CHAP. LXXVI.--An Act creating the office of Ensign in the army of the Confederate States.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That there shall be appointed by the President, to each regiment of infantry in the army of the Confederate States an officer to be known as ensign, with the rank, pay and allowances of a first lieutenant, whose duty it shall be to bear the colors of the regiment, but without right to command in the field.
APPROVED February 17, 1864.
The War Department required regimental commanders to submit appointments which included information about the personal background, character and military record of enlisted men being nominated. For that reason these are valuable documents, frequently detailing the nominee's past record as color bearer and other useful information. For example, Major Knox's request for his regiment mentions that the 1st Alabama had not carried a flag since the capture of its banner at Island Ten on April 8, 1862.
For whatever reason, Basil M. Hanks received a late nomination. Possibly Col Hall was wounded and disabled before submitting a nomination for Hanks, or perhaps it miscarried in the mail. Hank was appointed 1st Lieutenant and Ensign Nov 26, 1864, to rank Oct 27, 1864; former member of 2nd Company “H” serving as Ensign since his nomination on Apr 26, 1864. For the 6th Alabama Regiment, William Frank Norman was appointed Ensign Apr 22, 1864, to rank Apr 18, 1864; formerly a member of 2nd Company “E”. Lt Norman was captured at Spotsylvania Courthouse VA, May 8, 1864. Since Norman was absent, an enlisted man would have been serving as color-bearer.