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Re: WD Capture No. 224
In Response To: WD Capture No. 224 ()

Hello Hugh,

More below:

>>>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.>>>>

Not so much Scott's personal flag - but the national flag that marked his HQ tent. National flags were used as such prior to the AOT creating their own system of HQ flags.

>>>>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.>>>>

I concur with the analysis of the flag most likely being that of the 40th Mississippi Infantry.

>>>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? >>>>

Actually that is the proper way to refer to them. The word "colors" for a military unit flag dates back to 1590 by the way. The drill books of the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries refer to them as "colors." When a regiment is in camp there are sopecific ways for it to be laid out and there is also established a "color line" for the flag (or flags if they have more than one) to be placed. You can also have "sveral stand of captured colors" since the word can also be used in the plural like "deer" can.

>>>>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.>>>>

This means moving by their right flank in a somewhat oblique attack ordere - or "en echelon." This attack formation was typical of the Army of Tennessee and it resembles a stair-step fashion of attacking with a first wave hitting and then a bit later a second wave slightly to one side or the other depending on how the formation is laid out or the direction of the attack. This attack formation was invented by Frederick the Great in the mid-1700's and he called it "the attack in the oblique order." Additonally - becaue it seperated the attacking units into stacked waves set diagonally from each otehr I can indeed see now that the Federal description of "three lines" might be possible as an en echelon attack would indeed look like that.

I also forgot that the Confederate divisional attack formation for Peachtree Creek was, indeed, an en echelon formation, which means the brigades and regiments did the same thing.

>>>>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. >>>>

This is also possible but I give mroe creedence to the oblique order attack formation described above.

>>>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.>>>>

I don't believe he was either although the official Confederate orders for consolidated regimetns and their flags did not happen until 1865, whereupon one flag was to be chosen as the colors and the others retired.

Greg Biggs

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