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jknipp wrote 1 articles and got 0 comments. The last article was submitted on 04/23/07

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  Posted: Date Monday, April 23rd 2007, 11:31 PM Icon 10519 Date 0

58th VA Infanty Flag Restoration

The colors you see up above left the field at Spotsylvania Virginia in the wrong hands. Intense fighting in the 1864 campaign led to the capture of the banner by the 73rd NY Infy. Forty one years later the US War Department returned the flag to the State of Virginia and the Museum of the Confederacy in March of 1905.

The Battle Abbey in Richmond took possession of the flag in the 1940's and in an effort to preserve the flag from further deterioration, the Abbey laid the battle tattered remains of the banner onto a linen backing and stitched row upon row of thread across its face to hold it in place and help it keep its shape. This is known as conservation stitching. These rows are visible on the picture of the flag and are not part of the original piece.

In the 1980's the flag returned to the Museum Collections Storage and moved into the Flag Storage facility in 1995.

For many, many years the flag was thought to be that of the 56th Virginia Infy and was marked as such when it left the field of battle. It was not until very recently that research at the Museum proved that this was indeed the flag of the 58th and we are grateful to the staff for there diligence in correcting the (yanks) mistake.

The flag has had nothing done to it other than the conservation stitching and the protection the Museum provides. In 2004, the 58th Virginia Infantry, Co.s A-I, K Inc reenactors group took on the financial responsibility to have the flag photographed and evaluated by a conservator to help determine the necessary steps to restore and refurbish this invaluable piece of Civil War history.

There is much damage from battle and time, but this is a very viable piece for restoration. Much work needs to be done, and done soon. This will no doubt be a lengthy and expensive project but we believe that we can not put a price tag on what this flag means to us as reenactors, historians and as people who are in awe of the sacrifices made by all who lived and suffered during the war, especially those valiant and brave men of the 58th, whom we portray. Many a man was wounded or died beneath this flag, marching straight into the enemy. In our hearts they have all marched into immortality.

We have tried our best to honor them on the field of battle. Now we wish to take that one step further by restoring the banner they waved.

For more information on how you can help this project, please visit:
www.58va.com
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