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Thread: Does anyone know if any Confederate flags were captured at the Bloody Lane?

  1. #1

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    Does anyone know if any Confederate flags were captured at the Bloody Lane?

    https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net...84&oe=5A92FB2A

    It looks like this guy is holding a Confederate flag to me.

    https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net...64&oe=5A9E60AD


    Center of this photo.




    http://dotcw.com/some-of-the-captured-rebel-flags/


    Btw here's some flags that were taken during the battle.

    Take a look at #11.

  2. #2
    Difficult to tell from the photo. Other men appear to be carrying bundles as well that are clearly not flags. I would say its more probable that useful items/articles of clothing are being taken from the dead. At least one of the corpses has had his boots stripped. Not pleasant from a modern Western perspective but fairly universal practice and I would have thought any captured flags would have been hustled away into an officer's tent fairly quickly rather than being left in the hands of a member of a burial detail.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
    Difficult to tell from the photo. Other men appear to be carrying bundles as well that are clearly not flags. I would say its more probable that useful items/articles of clothing are being taken from the dead. At least one of the corpses has had his boots stripped. Not pleasant from a modern Western perspective but fairly universal practice and I would have thought any captured flags would have been hustled away into an officer's tent fairly quickly rather than being left in the hands of a member of a burial detail.
    From what I can see it appears to be articles of clothing and other such items like John previously stated.

  4. #4

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    From what I've been reading it wasn't unusual to capture "flags", the flag bearers had an important role and are known for the heroic behaviour.
    If we look at recent history (WWII), flags and other trinkets made good memorabilia.

    There is a famous picture of Old Abe with a Confederate flag near the tent (look left)
    04351v.jpg

    The WWII nazi regime flags captured by Soviets.
    Soviets.jpg

    Some 'text' found on the 'internets'

    After the Civil War, 545 captured Confederate flags were held by the U.S. War Department in Washington, D.C. These flags were stenciled with a number in black ink and, in some cases, capture histories were handwritten on linen tags sewn onto the flag. Detailed records were kept so that the government could award the Congressional Medal of Honor for capturing an enemy flag. Today, these records, detailed in the National Archives’ Register of Captured Flags, are valuable tools for historians.

    In 1905, Congress passed legislation returning the captured flags to the Southern States. The Museum of the Confederacy was the recipient of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s 75 repatriated flags. In 1906, another 252 flags from unidentified Confederate units were also entrusted to the Museum, creating the world’s largest collection of Wartime flags.
    Last edited by Redleader; 11-15-2017 at 06:22 PM.

  5. #5

    USA General of the Army

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    I respectfully disagree with the original post. Not saying that any colors were lost at any phase of Antietam, I recall reading several occurances.

    Other period photography shows most Federal dead as being covered with a cloth of some sort, and yet in the same photos Confederate dead remain uncovered.

    I also will go out on a limb to state that the individual in question appears to be a person of color, in which case would point him to be a member of a burial detail.

    I also doubt that the victorious yanks would allow him opportunity to hold such a coveted battle trophy, especially since colored troops were not employed by either side at this time as combat troops.

    Besides, I feel that any colors trophies would be removed from the field immediately upon capture. I doubt any colors would be laying around, especially at the late date of these photos being taken.

  6. #6

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    I've read a fair bit on Antietam and I'm not aware of colors being captured at Bloody Lane. Certainly they were captured at other places that battle as I've read some accounts. This is an intriguing source about flags of Antietam and it explains where/how some were captured.

    https://www.civilwar.org/learn/articles/flags-antietam

    This is an excerpt from the site regarding the 11th Alabama at Bloody Lane and hints that perhaps their flag was captured and is possibly part of a famous photo.
    ______________

    The Sunken Road

    The 11th Alabama Flag

    Having participated in the capture of Harpers Ferry on September 15, 1862, the 11th Alabama, part of Wilcox’s Brigade, was part of R.H. Anderson’s reinforcement of D.H. Hill’s sagging line in the Sunken Road. Rushed forward to the Confederate right, the 11th Alabama suffered 3 killed and 26 wounded during the intense fight that also led to the capture of this flag by the 57th New York Infantry.

    This flag, with its diagonal rip, has intrigued flag scholars for years. Could this be the Confederate battle flag that is seen in the famous photo of George McClellan and Abraham Lincoln after the battle? It matches the descriptions made of it by participants in that famous meeting.

    Photo: See the famous McClellan and Lincoln photo


    11thAlabamaBattleFlag.jpg

    LincolnMcClelleanAntietam.jpg
    Last edited by Shiloh; 11-16-2017 at 08:52 PM.

  7. #7
    WoR-Dev GeorgeCrecy's Avatar
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    Hey there folks,

    Taking a look at the question, a quick search brought up the possibility of the 11th AL's flag being one that was captured, but for sure there was at least one if not more taken after the fighting was over. Here is an excerpt from a book called Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam by the famous James McPherson,

    "An enlisted man in this [New York] regiment who had captured a Confederate battle flag in the sunken road wrote in his diary on September 19:
    '[sic]Today I was given detaile to burry the Dead Rebels, just where I captured the flag at 2:00 PM of the 17th. 12 lengths of fence being counted off for my station &
    in 10 rods [55 yards] we have piled and burried 264... & 4 details has been obliged to do likewise, it was a Sight I never want to encounter again.'"

    Similarly, the 44th AL had their flag captured by a 2nd Lt. Theodore W. Grieg, Co. C, of the 61st New York Volunteer Infantry. Link here

    Again, the Alabamans had no luck when those of the 13th Infantry also lost their flag, this time to Private John Murphy of the 5th Ohio Infantry. Link here

    So with the amount of dead piled up from all the regiments, I can see several of the other states' regiments present would have probably lost theirs as well, but no links just yet to show for it.
    Last edited by GeorgeCrecy; 11-18-2017 at 12:10 AM.

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