November 7-8, 2018 Edged Weapons, Armor, & Militaria
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/7/2018
HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG CAPTURED DURING GETTYSBURG RETREAT: Flags of this style (Type II Bunting sub-pattern) were made by local seamstresses in their homes working for the Richmond Army Depot. They were paid once the flag was completed and passed inspection. Distribution of these flags to the Army of Northern Virginia started in June of 1862. This issuance continued until August of the same year when a new (third pattern) was issued with white wool bunting border in lieu of the orange bunting used on the first two patterns. This is the only flag known that is believed to be signed by a seamstress on the hoist "Mary E. Brown". Further genealogical research might find more about Brown and her history in the Richmond area that would confirm this theory. This flag descended in the family of its original recipient George P. Sewall, a prominent Maine politician during the Civil War before it was auctioned in 2010 by James D. Julia Inc. This flag was captured by Llewellyn G. Estes who was on General Judd Kilpatrick's staff. All research has shown that the flag was captured at the Battle of Falling Waters on July 4, 1863 on Lee's retreat route from Gettysburg. Llewellyn Estes had an interesting career during the war, including being a recipient of the Medal of Honor in 1864. It is well known that General George Meade was criticized immediately after the battle by not following up on a major opportunity to pursue Lee's Army in their retreat from Gettysburg. While there was not a general pursuit there was continual rear guard action and various Union units did pursue the Confederates and among those was that of General Kilpatrick's. Kilpatrick engaged the Confederate rear guard elements and it was during one of these engagements that Llewellyn Estes, under General Judd Kilpatrick, captured this flag. A 1904 letter from A.S. Perham, Washington, D.C. to the son of George P. Sewall states, "Among your fathers admirers was one Llewellyn G. Estes from your place, born in December 1843. He entered the first Maine Cavalry on the advice of your father and became Kilpatrick's Adjutant General and a Brevet Brigadier General. In the Battle of Falling Waters, MD (also known as Monterey Springs/Hills, and the Battle of Hagerstown) early in July 1863, Estes captured a battle flag from a Virginia regiment and sent it to your father…" Mr. Perham, in his letter specifically states "Falling Waters" and it is therefore believed that this is the location at which it was captured. Author Richard Rollins substantiates this information in his book "The Damned the Red Flags of the Rebellion: The Confederate Battle Flags of Gettysburg". In Appendix A of this book, Rollins lists flag #56 captured July 4th at Monterey Hills from the 4th North Carolina Cavalry with "Gen J. Kilpatrick (?)" listed as captor, with type and present location unknown. Given that Estes was attached to Kilpatrick's staff at the time, it can be factually deduced that the Sewall flag is Rollins's missing #56 with all the other potential candidates accounted for. Although the Perham letter notes the flag was captured from a Virginia Regiment, Rollins research and post-war records all point to the flag belonging to the 4th North Carolina Cavalry. Both Virginia and North Carolina Regiments were engaged that day by Kilpatrick's units, and over the course of 40 years, it makes sense that the exact details were blurred. Included is a copy of the 1904 letter from A.S. Perham discussing the flag, Sewall/Page family research and notes on oral history related to the flag. Also included is a detailed letter by renowned flag authority Greg Biggs, and a letter of authenticity from the late Howard Maddus, American's preeminent flag expert at the time the flag was examined. The flag has also been examined by Morphy's experts and deemed to be authentic and of the Civil War period based on construction and materials. All the associated letters and provenance are unique and associated to this flag. This flag has been expertly conserved (by the Stillwater Textile Conservation Studio, Bradford, N.H.) and has detailed conservation letters included. The flag is in beautiful condition showing period wear and patina. It is believed that the flag sustained minor battle damage, and has possibly 10 bullet or shrapnel holes as identified by the conservators. Battle flags with such wonderful history rarely are offered and Confederate flags associated with the historic and monumental Battle of Gettysburg never become available. Nearly all know Gettysburg associated flags are in museums or institutional collections. This is an extraordinarily rare opportunity to own a very historic, unit identified flag. Regulation 48" x 48" as standard for infantry regiments, but also assigned to cavalry and artillery units as well. PROVENANCE: Issued to 4th North Carolina Cavalry, Captured by 1st Lieutenant Estes, 1st Maine Volunteer Cavalry Regiment during Battle of Falling Waters, presented to Maine politician George Sewall then passed by direct descent. Sold by James D. Julia Inc. in 2010 to present owner. CONDITION: Very good overall. Conserved, stabilized, and archivally framed. CORRECTION: Continued research is uncovering new details regarding this flag. It was most likely taken in the engagement at the Battle of Monterey Pass fought just over a week before Falling Waters. It cannot be conclusively proven or disproven to be from the 4th North Carolina Cavalry. However, that unit is still a candidate. There is also the possibility that it was taken from a Confederate Quartermaster wagon at Monterey Pass versus being captured directly from a line unit. Further research may conclusively prove the unit of origin as additional historical documents are uncovered. Regardless of the unit from which it came, it was taken on the Gettysburg retreat route of Lee's forces and is exceedingly rare.

This is not a standard shippable item and will require 3rd party shipping or pickup arrangements to be made.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $40,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $96,000.00
Estimate: $80,000 - $120,000
Number Bids: 13
Auction closed on Thursday, November 8, 2018.
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