[Excerpt from]

Confederate Flags in the Georgia State Capitol Collection

Office of Secretary of State Max Cleland

Used by permission of the Georgia Capitol Museum,
Office of Secretary of State




The 3rd Regiment was organized in April 1861 with companies from Burke, Clarke, Greene, Houston, Morgan, Newton, Putnam, Richmond, and Wilkinson counties. The 3rd served early in the war at Norfolk, Va., where it assisted in converting the Union ship Merrimac into the Confederate ironclad Virginia. A part of the regiment served in the famous battle against the Union ironclad Monitor on March 9, 1862.

The unit had just 600 available soldiers when it held off three enemy brigades at South Mills, N.C., in April 1862. Maj. Gen. Benjamin Huger authorized the regiment to inscribe the site of that battle on its flag. It may have done so on a different banner. In a letter written after the engagement, Pvt. Samuel Tenney of Company K reports, "During the action, our men shot down two of the enemy’s battle flags, while our own blue flag waved throughout the battle though pierced by five bullets." Perhaps the unit inscribed "South Mills" on that blue flag, which would have preceded the one pictured here.

The flag in the Georgia Capitol likely received its baptismal fire in the Battle of Oak Grove (King’s School House) near Richmond, Va., June 25, 1862. At Chancellorsville the regiment captured 300 prisoners and three cannon. At Gettysburg, despite suffering 196 casualties and having its colors shot down seven times, the 3rd captured several pieces of artillery. This regiment was also instrumental in turning back the Federal forces at the Crater during the siege of Petersburg, capturing three stands of colors and part of an artillery battery in the melee.

The regiment’s color bearers paid dearly to defend the flag. The original color guard of 10 men all died in battle except E. R. Hughes, who was severely wounded. Alexander Langston of Company C met death while carrying the banner at Gettysburg. Dennis Ryan of Company B was wounded beneath the flag at Spotsylvania Courthouse and later killed by the explosion at the Crater. Cpl. Robert W. Bagby of Company H lost an arm while carrying this flag in battle at Reams’ Station, Va., August 25, 1864, and Frank Barnwell of Company C was desperately wounded at Hatcher’s Run, Va., February 5, 1865. James Hicks of Company I bore the regiment’s color to the end of the war. The flag itself was not spared; it was ripped by 53 minie balls and fragments of a bomb shell.

The 3rd Regiment never lost or surrendered its flag. At Appomattox, Hicks tore the flag from the staff and presented it to Col. Claiborne Snead, who wrapped the treasured cloth around him under his coat. Lt. Garrett S. Oglesby of Company G later gave it to Mrs. Blanton, wife of a Presbyterian minister in Salem, Va. She protected it until railroad transportation was renewed in the South. Then she sent it to Colonel Snead in Augusta, Ga.

Survivors of the regiment formed a reunion association which eventually included both veterans and their descendants. A committee from the association, chaired by Colonel Snead’s daughter, donated this flag to the State of Georgia.

After outstanding performance during the Seven Days’ Battles, Ambrose R. Wright was promoted to the rank of Brigadier general from the 3rd Regiment. Wright achieved the rank of major general in 1864 and served the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. During the war, Wright was elected to the Georgia State Senate and chosen president of that body in absentia.


  Field Cross Edge Stars (13) Border
Color: Red Dark Blue,
4 ½" wide
3/4" wide
5 ptd., each
3 ½" dia.
2" wide
Material: Bunting Bunting Cotton

Method of attachment: Three whipped eyelets pierce the 2" wide, white canvas heading.
Star separation: Center-1st: 6"; Center-2nd: 12"; Center 3rd; 18"
STAFF 48" FLY 47"

This drum entered Confederate service with Seaborn Barnwell of the Dawson Grays from Greene County, the unit which became Company C of the 3rd Regiment. The drum beat all the calls from the regiment’s formation at Portsmouth, Va., April 26, 1861 to its surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865. When the regiment stacked its guns, the drum was hung on the pile of rifles. Pvt. Minor Hobbs of Company C took the drum and brought it back to Greene County, Georgia. Capt. W. A. Wright, son of Gen. Ambrose Wright, preserved the drum until a survivor’s committee of the 3rd Georgia presented it to the State Capitol.







3rd Regiment Georgia Volunteers
(Reunion Flag)

For many years before and after the turn of the century, veteran’s groups from both Northern and Southern armies held periodic reunions. These meetings created a demand for copies of Union and Confederate accoutrements and associated items. The veterans of the 3rd Regiment probably followed this peace-time banner many more years than they did their battle flag during the war.

Local and informal veterans’ groups met in the 1870s and early 1880s, but United Confederate Veterans (U.C.V.) did not organize until 1889. At their first convention, which was held in New Orleans, the members elected John Brown Gordon, the governor of Georgia and former C.S.A. general, as the organization’s commander-in-chief. Thereafter, the U.C.V. held annual national conventions.

The reunion in Atlanta, July 20-23, 1898, typified these assemblies. Twenty thousand veterans attended, with the city hosting nearly the same number of Sons of Confederate Veterans (S.C.V.) and a like number of the United Daughters of the Confederacy . The U.C.V. conducted its formal business in an enormous exposition hall located in present day Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. The proceedings began with music by the reunion band, and invocation by the Rev. J. William Jones, chaplain general of the U.C.V., and welcoming speeches by local politicians. Then Clement A. Evans, division commander under Gordon during the war and now president of the convention, called the gathering to order. Over the following days, aging erstwhile officers recalled the glory and gore of battle in rolling rhetoric. The members passed resolutions on a wide range of topics, many of the motions expressing support for America in its war against Spain. The veterans also re-elected Gordon commander-in-chief for one more year.

The reunion achieved its major objective outside the convention hall. Each day old warriors thronged the streets, laughing and arguing in reminiscence, renewing bonds from 33 years earlier. Each night the city glowed under gas lights and oil lamps as hotels, civic clubs, and hundreds of private homes hosted receptions and cotillions. In a grand parade down Peachtree Street Friday afternoon, the army of silver-haired heros, preceded by the ranks of the S.C.V. and led by Gordon on horseback, drew wild cheering from thousands of spectators – despite an unscheduled downpour.

On that final day of the convention, Miss Winnie Davis, the "Daughter of the Confederacy," visited the hall, inspiring the old men to fling "their hats into the air in rapturous demonstrations of enthusiasm." Finally, the veterans voted to hold their next meeting in Charleston, and then they adjourned. The Atlanta Constitution reported that all participants declared the Atlanta reunion to be the grandest they had ever attended.


  Field Cross Edge Stars (13)
Color: Red Dark Blue,
4" wide
1/2" wide
5 ptd., each
3 ½" dia.
Material: Silk Silk Paint Paint

Method of attachment: A 55" decorative wooden rod has been inserted in a sleeve along the top of the flag.
Star separation: Center-1st: 5 1/2"; Center-2nd: 11"; Center 3rd; 16 1/2"



Clement Evans was a lawyer in Lumkin County, Georgia and an inferior-court judge before being elected to the state senate for 1859-61. He enlisted as a private in a unit that joined the 31st Regiment Georgia Volunteer Infantry. He rose to colonel of the regiment by May 1862. He suffered a minor wound at Gaines’ Mill and was hurt more seriously at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Monocacy. He commanded Lawton’s Brigade in early 1863 and Gordon’s Brigade later that year. He was promoted to brigadier general in May 1864. After the war he became a Methodist minister. He was elected adjutant general of the United Confederate Veterans in 1889 and commander of the Georgia Division of the UCV. He edited the 12-volume Confederate Military History. He was elected UCV commander-in-chief in 1908. He died in July 1911 and is buried in Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery.






Georgia Capitol Museum "Save the Flags Campaign"

The Georgia Capital Museum is engaged in a campaign to restore Georgia's Civil War regimental banners for future generations to enjoy. Please contribute to this worthy effort!


Thanks to Brannen Sanders of Georgia,
for contributing this excerpt to our web site!



3rd Georgia Vol. Inf. flag in the storage room of the Georgia Capitol Museum, October 2002


Drum of the 3rd Georgia, Georgia Capitol Museum Hall of Valor


(Click to Enlarge)

Conservator's Notes about the 3rd Georgia Battle Flag at the Georgia Capitol Museum
(Courtesy of John Huneke, Georgia Capitol Museum)


Civil War bullet"Return Fire" to 3rd GVI History Page
worth@ucla.edu, 10/27/2002