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    Very Rare U.S. Navy "Boat Ensign" Captured at Battery Wagner in 1863. This boat ensign is of the type used on U.S. Navy launches and other small craft such as those that attacked Battery Wagner on Morris Island near Charleston, South Carolina during the Civil War. Captain Charles E. Chichester, commanding a battery of Confederate cannon at the front, captured this flag as the Union troops unsuccessfully assaulted the fort on July 11, 1863, just one week before the assault made famous in the film Glory was repulsed as well. Copies of Captain Chichester's muster rolls, correspondence, and other records are included with this flag.

    Measuring 43" at the hoist and 81½" on the fly, this flag bears evidence of its extensive use in battle. The blue field is faded and torn with holes, most likely from gunshots, as is the entire flag. Made of red, white, and blue bunting, the flag has 13 five-pointed stars on the obverse with the cloth cut away to reveal the stars on the reverse. It was often the practice to include only 13 stars on boat ensigns to increase the visibility of the stars at sea. This flag conforms to the Union regulations for the "Number 12" U.S. ensign with its 13 stripes and its alternating use of three, then two stars.

    This example of a flag used during the failed invasion at Battery Island is very rare and historically important.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,130

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