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Re: MOC "Colours of the Gray" flags captured.

Tom,

Actually I did add more new information - that none of the Union reports named the flag, WD 171, as being anything other than the chart awarding the MOH, along with the other flags taken in the September-October time frame by Sheridan's cavalry. How the unit ID came about for that chart we do not know as the flag is not mentioned by any unit designation in the only report that mentions its capture - that of Crowninshield - who states that it was taken on October 9, 1864. To wit:

"October 9...sent out an advance guard at Tom's Creek; moved down the pike a quarter of a mile and met the enemy in force...the enemy opened with artillery and simultaneously charged our skirmish line, driving it back a short distance, when, effectually routing them, they were forced to retire. We again advanced, commencing to drive them them before us till near Woodstock...pursued the fleeing enemy...capturing 1 battle-flag..." I believe it was Lomax's report that stated that it was Johnson's Brigade that was routed in the fight at Tom's Brook after which began the "Woodstock races."

The chart is shown in OR I, Vol. 43, Part 1, p. 550-551.

Crowninshield's report states that the 2nd US Cavalry was left behind with his artillery while the rest of the brigade did the pursuing so how they ended up getting the glory on the taking of WD 171 I have no clue and the OR makes no comment. The entry in the War Department flags book states, "WD 171, Confederate battle flag od the 32nd Batt. Va. Cavalry. Captured by Private Edward Handford, Co. H, 2nd US Cavalry near Woodstock, VA. October 9th, 1864." So we know from this description that it was an ANV flag and, indeed. that is the type of flag at the MOC.

The ID of the 34th VA Cav Btn is off the table entirely now as we have indeed established that they had been detached from the CS cavalry into western Virginia and they did not return until later in October. I have the MOC flag drawing of WD 171 and it states 35th VA Cav Btn. How that ID got to it I do not know other than Howie supposedly came up with it. How he did so I do know as I don't have his documentation for it. The text on his drawing cites Crowninshield's OR report as does Howie's own drawing of the same flag. The 35th VA Cav Btn was with Rosser's Division who did not face Merritt's Division either at T9om's Brook or the Woodstock races. The 35th was in Rosser's Division who faced Custer's Division further north along the brook and were pursued on a completely different road. So I highly doubt this ID personally.

So we are looking at one of the other VA cavalry battalions from Lomax's Division probably from Johnson's Brigade and that leaves us only with the 36th VA Cav Btn. If it was from one of Johnson's units then we must also consider the 22nd VA Cavalry regiment.

Greg Biggs

Greg Biggs

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MOC "Colours of the Gray" flags captured.
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Re: MOC "Colours of the Gray" flags captured. *NM*
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Tom's Brook - two flags!
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for Joe - 34th VA BTn repro flag
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