Only six weeks in existence, and never having seen action, the 125th Pennsylvania bivouacked on the farm of George Line the night before the battle of Antietam. The next day the 125th advanced to the Dunker Church area where they advanced. Color Sergeant George Simpson was killed and a second, third and fourth man were casualties when they took the flag forward. At this time, Sergeant W. W. Greenland of Company C took the flag and carried it to the rear of the nearest battery, Monroe’s First Rhode Island. He was accompanied by the Company Commander, William Wallace. There the regiment rallied and defended the battery for the remainder of the fighting.
George Simpson’s brother was shot in the breast and was taken from the field shortly after George was shot. He survived but suffered from the effects of the injury until his death years later. The regiment decided to honor George on it’s monument and the flag was kept in storage until the dedication on September 17, 1904, stained with George’s blood.