T.T. Wentworth Museum
Confederate National Flag captured at Battle of Santa Rosa Island in 1861
Constructed of scraps of material, some cotton, and some wool, some straight weave, and some twill, this flag was obviously hastily made by sewers with little practical sewing experience. The eight stars indicate it was probably made after April 17, 1861 when Virginia (the eigth state) seceded, and before word had reached this area that Arkansas and Tennessee (the ninth and tenth states) had seceded on May 6, 1861.
On October 9, 1861, the flag was captured in battle by Wilson's Zouaves who took it to New York for display as a trophy of war. It hung for a while in the New York City Hall, and was exhibited at the New York Sanitary Commission Fair in April 1864 with the label: "Taken by Wilson's Zouaves in Florida." Later it was acquired by Francis Bannerman Sons, Inc., a retail surplus military goods business, where, until the 1970s, the flag was hung on display among hundreds from various wars. In 1994, it was acquired by Dr. Norman Haines, and exhibited in the Civil War Soldiers' Museum. Dr. Haines gave the flag to West Florida Historic Preservation Inc. in 2004, after Hurricane Ivan destroyed his museum building.
Over the years, the flag suffered from a lot of wear and tear. The patchwork construction, the differeing materials and weaves, the injuries of battle, and decades of hanging unsupported from a staff caused a lot of distortion and stress damage. There were numerous stains, holes, and tears in the weakened fabric, and some sections were missing completely. In 2011, the flag was restored with funds donated by private individuals, mostly from the Pensacola community.
(Information courtesy of T.T. Wentworth Museum -- Photo by William Lees, FPAN, April 14, 2011)
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