History museum gets noted Civil War flag

Posted June 18, 2008 11:31 a.m. EDT
Updated July 2, 2008 6:45 p.m. EDT

— The North Carolina Museum of History has acquired a Confederate battle flag associated with a major turning point of the Civil War – the death of Lt. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.

The flag was carried by the 18th Regiment North Carolina Troops, which was responsible for the accidental shooting of the Confederate general at Chancellorsville, Va., on May 2, 1863. Severely injured by gunfire, Jackson died a week later of pneumonia.

The regiment's battle flag was captured by Union soldiers during the battle, and the Museum of History never knew of its existence until 1992, when the flag's eventual owner sent museum officials a letter.

Tom Walsh, a New Jersey college professor, loaned the historic banner to the museum in 1993, and it was conserved and appeared in a previous exhibit. Recently, Walsh offered to donate a partial value of the flag to the museum, and the museum purchased the remaining value last month.

The flag is on view in A Call to Arms: North Carolina Military History Gallery.

“The acquisition of this important Civil War artifact is one of the greatest highlights of my 30-year career with the museum,” Tom Belton, curator of military history, said in a statement.

The flag acquisition is in anticipation of the Civil War Sesquicentennial Celebration, which will take place from 2011 to 2015. The celebration, sponsored by the state Office of Archives and History, will commemorate the war’s 150th anniversary and feature events and activities.