inv # 02-14028

This classic ANV style Richmond Depot battle flag was produced between 1863-1864. It was the battle flag of the 6th Georgia Cavalry and was captured on May 14, 1864 at the Battle of Lay’s Ferry, Georgia by Private Asabel M. Pyburn of the 66th Indiana Infantry attached to Rice’s Brigade. Lt. Col. Roger Martin was ordered forward with his 66th Regiment of Indiana Volunteer Infantry to dislodge the enemy occupying the south bank of the Oostenaula River. Lt. Col. Martin writes in his report of the day’s battle:

“After a sharp fight the enemy was driven from his rifle pits in such haste that he left their battle flag in the works, whereupon Asahel M. Pyburn, Private Company I, plunged into the river, swam over and captured it, returning with it safely. We continued to occupy the river bank until 9 p.m., when we received order to withdraw”.

An alternate eyewitness’ account of the capture of the 6th Georgia flag comes from a very early type written tag that reads:

“This flag was captured on the 23rd. day of March 1864, at Lays Ferry , on the Coconula river in Georgia by Asa Pyburn,a member ofCompany I, 66th Ind, Volunteer Infantry. He swam, the river and tore it down off the Confederate fort , then swam back to the Union lines under a heavy rifle fire. Col. Thomas Gutherie Morrison was in the company of the 62nd regiment and was an eyewitness to the capture of the flag.”

It is noted that with any eyewitness account there will be variations in the recollection of details, however the commonalities in description of the events attest fully to the capture of the flag at Lay’s Ferry by Private Asa Pyburn. It is clear, that the unit that the flag was captured from, was the 6th Georgia Cavalry under the command of Colonel John R. Hart, one of General Wheeler’s best and most gallant officers. Flag measures approximately 47″ x 47 1/2″ and is made in 3 sections of red material being 17″, 12″ and 17″ respectively from top to bottom. The white stars are 3 1/2″ across and the blue cross to which they are sewn measures 5 1/4″ wide. There is a white 3/8″ tape trim at the edges of the blue cross. The trim at the edges of the flag is approximately 1 3/4″ on the top, bottom and right side with a 2″ heading. There are 3 sewn edge eyelets in the heading to facilitate suspension of the flag. The flag is housed in a frame that measures 54″ square.

CONSERVATION: the professional conservation of this flag was undertaken by Lynn Lancaster Gorges of Historic Textiles Studio in New Bern, NC. A complete and detailed description of the condition of the flag, the conservation treatment, restoration, materials used and framing is included with the flag.

PROVENANCE: From the Renowned Collection of Allen & Robin Wandling.