What happened to the Lone Star Flag of Texas that was flown at Gettysburg?

Rio Bravo

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No-one seems to know ! It was the flag carried by Colour Sergeant Branard of the 1st Texas Infantry. It had black edging around it, as a memorial to the Soldiers of the Texas Brigade who died at Antietam.
Perhaps AUG might know!
 

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chellers

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No-one seems to know ! It was the flag carried by Colour Sergeant Branard of the 1st Texas Infantry. It had black edging around it, as a memorial to the Soldiers of the Texas Brigade who died at Antietam.
Perhaps AUG might know!
Paging @AUG351 @AndyHall @Nathan @bdtex @7th James @tin @Tin cup any other texans

(Sorry, parts of some usernames would not print.)
 

rpkennedy

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It's likely that the 1st Texas kept it since I doubt they would have lost it in their fight in the Triangular Field and Devil's Den. It was probably shot up pretty badly though.

Ryan
 

AndyHall

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I don't know about that flag, sorry. I imagine the regiment retained it, however, because they were not overrun in the assault on the second day.
 

bdtex

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I seem to recall some discussion about that flag at the HTBAR seminar last month but not the specifics of the discussion.
 

AUG

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Wondered that myself but unfortunately it's not known what ever happened to it. It's only mentioned a few times in postwar accounts as far as I am aware.

Dr. John O. Scott in Unveiling and Dedication of Monument to Hood's Texas Brigade comp. by F. B. Chilton, p. 350:

Lone Star Flag 3.png

Lone Star Flag 4.png


Dr. Sam R. Burroughs in Hood's Texas Brigade: Its Marches, Its Battles, Its Achievements by J. B. Polley, p. 288, mentions a Lone Star flag being flown at Gettysburg:

Lone Star Flag.jpg

Lone Star Flag2.jpg


It is known that a Richmond Depot third bunting issue ANV battle flag was issued to 1st Texas after they lost the two flags at Antietam, however it's not known what ever happened to that one either. There is a RD fourth bunting issue held by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission that was issued to the 1st Texas in fall of 1864; that one was captured by Federal cavalry just prior to Appomattox and returned to Texas in the early 1900s. But the flags the 1st Texas flew from late 1862 to mid 1864 are still missing.

Below is a photo of the RD fourth bunting issue they received in fall of '64.

1st Texas 4th Bunting Issue 2.jpg
 

DixieRifles

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Is there a webpage link about this search?
I read it on FaceBook. I quote it below.


Here is the BIGGEST MYSTERY of Hood's Texas Brigade:

What ever happened to the Lone Star Flag of Texas that was flown at Gettysburg? No one today seems to know. I asked the great-granddaughter of the color bearer who carried it at Gettysburg, and she doesn't know. I asked the historian of Hood's Texas Brigade (Reactivated) and he doesn't know. It is a BIG MYSTERY that needs to be solved. Here is the story:
After the battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam) on September 17, 1862, the 1st Texas Infantry Flag was "captured:" by a soldier in the 9th Pennsylvania, and was sent to Washington D. C. The 1st Texas Infantry then was able to replace their "captured" flag with another Lone Star Flag, that had black edging as a memorial to the soldiers of the Texas brigade that died at Sharpsburg. At the assault of the Devil's Den and Little Round Top at the battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863, Color Sergeant George Branard climbed the highest boulder at the Devil's Den and waved the Lone Star Flag of the 1st Texas Infantry at the Union Regiments (probably right in front of the 16th Michigan and 83rd Pennsylvania). The Union soldiers admired that Texan for being brave and told others "not to fire, he's too brave to be shot!" Unfortunately a Union Artillery Battery (either Smith's NY Battery or another battery at the Peach Orchard) fired their cannon and the shell exploded in front of Sgt Branard. He was unconscious for a few minutes and had wounds on his left side (his left eye was permanently blinded) and when he woke up the flag staff was broken, and he got angry and started to rush up Little Round Top by himself before his fellow comrades pulled him away to safety.
That is where the history ends about the flag. No one speaks of it afterwards about what happened to it. Did it fall into the hands of a fellow Texan who hid it away and now belongs to a family who has it to this day? Did the flag get torn up into pieces and distributed to other soldiers of the 1st Texas? I find it VERY STRANGE that no soldier ever said what happened to the flag. It is not mentioned after Gettysburg. There is no testimonial whatsoever in the 153 years after the battle. That is very odd because regiments ALWAYS told about the history of their flag during the war and afterwards. And the Lone Star flag of Texas flown at Gettysburg is not mentioned anymore after the battle. VERY STRANGE! It would be a MAJOR TREASURE to find it, or any piece of it. To know what happened would be a Texas mystery that needs to be solved. If you know what happened to it or who might know, please let me, John Heiser (Historian of Gettysburg NMP) or Sanford Reed, or Sussanah Ural, Patty Branard Gambino, or Martha Hertzog or anybody in Hood's Texas Brigade (Reactivated) know, especially me or Rick Eiserman, the current historian of the brigade know.
THANK YOU!

Attached to the FaceBook article was a copy of the painting of Hood's Texans at Gettysburg by Mark Maritato.
(Note the illustration of the Lone Star flag being carried by Sgt Branard at the beginning of the charge with the black edging.)

s-l1600.jpg
 

AUG

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Is there a webpage link about this search?
I read it on FaceBook. I quote it below.


Here is the BIGGEST MYSTERY of Hood's Texas Brigade:

What ever happened to the Lone Star Flag of Texas that was flown at Gettysburg? No one today seems to know. I asked the great-granddaughter of the color bearer who carried it at Gettysburg, and she doesn't know. I asked the historian of Hood's Texas Brigade (Reactivated) and he doesn't know. It is a BIG MYSTERY that needs to be solved. Here is the story:
After the battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam) on September 17, 1862, the 1st Texas Infantry Flag was "captured:" by a soldier in the 9th Pennsylvania, and was sent to Washington D. C. The 1st Texas Infantry then was able to replace their "captured" flag with another Lone Star Flag, that had black edging as a memorial to the soldiers of the Texas brigade that died at Sharpsburg. At the assault of the Devil's Den and Little Round Top at the battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863, Color Sergeant George Branard climbed the highest boulder at the Devil's Den and waved the Lone Star Flag of the 1st Texas Infantry at the Union Regiments (probably right in front of the 16th Michigan and 83rd Pennsylvania). The Union soldiers admired that Texan for being brave and told others "not to fire, he's too brave to be shot!" Unfortunately a Union Artillery Battery (either Smith's NY Battery or another battery at the Peach Orchard) fired their cannon and the shell exploded in front of Sgt Branard. He was unconscious for a few minutes and had wounds on his left side (his left eye was permanently blinded) and when he woke up the flag staff was broken, and he got angry and started to rush up Little Round Top by himself before his fellow comrades pulled him away to safety.
That is where the history ends about the flag. No one speaks of it afterwards about what happened to it. Did it fall into the hands of a fellow Texan who hid it away and now belongs to a family who has it to this day? Did the flag get torn up into pieces and distributed to other soldiers of the 1st Texas? I find it VERY STRANGE that no soldier ever said what happened to the flag. It is not mentioned after Gettysburg. There is no testimonial whatsoever in the 153 years after the battle. That is very odd because regiments ALWAYS told about the history of their flag during the war and afterwards. And the Lone Star flag of Texas flown at Gettysburg is not mentioned anymore after the battle. VERY STRANGE! It would be a MAJOR TREASURE to find it, or any piece of it. To know what happened would be a Texas mystery that needs to be solved. If you know what happened to it or who might know, please let me, John Heiser (Historian of Gettysburg NMP) or Sanford Reed, or Sussanah Ural, Patty Branard Gambino, or Martha Hertzog or anybody in Hood's Texas Brigade (Reactivated) know, especially me or Rick Eiserman, the current historian of the brigade know.
THANK YOU!

Attached to the FaceBook article was a copy of the painting of Hood's Texans at Gettysburg by Mark Maritato.
(Note the illustration of the Lone Star flag being carried by Sgt Branard at the beginning of the charge with the black edging.)

s-l1600.jpg
One thing to note about this article and the accounts I posted above, just to clarify: the 1st Texas didn't fight up Little Round Top but were actually on Houck's Ridge (Triangular Field). It was the 4th and 5th Texas that made the assault up the face of LRT. John O. Scott mistakenly remembered what was obviously Houck's Ridge as LRT, and whoever wrote the above article was probably misinformed by that account.
 

DixieRifles

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I just find the Question of great interest. I would not expect that historians could account for all the regimental flags of every regiment. So why would 1st Texas Regiment be any different? Yes, it would be nice if historian for the regiment had commented on what happened to their flag after the unit surrendered and the war ended. You hear of some who refused to surrender their flags so they cut it up to give each soldier or destroyed it and many other stories.
I could name a dozen more regiments that I would ask the same question: What became of their regimental colors?
 

AUG

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I just find the Question of great interest. I would not expect that historians could account for all the regimental flags of every regiment. So why would 1st Texas Regiment be any different? Yes, it would be nice if historian for the regiment had commented on what happened to their flag after the unit surrendered and the war ended. You hear of some who refused to surrender their flags so they cut it up to give each soldier or destroyed it and many other stories.
I could name a dozen more regiments that I would ask the same question: What became of their regimental colors?
Well, of course the First's state colors were quite unique. If this second Lone Star flag really did exist and was actually flown at Gettysburg then it would be one of the few Confederate state colors flown in the battle and still used in the ANV. And, as mentioned earlier, the whereabouts of both the battle flags the 1st Texas used at Gettysburg are still unknown today. That's two missing out of the total five battle flags the First used throughout their service. So this is a question historians of the Texas Brigade have been asking for some time.

As to guess what ever became of those two flags, well if they weren't ever lost or captured some how, or cut up into pieces, then it's possible that they were sent back to Texas when they were too shot up for further service. That was the case with the 4th and 5th Texas' first two battle flags - they were so shot up by late 1862 that they were sent back home to be displayed at the state capitol. That could have been the case with the 1st Texas' two colors, but perhaps they were kept in private possession after the war rather than by the state.
 

DixieRifles

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I wonder if that flag fell victim to the fire at the old capitol on 9 Nov. 1881?
But someone would have recorded that it was moved to the capitol. From what this article says, no one has any knowledge of it ever getting back to Texas or even transferred to some Union depository.
 

Burning Billy

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Hopefully it'll turn up eventually in some dusty old trunk in an attic somewhere, in a state of decent preservation.

Although it's likely the flag is simply lost forever to time and history, it's always possible that one of the veterans kept it, and his family still has it without knowing what they have.
 

RangerJoe

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I have a suspicion that it was sent to the warehouse that stored the supplies and belongings of Hood's Texas Brigade, and was destroyed when Federals soldiers burned the warehouse when they entered Richmond in April 1865.
 

RangerJoe

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Color Sergeant Branard only told of his actions in a complete story ONCE. This hadn't been seen since it was published. I was very lucky and fortunate to have found it.

Color Sergeant George A. Branard
1 st Texas Infantry
Galveston Daily News
May 2, 1899
The Story of Gettysburg
Houston, Tex., May. 1 – At the last annual meeting of Hoods’ Texas Brigade, there were
earnest requests from officers and members to Secretary George A. Branard for a statement of
facts concerning his part as color bearer leading the advance of the First Texas regiment in the
farthest point reached in the battle of Gettysburg. After the meeting he was asked for a statement
for publication in the interest of correct history of that terrible battle, the one that marked the
greatest distance made by southern troops into the enemy’s country. In response he kindly
prepared the following brief statements of facts:
“What I have to say about that incident where myself, the flag I carried and the rock, as I
supposed, would be my protection on Little Round Top at Gettysburg, Pa., the old saying is ‘self
praise is no praise.’ As long as I can remember orders came for our brigade to move off the road,
Emmetsburg pike, through fields and woods up the rocky side of the mountain. It was between 4
and 5 o’clock in the afternoon of July 2, 1863. To gain the mountain top we had a very hard run
through shot, shell, canister and minie balls. As we marched up Little Round Top I saw in the
distance a line of large rocks. I at once thought that would be a good place to get behind and out
of the range of the enemy’s fire. As luck so happened my regiment moved to the left and then
straight to the front, which put me into direct line with a large rock. As the enemy was giving it
to us fast and hot, I thought the best thing I could do was to run ahead and get behind my rock.
Turning around and saying to my color guard, ‘Come on boys, let’s make a run for yonder rock;
the regiment will follow us and get out of this rain of canister and shell.’ We made our distance
without any loss. After reaching the rock I thought I was all right. But no such luck was to be for
me. I hardly had time to blow out and get wind on the account of the long run when I noticed I
had company to share my rock with me. It made me somewhat mad to think that others should
try to crowd me out when there were other rocks to be had, and, to make matters worse, the other
party consisted of four color bearers, without their flag of a Georgia regiment of Benning’s
brigade. I told them that instead of having shelter they would soon find out it would be the other
way and that we would get one of the hardest shelling’s ever known as these five stands of colors
were an attraction, and I would get on top, as it would be safe there as anywhere else and just as
good as any other place. Before I go through talking my words came true, and I did not have
time to change my position when a shell hit the top of my rock and falling on my back. My flag
was shot from the staff, it being broken in three places. The flag went one way, a piece of staff
another, and myself and the remainder of the staff in my hand the other. We were pretty well
scattered.
“How long I was on my back I do not know. When I came I heard someone in my company
say: ‘See, there, Branard is not dead; see, he is trying to get up.’ Willing hands then ran to me
and helped me to my feet. Well, to explain my feelings, my heart felt like a barrel, and I did not
know one way from another. When asked if I was hurt, all I would say was, ‘I don’t know.’
Someone told me to go to the rear, and I had hardly gone ten feet before one of my company
caught me and turned me around, as I was going straight into Yankee lines. I was told afterward
that all I would say was, ‘I don’t know.’

“After getting some distance in the rear I met a staff officer. He stopped me and wanted to
know what command I belonged. I told him I wanted to know where the hospital was, as I
wanted to find out where I was hurt, ‘as I feel as though half of my head was off.’ He then
guided me out of the field to the pike road, turning me to the right, and said, ‘Keep on down the
road until you come to some tents, and that is the Texas hospital.’
How and when I got there I do not know. Someone, I think it was Tom Sloan, the hospital
steward said,’ Branard, drink this; it will do you good, as you are in a very bad fix, and it will
help to cure your pains and give you rest, and in the morning you will feel much better.’ What he
gave me in that cup I do not know. It made me go to sleep in about fifteen minutes, and I did not
wake up until the middle of the next day. After waking up, my head felt like it was as big as a
camp kettle and so sore I could not touch it. After two days at the hospital my head commenced
to feel like itself again. It was on the march back to Virginia.
“After taking my place in line and receiving my flag from one of the men who had picked it up
when I fell, I commenced to ask questions to how I came to be out in the open space and lying on
my back with only a piece of the flagstaff in my hand. I was told that ‘I got mad with the Georgia
color bearer for getting the rock we was behind and I was just in the act of getting on top of the
rock when a shell hit me and burst throwing you back on the ground, and, as we supposed you
were killed, but it turned out you were only stunned.’ Changing my position was what saved my
life, as the shell came from the direction I had moved from. I was told that after I fell the rock
became a very hot place, as the flags had drawn the Yankees fire, and it was coming from both
sides, kind of a cross fire, I think. The fire from our left came from the two guns Barry and Will
George captured along with the Dutchman that was wedged between the rocks. He was like the
ostrich; he had hid his head and let his feet stick out, and his feet gave him away.
“It was hot times, and we did not have time for second thought, and, besides, when well filled
haversacks were in sight Hood’s brigade was known to get their allowance of them. Nothing will
make a man fight harder than the prospects of getting two haversacks, and as a rule the Yanks
always carried them. But in this fight I did not yet get an extra ration, as my quota came to soon
after getting my rock.
“Geo. A. Branard,
“ Color Bearer, First Texas Regiment.’
 


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