The Army Of The Potomac

As the Union's field armies grew in size, various of their commanders attempted to make units easy to identify in the field through systems of unique flags carried by each formation and unit. The Army of the Potomac's General Orders No. 102 was issued 24 March 1862, under Major-General George B. McClellan's direction, and gave the Union Army its first comprehensive army-wide flag designating system.

According to the sections which provided instructions on flags, the army's general headquarters would be marked by a plain national flag. Corps headquarters would have a national flag with a small square flag, of a di fie rent colour or set of colours, on the same staff under the national flag. The I Corps flag was to be red; II Corps, blue; III Corps, blue and red in vertical halves; and IV Corps, blue and red in horizontal halves.

All divisions had the same size flags, fi ft. long and 5 ft, wide. The first division of an army corps had a red flag; the second division blue; the third division a vertically divided red and blue flag (contemporary illustrations show that the red half was on the hoist side and the blue on the fly); and the fourth division a horizontally divided red and blue flag.

in fact, however, period writers do not mention any fourth divisions or their flags in the Army of the Potomac for the period. Colonel Charles Wainwright jotted this description in his diary only two days after the new order setting up the flag system was issued: 'One of the first (orders) prescribes the powers of corps commanders, and also designates flags for each headquarters. First Division's ji/r] will carry a red flag ft by 5; Second Division's blue; Third Division's red and blue vertical. Ours being the Second will have a blue flag.'

The brigades within each division were marked by different flags, each the same size as the division headquarters flag. Within each first division, the first brigade had a red and white flag in vertical stripes; the second, vertical white, red, and white stripes; and the third, vertical red, white, and red stripes.

The colour guard of the j6th Massachusetts 1 olunteer I11 fan try Regiment hold their 1 veil-worn colours in this picture dating from late in thenar. The two general guides hold their camp colours on either end of the line; these would have flown ¡?t either Hank of the regiment to mark its position. (LS Army Milium History Institute)

r. , . ¿3

Within each corps' second division, the first brigade had a vertical striped blue and white Hag; the second brigade had vertical white, blue, and white stripes; the third, vertical blue, white, and blue stripes.

The same sized flags were used by brigade headquarters in each corps' third division. The first brigade had vertical red, white, and blue stripes; the second, vertical red, blue, and white stripes; and the third, vertical white, red, and blue stripes.

Among corps with a fourth division, the first brigade had horizontal red, white, and blue stripes; the second, horizontal red, hlue, and white stripes; and the third, horizontal white, red, and blue stripes.

Within each brigade, each regiment was to carry in addition to its national and regimental colours a copy of the brigade headquarters flag with the numbers i, 2, 3 or 4 on it, according to the unit's ranking on the brigade table of organization. White numbers were used on coloured bars and coloured numbers (which often appear to have been red) on white bars. Actual regimental flags measure between pair of regimental colours in action, 27 June 1X62, during the Peninsula r Campaign. The national colour is topped with an eagle while the regimental colour has :t Spike tinial. They are both carried in the front and centre of the regimental front.

54 and 56 inches on the hoist and between 70 and 72 inches on the fly.

Artillery batteries were to carry the colours of the division to which they belonged as well as a right-angled triangular flag 6 ft, long and 3 ft. wide at the start'. Cavalry units were to have the same as the artillery, although their flag was to be swallow-tailed. Engineer units had a white disc of a diameter equal to one third of its width on the flag of the division to which the unit was assigned.

The Regular Brigade had a white star on a red flag, the regimental number being in the middle of the star. This was changed by General Order No. 119, 30 April 1862, to a 'blue flag with a white star in the center'. In fact, an original flag carried in the brigade is at the Chapel of St. Cornelius the Centurion, Ft. Jay, New York. It is only 18 inches long on the hoist and 3 ft. on the fly, with a white star within an oval green laurel wreath. This flag, carried during the Peninsular Campaign, became the headquarters (lag of the 2d Division, Provisional V Corps, in May 1862 when the brigade was made part of that corps.

I Iospitals were distinguished by a yellow (lag. As described above, hospital flags were also marked with a Roman letter II in green, and small rectangular guidons of yellow edged with green were used to pair of regimental colours in action, 27 June 1X62, during the Peninsula r Campaign. The national colour is topped with an eagle while the regimental colour has :t Spike tinial. They are both carried in the front and centre of the regimental front.

Mine Creek BattlefieldCincinatti Depot Flags

The regimental colour of the ist I etcran Reserve dorps Regiment conforms in design to those made b y Longly & Bros, under Quartermaster Department contract through the Cincinnati Depot. The iHth Veteran

Reserve C'orps Regiment regimental colour, however. Ha.* made by Horstmann Bros, for the Philadelphia Depot and differs slightly in design. (West Point Museum Collections)

The regimental colour of the ist I etcran Reserve dorps Regiment conforms in design to those made b y Longly & Bros, under Quartermaster Department contract through the Cincinnati Depot. The iHth Veteran

Reserve C'orps Regiment regimental colour, however. Ha.* made by Horstmann Bros, for the Philadelphia Depot and differs slightly in design. (West Point Museum Collections)

mark the way from the front line to the field hospitals. Subsistence depots were designated by a green flag.

These Hags were attached to a portable staff 14 feet long, in two joints, and were supposed to be habitually displayed in front of the headquarters which they designated. On the march they were to be carried near the unit commander.

These orders were modified by General Orders No. 110, 26 March 1862:

'Third Army Corps: National flag with a small square red and blue (instead of blue and red) flag, vertical, beneath.

'Fourth Army Corps: National flag with a small square red and blue (instead of blue and red) flag, horizontal, beneath.'

They were further modified in General Orders No. 119, 30 April 1862, which gave the cavalry reserve headquarters a yellow flag 6 ft. long and 5 ft. wide, with two blue stripes 6 inches in width, crossing

The regimental colour hearers for the tilth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment, -li the end of the war it was quite popular for units to have their colours photographed so that members could keep the images as mementoes of their service. .\ote the spcarpoint finial on the regimental colour. (Ronn Palm Collection)

diagonally. The reserve's first brigade had a yellow flag the same size, with one blue star in the centre, while the second brigade had the same flag with two blue stars in the centre. The artillery reserve headquarters received a similar sized red flag w ith a w hite star in the centre, while the brigade of regular infantry received a blue flag of the same size with a white star in the centre.

An additional flag was made regulation by General Orders No. 152, 9 August 1862: 'The main (ordnance) depot for the army w ill be designated by a crimson flag, marked "Ordnance Depot, U.S.A.'"

Although the system was all-inclusive, there is some question as to what degree it was actually practised. Regiments tended to get transferred between brigades quite often, meaning that they had to change flags just as often. Moreover, there was bound to be less loyalty to such an arbitrary and abstract flag than to the elaborate regimental and national colours which were distinguished with the unit's actual designation. Even so, there arc a number of surviving examples of regimental designating flags, so many must have seen actual use.

On 25 November 1862, after the V Corps was added to the Army of the Potomac, BrigadierGeneral Daniel Butterfield of that corps wrote to army headquarters: 'In the order designating flags for

West Point Museum Flags

.4 pre-tS6j regimental Held than after iS6j. (West colour for the 5th US Point,Museum

Artillery Regiment, with Collections) the design smaller in the

.4 pre-tS6j regimental Held than after iS6j. (West colour for the 5th US Point,Museum

Artillery Regiment, with Collections) the design smaller in the

Army Corps (orders 102 and 110, Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, March 1862) no flag has been designated for the Fifth Corps.

*I would respectfully request that a flag be designated as shown in the following sketch. For the Fifth Army Corps, viz: Red w ith a Greek Cross in the center, under the national flag as per General Orders No. 102, Army of the Potomac, and that the Quartermaster's Department be directed to furnish the same.'

Butterficld's sketch did not in fact show a Greek cross, but a cross botonee, w hich is a form of Greek cross save that each arm ends in a trefoil bud.

On 7 February 1863, according to General Orders No. 10, the corps headquarters flags were changed to blue swallow-tailed guidons 6 ft. on the fly by 2 ft, on the hoist, each with a white cross bearing the corps number in red Roman numerals in the centre of the cross. According to the order, the cross w as to be a 'Maltese cross', but actual examples show it to have been the cross botonee that Butterfield, w ho designed the corps badges later used in the Army of the Potomac, earlier suggested for the V Corps.

When Major-General Joseph Hooker took over the demoralized Army of the Potomac after the defeat at Frcdcricksburg and its 'mud march', he began to restore the army's morale. In part he did this through a system of badges unique to each division of each corps, worn on the soldier's hat or coat breast. These unique badges were adapted to a revised system of identification flags carried by divisions and brigades which was made official by General Orders No. 53, dated 12 May 1863.

The cavalry corps headquarters w as now to carry a flag of the same size and shape as had been used by infantry corps, but all in yellow with white crossed sabres on its centre. The artillery reserve headquarters flag was to be the same, but in red with white crossed cannon in its centre.

Each division headquarters was to fly a different style flag. Each corps' first division was to have a white rectangular flag with a red corps badge in its centre; the second division had a blue flag with a w hite corps badge; the third, a w hite flag w ith a blue corps badge.

The VI Corps' 'light division' had a white rectangular flag, with a green Greek cross in its centre.

The brigades in each corps' first division had a white triangular flag with a red corps badge in the centre. The first brigade simply carried this colour; the second brigade had an additional 6-inch-widc blue stripe next to the staff; the third, a 4^-inch blue border all around the flag. According to Billings, 'Whenever there was a fourth brigade, it was designated by a triangular block of color in each corner of the flag.'

The brigades of each corps' second division had a blue triangular flag with a white corps badge in the centre. The individual brigade flags used the same system as in the first division, the stripes and borders being red instead of blue.

The brigades of each corps' third division had a white triangular flag with a blue corps badge in the centre. Individual brigade flags used the same system as the first division, the stripe and borders being red.

Although not mentioned in the initial order, soon after it was issued corps artillery headquarters adopted a red brigade flag w ith the corps badge in w hite in its centre. The corps quartermaster's headquarters had a blue swallow-tailed guidon the same size as the brigade flags with diagonal w hite stripes parallel w ith the sw allow tails and ending at the top and bottom of the flag at the staff.

This system of flags to designate specific head-

quarters in the Army of the Potomac continued in use through the army's existence.

Corps Budges of the

Army of the Potomac, 1863

Corps Badge

I A sphere

IF A trefoil

III A lozenge

V A Maltese cross

VI A (Greek) cross

IX* A shield with a figure y in the centre, crossed with a fouled anchor and cannon

A four-has tinned fort A crescent, points up A five-pointed star ('Served with the Army of the Potomac at one time or another hut was not always a member of that army.)

The IX Corps adopted a fairly complicated badge which did not lend itself to the simple outline style of badge used by the other corps. It involved a cannon crossing a fouled anchor on a shield. Therefore, when the IX Corps adopted its flags to conform with the Army of the Potomac system on 1 August 1864, it called for flags that were slightly more elaborate than those used by the other corps. The headquarters'

blue swallow-tailed guidon had a white shield with a red cannon crossing a blue anchor. The first division's blue shield had a blue cannon crossing a white anchor; the second division's white shield had a red cannon crossing a blue anchor; and the third division's blue shield had a white cannon crossing a red anchor.

Towards the end of the war, casualties forced units to be merged, even at corps level. On 26 November 1864 the merger of troops of the remainder of I Corps into Third Division, V Corps resulted in General Orders No. 10 which read in part, 'The Division flag will be the flag now authorized, with a circular belt surrounding the corps, insignia and of the same color.'

On 25 March 1864 the First Division, III Corps became the Third Division, II Corps, and the Second Division, III Corps became the Fourth Division, II Corps. However, Major-General A. A. Humphries, last commander of II Corps, later wrote, 'No power on earth could consolidate or fuse the Third with the Second, and the authorities were at length compelled to let the Old Third wear their Old Third insignia. The men would not discard the Lozenge or Diamond, and Mott's division headquarters flag, The Old Third, bore a white Trefoil on a blue Diamond or Lozenge on its swallow-tail.'

(post-war Quartermaster Department illustration of the regulation artillery-regimental colour.

The regimental colour of the tst L:S Artillery Regiment fits the style of colours made in iS6y and afterwards. (West Point M us rum Collections)

(post-war Quartermaster Department illustration of the regulation artillery-regimental colour.

The regimental colour of the tst L:S Artillery Regiment fits the style of colours made in iS6y and afterwards. (West Point M us rum Collections)

24th Massachusetts Regiment Cavalry Flag
The standard of the 2d US Cavalry Regiment. (West Point Museum Collections)

The Army of the James

The Army of the James was created on 2 April 1864 under Major-General Benjamin F. Butler with the purpose of attacking Richmond from the South. It was created with the X and XVIII Corps, w hich were discontinued on 3 December 1864 when the XXIV and XXV Corps replaced them.

On 3 May 1864 Army headquarters set up a fairly simple system of (lag identification through division level. Headquarters used a 6ft.-squarc flag divided horizontally red over blue; a large white five-pointed star w as placed centrally on the field. The tw o colours in the field represented the two corps under its command.

According to an order sent to the X Corps commander on 3 May 1864 from the headquarters of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina: 'By direction of the commanding general of the department, 1 have the honor to submit the following explanation of the battle-flags to be used by the troops of this command during the coming campaign: The flag carried by department headquarters will be f> feet square, two horizontal bars, upper bar red, lower bar blue, with a white star in the center; the flag carried by the headquarters Eighteenth Army Corps w ill be 6 feci square, blood red, w ith number "18" in the center; First Division flag, same size, blood red, with a single w hite star in the center; Second Division flag, same size and color, with two white stars in the center; Third Division flag, same size and color, with three white stars in the center. The flag carried by the Tenth Army Corps w ill be 6 feet square, dark blue, with the number "to" in the center; First Division flag, same size and color, with a single white star in the center; Second Division flag, same size and color, with two white stars in the center; Third Division, same size and color, with three white stars in the center. Brigade colors will be furnished as soon as practicable.'

This system w as abandoned w hen the XXIV and XXV Corps replaced the original corps in the Army. Both of these corps used Army of the Potomac-stylc headquarters flags: dark blue swallow-tailed guidons, with a white corps badge and the corps number in red Roman numerals. The XXIV Corps badge was a heart, while that of the XXV Corps was a square. Their division flags were the same as in the Army of the Potomac at that time: white for the first and third divisions, and dark blue for the second division. The corps badge was placed on the field of each, red in the first division, w hite in the second division, and blue in the third division. Flag sizes in the two corps, however, varied. Division flags in the XXIV Corps were 4 ft. 6ins. on the hoist by 6 ft. In the XXV Corps they were only 2 ft. 7 ins. by 5 ft. 9 in.

The Department of the Cumberland

On 19 December 1^62 General Orders No. 41 was issued by the headquarters XIV" Corps and the Department of the Cumberland in Nashville, Tennessee, which divided the forces in the department into 'the center' or 'wings'. Brigades and divisions w ere assigned into these groups to be numbered from right to left, although referred to by commanders' names in operational reports.

The same order indicated a system of flags to identify the headquarters of these commands:

'III. Flags will be used to indicate the various headquarters, as follows: General headquarters—the National flag, 6 feet by 5, with a golden eagle below the stars, 2 feet from tip to tip. Right wing—a plain light crimson flag. Center—a plain light blue flag. Left wing —a plain pink flag. First Division, right wing^the flag of the wing, with one white star, 18 inches in diameter, the inner point 1 inch from the staff. Second Division, right wing—the flag of the wing, with two white stars, each 18 inches in diameter, the inner points i inch from the staff . Third Division, right wing—the Hag of the wing, w ith three white stars, each 18 inches in diameter, set in triangular form, the outside star t inch from the outer line of Hag. The division flags of the center and left wing will correspond with the above; that is to say, they w ill be the flags of the center or left w ing, as the case may be, and with one, two, or three white stars, each t8 inches in diameter, according as they represent the First, Second, or Third Divisions. The headquarters flags of all brigades will be the Hags of their divisions, with the number of the brigade in black, 8 inches long, in the center of each star. That of the brigade of regulars, however, w ill, instead of the white star and black number, have simply a golden star. The (lags of the w ings w ill be 6 feel on staff by 4 feel fly; those of divisions and brigades 5 feet by 3.

Charging cavalrymen in A regulation cavalry 1864 carry regulation guidon carried by an L

guidons. Troop. fH'csi Point

Museum Collections)

They will all be of a pattern to be furnished to the quartermaster's department. Artillery reserve a plain red flag, equilateral in shape, each side being 5 feet. Cavalry reserve—of the same shape as division flags, 3 feet fly by 5 on the staff, but of deep orange color. Divisions and brigades to be designated as in the infantry; that is, the First, Second, and Third Divisions by one, two, and three white stars respec-

■ is t7. ; ¿jt < i tively; the First, Second, and Third Brigades by black figures in each star. Engineer Corps- a white and blue flag, blue uppermost and running horizontally. Flag 5 feet on staff by 3 feet fly. Hospitals and ambulance depots — a light yellow flag, 3 feet square, for the hospitals and for the principal ambulance depot on a field of battle; 2 feet square for the lesser ones. Subsistence depots or store-houses—a plain light green flag, 3 feet square. Quartermaster's depots or store houses—same flag, with the letters Q.M.D. in white, 1 foot long.

'IV. All of these flags will be attached to a portable staff, 14 feet long, made in two joints, and will be habitually displayed in front of the tent, or from some prominent part of the house or vessel occupied by the officer, whose headquarters they are intended to designate; and on the march will be carried near his person.'

This system apparently failed, for General Orders No. 91, issued by the Department of the Cumberland headquarters on 25 April 1863, stated:

LIt having been found that the flags prescribed by General Orders, No. 41, from this headquarters, December ig, 1862, to designate the headquarters of the various brigades, divisions, and corps of this army, are not sufficiently marked to be readily distinguished from each other, those herein described will be substituted.

General headquarters The national flag, 6 feet by 5, with a golden eagle below the stars, 2 feet from tip to tip.

Fourteenth Army Corps A bright blue flag, 6 feet by 4, fringed, with black eagle in center, 2 feet from tip to tip, with the number "14" in black on shield, which shall be white.

Twentieth Army Corps A bright red flag, same as that for Fourteenth Army Corps, except the number on the shield, which shall be that of the corps. Twenty-first Army Corps A bright red, white, and blue flag (horizontal), same as that for Fourteenth Corps, except the number on the shield, which shall be that of the corps.

First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps The flag of the corps, except the eagle and fringe, with one black star, 18 inches in diameter, point 2 inches from staff. Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps The flag of the corps, except eagle and fringe, with two black stars, each 18 inches in diameter, inner point 2 inches from staff.

Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps The flag of the corps, except eagle and fringe, with three black stars, each 18 inches in diameter, set equally along staff, the inner point being 2 inches from staff". Fourth Division, Fourteenth Army Corps The flag of the corps, except eagle and fringe, with four black stars, each 18 inches in diameter, three of them along

Army Flags Regulation

This regulation cavalry guidon was carried by the Cleveland Guards, officially known as L Troop, ist Rhode Island Cavalry Regiment. (North Carolina Museum of History)

The iStoj headquarters Hag of the Department of the Cumberland measures 4 by Vj ft. The painted eagle is gold, as are the letters D C'fliest Point Museum Collections)

The iStoj headquarters Hag of the Department of the Cumberland measures 4 by Vj ft. The painted eagle is gold, as are the letters D C'fliest Point Museum Collections)

stall as before, the other set equally on the Hag. Fifth Division, Fourteenth Army Corps The flag of the corps, except eagle and fringe, with five black stars, cach 18 inches in diameter, three of them along the start, the other two equally distributed on flag. The division flags of the Twentieth and Twenty-first Army Corps will correspond with the above, that is, the corps flags (without eagle and fringe), with one, two, three. See., stars, according as they represent the first, second, third, &c., divisions. The headquarters flags of all brigades will be the flags of their divisions, with the number of the brigade in white, 8 inches long, in center of cach star. The Regular brigade will have the corps and division flag, but the stars shall be golden instead of black. Artillery reserve Two bright red flags, each 4 feet by 2, one above the other.

Batteries Each battery shall have a small flag, corps colors, and arrangement (but 1 foot 6 inches on staff", by 2 feet fly), with the letters and numbers of the battery inscribed thereon in black, 4 inches long, (hus, "B, First Ohio."

Cavalry headquarters A bright red, white, and blue flag, 6 feet by 4, colors running vertically, red outermost.

First Cavalry Division A bright red, white, and blue flag, 6 feet by 4, like last, with one star, 18 inches in diameter, black, the point 2 inches from staff . Second Cavalry Division Same as last, except two black stars, each 18 inches in diameter.

'As for infantry, the headquarters flags of brigades will be the flags of divisions, with the number of the brigade in black, 8 inches long. Engineer Corps A white and blue flag, blue uppermost, and running horizontally, f> feet by 4. Hospitals and ambulance depots A light yellow flag, 3 feet by 3, for hospitals and the principal ambulance depot on the field of battle, 2 feet square for the lesser ones.

Subsistence depots and storehouses A plain light green flag, 3 feet square.

Quartermaster's depots or storehouses Same flag, with letters Q.M.D. in white, 1 foot long.

Ordnance department, general headquarters A bright green flag, 3 feet square, with two crossed cannon in white, set diagonally in a square of 3 feet, with a circular ribbon of 6 inches wide and 3 feet greatest diameter (or diameter of inner circle 2 feet), with the letters "U.S. Ordnance Department," in black, 4 inches long, on ribbon, and a streamer above flag, 1 foot on staff by 4 feet long, crimson color, with words "Chief of Ordnance" in black, 6 inches long. Division ordnance Same flag, with cannon and ribbon, but no streamer.'

The XIX Corps

The XIX Corps included all the troops stationed in the Department of the Gulf between 5 January 1863 and 20 March 1865. On 18 February 1863 Department headquarters issued General Orders No. 17 w hich designated unique flags within the Corps:

'III. The various headquarters of the Department of the Gulf w ill be designated by small flags or guidons, 4 feet square, attached to a lance 12 feet long, made in two joints, as follows:

William Loring Division Flag

William Mcllvaine, a soldier in the Army of the Potomac, sketched the headquarters of General Andrew Humphreys, jd Division, V Corps, near Falmouth, Virginia on jo March tXbj. The identifying Hag made regulation by General McClcllan is on the smaller flagpole. It is halved red and blue, thired towards the hoist and the blue towards the fly. (\ational Archives)

164th New York Volunteer Infantry

1: Regimental Colour: 164th NY Inf. Rept. 2: Standard, 2d US Cav. Kept. 3: Regimental Colour, 5th US Arty. Regt. Regimental Colour, artillery

Artillery Flag Army The Potomac Corps Flags

Designating flags, Army of the Potomac 1: 1st Bdc., 2d Div. of a Corps 2: 3d Bdd., 1st Div. of a Corps 3: 1st Bde., 4th Div. of a Corps 4: 11th Penn. Volunteer inf. Rcgt.

1: Headquarters, I Corps 2: 3d Bde., 2d Div., I Corps 3: Headquarters, II Corps 4: 3d Div., Ill Corps

Corps Army The Potomac

1: Headquarters, I Corps 2: 3d Bde., 2d Div., I Corps 3: Headquarters, II Corps 4: 3d Div., Ill Corps

Flag The PotomacArmy Corps

This elaborate flap marks the headquarters of the 2d Brigade, 4th Division, IX Corps, and da tes from 1XA4. Its stripes are, from hoist, green, blue, and red, with a red number '2' and a m hite shield. The anchor is blue and the cannon red. It measures 2% by 4 ft. fWcsf Point Museum Collections)

'The headquarters of the Nineteenth Army C»rps and the Department of the Gulf by a flag, with a white four-pointed star in the center; the figure 19, in red, in the star.

'Division headquarters, red, with a w hite four-pointed star in the center; the number of the division in black figures in the star.

'Brigade headquarters, blue, white and horizontal stripes of equal width, the number of the brigade in black figures in the white stripes.'

General Orders No. 11, dated 17 November 1864, indicated both the corps badge and a unique set of llags for the XIX Corps:

'The flags will be as follows: For the headquarters of the corps, blue swallow-tail, seventy-two inches in length by thirty-nine on staff', with white cross eighteen inches square. For the headquarters of di\isions, triangular, sixty-six inches in length by forty-four in staff, with cross fifteen inches square. First Division, red, with white cross; Second Division, blue, with white cross; Third Division, white, with blue cross. For the headquarters of brigade, rectangular, thirty-six inches in length by thirty on staff" with cross fifteen inches square. First Brigade, First Division, blue and white, horizontal (blue underneath), red cross; Second Brigade, First Division, blue and red, horizontal (blue underneath), with cross; Third Brigade, First Division, red and white, horizontal (red underneath), blue cross; First

Brigade, Sccond Division, blue and white, perpendicular (blue on staff), red cross; Second Brigade, Second Division, blue and red, perpendicular (blue on staff), white cross; Third Brigade, Second Division, red and white, perpendicular (red on staff), blue cross; Fourth Brigade, Second Division, blue and red, perpendicular (red on staff), white cross; First Brigade, Third Division, blue and white, diagonal (blue on staff), red cross; Second Brigade, Third Division, blue and red, diagonal (blue on staff), white cross; Third Brigade, Third Division, red and white, diagonal (red on staff), blue cross.'

The XXIII Corps

The XXIII Corps, created 27 April 1863 from troops in Kentucky in the Department of Ohio, also served in the Department of North Carolina until disbanded 1 August 1865. Special Field Orders No. 121, 25 September 1864, stated that:

'The badge of the Twenty-third Corps is an escutcheon in the form of the heraldic shield, all of whose proportions are determined by the width, as follows: The sides of the shield arc straight from the top for the distance of one-fourth the w idth of the shield. Each curved side is struck with the center at the lower point of the straight part of the opposite side and with a radius equal to the w idth ...

'The flags of the corps are as follows: For corps headquarters, a blue flag with a shield in the center of

Army The Potomac Flag

Although this .Army of the Potomac headquarters flag would appear to be that of the 2d Division, I C orps, with ii white disc on a hlue Held, there is no explanation for it being in the headquarters of Brigadier-General Samuel

W. Crawford, who commanded thejd Division, I Corps when this photograph was taken in iS6j. The old I Corps merged into the jd and 4th Divisions, VCorps, it) March 1864. (US Army Military History Institute)

Although this .Army of the Potomac headquarters flag would appear to be that of the 2d Division, I C orps, with ii white disc on a hlue Held, there is no explanation for it being in the headquarters of Brigadier-General Samuel

W. Crawford, who commanded thejd Division, I Corps when this photograph was taken in iS6j. The old I Corps merged into the jd and 4th Divisions, VCorps, it) March 1864. (US Army Military History Institute)

the form prescribed; the body of the shield divided into three panels, one panel at each principal angle of the shield; the upper left-hand panel red, the upper right-hand panel white, the lower panel blue, the whole surrounded by a gold outline one-twelfth as wide as the shield. For headquarters Second Division, the whole of the interior of the shield white, otherwise the same as the corps flag. For headquarters Third Division, the whole of the interior of the shield blue, otherwise the same as the corps Hag, For brigade headquarters, a flag similar to the division flag, but with smaller shields along the inner margin corresponding in number to the brigade. The artillery will wear the badge of the division to which the different batteries are respectively attached.'

According to one of its members, Major-General Jacob D. Cox, writing in 1887, the system of corps-wide Hags lasted throughout the corps' existence. 'The Corps Headquarters flag was a silk banner of dark Army blue color, with gold fringe, and the corps badge emblazoned in the center. The Division 1 leadquarters flags were, tsl Division, Blue silk banner, yellow worsted fringe, the shield with the same shape as the corps shield in outline & panels, but the panels red in the gold outline, id Division, Similar to the last with all the panels white, jd Division, Similar to last, with all the panels blue. The 3d DiV, flag shows only the gold frame of the shield, the panels being of the same blue silk as the flag.

'The Brigade Headquarters flags were of blue bunting without any fringe. They were of the same

The headquarters flags ol'the II Corps in 186 j. (Billings, Hardtack and Coffee^

Army The Potomac 2nd Corps Flags

ARTILLERY BRIGADE

2BRIGADE

3 R?BRIG-AOE

3 RDBRIGADE

4T*brigade:

style of" shield as the division flags, but the shield smaller, & instead of being placed in the center of the flag, as many shields used indicated the number of the brigade, and they were placed in the corner of the flag where the Union Jack [j*V| is in the National flag: Shields: 1st Div. Yellow frame, red panels; 2d Div. Yellow frame, white panels; 3d Div. Yellow frame, blue panels. The yellow frame of the shields on the brigade flags was usually made by tenacious yellow paint, the panels being of the red, white, or blue bunting, inserted in the blue flag.'

Third Division, Department of West Virginia

According to General Orders No. 7, issued March 1864 by the headquarters, Third Division, Department of West Virginia: 'I. I lereafter flags will be used to designate the different headquarters of this division, as follows.

'For the division: A three-striped red, white, and blue flag the stripes to be of width, running diagonally from top to bottom —red at top and white in center, five feet on the staff'and six feet fly. The division to be designated by three blue stars thirteen inches long on the white field, the inner corner of which to be live and one-half inches from the staff".

'The brigade flags will be the same as that of the division, with the number of the lirigadc in white, six inches long, in the center of each star. These flags to be attached to portable staff's twelve feet long, in two joints, and in the field Will be displayed at the quarters of the officers whose headquarters it is intended to designate, and on the march, will be carried near that person.'1

Major-Generut Winfield Scott Hancock, w earing a hat unit with one hand on the tree, stands in Iront of the headquarters flags of the II Corps, the blue swmUow^taU Hag and a smaller national colour. (US Army Military History Institute)

Major-Generut Winfield Scott Hancock, w earing a hat unit with one hand on the tree, stands in Iront of the headquarters flags of the II Corps, the blue swmUow^taU Hag and a smaller national colour. (US Army Military History Institute)

7 his 1864 dm >1 ing shows 11 hit c ting with tit her u red two III Corps headquarters lozenge for the ist Division flags, that of the corps or a blue lozenge for the 3d headquarters and the Division.

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