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    Description

    IMPECCABLY PROVENANCED CONFEDERATE 1861 1ST NATIONAL FLAG OF THE "GASTON BLUES" - COMPANY H 37TH NORTH CAROLINA INFANTRY. 35" x 50" of very fine wool bunting, 11 silk stars on both sides, 1 ½" silk fringe, ½" silk binding on the hoist with two silk ties. Seams where the stripes are joined reinforced with silk tape. "Gaston Blues 1861" neatly hand stitched in black silk thread with tiny loops, 2 7/8" high, on the white center stripe. The Gaston (County) Blues were mustered into Confederate service as Company H, 37th North Carolina Infantry, forming a part of Lane's North Carolina Brigade, and participated in all major actions of the Army of Northern Virginia from their baptism of fire at New Berne on 14 May, 1862 to the end of the war, including Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg where the unit suffered heavily in the Confederate assault on the Union center on the afternoon of July 3.Colonel barker, the regiment's commander stated in a report shortly after the Gettysburg Campaign, that "The regiment has lost one hundred and fifty men killed, seventy who have died of wounds, three hundred and two who have died of disease, and three hundred and thirty two have been wounded and recovered. Total loss killed and wounded, five hundred and fifty two....Fourteen officers of this regiment have been killed or mortally wounded....There are but six officers in the regiment who have not been wounded, a large number (both officers and men) have been wounded more than once." Stark testimony to how heavily fought this regiment was. Included with the flag is a copy of an article from "The Southerner" magazine showing this flag as the center piece of a display in the New York Historical Society, April 28th to June 12th, 1949 in cooperation wit The United Daughters of the Confederacy. The display, simply titled The Confederate States of America "occupied the main corridor of the white marble building at 77th Street and Central Park West". The caption of the photograph states, "Case displaying Confederate memorabilia, including a flag made by southern women from scraps of materials". Indeed, the silk stars on the flag included a decorative pattern in the weave clearly demonstrating they were once part of something else. Also included is a letter from the US War Department, dated March 23, 1928, to Mrs. A. H. Porter of Brooklyn New York stating, "It appears probable, therefore that the flag, you have in your possession is the flag of Company H 37th North Carolina Inf." Additionally there is an original large format presentation document from the "James Henry Parker Chapter Number 1583, United Daughters of the Confederacy" dated March 4, 1965, commending Emma Lou France Porter (Mrs. A. H. Porter) for 25 years of "devotion, service and loyalty". Mrs. Porter (nee Emma Lou France was clearly in possession of the flag from at least 1928. A beautiful, early war, Confederate 1st national in superb condition with a wonderful history identifying it to one of the Army of Northern Virginia's most hard fought and gallant regiments.

    Exhibited:
    New York Historical Society 1949.

    Provenance:
    Mrs. A.H. Porter UAC Chapter 1883.

    Condition:
    The condition of the flag is truly superb. Just a few tiny scattered moth holes, brilliant colors, all stitching tight and no loss to the silk fringe. As striking a Confederate 1st national as you will ever see. It is imperative when assessing the condition of Civil War Confederate flags to recognize that the stories of 'tattered, battle scarred' banners are, for the most part, strictly apocryphal. Indeed very few flags, including those with a documented history of being captured on the battlefield, show any signs of battle damage. The most common causes of damage being moths and the elements. It was, in fact, whenever possible, de rigeur for units to replace flags that had sustained damage, in any form. A case in point is the ANV battleflag in the DuBose collection, which exists today because it sustained very minor damage from field use and was brought home by the regiment's colonel, deemed no longer to fit to serve as the unit's badge of honor, and replaced with a new flag. Most of these early war presentation flags were, in fact, taken into Confederate service by company level units, only to be retired and sent home once these scattered units were incorporated into regular Confederate service, doubtless the history of this flag.

    This flag has been carefully examined by authoritative in-house experts and has been deemed to be authentic and of the period in every respect including fabric, thread, dye and the method and pattern of construction. Additionally, any accompanying provenance has been verified as unique and indigenous to the specific flag it documents.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 560

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