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Nicola Marschall and the first Confederate Flag and Confederate Uniforms

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by donna, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. donna

    donna Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    Nicola Marschall (1829-1917) was a German American artist credited with designing both the first flag of the Confederacy and the grey Confederate army uniform.

    He was born into a wealthy Prussian family of tobacco merchants in 1829. As a budding artist he decided to come to America. In 1849 he emigrated to America and first lived in New Orleans and then moved to Mobile, Alabama. He then relocated to Marion, Alabama in 1851. He opened a portrait studio and taught art at the Marion Female Seminary. In 1861 with the coming of the war he was approached to design a flag for the new Confederacy. He offered three designs, one of which the "Stars and Bars" became the official flag of the C.S.A. It was first raised in Montgomery, Alabama on March 4, 1861. It was the official flag from March 4, 1861 to May 26, 1863.

    He also designed the first "official" Confederate uniforms. Their design was influenced by the mid 1800s uniforms of the Austrian and French armies.

    Marschall served in the Confederate Army, rising from private to second lieutenant. He worked primarily as chief draftsman of maps and fortifications in the Mobile, Alabama area. When the war ended he returned to Marion and married Martha Eliza of Perry County. They had 3 children. He returned to painting portraits. He literally painted hundreds of subjects, including Jefferson Davis, Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon and Otto von Bismarck. He even painted a portrait of General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest sat for the portrait in 1867.

    Disillusioned with the economic devastation in the Reconstruction South, he and his family moved to Louisville, Ky. in 1873. He continued to paint portraits there until his death on Feb. 24, 1917. He is buried in the famous and beautiful Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Ky.
     

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  3. OneWayRawk

    OneWayRawk Corporal

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    Donna,
    Thank you for the information---I actually never thought about who or how the Confederate uniforms were designed--this was some good information!

    Disillusioned with the economic devastation in the Reconstruction South

    God bless all of the Southern folks during that time and everything that they had to go through---
    My heart goes out to them even today.
     
  4. donna

    donna Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    As many of you can probably tell from my posts, I am very interested in the History of Kentucky. Levy Brothers which was one of the first clothing stories in Louisville, Ky. was the biggest supplier of Confederate Uniforms. It is interesting that the designer of the uniform wound up in Louisville and this store started there in 1861. They continued to supply Confederate uniforms many years after the war for reunions and encampments. Unfortunately, Levy Brothers is now closed.
     
  5. The Iron Duke

    The Iron Duke First Sergeant

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    I've read elsewhere that the Stars and Bars design was copied from the Austrians.

    austrija-carevina.gif
     
  6. OneWayRawk

    OneWayRawk Corporal

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    Donna, with your family history being from Kentucky--you have every right to be interested in the history of the state!!
    Thank you again for bringing that tad bit of information onto the message board!!
     
  7. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    Donna, ma'am;

    Thank you very much in posting this about the uniforms. They have been, perhaps, the best embellished uniforms of the military of the United States.

    M. E. Wolf
     
  8. Blessmag

    Blessmag 1st Lieutenant

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    [​IMG]

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d3/MarschallMarker.jpg

    Here is a neat power point on him:http://www.mmfa.org/uploadedFiles/Exhibitions/Online_Exhibits/Marschall Walker Online Exhibit.pdf


    And for the Levy brothers:
    Levy Bros. - A long lived department store carrying a full line of men's and women's wear including hats, caps, shoes, furnishings, and even a men's and children's barber shop.Henry and Moses Levy started as immigrant German peddlers before the Civil War. The brothers opened their store in 1861 at the NE corner of 3rd St. and Market in a corner room of a 4 story building. They prospered during the Civil War as suppliers and after that war Levy’s was nation's largest supplier of Confederate uniforms for reunions and encampments.
    In 1889, they purchased the land and started construction in 1892 of the landmark Levy Bros. Bldg., which they completed in 1893. At the turn of the century, their suits were in the $10 price range . Levy's continued to grow and added an annex in 1906. The building still stands and is still features the ca. 1908 electric lights outlining the exterior, leading to a local phrase "Lit up like Levy's". The business also used the phrase "Look for the Bright Spot" in their advertising. A 1910 letter to a customer indicated they carried a full line of men's golf and tennis wear including shoes. The same letterhead lists men's, ladies and children's shoes, and mens and boys clothing and hats. By the late 1920s, the company was run by Fred, Arnold, Stuart H., James H. and Frederick Levy with S.L. Greenebaum. And they had added a branch location in Lexington, Ky. in the 1920s. They started carrying womenswear in 1940s. In 1955 they opened a store in the Shelbyville Rd Plaza. The Levy family closed the Third and Market store on Oct. 10, 1980. The Shelbyville Road Plaza, Bashford Manor Mall and Dixie Manor stores were sold in September 1979. In 1984 they closed their Greentree Mall, Jefferson Mall and Southland Terrace branches. Bashford Manor was the last store and closed in 1987. The last family president was Henry Levy.
    The downtown building, now on the National Register, still stands, housing a restaurant and loft apts. They carried Hart Schaffner Marx, Palm Beach,Clippercraft,Carson ,Botany,Harris Tweeds, Eagle Tweeds, Donegal Tweeds, and Phoenix labels,Dobbs hats and the MacGregor line, Florsheim Shoes, Enro, Arrow and Manhattan shirts, Bass shoes, Fashion Park Clothes, Military Uniforms, and they were a local supplier for Selva Dance shoes, a favorite of Louisville dance academies.



    Levy Bros. Letterhead from 1910 with Landmark store

    http://pastperfectvintage.com/louisvillelabels/labellevybros1910.jpg

    http://pastperfectvintage.com/louisvillelabels/levybros2.jpg

    left " Levy Brothers Good Clothes for Men and Boys" and right "Levy Bros.", both painted on the downtown location
    http://www.mmfa.org/uploadedFiles/Exhibitions/Online_Exhibits/Marschall Walker Online Exhibit.pdf
     
  9. donna

    donna Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    I remember Levy Brothers so well. My parents and I shopped there till they closed. They also carried a lot of school uniforms for Louisville schools. They always had a man who set up stand to polish shoes when you first came into the store. The building had one of those old elevators where there was an elevator operator. It was an icon of Louisville. Thank goodness they didn't tear down the building. The restaurant is The Spaghetti Factory. It is on the first floor of the building.
     
  10. Bronzino

    Bronzino Corporal

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    I am ABSOLUTELY tickled that you found this!!! I am one of the Kapelanski scholars the PP mentions that researched Marschall and 1st Lt. J. Mack Walker while I was a fellow at the MMFA. I interviewed and documented his descendants' collection. It was truly one of my most memorable research assignments. If anyone is interested, I'd be happy to share some more photos. Some of my favorite objects were small dageurreotype lockets of the Walker mother that her sons carried with them during the War and their mother's hand written recipe book. I wasn't able to make any scans of the recipe book, but I remember one calling for absurd amounts of butter for cake (at least by our standards!). We had a good laugh and then wondered how good the cake would have tasted!!!
     
  11. jpeter

    jpeter 1st Lieutenant Retired Moderator

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    Bronzino: I'm frankly interested in any research someone on this board has participated in. Historical research, in itself, is such a worthy endeavor that I almost don't need to know much about the subject. I would likely find it fascinating just to hear what research you did and how you went about it.
     
  12. donna

    donna Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    Nicola Marschall was mentioned in a recent thread so moved this to top.
     
  13. Bomac

    Bomac Sergeant

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    Great history!

    Thanks for finding and posting.

    The behind the scene stories of people that go unoticed and yet played such important roles in our country are countless.
     
  14. Robtweb1

    Robtweb1 2nd Lieutenant Retired Moderator Civil War Photo Contest
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    Amen. OneWay, are you from Louisiana?
     
  15. donna

    donna Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    A very beautiful painting by Nicola Marschall is at the Morris Museum of Augusta, Georgia. It is entitled Portrait of Girl with cat. It was painted in 1867. I thought many of you would like to go to the Morris Museum site to see it. The site is:

    http://www.themorris.org/ourcollection/antebellum.html

    When you get to site several paintings will come up. Just click on the Girl with cat and the painting will enlarge.
     
  16. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Go to this site http://register.shelby.tn.us/ and click on the West Tennessee Historical Society Papers link. You'll find a neat article on Marschall and his life portrait of THAT GUY, plus his contributions to Confederate uniforms as you've described. The portrait was painted shortly after the Marion and Memphis Railroad had failed. It was a devastating event for Forrest.

    TerryB is the genius who found this (an amazing site, BTW) and posted it in an article about Clubfoot Fort--another article well worth reading. It's pretty much a treasure trove!
     

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