More Information on the 2nd North Carolina Flag

Just got this from Greg Goodell at the Museum in Gettysburg. Enjoy!

The first 4 images are without the underlay. The last image shows it in place.

Third Bunting Issue Battle Flag of the 2 nd North Carolina Infantry
The park’s collection contains the third bunting issue flag of the 2 nd North Carolina Infantry. The flag has
the typical physical characteristics of third bunting issue flags produced by the Richmond Clothing
Bureau (RBC) from British-produced wool bunting for issuance to the Army of Northern Virginia. The red
field is of three-piece construction, with blue wool bunting saltier of three-piece construction placed in
the center of the red field. White cotton twill fimbriation lines the edges of the saltire, with the
remnants showing the characteristic “L” on each edge, which sewers formed by folding the cotton twill
prior to its application on the edges of the saltire. White cotton stars – from complete to ghosted
remnants – are placed in their characteristic locations in the saltire. Finally, the extant edges of the flag
are finished with folded white wool bunting and cotton canvas (the latter constituting the flag’s hoist
The unit designation of “2/N.C.” appears in the center of the flag in yellow. Battle honors for the
regiment appear in all four quadrants of the flag’s field in yellow and include: Mechanicsville; Cold
Harbor (Gaines’ Mill); Malvern Hill; Boonsboro; Sharpsburg (Antietam); Fredericksburg; and
Chancellorsville. Standing scholarship on the battle honors appearing these flags notes their being
painted in blue by artists under contract to the RBC by mid-1863. Close examination of this flag
confirms this – as the reverse of the flag shows that the yellow seen on the battle honors is an overpaint
of the original blue and the original blue period of each battle honor can be seen on the surface. The
date of the overpaint is unknown, but XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy which measures elements
present in an object) analysis of the paint supports its mid-19 th century origin.
The physical characteristics and visible battle honors suggest a likelihood the regiment carried this flag
at Gettysburg. Research by flag historian Howard Madus notes that the 2 nd North Carolina was part of
General Daniel Harvey Hill’s when that division received a full complement of battle flags with painted
battle honors following the Battle of Fredericksburg in early 1863 (which included the Fredericksburg
battle honor). Histories of the Battle of Chancellorsville also note that many regiments of General
Stephen D. Ramseur’s brigade (including the 2 nd North Carolina) lost battle flags during closing phases of
that battle. The appearance of the Chancellorsville battle honor suggests, therefore, an issuance of this
flag to replace the regimental flag captured at Fredericksburg. While no direct written evidence of
issuance of a new flag after Chancellorsville to the 2 nd North Carolina Infantry has surfaced, one of its
sister regiments in Ramseur’s brigade (the 30 th North Carolina) did receive a new battle flag from the
brigade’s quartermaster on May 19, 1863. Evidence in the North Carolina State Archives also shows that
the Quartermaster of the 4 th North Carolina received two new battle flags in May 1863. Both instances
demonstrate solid evidence for the issuance of new battle flags to the 2 nd North Carolina’s brigade prior to Gettysburg.

Angela Rosensteel Eckert and Lawrence Eckert donated the flag to Gettysburg National Military Park in 1987.

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