The N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh has one of the nation’s largest collections of Confederate flags. Conservation of these banners requires specialized textile treatment, costing approximately $7,500 per flag.
The 26th Regiment N.C. Troops, Reactivated, the state’s largest Civil War re-enactment group, has helped fund this need. On Dec. 12, 2009, the group unveiled the newly conserved battle flag of the 47th Regiment N.C. Troops during a dedication ceremony at the museum. The 26th Regiment raised the funds necessary to restore this historic artifact.
The 47th Regiment’s colors were captured at the Battle of Hatcher’s Run in Virginia on Oct. 27, 1864, by Sgt. Daniel Murphy of the 19th Regiment Mass. Volunteer Infantry. The flag was sent to the U.S. War Department in Washington, D.C., and returned to North Carolina in 1905.
“Since its return to North Carolina in 1905, the battle flag of the 47th N.C. Troops has remained in storage and could not be displayed due to its condition,” says Tom Belton, Curator of Military History. “With the support of the 26th Regiment N.C. Troops, who spearheaded a conservation drive, we can now include this important North Carolina artifact in upcoming exhibits.”
This Confederate flag and others are being conserved in preparation for the N.C. Civil War Sesquicentennial. From 2011 to 2015, exhibits and programs will be presented in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in North Carolina.
The restored 47th Regiment banner is an Army of Northern Virginia pattern with “47 NC” painted in the center. It was issued as a replacement for the regiment’s colors captured by the 12th New Jersey Infantry at the Battle of Gettysburg.
“This is the third flag project completed by the 26th Regiment N.C. Troops for the Museum of History,” says Skip Smith, colonel of the 26th Regiment. “With the help of many individuals and groups across the state, such as 47th Regiment N.C. State Troops, Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) Camp #166 in Wake Forest, we were able to complete the fund-raising for this project. It is our honor to partner with the Museum of History to help conserve our state’s battle flags.”
Gary Lee Hall, Lt. Cmdr. of the 47th Regiment SCV Camp, adds that many members of the 47th Regiment N.C. Troops were from the Wake Forest area. “We actually have one direct descendant of the 47th Regiment in our camp. We appreciate the opportunity to help with conservation of the flag and to honor the men of the 47th Regiment.”
The 26th Regiment has begun its 2010 Preservation Project: the battle flag of the 22nd Regiment N.C. Troops. The organization has inspired several other Civil War re-enactment and remembrance groups to adopt other flags in the museum collection.
For details about the Museum of History, call 919-807-7900 or access ncmuseumofhistory.org or Facebook. To learn more about the 26th Regiment N.C. Troops, Reactivated, go to www.26nc.org. For information about the N.C. Civil War Sesquicentennial, access www.ncculture.com.
The Museum of History is located at 5 E. Edenton St., across from the State Capitol. Parking is available in the lot across Wilmington Street. The museum is part of the Division of State History Museums, Office of Archives and History, an agency of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, www.ncculture.com.