Research 20th Maine & 15th Alabama

PeytonT

Cadet
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Hello, my name is Peyton and I am a researcher/historian for an American Civil War mod for the military simulator Arma 3. We are currently in the very early stages of development. Our first task is to create two regiments in game. The regiments we have chosen to begin with are the 20th Maine, and the 15th Alabama. What this will allow us to do is develop these two regiments around LRT. There is no lack of information on the 20th Maine, but the 15th Alabama has been different. What we are trying to do is be as historically accurate as possible and would like some feedback/suggestions and general help.

The first thing we do for each regiment is we want to re-create the most important regimental object, the flags.

So first off, the 20th Maine. For the 20th Maine I tend to come across two flags. Which of these would be more accurate to what would of been used? In many of the paintings (obviously they are artistic renditions) I tend to see the flag on top. Would that be the correct flag that a flag bearer would of held?

s-l640.png

Next is the counterpart to the 20th Maine, the 15th Alabama.

The flag I have found online for the 15th Alabama is this.

Now what I read is that this flag saw a lot of use during its time. I also read that it was replaced. What I can not find out is whether it was replaced before, or after Gettysburg.

15thalabamaflag.jpg

In one painting i found of the 15th Alabama against the 20th Maine has a flag similar to this, but with a star in the middle. Resembling more the NAV battle flag.
f3855668ef7705e743e2aa051c60aba5.jpg

Any help, insight, facts, etc that you could share either about these two regiments respective flags, or other knowledge that you think could be useful to us would be very much appreciated.
 

ucvrelics

Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
The flag of the 15th Ala Inf above was not at Gettysburg, it was presented to the regiment (Col. James Cantey accepting) at Ft. Mitchell in the summer of 1861, by Miss Mary Chambers of Russell County. While the regiment probably did receive a flag at that time, this flag could not have been issued any earlier than November 1861 This flag was among those manufactured by three sewing circles in Richmond, Virginia at the request of Confederate Quartermaster Colin Selph. These flags were first issued to the Army of the Potomac in November, 1861. According to former Colonel A. A. Lowther, 15th Alabama Infantry, this flag was carried by the regiment during Stonewall Jackson's Valley campaign and fought under at the battles of Winchester, Cross Keys and Port Republic of that campaign. It was again fought under at Cold Harbor, in the campaign against McClellan below Richmond and at Cedar Run. When the regiment was issued a new flag, Lowther retained possession of this flag. The flag was presented to the Alabama Department of Archives and History by Lowther's daughter Miss Virginia Lowther of Macon, Georgia. It was received on March 18, 1927.

If you go thru the regimental history (below link) it may give you an answer to the flag carried by the 15th at Gettysburg.
https://digital.archives.alabama.gov/digital/collection/voices/id/6294/rec/11
 

bankerpapaw

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Dec 26, 2007
Location
Rome, Georgia
Hello, my name is Peyton and I am a researcher/historian for an American Civil War mod for the military simulator Arma 3. We are currently in the very early stages of development. Our first task is to create two regiments in game. The regiments we have chosen to begin with are the 20th Maine, and the 15th Alabama. What this will allow us to do is develop these two regiments around LRT. There is no lack of information on the 20th Maine, but the 15th Alabama has been different. What we are trying to do is be as historically accurate as possible and would like some feedback/suggestions and general help.

The first thing we do for each regiment is we want to re-create the most important regimental object, the flags.

So first off, the 20th Maine. For the 20th Maine I tend to come across two flags. Which of these would be more accurate to what would of been used? In many of the paintings (obviously they are artistic renditions) I tend to see the flag on top. Would that be the correct flag that a flag bearer would of held?

View attachment 399761

Next is the counterpart to the 20th Maine, the 15th Alabama.

The flag I have found online for the 15th Alabama is this.

Now what I read is that this flag saw a lot of use during its time. I also read that it was replaced. What I can not find out is whether it was replaced before, or after Gettysburg.

View attachment 399762

In one painting i found of the 15th Alabama against the 20th Maine has a flag similar to this, but with a star in the middle. Resembling more the NAV battle flag.
View attachment 399763

Any help, insight, facts, etc that you could share either about these two regiments respective flags, or other knowledge that you think could be useful to us would be very much appreciated.
Love the painting. I've never seen this before.
 

John Hartwell

Major
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Location
Central Massachusetts
Both the 20th Maine colors are correct: the National Color, and the Regimental or State Color. But, whether either or both of those were the specific flags carried at Gettysurg, I don't know (though I suspect they are, as the regiment had at that point only been in the field one year, and their flags probably had not received wnough battle damage to have been replaced.)
 

Zack

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 20, 2017
Location
Los Angeles, California
Troiani shows that top flag in use, and he HEAVILY researches this kind of stuff.
https://www.maine.gov/sos/arc/collections/20thbattleflag.html

For his painting of LRT he got access to the 20th Maine's original, tattered flag so he could recreate it.

I'm don't think the 20th Maine carried a regimental flag into battle at Gettysburg. I've noticed a number of Union regiments did not at Gettysburg. In the Iron Brigade, the 6th Wisconsin only had their national flag (regimental was worn out), the 24th Michigan only had the national flag, 7th I'm not sure, 19th Indiana and 2nd Wisconsin had both.

From what I can tell, the 20th Maine only had a national flag at Gettysburg, carried by Sergeant Andrew Tozier, a seasoned veteran of the 2nd Maine. Scanning through a couple of regimental histories, I only see references to one flag.

In an address at Gettysburg after the war, Chamberlain said, "The flag we bore into the field was not that of particular States, no matter how many nor how loyal, arrayed against other States. It was the flag of the Union, the flag of the people, vindicating the right and charged with the duty of preventing any factions, no matter how many nor under what pretense, from breaking up this common Country."

This may be a rhetorical flourish, but he uses flag singularly and says it's the flag of the Union.

Also I never in a million years would have thought of using Arma 3 as a base for a Civil War game.
 

Zack

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 20, 2017
Location
Los Angeles, California
Addendum - I have no idea why the 20th Maine was only carrying a national flag at Gettysburg. Maybe they didn't get their regimental colors until after the battle for some reason? The national flag was issued prior to Antietam. After Gettysburg it was too tattered and needed to be replaced. Maybe when they got it replaced they got a regimental flag too?
292ae515466470351e6c8c8dd76f297d.jpg
Fun fact - the remains of the flag show a lot of red bleeding into the white stripes, probably from the soaking the flag got in the downpour on July 4th.
 

Zack

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 20, 2017
Location
Los Angeles, California
Apologies for the triple post - I was reading this article (http://www.secondwi.com/wisconsincivilwarflags/flag_part_1b.htm) and it indicated that in some instances regiments would retire their state flags and only carry the national flag into battle. It's possible that the 20th Maine was the same way, choosing only to carry the national flag in battle. The Iron Brigade regiments are said to have done this in 1864, but I see no reason why the 20th Maine couldn't have done that earlier. That's purely a theory though - I have no evidence to support this.
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Addendum - I have no idea why the 20th Maine was only carrying a national flag at Gettysburg. Maybe they didn't get their regimental colors until after the battle for some reason? The national flag was issued prior to Antietam. After Gettysburg it was too tattered and needed to be replaced. Maybe when they got it replaced they got a regimental flag too?
View attachment 399791
Fun fact - the remains of the flag show a lot of red bleeding into the white stripes, probably from the soaking the flag got in the downpour on July 4th.
From the webpage of the state of Maine: Over 30 years ago, as part of a transfer of over 1000 items from the Maine Adjutant General's Office, the Maine State Museum in Augusta, Maine acquired a national flag (stars and stripes) crammed into a small wooden box with a glass lid. The only record that came with it was: "Flag, 20th Maine Regiment (very fragile, in box)." Shrouded in mystery, the flag remained in that box for years. "Based on the historical and forensic evidence we have acquired, we believe this color to be the one used by Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine Regiment on Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863," said Douglas Hawes, Curator of Historical Collections at the Maine State Museum at the time.

The original flag was in such bad condition that it was replace (the original was presented to Adelbert Ames). The new flag hung in the Maine State Museum until 1998.

This flag is being sold on the Internet as a historic reproduction:
1620158125624.png
 

LeesWarhorse

Cadet
Joined
Oct 15, 2018
Location
Kansas City, MO
Hello Peyton,

Very cool to hear that your working on an ARMA mod about the Civil War. I've played Arma 3 and that should be quite interesting with the mechanics and environment. I love to play Civil War games on the PC and recently helped test on Grand Tactician. Keep up the good work I look forward to playing it.
 

PeytonT

Cadet
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Thank you everyone for of the help so far. We are going to start working on the 20th Maine's national flag. As with the 15th Alabama still having trouble finding a flag that would of been used at Gettysburg.
 

PeytonT

Cadet
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Troiani shows that top flag in use, and he HEAVILY researches this kind of stuff.
https://www.maine.gov/sos/arc/collections/20thbattleflag.html

For his painting of LRT he got access to the 20th Maine's original, tattered flag so he could recreate it.

I'm don't think the 20th Maine carried a regimental flag into battle at Gettysburg. I've noticed a number of Union regiments did not at Gettysburg. In the Iron Brigade, the 6th Wisconsin only had their national flag (regimental was worn out), the 24th Michigan only had the national flag, 7th I'm not sure, 19th Indiana and 2nd Wisconsin had both.

From what I can tell, the 20th Maine only had a national flag at Gettysburg, carried by Sergeant Andrew Tozier, a seasoned veteran of the 2nd Maine. Scanning through a couple of regimental histories, I only see references to one flag.

In an address at Gettysburg after the war, Chamberlain said, "The flag we bore into the field was not that of particular States, no matter how many nor how loyal, arrayed against other States. It was the flag of the Union, the flag of the people, vindicating the right and charged with the duty of preventing any factions, no matter how many nor under what pretense, from breaking up this common Country."

This may be a rhetorical flourish, but he uses flag singularly and says it's the flag of the Union.

Also I never in a million years would have thought of using Arma 3 as a base for a Civil War game.
I never would have thought of it either. There have been a few mods set in the days of powder that have proven it is possible. Most notably Nassau 1715, there was also a Napoleonic Wars mod that fizzled out. Whats nice though is this mod could be doubled up with ace medical and task force radio to add some more immersive elements to it. Once we get about 5-10 regiments and 3 maps we are going to work on some naval units and maps as well!
 

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
One mention of the colors of the 15th Alabama is a reference to a member of the color guard, 1st Corporal Thomas J. Coleman, of Company B, who was captured on July 2. Coleman was born in Georgia, as were many members of the 15th, and stood 5 foot, 11 inches tall.

Colonel Oates mentions Ensign Archibald with the colors, and the incident where a Maine man attempted to capture the 15th's colors and was killed by a bayonet through the head wielded by Sergeant Pat O'Connor. O'Connor, who was born in Ireland, was 1st Sergeant of Company K at the time.
 
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