Fighting to preserve the Confederates' last hope

A group of Civil War re-enactors has banded together to raise funds to save a deteriorating battle flag.

The flag, carried by the 22nd North Carolina Regiment into the Battle of Gettysburg, has been kept in storage at the North Carolina Museum of History.

But its rapidly deteriorating fine wool banner - which is now over 150 years old - means that it can't be displayed in public.

The group of re-enactors hope to ensure the preservation of the flag, reports the News & Record newspaper of Greensboro, North Carolina.

An artist's impression of the Battle of Gettysberg
An artist's impression of the Battle of Gettysburg

A vital historic document, the flag's yellow lettering bears the name of the regiment of men from the nearby counties of Guildford, Randolph and Caswell.

Just as remarkable is the flag's provenance. It was carried in Pickett's Charge: the Union forces' ill-fated attack on July 3, 1863.

The charge is today referred to as the 'Confederates' last hope.'

According to curators at the Museum, holes in the flag believed to have been caused by bullets and blood stains betray that significant day.

Flags are emerging among the most significant collectible items in 2010.

Other important flags to recently hit the collectors' markets include a signed flag from Nelson Mandela's landmark presidential inauguration, and a flag taken to the Moon aboard Apollo 14.


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