Flag: 40th Alabama Infantry
The first flag of the 40th Alabama Infantry was a large silk flag of unknown design. It was presented to the regiment on September 9, 1862 at Camp Marshall Austil near Mobile. The presentation was made by William Jemison and the flag was received by Colonel Augustus A. Coleman. This flag was captured at the fall of Vicksburg. While at Vicksburg the regiment received a second flag which was not captured. This flag (86.1886.1) was hidden to prevent its capture and remained with the regiment until they received a new Hardee pattern flag at Demopolis in October 1863. The Vicksburg flag was apparently retained by Colonel John H. Higley who returned to Mobile after the war. The flag was prominently displayed at several reunions. By 1904, Joseph Cady of Mobile had somehow gained possession of the flag. In a letter dated August 15, 1904, Cady claimed
that the flag had been given to him by Higley. However, an earlier letter (June 12,
1903) to Judge T. W. Coleman states that the flag was kept by Higley until his
death and that Cady had somehow acquired possession of it. Beginning in June
1903, Dr. Owen, Director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History,
began writing Joe Cady requesting that he donate the flag to the Department.
However, despite Owen's pleas and those of others, Cady refused to comply.
Upon Cady's death the flag was returned to Marshall Higley (son of Colonel John
H. Higley) who sent it to the Department by express on May 24, 1913.
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Updated: October 25, 2006