Tarheels During the Civil War

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Third North Carolina Flag at Sharpsburg

From the Official Records.

Bivouac Near Winchester, VA., October 5, 1862.

His Excellency Z.B. Vance,
Raleigh, N.C.:
Your Excellency: In accordance with the unanimous desire of my officers and men I beg leave, sir, to return to you the colors intrusted to us by the State of North Carolina at the commencement of this contest. When the regiment was first attached to the army before Richmond the Confederate battle-flag was issued to it and all other colors ordered to be discarded. Previous to the battles in Maryland, however, our colonel, at the request of both officers and men, once more unfurled our North Carolina colors, a special guard was detailed for its defense, and, in addition to our battle-flag, carried this into the engagement at Sharpsburg. This is the only one in which it has ever been, and it bears evidence in its folds that it was in the very thickest, while our list of killed and wounded shows that we did not fail in our trust. Two of its bearers were killed and as many seriously wounded, yet not once were its folds allowed to touch the ground, and we have the satisfaction of knowing that it never left the field until we received orders from those in authority to withdraw. We have flattered ourselves that it is worthy of a place among the relics of which the State may be proud, and we send it to you, sir, desiring that it may be kept ever sacred to the memory of those who fell upon the battle-field of Sharpsburg while engaged in the defense of home and liberty. I intrust the colors, together with a report of the engagement and a list of casualties, to Lieut. John F.S. Van Bokkelen; and, in the name of my officers and men,
Am, sir, most respectfully,
S.D. Thruston,
Major Third North Carolina State Troops, Commanding.

Series 1 Vol. LI (Part II) Ch. LXIII Pg. 632.

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