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1864 Donation of 8th AL Flag to Gov. Watts

MONTGOMERY WEEKLY ADVERTISER, April 20, 1864, p. 4, c. 4

The Battle Flag of the 8th Alabama.

Hd. Qrs. 8th Alabama volunteers, }

Near Orange C. H. Va., }

April 8, 1864 }

Sir: I have the honor, herewith, to transmit to you the tattered old battle flag of the 8th Alabama Regiment. It waved at Yorktown, Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Gaines' Mill, Fraziers' Farm, Manassas 2d, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Four of Alabama's noblest sons have died with it in their hands. Two hundred and twenty-eight have, under it in battle, sealed with their life's blood their devotion to their country's cause.—Besides these, those who have shed their blood while battling under its folds, are counted by the hundred.

This Regiment was the first from the State, that volunteered "for three years or the war." On the 29th January last, it re-enlisted, unconditionally "for the war."—At the expiration of our first term of service, which we look back to with the proud feeling, that Alabama's name and fame, in our hands, has not been tarnished, in a single combat, it has seemed fit to us to transmit to you, the watchful guardian of Alabama's weil [?] and honor, this battle-scarred flag. In summer's heat and winter's storm, its brilliant hues have faded. By shot and shell its bright threads have been severed. Worn out in service, we present it to you as a token of our past and an earnest of our future conduct.


H. A. Herbert,

Lt. Col. Commanding 8th Ala. Vols.

His Excellency, Thos H. Watts, Governor of Alabama.


Executive Department of Alabama, }

Montgomery, April 12, 1864. }
Lt. col. H. A. Herbert,

Commanding 8th Ala. Volunteers.

Dear Sir: By the hands of Lt. Dunn, I have received your letter and the flag, which accompanied it.

In behalf and in the name of the people of Alabama, I accept this tattered and torn flag, as the emblem of a noble cause, and the memento of deathless deeds by Alabama's dauntless sons. The sadness occasioned by the knowledge that so many brave Alabamians have lost their life-blood in defense of its honored folds, is turned into admiration for the heroism and its immortal defenders. Though its once "brilliant folds have faded in the summer's heat and winter's storms," and though it now shows the havoc made "in its bright threads by shot and shell," still it will be preserved as doubly dear on account of these evidences, at once of Yankee perfidy and Confederate prowess.

While Alabama looks, with a mother's pride, on all her battle scarred heroes, she rejoices in the truth, that none have shown more devotion to the calls of freedom and none are entitled to more grateful remembrances and praises, than those of the 8th Alabama; and none will receive a heartier welcome home, when peace shall crown their efforts, in behalf of Liberty and Independence.

I have the honor to remain,

Your friend and ob't serv't,

T. H. Watts,

Governor of Alabama.

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1864 Donation of 8th AL Flag to Gov. Watts