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Identified Confederate First National Flag of the 12th Virginia Infantry

Identified Confederate First National Flag of the 12th Virginia Infantry – This flag was given as a wedding present, in the 1950s , by an elderly descendant of two Petersburg citizens, Edward and John Bain. The two Bain brothers both enlisted in the famed 12th Virginia Infantry, at the onset of the Civil War. Both Bains served throughout the entire war, sustaining wounds as well as enduring the trials associated with being POWs in Union prison compounds. At the start of the war, the 12th Va. was organized at Norfolk, Virginia, in May, 1861, using the 4th Battalion Virginia Volunteers as its nucleus. Its members were from Petersburg, Richmond, Hicksford, and Norfolk. The regiment was assigned to General Mahone’s and Weisiger’s Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia. It participated in many conflicts from Seven Pines to Cold Harbor, then was involved in the Petersburg siege south of the James River and the Appomattox Campaign. This unit totaled 691 effectives in June, 1862, and sustained 23 casualties at Oak Grove, 69 at Second Manassas, 39 during the Maryland Campaign, 1 at Fredericksburg, and 86 at Chancellorsville. Of the 348 engaged at Gettysburg, only four percent were disabled. It surrendered 12 officers and 177 men. The field officers were Colonels Everard M. Feild and David A. Weisiger; Lieutenant Colonels John R. Lewellen and Fielding L. Taylor; and Majors Edgar L. Brockett, Richard W. Jones, and John P. May. Future Virginia governor William Hodges Mann served in the 12th Virginia. He would be the last governor of Virginia who had fought in the Civil War.

During its first period of duty, the 12th Va. used this flag as a regimental marker, perhaps at the entry to their commanding officer’s tent. Its diminutive size is indicative of such use. Upon the evacuation of the Norfolk and Portsmouth areas, by Confederate forces, ceding control to the Union Army, the 12th Va. returned briefly, to the Petersburg area, where the Bains left their unit’s flag with their family on High Street, where it apparently remained until the mid-50s.

This rare flag measures approximately 36″ x 28″ and is in overall good condition, with the exception of several insect nips, evenly scattered throughout the flag. It was constructed of wool bunting, with five pointed cotton stars sewn to both sides of the blue canton. The colors remain bright and vivid. This flag was obtained directly from the family who received it as a wedding gift, over 60 years ago – SOLD

 

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