Flag of the 3rd Texas Infantry. According to two articles in the Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph, two flags were presented to the regiment on Sept. 2, 1863, one a "regimental" flag and the other a "battle" flag. This one is probably the latter.
Commissioned by citizens of Brownsville, Texas, in appreciation of the regiment's service there, they were said to have been sewn in Havana, Cuba, by a colony of exiled ladies who had fled New Orleans when it came under Federal occupation in 1862. A woman by the name of Mrs. Phelps, formerly of Brazoria County, Texas, was in charge of the project. They were sent to Galveston by blockade runner and presented to the regiment in Houston. According to one of the newspaper articles, the flags consisted "all of heavy silk, with bullion stars and heavy bullion cords and tassels."
It is one of only three surviving flags of this pattern, the colors in reverse from the usual Confederate Battle Flag, with a red cross and blue field (since faded). All three belonged to regiments that served in the Trans-Mississippi. It's thought that Gen. Richard Taylor had some part in the design and use of these flags, but there is very little if any surviving information on them.
Today it is in the collection of the Texas Civil War Museum in Fort Worth.
Edit to add: Here are the newspaper articles mentioned:
We have been shown a most magnificent stand of colors made for the 3d Texas Infantry, by Mrs. Phelps of New Orleans, now in Havana, and by her sent to be presented to the regiment here. It consists of a regimental flag and a battle flag, all of heavy silk, with bullion stars, and heavy bullion cords and tassels. We doubt of there is another so costly and elegant a stand of colors belonging to any regiment n the service. We doubt not the regiment will be as proud of it, as it is beautiful, and rejoice to know that the exiles of New Orleans, now in Havana, are not unmindful of the soldiers battling for the recovery of their homes. Mrs. Phelps was formerly of Brazoria county, in this State.
- Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph, August 20, 1863, pt. 2, col. 3
On Wednesday evening there was quite a display in our city, caused by the presentation of a beautiful stand of colors to the 3d Texas Regiment. This regiment has been until recently stationed at Brownsville. Some months since, the citizens of that place, desirous of giving the regiment a testimonial of their appreciation of the good behavior and gallantry of the regiment, determined to present them a flag. Quite a number of the citizens claimed the privilege of contributing. They made up a purse and sent it to Havana. On inquiry it was found there was no means of having the flag made there. Some patriotic ladies of New Orleans, who were then in exile, driven from their homes by Brute Butler, came forward and offered their services, claiming the privilege of making not only a regimental, but a battle flag also, and sending them to the soldiers. The result was the beautiful flags we mentioned the other day, which were publicly presented to the regiment on Wednesday morning.
At 4 P.M., the regiment, dressed in complete uniform, marched up Main street from their camp across the bayou, to the Academy square, where they underwent inspection and review. This over, they were marched into the Academy yard, and formed in front of the academy by their commander, Lt. Col. E. F. Gray. Quite an array of officers, including the Commanding General and his Staff were upon the balcony of the Academy, also many ladies and citizens, while a large crowd were assembled outside to witness the ceremony.
The flags were brought forward and presented, with an appropriate address by Mr. Mott, of New Orleans, in the name of the fair ladies who sent them. Mr. Mott gave a history of the flags as we have given it above, and, in the name of the ladies, called on the men to see that no stain of disgrace ever befel the work of their hands.
Capt. H. B. Andrews, in behalf of the Regiment, received the colors, and, while paying an eloquent tribute to the ladies who sent them, promised that they would be borne to victory or death. The brief oration of Capt. A. was full of enthusiasm, and was received with loud applause.
The colors were then handed to Col. Gray, who committed them to the Color Guard, with an admonition to bear them in the battle's front, and relinquish them only with their lives. The colors were received by the regiment with loud cheers.
Gen. Magruder was then called upon, and came forward, addressing the regiment in a patriotic and telling speech. He warned them to beware of demagogues. He told them what the war was for, and what they could only expect if conquered. He appropriately alluded to the recent difficulties in the regiment, and to the orders that had been made separating them; and wound up by announcing a change of orders, and that they should march together a band of brothers to the northern frontier, where they would meet the enemy, and prove their devotion to their country in the battle field. His remarks were received with hearty cheers; and at the close Col. Gray called for three cheers for Gen. Magruder, which were given with a will that showed no trace remaining of the ill feeling that had been heretofore thought to exist.
Gen. Luckett then added a few words to his old regiment, and the ceremony was closed. Altogether it was a fine display and calculated to have the best effect both on soldiers and people.
- Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph, September 4, 1863, pt. 2, col. 1