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Lot 1459


In late 1861, General Beauregard and Joseph E. Johnston introduced the design of the now famous “Confederate Battle Flag” to the forces in Virginia. Not long thereafter, this design spread to other Confederate forces, primarily as a result of the initiatives of Beauregard and Johnston. When Beauregard was transferred to Mississippi, in early 1862, he attempted to supplant existing flags with the “battle flag” he had introduced in Virginia months earlier. Three contracts were entered into with sail maker and ship’s chandler, Henry Cassidy of New Orleans, for a total of 132 battle flags, to be delivered in three lots, in February and March of 1862. The first and the third lots included, respectively, 30 and 31 infantry size battle flags as well as 12 each and 8 each of battle flags of the artillery size and cavalry size flags respectively. Although manufactured branch specific in terms of their size, the flags would be issued indiscriminately to the infantry and artillery, of the army, as needed. This flag, discovered near Bristol, Virginia, a number of years ago, is a wonderful example of one of Cassidy’s Army of Tennessee infantry flags. The shape, the area where a large pink border was around the flag, and the twelve, six-pointed stars, indicate that this is the second pattern flag of those delivered by Cassidy. The first examples had been smaller and squarer, of the type introduced into the western theater by General Beauregard, after he was transferred from Virginia in February, 1862. These flags follow the same basic pattern as those first issued to the Army of Northern Virginia in November 1861. These flags were usually made of wool bunting rather than silk, which was found to wear too quickly under campaign conditions. As with most extant Cassidy made flags, this battle flag was made with a field composed of a red cotton-wool warp/weft field, traversed by a wide, dark blue, woolen St. Andrew’s cross, edged on its sides with strips of white cotton. Twelve white, six pointed, silk stars are sewn at 4 - 1/2” intervals on both sides of the flag. CONDITION: The cloth of this flag is in solid condition and still exhibits brilliant colors. As with most of the Cassidy Army of Tennessee flags that are known, the original pink silk border fringe is are no longer present. The edges of the flag are strong, with the exception of the flag’s corners which are somewhat ragged. Only five of this pattern flag are extant at the Confederate Memorial Hall, New Orleans, and at the Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond Virginia. Only two are known in private hands, this being one of them. This exceedingly rare and highly desirable flag was examined and authenticated by noted West Point curator, Les Jensen and is the only Confederate Army of the Mississippi (afterward the Confederate Army of Tennessee) flags available on the private market. PROVENANCE: Former Battleground Antiques, ex. Joseph Allison collection. BMThis is not a standard shippable item and will require 3rd party shipping or pickup arrangements to be made. Condition: VERY GOOD. Dimensions: FRAME: 40" X 72 - 1/2" X 3".

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Estimate $40,000 - $60,000Dec 10, 2019
Starting Bid $20,000
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Ships fromDenver, PA, US
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