Great minds think alike. I talked with Candace Adelson today also. I have no doubt that this is indeed a flag of the 7th Regt. Miss. Inf. not the 7th Battn. Miss. Inf. since it was donated by Gen. Dahlgren's family sometime after 1920 and was researched by his son John Dahlgren from 1902 -1907.
According to the records relating to the donation, the flag had been used at reunions and that it had been given to Gen. Dahlgren’s family, possibly at a reunion in Atlanta by members of the 7th Miss. and described as belonging to Col. Bishop’s regiment.
To make a long story short questions on the Flags message board about the flag caused me to contact Ken Legendre and he told me what he knew of the flag and that he felt sure it was a 7th Regt. Flag. I told Ken I thought I remembered correspondence about the regiment and Gen. Dahlgren and something about the flag of the regiment. I went to the big stack of stuff and found the letters sent to me in 2003 by Jamie Roberts.
Jamie had forwarded a copy of the correspondence from the Tennessee State Library and Archives between Capt. S.E. Rumble QM of the 7th Miss. to Mr. John Dahlgren as a result of his request for a list of engagements for the regiment of Col. W. H. Bishop in the June 1920 Confederate Veteran.
Ken was very interested in the documents because they add to the history of the flag. I had promised I would send them to him last week before I went to Washington. He had given me Candace’s name and I had planned to call her when I returned.
When I called today, she had already talked to Jamie and was sending him a photo of the flag for possible use in our regimental history and the website.
In our discussion she said that there were two opinions by the catalogers—the first thinking it was the 7th Battn. and the other thinking it was the 7th Regt. Candace told me that the 7th Battn. notes were listed first in the computer. Since the flag was not from Tennessee it was not as thoroughly researched and therefore the mislabeling occurred. [No one took the time to check to see which regiment was commanded by Co. Bishop.]
To add to the mix up the flag was identified in a book about General Dahlgren by Herschel Gower titled Charles Dahlgren of Natchez, the Civil War in Dynastic Decline, pub. Washington, DC 2002 resulting in unwarranted credibility for the 7th Battn. position. The flag is identified in his book as the 7th Battn. on pages 218-9.
I now will forward copies of the correspondence that Jamie sent to Candace and Ken Legendre with my notes so that they can review them independently. Candace wants to add the documents to the file on the flag since she does not have all of the papers relating to the Dahlgren Collection that the Tennessee Library and State Archives hold.
On the outside cover of the envelope from S. E. Rumble, post marked “Natchez, Miss. June 18 7:30PM 1907” addressed to “Mr. John A. Dahlgren Atlanta, Ga.”, Mr. Dahlgren identifies the contents with the following note:
“Giving a list of the engagements that the
7th Mississ. Regt. Battle-Flag was in”
It is clear to me that John Dahlgren was interested in the engagements in which the regiment was involved and where Col. Bishop’s flag was possibly used. Maybe now we will finally identify this valuable piece of American history and the “immortal seventh”.
Not being an expert on flags, I cannot make a clear identification as to type of flag design. All I know is that she described it as a St. Andrews cross with a yellow border, twelve stars with none in the middle and tears not related to wear and aging. Since the flag from Shiloh was probably sent home after the battle [Now in the Old Capitol Museum, Jackson, MS] I believe that this may be the flag used by the regiment from Munfordville to Missionary Ridge.
The flag displayed at the Museum of the Confederacy at Richmond, VA that was lost at Jonesboro was issued at Dalton, GA in the spring of 1864 replacing flags flown prior to Johnston’s ascendancy to command. That is just my guess without seeing the actual flag. I will leave the final word to Ken and the other flag experts.
Candace indicated to me that the flag is in need of restoration and preservation at a cost of $6-7,000. Hopefully someone will step up to the plate and set aside funds for this project.