This flag is an Army of
Northern Virginia, 3rd wool bunting issue. Flags of this issue were
manufactured at the Richmond Depot between July 1862 and May 1864. On
April 20, 1863, Colonel Edward Asbury O'Neal, 26th Alabama Infantry forwarded
the regiment's old battle flag to the Governor of Alabama stating "The
government having issued to this Regiment a new flag, we respectfully ask that
the old one may be deposited in Archives of the State." Their new flag was
captured at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. This flag depicted was issued to
the regiment after the Gettysburg campaign and carried by them for the remainder
of the war.
Following the surrender of the 26th Alabama Infantry at Greensborough, North Carolina in April, 1865 the servant of Dr. Hayes, Brigade surgeon and former regimental surgeon, wrapped the flag around his body and slipped through the Federal lines, thus saving the flag. How long the flag remained with Dr. Hayes is unknown, however, by September 21, 1900 it was in the possession of O'Neal's wife.
The date of donation to the Alabama Department of History is unknown, however, director Marie Bankhead Owen stated in an August 1943 letter that she accepted the donation of the flag from Mrs. Syden O'Neal Dudley. The date of donation must post date former ADAH director Dr. Thomas Owen's death on March 25, 1920 as he was the one who originally requested the donation in November 1903 from Mr. A. M. O'Neal.
Held in early 1900's at Ebenizer Methodist Church, Fernbank, Alabama
Bottom left to right: John Curry, Bob Franks, Rueben Todd "Co. K", Jack Wilson, Mr. Holloway, Aaron Godfrey "Co. D", Johnny E. Lavender "3rd Texas Cavalry", and William Lavender.
Top left to right: Wm. Gray "Co. B", Jeff Atkins, Black Smith, Balaam Smith, Big Bill Smith "Co. K", Jay Guin "Co. D", John Fleming "Co. K", Rev. Beatty "staff", John R. Jones "Co. K", Duff Holcomb "Co. H".
Out of 1,111 known members of the 26th
360 are known to have died 32%
93 finished the war in prison or on furlough after being released
2 escaped from a prisoner of war camp
10 joined U. S. service
146 are known to have been discharged or resigned.
39 are known to have deserted
387 have some partial records