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Lot #205
Battle of Cedar Creek Confederate Battle Flag Relic - Only Known Example!

Only known fragment of the Confederate battle flag of the 2nd South Carolina Infantry Regiment, captured at Cedar Creek

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Estimate: $4000+
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Only known fragment of the Confederate battle flag of the 2nd South Carolina Infantry Regiment, captured at Cedar Creek

Extraordinary swatch cut from the battle flag of the 2nd South Carolina: a neatly cut segment from a somewhat coarsely woven flag, consisting of a swatch of blue from one of the legs of the saltire, a single white five-pointed star, a section of white cloth tape edging, and a portion of the red field with the smudged remnants of the "...LL" of the stenciled Malvern Hill battle honor. The fragment is encased in a finely crafted modern frame that measures 28.5 x 20.5, and also houses a November 17, 1864, letter written by Colonel Horace G. Thomas, US Veterans Reserve Corps. Writing to the officers of the Eagle Hose Company of Buffalo, New York, (a volunteer fire company), Thomas presents the fragment, describing how he cut it from the flag while it was at the War Department under the care of the "officer who has charge of 'Captured Rebel Flags' and other trophies of the war." In part: "I have the honor to transmit herewith a piece of the 'Rebel Flag' captured by Col. Geo. M. Love of the 116th Regt. N.Y. Vols. at the Battle of Cedar Creek, Va., Oct. 19th 1864."

Also housed in the frame is a carte-de-visite of George Maltby Love in the double-breasted frock coat of a Brigadier General and wearing his Medal of Honor. George Maltby Love was credited with the capture of the battle flag of the 2nd South Carolina at the battle at Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864, and was subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. Love was affiliated with the Eagle Hose Company and evidently Colonel Thomas (either on his own or at Love's request) wanted to send a piece of the famous flag to Love's friends as a memento. Attached to the rear of the frame is an 1899 letter from Pierce & Zahn of Denver, Colorado, to noted Civil War veteran and collector James W. Eldridge offering the fragment for sale and relating that the Eagle Hose Company had disbanded and presented the fragment to an "R. Le Bert" (or "Le Beuf"). This is the only known surviving fragment of the 2nd South Carolina battle flag and is a fabulous, well-documented Civil War rarity.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #680 - Ended December 06, 2023