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A Civil War Flag Returns Home
On December 13, 1862, the Fourth Michigan Infantry Regiment took this flag during the Battle of Fredericksburg.
Eventually the flag passed into the hands of the regiment's historian, Henry Seage. His name is stamped on the flag in several places.
Not a battle flag, this silk symbol of the Confederacy was adopted in March 1861. It has seven stars representing the original Confederate states and probably hung from a building in the city. Most of its three broad stripes are missing, perhaps divided among the members of the regiment as souvenirs.
The flag remained in Michigan for more than 140 years until August 31, 2003, when Henry Seage's descendants and the State of Michigan returned the flag to Fredericksburg, Virginia.
See a photo diary of the flag's return ceremony at Fredericksburg on August 31, 2003.
The Michigan Historical Museum presents more about Civil War flags-
- Flags of the Civil War. This Michigan Time Traveler page published in the Lansing State Journal on August 13, 2003 as part of the Newspapers in Education program, tells more about the Seage flag, the return of other flags in 1941 and Michigan's own flags. The page [PDF] can be printed. A Teacher's Guide with activities and information is also available [PDF].
- Rally Round the Flags. This 1996-97 Michigan Historical Museum special exhibit displayed 56 battle flags, mostly from the Civil War. The flags shown in the exhibit can now be seen in this online tour.
More information -
Contact the Michigan Historical Museum.