Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Big Red" Found?

October 2nd Charleston (SC) Post and Courier.

The Citadel University in Charleston believes it has located the original "Big Red", its Civil War flag that flew over its cadets on Morris Island when they fired upon the Star of the West which many consider as the actual opening shots of the Civil War, not the April 12, 1861 firing on Fort Sumter.

It was found in an Iowa museum to which it was donated by Willard Baker, a Union veteran in 1919. It has been in a storage closet ever since. The State Historical Society of Iowa owns it and now discussion are under way for its return.

Baker said he had gotten it in Mobile, Alabama, at the end of the war, but never gave the actual story. He had been in a unit involved in the capture of Fort Blakely near Alabama.

Captain James Culpepper, an 1854 Citadel graduate, and his battery were at Blakely. He was a student of Major Peter F. Stevens, who had been the Citadel's superintendent during the Star of the West incident.

In 1861, Hugh Vincent's family had designed the 10 by 7 foot flag and presented it to Stevens between January 1st and 4th, 1861 to be used by the Citadel cadets. It is likely that Culpepper had it at Fort Blakely.

Its location became known when a woman posted information about it on the internet in 2004 and a Citadel alumnus saw it.

Hope They Get It Back. --B-R'er

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