4th Mississippi Infantry Civil War Flag Restored

Thanks to the efforts of a local group, another historic Civil War flag from the MDAH Museum Division collection has been conserved. More than $80,000 has been donated by the Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans through the "Save the Battleflags" program. Ten historic flags have been conserved with the funding, and funds continue to be raised for work on additional flags.

The most recent flag to be conserved is the battle flag of the 4th Mississippi Infantry. The flag was captured by 1st Lt. Adjt. Thomas P. Gere of the 5th Minnesota Volunteers at the Battle of Brentwood Hills (near Nashville) on December 16, 1864. The flag was returned to Mississippi by the War Department in 1905.

The almost-150-year-old flag was cleaned and attached to a stretcher frame for preservation. Wool and linen fabrics were dyed to blend with the colors of the flag to use as underlay patches to support and infill the areas of loss in the flag. Holes were stabilized and the missing letters in "VICKSBURG" were reproduced. In total, the flag underwent 160 hours of work by professional textile restorers in New Orleans.

"The work done by this group has truly been amazing," said Mississippi Department of Archives and History director H.T. Holmes. "This generous contribution, the latest in a series, shows a real dedication to history." To learn more about this project or to donate funds to MDAH towards flag conservation, please contact Cindy Gardner, director of collections, at 601-576-6901 or by email.

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