Flag: 23rd Alabama Infantry
Catalogue No. 86.1884.1
(PN16368-16370)

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Provenance Reconstruction:

This flag was donated to the Alabama Department of Archives and History on June 11, 1903 by Mr. D. C. Byrne of Bay Minette, Alabama. Mr. Byrne had served as Adjutant of the 23rd Alabama Infantry. On May 16, 1905, Robert H. G. Gaines wrote Director Thomas Owen giving him the history of the flag. In addition to having served in the 6th Alabama Infantry and Waddell's Battery, Gaines had served in Co. K, 23rd Alabama Infantry and as the regiment's last flag bearer. According to Gaines' account, the "flag was made by the ladies of Camden and vicinity of their ante-bellum ball dresses." It was presented to the regiment by George Moye of Wilcox County "in the early days of March, 1864."

From the condition of the flag it is obvious that at some point it was cut up for souvenirs. In fact, two "souvenired " fragments were saved by Colonel Joseph B. Bibb and eventually donated to the Department in 1980 by Mrs. John Dandridge Bibb. At the time the flag was donated, D. C. Byrne explained that it was badly tattered and that he had "a lining or backing put on it to hold it together."

Sources:
       Curator's Object Files, Civil War Flags, Alabama Department of Archives and History.

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Updated: October 25, 2006