Captured Flag of 61st Tennessee


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#22
For those interested here's the four CS flags taken at Big Black River: 21st Arkansas (Van Dorn pattern, by the 23rd Iowa); 1st Missouri Cavalry (Bowen pattern, by the 11th Wisconsin); 60th Tennessee Infantry (First National, by the 23rd Wisconsin); 61st Tennessee Infantry (First National, by the 23rd Iowa). An officer of the 11th Wisconsin also claimed taking another flag but no details. Hope this helps.
They have a few other flags captured at the State Historical Society of Iowa.

My 4x Great-Grandfather David Linn Burkhart was in Company A, of the 23rd Iowa Infantry and participated in the Battle of Big Black River Bridge. He was promoted to Eighth Corporal that day. The State Historical Society had a fragment of a flag donated by David's sons. My great-great uncle told me this past year one of his uncles had inherited a flag that he had also donated to a museum (somewhere in MN). I haven't been able to find anything to corroborate that.

The story my great-great uncle told me was one my 2x Great-Grandfather told them when they were kids. David Burkhart said he saw a group of Confederates down in a ravine or something, and was alone. He told them they were surrounded, and they supposedly believed him and dropped their arms. It was then said he marched them into his camp. That is how supposedly he was rewarded with a flag and sword from the group he captured. I had contacted the State Historical Society to see if anything could be corroborated. They sent me what they had, and also told me they didn't know where the flag fragment is. I know besides my ancestor being promoted there were other men in his company that were promoted to higher levels of corporal than what they previously were. Not sure if David himself embellished the story or if that was done later on down the road.
Flags Iowa.jpg
Museum Index Card.jpg
 
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#23
They have a few other flags captured at the State Historical Society of Iowa.

My 4x Great-Grandfather David Linn Burkhart was in Company A, of the 23rd Iowa Infantry and participated in the Battle of Big Black River Bridge. He was promoted to Eighth Corporal that day. The State Historical Society had a fragment of a flag donated by David's sons. My great-great uncle told me this past year one of his uncles had inherited a flag that he had also donated to a museum (somewhere in MN). I haven't been able to find anything to corroborate that.

The story my great-great uncle told me was one my 2x Great-Grandfather told them when they were kids. David Burkhart said he saw a group of Confederates down in a ravine or something, and was alone. He told them they were surrounded, and they supposedly believed him and dropped their arms. It was then said he marched them into his camp. That is how supposedly he was rewarded with a flag and sword from the group he captured. I had contacted the State Historical Society to see if anything could be corroborated. They sent me what they had, and also told me they didn't know where the flag fragment is. I know besides my ancestor being promoted there were other men in his company that were promoted to higher levels of corporal than what they previously were. Not sure if David himself embellished the story or if that was done later on down the road. View attachment 197273 View attachment 197274
Wow ! Great info, several of my east Tennessee Confederate kinfolk were at "Black River Bridge", trying to get away from the 23rd Iowa. Two got caught !
 

alan polk

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#25
They have a few other flags captured at the State Historical Society of Iowa.

My 4x Great-Grandfather David Linn Burkhart was in Company A, of the 23rd Iowa Infantry and participated in the Battle of Big Black River Bridge. He was promoted to Eighth Corporal that day. The State Historical Society had a fragment of a flag donated by David's sons. My great-great uncle told me this past year one of his uncles had inherited a flag that he had also donated to a museum (somewhere in MN). I haven't been able to find anything to corroborate that.

The story my great-great uncle told me was one my 2x Great-Grandfather told them when they were kids. David Burkhart said he saw a group of Confederates down in a ravine or something, and was alone. He told them they were surrounded, and they supposedly believed him and dropped their arms. It was then said he marched them into his camp. That is how supposedly he was rewarded with a flag and sword from the group he captured. I had contacted the State Historical Society to see if anything could be corroborated. They sent me what they had, and also told me they didn't know where the flag fragment is. I know besides my ancestor being promoted there were other men in his company that were promoted to higher levels of corporal than what they previously were. Not sure if David himself embellished the story or if that was done later on down the road. View attachment 197273 View attachment 197274
Great post and information!! I hate they have misplaced the flag fragment. How did that happen? Anyway, I would surmise, off the top of my head, that the captured flag was either from the 15th Arkansas or the 19th Arkansas. When I get a chance to look at my research, I will send you a personal message via your inbox on this site, so keep an eye out for that later today or tonight.

Again, thanks!!
 

AUG

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#26
Great thread! Missed this one the first time around.

For those interested here's the four CS flags taken at Big Black River: 21st Arkansas (Van Dorn pattern, by the 23rd Iowa); 1st Missouri Cavalry (Bowen pattern, by the 11th Wisconsin); 60th Tennessee Infantry (First National, by the 23rd Wisconsin); 61st Tennessee Infantry (First National, by the 23rd Iowa). An officer of the 11th Wisconsin also claimed taking another flag but no details. Hope this helps.
Here's the flag of the 1st Missouri Cavalry (dismounted), said to have been captured by Pvt. Roswell M. Clark of Co. F, 11th Wisconsin. Col. Elijah Gates of the 1st MO Cav. says in his official report that his regiment was cut off from the bridge after the Federal breakthrough and ordered his men to swim the river, all doing so except for 90 officers and men. Those who could not swim pleaded Gates to stay with them and all were captured, although Gates managed to escape a few days later.

Flag_1st_Regiment_Cavalry_dismounted_Missouri_Volunteers_CSA_Obverse.jpg

The Missouri troops in John Bowen's division received a batch of these flags prior to the Vicksburg Campaign. The pattern was originally designed and sewn by Miss Belle Edmondson of Memphis, who presented it to Sterling Price in summer or fall of 1862; it was thereafter taken up by the Missourians as their battle flag. The 1st Missouri Cavalry's flag was later returned to Missouri in 1943 and is now located in the Missouri State Museum at the state capitol in Jefferson City.

The 19th Arkansas Infantry's flag (likely a Van Dorn pattern) was also lost but not captured at Big Black. According to The Flags of Civil War Arkansas by Glenn Dedmondt, Capt. William Godbold wrapped the flag around his waist and tried to swim across the river, however he apparently drowned or was shot and killed and the flag was lost.
 
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#27
Great post and information!! I hate they have misplaced the flag fragment. How did that happen? Anyway, I would surmise, off the top of my head, that the captured flag was either from the 15th Arkansas or the 19th Arkansas. When I get a chance to look at my research, I will send you a personal message via your inbox on this site, so keep an eye out for that later today or tonight.

Again, thanks!!
Awesome!!! I'm really looking forward to that! I'm excited! Thank you so much!

I have no clue how they misplaced it. From my emails with the curator, he said," Usually the ledger will state if an item was returned to a donor or another party. As this is not the case with the fragment I don't believe it was returned to a family member but that is an outside possibility. We continue to inventory materials in the collection and it may be that we will discover the flag fragment in the future. You might inquire again in about 3 years."

I would love to see the flag fragment some day if they find it. That would be absolutely amazing if I ever could! Do you know what the Elkhorn reference means?
 

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... I would love to see the flag fragment some day if they find it. That would be absolutely amazing if I ever could! Do you know what the Elkhorn reference means?
No doubt a reference to the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern, Arkansas, March 7-8, 1862.
 

alan polk

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#30
Great thread! Missed this one the first time around.


Here's the flag of the 1st Missouri Cavalry (dismounted), said to have been captured by Pvt. Roswell M. Clark of Co. F, 11th Wisconsin. Col. Elijah Gates of the 1st MO Cav. says in his official report that his regiment was cut off from the bridge after the Federal breakthrough and ordered his men to swim the river, all doing so except for 90 officers and men. Those who could not swim pleaded Gates to stay with them and all were captured, although Gates managed to escape a few days later.

View attachment 197275
The Missouri troops in John Bowen's division received a batch of these flags prior to the Vicksburg Campaign. The pattern was originally designed and sewn by Miss Belle Edmondson of Memphis, who presented it to Sterling Price in summer or fall of 1862; it was thereafter taken up by the Missourians as their battle flag. The 1st Missouri Cavalry's flag was later returned to Missouri in 1943 and is now located in the Missouri State Museum at the state capitol in Jefferson City.

The 19th Arkansas Infantry's flag (likely a Van Dorn pattern) was also lost but not captured at Big Black. According to The Flags of Civil War Arkansas by Glenn Dedmondt, Capt. William Godbold wrapped the flag around his waist and tried to swim across the river, however he apparently drowned or was shot and killed and the flag was lost.
Very good information. @AUG351 , do you know if Dedmondt gave a source for the 19 Ark. flag and Godbold reference? If so, could you point me to it?
 

AUG

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#32
Very good information. @AUG351 , do you know if Dedmondt gave a source for the 19 Ark. flag and Godbold reference? If so, could you point me to it?
The only source he cites is "Vivid Experiences at Champion Hill, Miss." by A. H. Reynolds in The Confederate Veteran, Vol. 28 (1910), p. 21-22.

It can be read here: http://battleofchampionhill.org/ahreynolds.htm

A. H. Reynolds was captured at Champion Hill. After being paroled and returning to his command months later he says that he "found Colonel Dockery promoted to brigadier general, promoted for bravery at Champion Hill, Farmington, Corinth, Hatchey Bridge, Iuka, all of which battles were inscribed on our battle flag. It found a watery grave in the hands of Captain Godbold who perished with it in the Big Black River on the morning of May 17, 1863, as our command was falling back into Vicksburg. No officer was truer or braver than Captain Godbold, and he sacrificed his life rather than see his colors in the hands of the enemy. Heaven bless that noble soldier!"

Dedmont says it's unlikely that Champion Hill would have been applied to the flag only the day after the battle, but he believes that the fact that Reynolds remembered battle honors placed on the flag indicates that it could have been a Van Dorn pattern similar to the 15th Arkansas Infantry's surviving Van Dorn battle flag.
 

alan polk

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#33
The only source he cites is "Vivid Experiences at Champion Hill, Miss." by A. H. Reynolds in The Confederate Veteran, Vol. 28 (1910), p. 21-22.

It can be read here: http://battleofchampionhill.org/ahreynolds.htm

A. H. Reynolds was captured at Champion Hill. After being paroled and returning to his command months later he says that he "found Colonel Dockery promoted to brigadier general, promoted for bravery at Champion Hill, Farmington, Corinth, Hatchey Bridge, Iuka, all of which battles were inscribed on our battle flag. It found a watery grave in the hands of Captain Godbold who perished with it in the Big Black River on the morning of May 17, 1863, as our command was falling back into Vicksburg. No officer was truer or braver than Captain Godbold, and he sacrificed his life rather than see his colors in the hands of the enemy. Heaven bless that noble soldier!"

Dedmont says it's unlikely that Champion Hill would have been applied to the flag only the day after the battle, but he believes that the fact that Reynolds remembered battle honors placed on the flag indicates that it could have been a Van Dorn pattern similar to the 15th Arkansas Infantry's surviving Van Dorn battle flag.
As always, @AUG351, thank you so much for your help, contribution and knowledge!!
 

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#34
I have more time today, so will add that the Confederate regiments at Pea Ridge/Elkhorn Tavern were from Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana, all Trans-Mississippi states. Following Pea Ridge/Elkhorn they were brought across the Mississippi to reinforce Beauregard at Corinth, where some of them were siphoned off elsewhere, as in this case. While at Corinth, Van Dorn adopted the distinctive crescent-and-stars-on-a-red-field flag for the units of his command. (Before that they had all carried First National pattern colors.) The Tennesseans at Big Black, however, were new regiments in a brigade commanded by John C. Vaughn and made up mainly of mountaineers from East Tennessee of dubious loyalty to the Confederacy. It was they who broke and ran - it was their first battle - but the survivors performed at least competently during the subsequent Siege of Vicksburg and later following their exchange.
 
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