Here are my notes on the 13th Texas Cavalry battalion flag captured in 1862:
In 1994 a flag was stolen from the collection of the St. Albans Historical Museum. A description of this stolen flag appeared in both the "Civil War News" (August 1994, p. 21) and "Blue and Gray Magazine" (October 1994, p. 46). The former described the flag, according to the president of the St. Albans Historical Society, as having been “captured from a Texas regiment north of New Orleans in 1862 by the 8th Regiment Vermont Volunteers”. The latter source states that the flag had a handwritten note attached to it which in part read “Taken from the guerrillas in the swamps of Louisiana .… Secesh all over…. Presented by Lieuts. Foster and Nason to J. W. Taylor.”
This flag was most likely that of the 13th Texas Cavalry Battalion. This battalion was the only Texas unit present in Loiusiana until the arrival of Sibley’s Brigade in early 1863. Furthermore, in the report submitted by the 21st Indiana’s Col. James McMillan, the writer states that on the 8th of September the 21st captured over 50 prisoners from Waller’s [13th] Texas Cavalry. Along with these prisoners the 21st also took 2 rebel flags. (OR Vol. 15, pp. 135-137) Significantly, Butler’s report of the 11th September echoes the phrase found on the note attached to the aforementioned flag. Butler wrote “The movement was admirably executed, and resulted in hemming in, between the river and the swamp, the entire body of guerrillas.” (OR Vol. 15, pp. 133-134)
How this flag ended up with the 8th Vermont remains a mystery. The 8th was attacked by Waller’s Cavalry on the 4th and 5th of September, but from the description of the engagements (OR Vol. 15, pp. 134-135) it was in no position to capture a flag from the Texans. As well, neither "History of the Eighth Regiment Vermont Volunteers" nor "Vermont in the Civil War makes any mention of the Vermonters taking an enemy colour in the fight. Nevertheless the flag is recorded as being presented to J. W. Taylor by Lieutenants [Daniel S.] Foster and [Carter H.] Nason. Both these officers are listed on page 302 of History of the Eighth Regiment Vermont Volunteers as serving in Company F of the 8th Vermont. It is possible that the 8th Vermont was given one of the flags captured by the 21st Indiana in recognition of the losses the Vermonters suffered at the hands of the Texans at Boutte Station and Bayou des Allemands, but this is only speculation on my part.
Following my reading about the loss of their flag I sent a letter to the St. Alban’s Historical Society requesting any additional information they might have about this flag. The museum director was kind enough to send me both a photo of the flag and a worksheet/drawing done by Howie Madaus. (I’ll send you a scan of these items, but can you send me your e-mail address? Mine is ritoews"at"mts.net)
Colonel McMillan also mentioned that the 21st Indiana captured “1 French flag” alongside the 2 rebel flags. (OR Vol. 15, p. 137) In the mid 90s the Texas UDC published a poster illustrating a number of the flags in their collection. Interestingly, one of the flags was a French tri-colour with an embroidered star and dagger in the blue bar and the word “Brigade” on the red fly. The flag is described as a “Texas Infantry Regiment Flag” of unidentified origin, but could this possibly be the French flag Colonel McMillan noted?