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Confederate Flag

Gaston Blues Flag, Thirty-seventh North Carolina Troops

"Impeccably Provenanced Confederate 1861 Flag": The 1st National Flag of the "Gaston Blues" - Company "H" 37th North Carolina Infantry. Courtesy Michael C. Hardy (michaelchardy.com)

Gaston Blues Flag
Gaston Blues Flag Civil War Confederate Flag.jpg
Courtesy Michael C. Hardy (michaelchardy.com)

DESCRIPTION: 35" x 50" of very fine wool bunting, eleven silk stars on

both sides, 1" silk fringe, " 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.

 

HISTORY: The Gaston (County) Blues 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 Barbour, 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 the battle history of

the Fighting Thirty-seventh.


Included with the flag is a copy of an article from The Southerner
magazine
reflecting this flag as the center piece of a display in the
New York Historical Society, April 28th to June 12th, 1949, in
cooperation with 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 include 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 was clearly in possession

of this flag from at least until 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.

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 that 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 rigueur for units to replace flags that had sustained damage--in any form.

A case in point is the ANV battle flag 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.

Exhibited: New York Historical Society 1949.

 

To fully appreciate the "detailed history" of the Thirty-seventh North Carolina, consider purchasing The Thirty-seventh North Carolina Troops: Tar Heels in the Army of Northern Virginia, by Michael C. Hardy. Continued below...

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Recommended Reading: The Thirty-seventh North Carolina Troops: Tar Heels in the Army of Northern Virginia, by Michael C. Hardy. Description: It vividly reflects the unit’s four years’ service, told largely in the soldiers’ own words. Graphically depicted from letters, diaries, memoirs, and postwar articles and interviews, this history of the 37th North Carolina follows the unit from its organization in November 1861 until its surrender at Appomattox. Continued below...

The study includes rare photographs of the key players in the 37th’s history as well as detailed maps illustrating the unit’s position at several critical engagements. Appendices include a complete roster of the Fighting 37th and a listing of individuals buried in large sites such as Civil War prison cemeteries. (Great for genealogy, too.) A comprehensive bibliography and index are also included. RATED 5 STARS!
 

Recommended Reading: The Flags of Civil War North Carolina. Description: Compiled and written by educator and Civil War expert Glenn Dedmondt, The Flags Of Civil War North Carolina is a very straightforward reference presenting photographs, color illustrations, descriptions and history of the titular flags that flew over North Carolina when it seceded from the Union. Each page or two-page spread features the different flags of the various North Carolina regiments. A meticulously detailed resource offering very specific information for history and civil war buffs, The Flags Of Civil War North Carolina is a welcome contribution to the growing library of Civil War Studies and could well serve as a template for similar volumes for the other Confederate as well as Union states. Great photos and illustrations! Continued below...

Flags stir powerful emotions, and few objects evoke such a sense of duty and love for the homeland. In April 1861, the first flag of a new republic flew over North Carolina. The state had just seceded from the union, and its citizens would soon have to fight for their homes, their families, and their way of life. Each flag is meticulously detailed and scaled to perfection. The Flags of Civil War North Carolina is the history of this short-lived republic (which later joined the Confederacy), told through the banners that flew over its government, cavalry, and navy. From the hand-painted flag of the Guilford Greys to the flag of the Buncombe Riflemen--made from the dresses of the ladies of Asheville--this collection is an exceptional tribute to the valiant men who bore these banners and to their ill-fated crusade for independence. About the Author: Glenn Dedmondt, a lifelong resident of the Carolinas and member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, shares his passion for the past as a teacher of South Carolina history. Dedmondt has also been published in Confederate Veteran magazine.

 
Recommended Reading: The Flags of the Confederacy: An Illustrated History. Description: Devereaux D. Cannon is an expert on vexillology (the study of flags). This book offers a history, profiles, design specifications and an overview of the various flags (national flags, battle flags and naval ensigns) that were utilized by the Confederacy. The book features several pages with glossy photos of the various flags of the Confederacy. Continued below...
 It features even the little known flags. Cannon's book has inspired flag makers to revive the old flags in addition to the 3 national flags, the battle flag and the naval ensign. This book is must have for flag gurus, Civil War buffs and southern partisans.
 

Recommended Reading: The Soldier's View: The Civil War Art of Keith Rocco (Hardcover). Description: A splendid collection of more than 100 paintings and sketches from one of the leading artists working in the Civil War field. The text features carefully selected eye-witness accounts that accompany the paintings, and the result is a moving ensemble of images and words that pays homage to the common soldier. Rocco's oils are reproduced here on acid-free, heavy art paper and placed in a finely sewn binding.

 

Recommended Viewing: The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns. Review: The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns is the most successful public-television miniseries in American history. The 11-hour Civil War didn't just captivate a nation, reteaching to us our history in narrative terms; it actually also invented a new film language taken from its creator. When people describe documentaries using the "Ken Burns approach," its style is understood: voice-over narrators reading letters and documents dramatically and stating the writer's name at their conclusion, fresh live footage of places juxtaposed with still images (photographs, paintings, maps, prints), anecdotal interviews, and romantic musical scores taken from the era he depicts. Continued below...

The Civil War uses all of these devices to evoke atmosphere and resurrect an event that many knew only from stale history books. While Burns is a historian, a researcher, and a documentarian, he's above all a gifted storyteller, and it's his narrative powers that give this chronicle its beauty, overwhelming emotion, and devastating horror. Using the words of old letters, eloquently read by a variety of celebrities, the stories of historians like Shelby Foote and rare, stained photos, Burns allows us not only to relearn and finally understand our history, but also to feel and experience it. "Hailed as a film masterpiece and landmark in historical storytelling." "[S]hould be a requirement for every student."

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