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    Description

    Army of Northern Virginia Pattern Confederate Battle Flag, Captured at Macon Arsenal by the 17th Indiana Mounted Infantry and, of the Five Specimens Known, the Only One in Private Hands. The flag is 47½" on the hoist and 52" - 52½" on the fly. The flag is constructed on a field of red wool English bunting, inserted with a 5" - 5½" blue wool/ cotton cross and thirteen fine pointed 3½" cotton stars appliqued to each side of the cross. The cross is trimmed with a white wool English bunting border inserted at the edges of each cross arm, extending through the center, isolating the center star. The leading edge is finished with a 7/8" white cotton heading, with an unfinished hole at the top and bottom, doubtless used for attachment. There are also five tack holes with slight rust and an impression of the tack head along with five more holes with no impression. Several of the stars on both sides exhibit a series of tiny punctures, stained with blue dye, that appear to be embellishments that were later removed. The flag is handsewn throughout.

    Accompanying the flag is a three piece label, constructed of light cardboard and heavy lined paper, which bears the following ink inscription, "The Macon Ga. Arsenal Rebel Flag Captured April 2nd, 1865" and in pencil "The gift of Silas C. Stevens April 1915," and on the back of the center piece in pencil "April 1, 1915". Interestingly almost fifty years to the day after the flag's capture. Ms. Thomsen states, "The flag is intact as originally constructed except for the sewing through the stars. This thread has been removed. None of the fabrics or sewing threads exhibit any signs of previous use". The fabrics are strong overall with minimal oxidation and great color. A few minor holes (less than 1") in the wools and one 1" x 10½" hole in the leading edge quadrant.

    Howard Madaus, in his seminal 1979 work, The Battle Flags of the Confederate Army of Tennessee describes this exact flag as one of five captured by the 17th Indiana Mounted Infantry. Four of the flags were turned in, this apparently being the fifth, that was retained by its captor. The flag is from The Chicago Historical Society's famed Gunther Collection and is listed in their catalog. The flag was deaccessioned to arms dealer Arnold Marcus Chernoff in a now infamous trade in the early 1970s. Those us who were present at the Baltimore antique arms show immediately after the trade will never forget the row of clothing racks behind Mr. Chernoff's tables, packed with Confederate flags and uniforms. In his book Madaus references conversations with Chernoff. Madaus identifies this flag as being from either the 1st or 3rd Georgia Reserves, the two regiments that were defending Macon at the time of Wilson's 1865 Raid. A sister flag of the same pattern, also either for the 1st or 3rd Georgia, is in the Museum of the Confederacy, and a flag of the same pattern, identified to the 19th Couth Carolina, is in a small museum in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In conclusion Ms. Thomsen states, "...I support the reported history of the flag as appropriate in keeping with the evidence..."

    A magnificent Confederate battle flag, with absolutely impeccable documentation and authentication, and a rare opportunity for the sophisticated and discerning Civil War or Confederate collector.




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2010
    11th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,295

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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