Greg wrote: >>> HQ flags went down to brigade level, and with Polk's troops not having the same style as did the rest of the AOT at the time, they probably had their national colors (Second Nationals) as HQ flags - and MAYBE these were called into service. <<< And >>> --the information seems to point to the 40th Miss pretty solidly. <<<
I think you are leaving open the door to my "outside the box" speculation that WD Capture No. 224 could have been General Scott's headquarters flag (meaning his personal national colors, not a special "brigade" identification flag). I have no documented evidence that General Scott even had his own flag, and I have probably been watching too many Civil War re-enactments and movies which do cause me to think so! However, if he did, I do have a 12th Louisiana staff officer who was KIA at Peachtree Creek who could have been the voluntary standard bearer of General Scott's imaginary colors.
That said, I still give highest probability to the 40th Mississippi Infantry as being the owner mainly because of its design and construction including the gold fringe. I would still hold open the door with much lower probability to the possibility that it belonged to either the 55th Alabama or 57th Alabama Infantry regiments. Neither reported the loss of a their colors, but they did suffer high casualties. Ranked third in this listing of probabilties is my suggestion that the gold fringed flag belonged to General Scott.
Greg wrote: >>> A stand of colors is one flag. Military unit flags are officially called "colors" and it is why the flag bearer is officially called the "color bearer. <<<
So, it is not wrong to refer to a single regimental flag as "the regimental colors"? There being more than one color contained within the flag?
Bob wrote: >>> There is also commentary about the Featherston attack coming on in three lines: one apparently was the skirmish line for a part of the charge, the second was the main line, and the third is anybody's guess, although mine is that the brigade officers and their staffs and some non-combatants like the physicians and stretcher bearers --. <<<
General Featherston wrote: "Having reached our line of skirmishers, and being in sight of the enemy, my brigade was at once formed in line of battle for the attack." He went on to describe the dimensions of the field. Featherston's skirmish line was out front when the brigade was advancing through the woods "by right of company", but not across the open field in plain view.
The battle reports of various officers in Scott's Brigade indicate that they advanced "by right of companies to the front" (can someone describe what this means?) until they encountered the line of Union skirmishers in the woods. Scott's officers report having their own skirmish line out front as they advanced, and upon reaching their own skirmishers, being ordered into line of battle. They proceded to drive in the Union skirmish line and a Union line of battle supporting the skirmishers before encountering the edge of the open field.
General Scott wrote that upon moving into the open field "My line was momentarily checked, and a portion of it fell back some few paces, but promptly rallied, and I moved to the front and they followed me across an open field for near 600 yards to the enemies works, a portion of which they took, as did the brigade of Brigadier-General Featherston on my right --." Scott's AAAG wrote that "General Scott, myself and the rest of his staff bounded to the front of the brigade and led the charge through the open field --. Onward we marched through the storm until we entered the enemies works at several points. But we had no support and were in a shattered condition and could not hold their works or the battery we captured. So we had to fall back across the same hot field."
Neither Scott nor Featherston had any reserve line. From the Confederate side of the field, there seems nothing so far that would sustain the post-battle Federal report of three lines. Apparently not all of Featherston's units got into the works, but perhaps there were two or three surges (not separate lines) made in their attempts to do so?
Further around to the Confederate left, the 12th Louisiana Infantry regiment's front split upon arriving at the edge of the open field, according to Colonel Nelson, and upon discovering this, he halted his advance too close to the enemy to move his battle line to the right. After receiving orders personally from General Scott to continue, he did, halting under cover of a small hill to straighten his lines in preparation for charging the main works just in his front. During this pause, he was ordered to withdraw.
Meantime the consolidated 27th/35th/49th Alabama regiment, which had captured the New Jersey state colors in the Union line backing up the Union skirmishers, veered off to the left of the 12th Louisiana and ended up capturing a redoubt and three pieces of artillery. Before making this final charge, Colonel Ives pulled his regiment back a short distance not able to see the 12th Louisiana to his right. Encountering brigade staff officers, he reversed course and made the successful assault. How much separation there was between Colonel Ives' Alabamians, and Colonel Nelson's 12th Louisiana is not clear. Ives afterward complained bitterly about not being supported on his "right or left" and that discovering this, he was forced to fall back.
From a Federal perspective, one could suppose that the separate "start and stop" movements of the 12th Louisiana and the 27th/35th/49th Alabama lines of battle gave the appearance of a second and third line advancing.
While the 27th, 35th, and 49th Alabama companies maintained separate camps, as of June 20, 1864 they were under a single, unified, regimental command structure. There were only 600 effectives from the combined three regiments present on June 20th, but the consolidation was probably not popular with the men. Many post war accounts by members of these three regiments of events during the summer and fall of 1864, and the spring of 1865, would lead you to believe that each of these regiments maintained a separate organization. In camp, yes, on the march and in the field, no.
Back to our original flag discussion! I seriously doubt that Colonel Ives allowed more than one regimental battle flag to be employed during this advance for his Consolidated 27th/35th/49th Alabama Infantry regiment. And the 12th Louisiana Infantry color sergeant was with Colonel Nelson.