outlaws after the Civil War.

One example would be that of Frank James and the "James-Younger Gang," including, of course, the infamous and often "Robin Hoodish" legends of Jesse James.

Bath County Volunteers

Bath County Volunteers (Virginia) 1861-65

This is a company battle flag for a company of Confederate infantry raised in Bath County, Virginia. It saw service all through the war, and which was presented by the ladies of Bath County.

The flag is made of fine blue silk with a series of ornate, white scrolls in the center. At the top of the flag it reads "Presented by the Ladies of Bath," and at the bottom reads "God Protect the Right."

10th Tennessee Flag

10th Tennessee Irish Infantry Brigade

The unlucky 10th Tennessee Infantry was organized in 1861, just a few weeks after the first shot was fired at Fort Sumpter. The "Sons of Erin's" motto was "Go where Glory Waits You." At the fighting at Fort Donelson the 10th Tennessee suffered severe losses and earned the nickname of "The Bloody Tenth." After the surrender of Fort Donelson, the field and staff officers were taken as prisoners of war, moved to Fort Warren and Camp Douglas where they received cruel treatment, but were eventually exchanged in 1862. The reunited 10th Brigade was then ordered to Vicksburg where they suffered another bloody defeat at the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou. They continued to fight for the losing cause until the end of the war. There were less than 100 men left in the 10th Tennessee Infantry at the closing of the war, and every one of them had been wounded, many times.

Third Texas Infantry Battle Flag 1861-1865

Colonel Philip N. Luckett organized the Third Texas Infantry in the summer of 1861. The men of the Third came largely from Central Texas, specifically Bexar, Gillespie, San Patricio, and Travis counties. As these counties were heavily populated with recent German immigrants and persons of Mexican descent, a large number of the regiment's men were foreign-born. The Third Texas Infantry saw little action during the war, suffered from low morale, verged on mutiny, and had a high desertion rate.

The Third was first assigned to the defense of San Antonio (1861-1862), then moved to Brownsville and Galveston in 1863 to protect cotton shipments and guard against raids from Mexico. In 1864, they were moved to the lower Brazos and San Bernard rivers where they apparently spent their time occassionally firing at Union gunboats on the rivers. The regiment only saw one actual battle during the war. During the Red River campaign they fought in the Battle of Jenkins Ferry on April 30, 1864. The following year General Edmund Kirby Smith surrendered the regiment at Galveston, where it was disbanded at the war's end.

Their flag was presented to the Third Texas Infantry by Mrs Phelps of New Orleans, who had it made in Havana. The reversal of blue and red colors on their battle flag is attributed to a misunderstanding of the correct color pattern of the Army of Northern Virginia. Later, several other Confederate battle flags from the Trans-Mississippi Department, also thought to be of Cuban manufacture, displayed the same color reversal.

California Confederate Flag

During the first year of the Civil War, this flag was captured in Sacramento, California. The creator was a Major J.P. Gillis, who flew the flag on the 4th of July, 1861. Major Gillis claimed he was celebrating the independence of the United States from Britain as well as the southern states from the Union. He unfurled his Confederate flag and proceeded to march down the main street of Sacramento to delight of the onlookers. The flag was of his own design and the canton contains seventeen stars rather than the Confederate's seven.

Because the flag was "captured" by Jack Biderman and Curtis Clark, who were enraged by Gillis' actions, the flag is often also referred to as the "Biderman Flag." Poor Clark, nobody ever refered to the flag as "The Clark Flag," except here.

South Carolina Sovereign Flag

South Carolina Sovereignty Flag 1860

This is a version of an early flag raised over South Carolina shortly after its secession from the Union in 1860 (it was also supposed to have been raised over Yale University by sympathizers).

It is called the South Carolina Sovereignty Flag and was supposed to have been an inspiration for the Confederate flag in its later form.

Citadel Battery Flag 1861
Captured in 1865 by the 20th Iowa

Big Red
Modern version of The Citadel Flag

In early 1861, after South Carolina seceded from the United States, her military forces took possession of all military installations around Charleston harbor, except Fort Sumter. One of the smaller installations, or batteries, was manned by cadets from the South Carolina Military Institute, also known as "The Citadel." The flag flown over the battery manned by the Citadel cadets was a red field with a white palmetto and crescent. These cadets had the distinction of having actually fired the first shots in what was to become the Civil War. They fired warning shots at the steamer "Star of the West," which had been despatched by President Buchanan to supply the garrison at Fort Sumter. The "Star of the West" was turned back by the artillery fire. The "Palmetto Battery" continued to serve until April of 1865 when it and its flag was captured at Mobile by the 20th Iowa. The flag remained in the Iowa State Historical Society Museum Collection unrecognized and labeled "Unidentified - Red Palmetto" until its rediscovery in the 1960s. It is now on a long term loan from the Iowa State Historical Society and being displayed at the Citadel and seen daily by the proud students. The original bright red background has faded to dull maroon, and the white Palmetto tree has discolored down to a brownish gold.

A similar red flag with a white palmetto tree and crescent has since been adopted as the unofficial flag of The Citadel Military Institute. It is today affectionately known as "Big Red." For some undocumented reason the crescent on the 1861 Citadel Battery Flag is facing the opposite direction as found on the modern South Carolina State flag and the current Citadel flag. Perhaps this is because South Carolina's present flag is a design that was formulated as a possible national banner when the state seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860, and it had a reversed crescent. Since the firing upon the "Star of the West" took place less than three weeks after the Ordinances of Session were adopted by South Carolina, this may have been caused by a verbal description being misinterpreted before standardization could occur.

Louisiana Confederate Flag

Confederate State of Louisiana Flag 1861-1865

This flag of Louisiana was adopted in 1861. Although it is sometimes referred to as the flag of the Republic of Louisiana, this is not accurate, because this was actually the flag of Louisiana as a Confederate State. Louisiana has always been proud of its Spanish and French heritage. Although the flag is obviously based on the design of the U.S. Flag with a square canton and 13 stripes, the canton is colored red with a single yellow star honoring the colors of the Spanish flag, and the stripes of blue, white, and red honored the colors of the French flag.

Mississippi Confederate Flag

Confederate State of Mississippi Flag 1861-1865

The official flag of Mississippi during the War for Southern Independence was a white flag with a magnolia tree in natural colors. The canton was blue and had a single white star. The fly was a thin red bar extending vertically the length of the flag sometimes it included red fringe as well. The flag was so popular Mississippi became known as the "Magnolia State." Although possibly originally a mythical or suppositious flag, popular usage has claimed this design and it was used as the state flag until 1894 when the present flag was adopted.

A version of this flag was also said to be used by the 3rd Mississippi Infantry as a regimental flag during the war. However, according to well-known Mississippi flag scholar (Vexillologist) Clay Moss, it was probably adopted after the war as the 3rd Mississippi United Confederate Veterans (UCV) Regimental flag. His research into this particular Magnolia flag is still ongoing.

North Carolina Confederate

Confederate State of North Carolina Flag 1861-1865

The first ten regiments of North Carolina Volunteer Troops (Later renamed the 11th through 20th North Carolina regiments) received this silk state flag made in Norfolk, Virginia by a private contractor. Later, in 1862, the state provided these regiments wool and cotton versions of the state flag made in Raleigh.

The only other Confederate state that made such an effort to issue state flags, was Virginia. Virginia issued state flags from 1861 into 1865 for her regiments.

Confederate State of Florida Flag 1861-1865

After Florida seceded from the Union in January 1861, a number of unofficial flags flew over the state. The general assembly passed an act directing Governor Madison Perry to adopt "an appropriate device for a State flag which shall be distinctive in character." Six months later the Governor had the Secretary of State record the description of Florida's first official flag.

Although we only have a written description of this flag, and none survive today, this reconstruction is pretty accurate according to flag scholars and is being reproduced today and in use by various groups.

Palmetto Guard Flag

Company C, South Carolina 18th Artillery Battalion

Company C was part of the South Carolina 18th Heavy Artillery Battalion, also called the "Siege Train Artillery Battalion" and the "Palmetto Guard," The 18th was organized in 1862 with three companies in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Guard fought at Fort Sumter, Grimball's Landing, Battery Wagner, James Island, and John's Island. In 1864, Company C was transferred to Pegram's Battalion of Artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia and fought its last battle as artillery at the Petersburg. What remained after the Petersburg siege, served as infantry in the Army of Tennessee, which surrendered in April of 1865.

Watch the video: When Georgia Howled: Sherman on the March (January 2022).