Research The 8th Alabama, Company I, The Emerald Guard

Dan035152

Cadet
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Hello Everyone,
I am new to this forum and I'm hoping to locate some original source information regarding the 8th Alabama, Company I, "The Emerald Guard." Namely, I am trying to either prove or disprove two key aspects that seem to be prevalent regarding this particular company.

1. That they were issued or purchased green uniforms in May or June of 1861; and
2. That their company flag was the Confederate first national with the likeness of George Washington painted on it, and on the obverse was the green "Erin Go Bragh" flag.

I have researched extensively on Fold3.com and Newspapers.com, and none of the requisitions and returns for 1861 state a uniform description. There are several articles listed in the Mobile Advertiser and Register from June and July of 1861 that mention the Emerald Guard, and one article from the Richmond Dispatch that mentions them, but nothing regarding a flag or uniform description. I have also written the Mobile Historic Preservation Society. I have taken the liberty of attaching several clippings and images showing the information i have been able to locate.

A third aspect that i would like to see if anyone has any information on is weather or not the flag commonly attributed to the 8th Ala. and readily available on google, is actually their flag. The Alabama Department of Archives and History states that the flag they list as the 8th Alabama flag has been verified in that they "Consulted authorities who have independently arrived at the same conclusion include Rebecca Rose, Curator Museum of the Confederacy and H. M. Madaus, author of The Battle Flags of the Confederate Army of Tennessee." (see link)


However, In the "History of the 8th Alabama Volunteer Regiment, CSA" authored by its last commander Hilary Herbert, Who served with the regiment till he was wounded at Gettysburg, then again in 1864/5; Herbert states in the Preface while speaking of the surrender, "So frenzied with grief were those gallant veterans who from Yorktown to Appomatox had never lost a flag, that they tore their shot ridden banner into tatters..." P. 12. (see link)


Here is a list of information that i have been able to verify through original sources:
1. The Company was formed in late April 1861 (April 27th) from a portion of, or all of, Mechanics Fire Company No. 7
2. It was entirely Irish, almost to the man. Numbers vary but usually listed is 104 men.
3. It was formed around, or recruited by, Capt. Patrick Loughry, who was an alderman in Mobile.
4. They were given a benediction by a local Catholic Bishop before being sent to Virginia.
5. Capt Loughry apparently resigned his position as alderman, and sold his glass business. (Possibly to fund the company).
6. They were ordered to Virginia and reported to Yorktown on or about June 10, 1861.
7. Requisitions and returns from June of 1861 show the Emerald Guard requesting Knapsacks, Haversacks, Bayonet Scabbards, and other gear while stationed at Yorktown. The scabbards were furnished by a local Richmond saddle maker named David Grooms. The Knapsacks and Haversacks were "marked"

Any help with finding original source info on the company flag, the uniforms (or lack thereof) that they left Alabama with in 1861, or verification regarding the regimental colors being captured or not is greatly appreciated.

Dan.

Richmond Dispatch June 12, 1861 Wed (2).png

Capt Loughry sells business (2).png

Mobile Advertiser and Register July 12, 1861 (2).png

June 19, 1861 (2).png

Mobile Advertiser and Register June 9, 1861 (2).png

Letters AIGO Page 42 General Orders to Emerald Guard to VA (2).png

Ordinance requisition June 18, 1861 Co I.jpg

Augst 22,1861 Special Requisition Co I 8th Ala.jpg

August 19, 1861 Ordinance Requisition Company I, 8th Alabama Infantry.jpg

Co I Requsition for Fuel September 1861-1.jpg

Suppliies requisition from June 16, 1861 Co I .jpg
 

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
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Jan 16, 2015
The only item I have is a company roster found at the Mobile Public Library's Local History and Genealogy Division, which starts out:

P. Loughry, Captain
C. P. B. Brannigan, 1st Lieutenant
John T. Halpin, 2nd Lieutenant
James Hannagan, Quartermaster
Michael Nugent, 1st Sergeant
P. Burke, 2nd Sergeant
P. Aherne, 3rd Sergeant
Charles Hannah, 4th Sergeant
William Mathers, 1st Corporal
W. S. Tobin, 2nd Corporal
John Burke, 3rd Corporal
William Convy, 4th Corporal
Edward O'Donnell, Fifer
Louis Myrberg [Myerberg], Drummer [Myerberg was born in Germany]
[plus the names of 99 privates - if of interest, please advise and I will post]

The 1907 Census of Confederate Soldiers Living in Mobile Co. is another suggested reference for you. Page 166 lists Patrick Leary, born Milstead, Cork County, Ireland, entered as a Private May 20, 1861 at Mobile in Company I.
 
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Dan035152

Cadet
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Hi Tom,
Thanks for the reply! I actually have the company rosters for every company in the regiment. I purchased the hard copy of the History that was authored by Hilary Herbert that i linked in the original post. I went through the requisitions and returns filed under every company officer in the Emerald Guard that are listed on Fold3.com; and wile information is abundant, and i highly recommend purchasing a subscription if you haven't already, there was no information regarding uniforms from their formation in 61, or the flag in their service records, and almost nothing was listed in the Citizens files on Fold3.com or on Newspapers.com. I did manage to acquire the Ordinance return from the citizens files, but thats about it. I'm not so much looking for individuals, as i am information that will verify or refute the claim of "green" uniforms, and the company flag description, for which the only information is an obscure, un-sourced article from Irish American. (See link below).

 
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Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Years ago I coped the following description from the (apparently now defunct) website: http:www.webhosters.com/34thtxcav/html/CoI8thAla.html

104 of 109 men in it were Irish-born and their men wore dark green uniforms. Their banner was a Confederate flag on one side, with a full-length figure of Washington in the center. The reverse was green, with harp, shamrocks and the slogan, "Erin-go-bragh" and "Faugh-a-ballagh."

The original source for the above information was not provided on the site.
 

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Frederic P. Todd in American Military Equipage 1851 - 1872 states that "Company I (Emerald Guard, Mobile): initially wore dark green frock coat." However Todd does not give a reference. Frederick P. Todd's scrapbook and notes are in a library, which I have never visited, and I am not sure his note say where he got this information.
 

Dan035152

Cadet
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Addendum to original post.
On page 68 of Hilary Herbert's history of the regiment (linked in original post), under the account of the battle of Fraziers Farm, he states the following regarding the regimental colors...

"Color Sgt Phelan Harris had the flagstaff severed in his hands by a musket ball, but was not injured."

It seems odd, given that the colors of the 8th Alabama were supposedly captured in this engagement, that he would mention this. If the colors were captured as the Alabama Archives state, (also linked in original post) it would likely be in the reports, and certainly in the personal accounts such as this.

Not only is there no mention of the colors being captured, but Herbert specifically mentions that the Sgt was uninjured, and the staff severed when talking about the very engagement they were purported to be lost in?

A special requisition from 1864, completed by Herbert, requested the issuance of "One Battle Flag"...the only such requisition that I can find in the units records, finding none following the battle of Frazier's Farm.
 

Dan035152

Cadet
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Hello Everyone,
I have found verified original source information that answers two of my original questions.
1.) The green uniform question; and
2.) A description of the Company Colors

"The Journal of a Confederate Nurse" by Kate Cumming. Pages 105 through 107 of the e-book, describes both the Company Colors, and the uniforms, when she is describing the Emerald Guard leaving Mobile for Virginia in 1861. She is mourning the loss of many of its members after hearing about them in the 7 days battles.

There are possibly more detailed descriptions that I am looking into for further insight.

Diary.jpg

Diary1.jpg

Diary2.jpg

Diary3.jpg

Diary4.jpg
 
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