Sixth Corps, First Division
Headquarters Flag

April 2, 2003

On a bright spring Wednesday my wife and I travelled up to the U.S. Army Military History Institute in Carlisle, Pa. We had no appointment but we had learned that this flag was preserved there and we hoped only that we could make a date to see it on a future visit. To make a long story short, the museum's director and his staff went very much out of their way to accomodate us that very day. Their warmth and hospitality made a big impression and we thank them for the chance to see and photograph the flag..

This is the very flag that my great-great grandfather marched behind 140 years ago. The hair stood up on the back of my neck and I had a lump in my throat the size of a basketball when they opened the box and lifted it out. It was "preserved" about thirty years ago by being sandwiched between two layers of netting and then zigzag stitched. This and other flags are scheduled to be "re-conserved" in the near future. They will remove the zig zag stitching and do other things to make sure the flag lasts for many more years to come. While it's at the conservation workshop it will not be available for viewing, so these photos will have to last us for a few years.

Below are six pictures that document various aspects of the original flag. We are copying this flag to be carried on the march.
Click on each thumbnail to see a larger version of the image.
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This is the overal view of the flag (and my sleeve, which spoiled the full image). The pole edge would be to your right as you view this. This answers the question about when they used the St. Andrews cross vs the Greek cross. A close up of one arm of the cross. Closeup showing the reconstructed canvas "sleeve" which originally held a rope. The rope had a loop on each end which was then tied to the flagstaff.
Closeup showing the radius of the curve inside the joint between two arms of the cross. Closeup of the top edge of the flag, showing the color shifts between white tissue paper, the netting all by itself and the flag field beneath the netting. I've tried to color correct to "remove" the netting but haven't been very satisfied with the results. The field of the flag was unbleached wool bunting so the original color was probably a very light tan. These are the hand written battle honors which were archived with the flag at USMHI. Scroll down to read a transcription.

Battle Honors affixed to this flag:

Headquarters Flag 1st Division 6th Corps
Army of the Potomac Brig. Gen H.G. Wright
From June 22th 1863
To June 4th 1864

Brig. Gen. David C. Russell
From June 9th 1864
To Sept 19th 1864 killed.

Presented by Henry R. Dalton. Asst. Adjt. Gen of Div.

Gettysburg July 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 1863
Rappahannock Station Nov 7th 1863
Wilderness May 4th fth 6th 1864
Spotsylvania Courthouse May 9th 10th 11th 12th 1864
Cold Harbor June 1st 2nd 3rd - 12th 1864
Petersburg June 19th 1864
Reams Station July 1st 1864
Fort Stevens (Washington) July 12th 1864
Winchester Sept 19 1864


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