I am not trying to be a but hole by any means I am only showing the info that has been brought to me. Bill says he does not know you, but here is a e-mail that Bill sent me tonite less then an hour ago. and I just got off the phone with him and we were talking about the flag and how H. Madaus AKA "howie" has seen the flag a number of times while in Shenandoah and never voiced any criticism.
2 e-mail's from Bill I ask if I could copy and paste them he said yes
I hope that you linked up with Scott. He is a gentleman.
The 34th was not at Toms Brook for the "Woodstock Races." I don't have time to dig out the various Yankee reports confirming that Witcher and the 34th were far away; however, I have attached a couple items that should prove that they were elsewhere when the 32nd Va flag was captured at Toms Brook. The 34th was in northwestern West Virginia through Oct 5th and started withdrawing southward towards SW Va. They were nowhere near Toms Brook; further, the 34th was attached to the Dept of W. Va and E. Tenn and was never part of any of the commands at Toms Brook and was not assigned to that dept of operations. Maj. Gen. Breckinridge turned down requests for the 34th to be transferred.
Research in the OR's and in Confederate Military History (ten vol set - use the Va and WV & Tenn volumes) will show where the 34th was and what they did. The fellow that claims the flag was captured may be well-intentioned, but unless he has proven his theory by research, he's just a self-styled expert - that's being very kind.
Howie and I were friends for decades - if anyone doubts that, they can read Howie's treatise on Enfield markings that was done for ASAC that mentions me or check with Charlie Foster, who should be known to anyone with an interest in Confederate items. When Howie first related the story about the 32nd's flag being that of the 34th, I disagreed with him and produced the research showing that the 34th was not at Toms Brook. Howie then came over to our side of the argument. I have never heard of Tom Martin and he is entitled to his opinions. That Martin would say that Howie disagreed with Scott and I is a strange statement considering that Howie did not and I fail to see how Martin would know anything about our private conversations and correspondence. The 34th spent a great deal of time in Tenn and KY and went into Ohio. I guess that they could be considered to be influenced by the "west;" however, one must consider where the Eastern Theatre ended and who could put what on their flag. When you read Scott's book, you will see that Virginians that had served under Forrest came back to the 34th in 1864. They may have brought their "western" influence - I don't know. The 34th captured Yankee artillery at Martinsburg on the way north in 1863.
Gregg Biggs and Howie did flag research together and I fail to see how a 2nd pattern bunting flag isn't correct. Finally, the 34th was never part of the ANV - they were attached to Ewell's Corps only for the Gettysburg campaign, then returned to their own dept.
Finally, while Gregg may never have seen an "Eastern Theatre" flag with crossed cannons; I have never seen the far side of the moon, but I don't deny that it's there just because I haven't seen it. Howie was still alive after we starting using the flag and saw it a number of times at Ft. Shenandoah and never voiced any criticism. It was based on his advice -