Headquarters Pennant Army of the Potomac July 1863

Flags that are documented as having actually been present at a crucial moment in history are very rare, but Brig. Gen. Webb's Headquarters Pennant is one of them. This was the flag flown at the Headquarters of 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, commanded by Brig. Gen. Alexander Stewart Webb. The brigade, numbering some 1,220 men, was made up of four Pennsylvania infantry regiments: the 69th, 71st, 72nd, and 106th. On July 3, 1863, the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, the brigade held a position on Cemetery Ridge near "the copse of trees," a position which was to become the focal point of the Confederate assault later known to history as "Pickett's Charge." The brigade was organized in two lines, with the 69th and 71st Regiments to the fore, posted behind a stone wall and breastwork, while the rest of the brigade was in the depth position, some 40 yards (37m) to the rear, on the ridge overlooking them. The Confederates of Pickett's Division (1st Corps, Army of North Virginia), led by Gen. Armistead, reached the stone wall, but got no further. Withering fire from the ridge and from the Rebel right flank (from regiments of Colonel Norman Hall's 3rd Brigade) broke the attack. This flag was carried at that action: the high watermark of the Confederacy.

Soon after the Battle of Gettysburg the flag was placed in safe-keeping at the Union League of Philadelphia, in whose hands it still remains.

Attract courtesy of The Union league ol Philattfilphm

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