Cavalry Flags

Originally, Union forces divided cavalry units up among corps, which were largely infantry with artillery support. I lowcver, combat soon taught them that cavalry was best used independently; and each army soon adopted cavalry corps, marked by their nu n flags.

According to General Orders No. i it), 30 April t8fu, in the Army of the Potomac, the Cavalry Reserve headquarters was to have a yellow rectangular flag with a blue St. Andrew's cross; the 1st Brigade, a blue star; and the 2d Brigade, two stars. General Orders No. 53, May 1863, gave a yellow swallow-tailed guidon with white crossed sabres to the Cavalry Corps headquarters. Its formations used

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.

guidons of their own design, although most were made in the regulation horizontally halved form, red over white, with the division number in the opposite colour on each bar. Other units divided their guidons into three triangles—white on the hoist, blue on the top, and red on the bottom, A pair of crossed sabres was applied to the white triangle, while gold stars were often painted in the other two.

On 1 August 18(14 a full system of Army of the Potomac Cavalry Corps colours was approved. 11 was very smilar to ihosc used by the Army's other corps, with crossed sabres substituted for the corps badges,

Hut tie honours h ere often placed on headquarters flags as « ell as unit flags, although this was not strictly according to orders. This photograph of Major-General David H. Hirney, who commanded the tst Division, III Corps (bottom, centre, with two medals on his chcst) shows both the corps headquarters flag and the division headquarters flag. The latter has battle honours, one for Chancellorsville to the right of the lozenge, painted on it in scrolls. (US Army Military History Institute)

complete with a dark blue swallow-tailed guidon for the corps headquarters, white and blue rectangular flags for the division headquarters, and pointed guidons for brigades.

On 26 April 1864 General Orders No. 62, Department of the Cumberland, prescribed a system of flags for its cavalry corps. The corps headquarters had a red, white, and blue flag similar to the French tricolour, with a large pair of gold crossed sabres extending over all three bars, and fringed in gold. The first and third divisions had white rectangular flags, the first with red crossed sabres and a blue number 1, the third with blue crossed sabres and a red number 3, The second division had a blue flag with white crossed sabres and a red number 2. Brigades received guidons generally following the Army of the Potomac corps flag system.

General Orders No. 3, 24 March 1864, in the Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi, produced a different system of flags for that corps' seven divisions. All of its formations had sw allow -tail guidons, that for the headquarters being red with yellow crossed sabres, while the divisions had white guidons with dark blue crossed sabres and the division number in red both above and below the sabres.

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