The 47th Alabama
Part of Taliaferro’s Brigade in Jackson’s Corps, the 47th Alabama lined the Hagerstown Pike to the right of Starke’s Louisianans. Facing elements of the Union Iron Brigade, the 47th was forced back towards the West Woods. During the heavy fighting in and around this position, Private Stanislas Beneaux, of Company E, 35th New York Volunteers, captured this flag during their advance – an event that was noted in Brig. Gen. Marsena Patrick’s official report issued after the battle. After the Civil War ended, this cotton flag with its 15 appliqued stars, was displayed at the Great Wardrobe Clothing Store in Watertown, New York before becoming a part of the New York State Battle Flag collection. During the 1862 Maryland Campaign, the 47th Alabama lost 10 killed and 35 wounded.
The 12th Georgia
Part of Trimble’s Brigade, the 12th Georgia held part of Jackson’s line in front of the Dunker Church during the morning Union attacks at Antietam. Captain James Rodgers, commanding the 12th, was struck dead by bullets that hit his hand, thigh, and head. This battle flag of the 12th Georgia includes the names of several color bearers who were killed during the tremendous fighting on the morning of September 17, 1862.
The 1st Texas
Part of John Bell Hood’s hard fighting Texas Brigade, the 1st Texas was sent into the Cornfield as part of a powerful counterattack on the morning of September 17th. Driving the Federal lines back northwards, the 1st Texas was later caught in a maelstrom of bullets and artillery shells that killed or wounded 186 men out of the 226 that they brought into the battle – a staggering 82.6% casualty rate. Eight different color bearers were shot down while carrying this flag in the Cornfield. Unfortunately for this proud regiment, this flag was captured during the unit’s withdrawal.
The 11th Alabama
Having participated in the capture of Harpers Ferry on September 15, 1862, the 11th Alabama, part of Wilcox’s Brigade, was part of R.H. Anderson’s reinforcement of D.H. Hill’s sagging line in the Sunken Road. Rushed forward to the Confederate right, the 11th Alabama suffered 3 killed and 26 wounded during the intense fight that also led to the capture of this flag by the 57th New York Infantry.
This flag, with its diagonal rip, has intrigued flag scholars for years. Could this be the Confederate battle flag that is seen in the famous photo of George McClellan and Abraham Lincoln after the battle? It matches the descriptions made of it by participants in that famous meeting.