Flag: 26th Alabama Infantry
Catalogue No. 86.3942.1
(PN10106-10109)

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Provenance Reconstruction:

This flag is an Army of Northern Virginia, 3rd wool bunting issue. Flags of this issue were manufactured at the Richmond Depot between July 1862 and May 1864. On April 20, 1863, Colonel Edward Asbury O'Neal, 26th Alabama Infantry forwarded the regiment's old battle flag to the Governor of Alabama stating "The Government having issued to this Regiment a new flag, we respectfully ask that the old one may be deposited in the Archives of the State." Their new flag was captured on July 1, 1863 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This flag was issued to the regiment after the Gettysburg campaign and carried by them for the remainder of the war.

Following the surrender of the 26th Alabama Infantry at Greensboro, North Carolina in April 1865 the servant of Dr. Hayes, Brigade Surgeon wrapped the flag around his body and slipped through the Federal lines, thus saving the flag. How long the flag remained with Dr. Hayes is unknown, however, by September 21, 1900, it was in the possession of O'Neal's wife.

In November 1903, Dr. Thomas Owen, Director, Alabama Department of Archives and History, requested the donation of the flag from Mr. A.M. O'Neal. The date of donation is unknown, however, Owen's successor, Director Marie Bankhead Owen stated in an August 1943 letter that she had accepted the donation of the flag from Mrs. Syden O'Neal Dudley. The date of donation must post date Dr. Owen’s death on March 25, 1920 since Mrs. Owen became director following his demise.

Sources:
      Biggs, Greg. "Ragged Rags of Rebellion. The Flags of the Confederacy," an unpublished manuscript, Curator’s Files, Alabama Department of Archives and History.
      Curator’s Object Files, Civil War Flags, Alabama Department of Archives and History.
      Woodhead, Henry, editor. Echoes of Glory, Arms and Equipment of the Confederacy. Time Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia, 1991.

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Updated: October 25, 2006