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Full text of "Regimental colors in the war of the revolution, by Gherardi Davis"

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OF THIS BOOK ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY- 
FIVE COPIES WERE PRINTED, OF WHICH THIS IS 



REGIMENTAL COLORS 

IN THE 
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 





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SECOND 
RHOnK ISLAND REGIMENT 



REGIMENTAL COLORS 

IN THE 

WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

BY 

GHERARDI DAVIS 




WEBB S REGIMENT 
CONNECTICUT 



NEW YORK 

PRIVATELY PRINTED 

AT THE GILLISS PRESS 

1907 



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COrVRIGHT, 1907, 
BY CIHKRARDl n.WIS 



/ dedicate these pages 
to my wife 



REGIMENTAL COLORS 
IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

THE following pages and illustrations are the result of 
the study made by me in my leisure hours during the 
past winter, while preparing a paper on the subject 
of " Regimental Colors in the War of the Revolu- 
tion," which I read before the New York Historical Society on 
February 5, 1907, and again before the Society of the Sons of the 
Revolution in New York on April 19, 1907. The subject is not 
one in which very many people are interested, and yet I believe 
that the romance surrounding an old regimental color, as well as 
the historic and, possibly, the artistic interest in some of the flags 
shown on the following plates, will justify the printing of these 
pages. 

Most of the plates are from photographs of the flags ; a few 
are from water-colors made by Mrs. Davis and myself, from which, 
as well as from the photographs, lantern slides were made to il- 
lustrate the paper when read. It will be observed that for flags 
which were carried in the Revolution for several years, nearly all 
of our colors are in remarkably fine condition. 

Since I first read the paper, I have obtained a good deal of 
information, which I have here added to my original paper, I 

xi 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

have collected all the American, English and German flags, of 
which I was able to find originals, but there are undoubtedly oth- 
ers in existence in private hands, for it seems impossible that the 
few referred to in the following pages are all that have been pre- 
served. Of the French flags, none of those that were here exists 
to my knowledge. 

Thanks are due by me to Mr. Kelby, Librarian of the New 
York Historical Society, Mr. Bates, Librarian of the Connecticut 
Historical Society, Mr. Jordan, Librarian of the Historical Society 
of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Worthington C. Ford, Chief of the Di- 
vision of Manuscripts of the Library of Congress, and many oth- 
ers, whose names I shall mention later on, for their kind and val- 
uable assistance in the preparation of the following pages. 

Gherardi Davis. 
New York, June, 1907. 



LIST OF PLATES 



UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED, THE PLATES ARE REPRODUCED 
DIRECTLY FROM PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE FLAGS 



PLATE 



Second Rhode Island. Drawn in colors from 

a photograph Frontispiece 

Webb's Regiment (Connecticut). Drawn in 

colors from a photograph Title Page 

I First Rhode Island Regiment. Drawn from '"""'"' '"'""' 

a photograph 8 

II Second Connecticut Regiment. (Second Battalion) 

III Second Connecticut Regiment. (Second Battalion) 

IV Webb's Regiment (Connecticut) 9 

V Tallmadge's Dragoons (Connecticut). Pink Stan- 
dard. From a colored print in the Memoirs of 
Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge, by Johnson . . 12 

VI Tallmadge's Dragoons (Connecticut). Blue Stand- 
ard. Same Source 13 

VII Third New York Regiment 14 

VIII Westmoreland County Battalion. (Pennsylvania) . 

IX First Pennsylvania Regiment 

X Philadelphia Light Horse. From a colored print 

in the history of the organization 

XI Pulaski Standard. (Maryland.) (Left side) . . 
XII Pulaski Standard. (Maryland.) (Right side) . . 
XIII Colonel Washington's Cavalry. (South Carolina) . 17 
XIII Second New Hampshire Regiment. A. Blue flag. 

B. Bufl'flag 18 

xiii 



LIST OF PLATES 

PLATK PACING TACB 

XIV Bucks of America. (Massachusetts) 20 

XV Soissonnais and Walsh Regiments. French. From 

a drawing made from various sources . , ... 23 
XVI Royal Deux-Ponts Regiment. French. After a 

water-color from M. O. Hollander .... 26 
XVII General Washington. By Peale. From a photo- 
graph of the original. Metropolitan Museum, 
New York 33 

34 
36 

37 
38 

43 

44 

44 
46 



XVIII Seventh Fusiliers, King's Color. British 
XIX Unknown Regiment, King's Color, British 
XX Ninth Foot. British. From a drawing made from 
Mr. Milne's book on British Colors . . . 

XXI Unknown British Flag 

XXII General Washington. By Peale. From a photo- 
graph of the original in Philadelphia . 

XXIII (i) British, French and Ansbach-Bayreuth Spear 

Heads. Drawn from various sources . 
(2) Fragment of Hessian Color. Unknown Regi 
ment. (Philadelphia) 

XXIV Hessian. Unknown Regiment. (Philadelphia) 
XXV Hessian. Unknown Regiment. (Philadelphia) 

XXVI Ansbach-Bayreuth. (West Point.) (Left side) . 

XXVII Ansbach-Bayreuth. (West Point.) (Right side) 

XXVIII Ansbach-Bayreuth. (West Point.) (Left side) . 

XXIX Ansbach-Bayreuth. (West Point.) (Right side) 

XXX Ansbach-Bayreuth. (West Point.) (Left side) . 

XXXI Ansbach-Bayreuth. (West Point.) (Right side) 

XXXII Brunswick. Riedesel's Regiment. From a water 

color made in Brunswick 



48 



AMERICAN COLORS 



AMERICAN COLORS 
NATIONAL COLORS 

IT is not my intention to enter into any discussion on the ori- 
gin of the Stars and Stripes, or to argue what was the Grand 
Union flag of 1775, or whether the Americans at Bunker 
Hill carried a flag or not, or whether it was red or blue. 
All this is discussed at length in several excellent books on the 
American flag, to which I refer those who may wish to read 
more in detail about this disputed subject. In regard to the 
National flag, however, while none has been preserved, as far as I 
can ascertain, the subject is too interesting to be passed over with- 
out any comment. 

It is stated in most books on the American flag, that after 
the adoption of the Stars and Stripes on June 14, 1777, this flag 
was put into immediate use by the Army. It is also said that it 
was carried first in action at the battle of the Brandywine (or, ac- 
cording to others, at an engagement just before that battle), and 
Trumbull painted it in his picture of the surrender of Cornwal- 
lis; But I have not found any contemporary account or report 
of such use in action of the flag as a regimental color. Its use 
on board ship and at Fort Stanwix as a post-flag is, of course, 
unquestioned. Mr. Worthington C. Ford has supplied me with 
the following, which I believe is not generally known: 

3 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

The War Board in a letter dated "War Office," May loth, 
1779, writes to General Washington as follows: 

* * * "The Board have been frequently applied to on the 
"Subject of Drums and Colours for the several Regiments. It 
"is impossible to comply with all the Requisitions for these Arti- 
"cles, as we have not materials to make either in sufficient Num- 
" bers. We hope however to have in a short Time a competent 
"Number of Drums. So soon as they are made we send them 
"to Camp as we find many Irregularities and Inconveniences arise 
" from delivering them or any other Articles here. 

"As to Colours we have refused them for another Reason. 
"The Baron Steuben mentioned when he was here that he would 
"settle with your Excellency some Plan as to the Colours. It 
" was intended that every Regiment should have two Colours one 
"the Standard of the United States which should be the same 
"throughout the Army and the other a Regimental Colour which 
"should vary according to the facings of the Regiments. But it 
" is not yet settled what is the Standard of the U. States. If your 
" Excellency will therefore favor us with your opinion on the 
"Subject we will report to Congress and request them to estab- 
" lish a Standard and so soon as this is done we will endeavour to 
"get Materials and order a Number made sufficient for the Army. 
"Neither can we tell what should be the Regimental Colours as 
"the Uniforms were by a late Resolution of Congress to be set- 
"tled by your Excellency. 

3p 3J» ?(» rj^ *^ •(* rfi 5J^ rf* 

" We have the Honour to be 
" with the greatest Respect 
" Your very obedient Servants 

"Richard Peters" 
" His Excellency the Commander in Chief By Order " 

4 



AMERICAN COLORS 



Richard Peters again wrote from the War Office to General 
Washington, under date of September 3, 1779, as follows: 

* * * " The enclosed Drafts of a Standard for the Army 
" are sent for your Approbation, Rejection or Alteration. The 
" Officers will be by and by pressing for Colours and if Materials 
" can be procured they shall be made when you send us your Ideas 
" of the Plan of the Standard. The one with the Union and Em- 
" blems in the middle is preferred by us as being variant for the 
"Marine Flag." (Washington Correspondence 93, 339.) 

To this General Washington replied from his Headquarters 
at West Point, under date of September 14, 1779: 

* * * "I agree with you in opinion, that the standard, with 
" the Union and Emblems in the centre, is to be preferred, with 
" this addition the Number of the Regiment and the State to which 
" it belongs inserted within the curve of the Serpent, in such place, 
"as the painter or designer shall judge most proper." * * * 
(Washington Correspondence A. Vol. IV.) No such standard 
appears to have been preserved, nor is there any picture of one in 
existence, that I can find. 

The use of the United States flag was, therefore, apparently 
not " regulation," as the term goes, even in 1 779. No doubt some 
regiments carried this flag, and yet, while there are a number of 
other regimental colors in a good state of preservation, not one 
National color has been preserved, as far as I can ascertain. 

Trumbull and Peale painted the stars and stripes in some of *^ ^' 

their pictures, and no doubt correctly painted what they had seen 
in actual use, although both are clearly guilty of anachronisms in 
some cases. Peale, especially, seems to have been almost painfully 
accurate in his painting of flags, and I do not believe that he drew 
imaginary colors. I have made careful inquiries abroad at Cassel, 
Marburg, Ansbach and Bayreuth, but no colors captured by the 
Germans appear to be in existence, and yet it is not at all im- 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

probable that they captured one or more National colors from us. 
Again, through the courtesy of our Embassy in London, I have 
been aided in making a thorough search in England, but neither 
at Chelsea Hospital, nor the Tower nor in any of several other 
places was I able to find a National color. 

This is very strange, but perhaps some one who reads these 
pages may know of the existence of such a flag. I will add that 
the Historical Societies of the thirteen original States all tell me 
that they have never heard of such a color. 

STATE AND OTHER REGIMENTAL COLORS 

'TpHERE exist a number of regimental colors, either State flags 
or flags of peculiar design, but even of these very few have 
been preserved. And again, of those which were captured from 
us only two seem to exist. Thus the red flag with Liberty on it, 
captured by the Hessians at the battle of Long Island; the yellow, 
white and light blue flags, taken by Knyphausen at the surrender 
of Fort Washington; and the embroidered red and blue flags, taken 
at Charleston by the British, have all disappeared and no accurate 
description of them exists. There appear, furthermore, to be no 
existing regimental flags of the thirteen original States except of 
New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Tori and Pennsyl- 
vania, while in Mary/and there is preserved only one Cavalry 
standard, and in Sout/i Carolina also only one. In view of the 
fact that the Mary/and troops fought with great distinction in 
the Revolution, it is rather strange that not even a descrip- 
tion of their colors exists. The same is true of the New Jersey 
regiments, but it is even more remarkable that very little is 
known about the regimental colors of the Massachusetts troops. I 
know of no existing Massachusetts colors carried in the war, or of 
any reliable account of them, except that in the 2nd Volume, 5th 

6 



AMERICAN COLORS 

Series of the American Archives, at page 244, the flag of the l^th 
[Massachusetts) Regiment is described as follows: "Ground, Light 
" Buff. Device, Pine-Tree and field of Indian Corn (emblemat- 
" ical of New England fields). Two Officers in the uniform of 
" the Regiment, one of them wounded in the breast, the blood 
" streaming from the wound. Under the pine several children, 
" one of the officers pointing to them, with the motto, ' FOR 
«' ' POSTERITY I BLEED.' " I have been unable to trace the flag 
of the Newburyport Company, referred to by Preble (pp. 204, 
264). 

As I am particularly interested in American colors which still 
exist, I shall not go further into this discussion, except to say that 
I have made the same inquiries abroad on the subject of State 
regimental flags that I made for our National colors, but, with the 
exception of two New Hampshire colors, I met with the same dis- 
appointing result. Undoubtedly many flags have been lost in fires, 
as was the case with some once preserved in the old Museum at 
Alexandria, referred to by Lossing (who says that he saw there 
several flags which had been carried in the Revolution), and quite 
recently a flag, said to have belonged to General Greene, was de- 
stroyed by fire at Springfield, Massachusetts. Others, no doubt, 
have simply rotted to pieces or been cut up into souvenirs ; and 
some may still exist stowed away and forgotten. 

The following account of the now existing American colors 
is, I hope, not too brief. I have given such general information 
concerning each flag as seemed necessary. I suppose it would be 
utterly impossible to ascertain in what actions the flags were car- 
ried. 

FLAG OF THE BEDFORD MINUTE MEN 

Before taking up the flags of the original thirteen States I 
think it will be proper to refer to a small flag which, it appears 

7 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

to be quite certain, was carried at the battle of Concord by the 
Bedford Minute Men. It is now preserved in the Bedford Histor- 
ical Society, and it has been described and pictured in colors in a 
pamphlet published by Mr. Abrain E. Brown of Bedford, Mass. 
It is about two and one-half feet square, and represents an arm is- 
suing from a cloud, the hand holding a sword, all in silver and 
gold on a red ground. A scroll in gold bears the inscription : 
" VINCE AUT MORIRE." I am not at liberty to reproduce 
the picture. This little flag was made in England between 1660 
and 1670, and is a very remarkable relic of the Revolution. 



RHODE ISLAND 

There are two Rhode Island colors in existence, both at the 
State House, Providence. 

FIRST RHODE ISLAND REGIMENT 

(plate i) 

This is a white flag with a blue canton with thirteen gold stars, 
arranged in rows of two and three. In the centre of the flag is 
a blue anchor sewed on the silk, above which was formerly the 
State's motto : HOPE. The flag is large, about 5x65^ feet. The 
illustrations of this and the next flag are drawn from photographs 
lent me by Mr. Tulley, of Providence, Rhode Island, State Record 
Commissioner, to whom I am greatly indebted for these pictures. 
The regiment, to which this flag belonged, was in many of the 
battles of the Revolution, Trenton, the Brandywine, etc., and 
Yorktown. 



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FIRST RHODE ISLAND REGIMENT 



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AMERICAN COLORS 

SECOND RHODE ISLAND REGIMENT 
(frontispiece) 

This flag is also of white silk, with thirteen small white stars, 
arranged, as on the last flag, on a blue canton. It now measures 
about 4 feet square, and is much damaged at the fly. In the cen- 
tre of the flag is a neatly designed scroll, bearing the inscription: 
R. ISLAND REG'T. The colored drawing from which the 
color-print was made was painted by Mrs. Davis. The 2nd Rhode 
Island Regiment was consolidated with the 1st Regiment in 1780, 
but it was in many of the battles of the Revolution. In 1784, 
February 25th, this flag and that of the 1st Rhode Island Regiment 
were presented to the State of Rhode Island and have thus been 
most carefully preserved. 

CONNECTICUT 

The oldest Connecticut infantry color still existing is that of 
the 

SECOND BATTALION, SECOND CONNECTICUT REGIMENT 

(plates II AND III) 

now in the possession of the Connecticut Historical Society at 
Hartford. Through the courtesy of the Society, and of its Li- 
brarian, Mr. Bates, I was able to have this flag photographed. Of 
it the Connecticut Historical Society says : 

" This flag or standard, now in the hall of the Connecticut 
" Historical Society at Hartford, was some seventy-five years ago 
" in the possession of Colonel John Mix of Farmington, Conn., 
" who was Adjutant of the second regiment of the * Connecticut 
" Line ' in the Revolution from June i , 1 778, to January i , 1 78 1 , 
" and is supposed to be of that or earlier date. It may have been 
" carried in the Revolution, although the color designated for the 

9 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

" second regiment's flag was blue, while this is dark red. Possi- 
" bly it was for the use of the second regiment of the colony's 
" militia before the Revolution. There is no record of its history 
" previous to its being in Col. Mix's possession. The ' Raised 
" 1640 ' probably indicates the date of the first raising or organi- 
" zation of some company of militia which later became the sec- 
" ond regiment. 

" The flag is made of dark red silk. It now measures 44 
•' inches long by 34 inches high. The large letters are gold. On 
" the other side, the shield is red (the silk being left in its natural 
" color). The outer border of the shield, the vines, the scroll 
" work, which is of decidedly artistic merit, and the motto ribbon 
" are gold. The inner border of the shield and the bow of rib- 
" bon above are bright blue. The shadings and outlines are in 
" black, and the letters of the motto are black. The remaining 
" portion of the staff is a very old piece of wood, shaved and filed 
" round. The flag is not now correctly fastened to the staff. 

" Colonel Mix, who died in i 834 and had been Quartermas- 
" ter-General of the State from 1796 to 18 14, deposited this flag 
" in the State Arsenal, which had been built under his supervis- 
" ion in 1 81 2. In 1839 the Quartermaster-General placed the 
" flag in the office of the Secretary of the State; and in 1846 the 
" Secretary placed it in the custody of the Connecticut Historical 
" Society." 

This flag, of course, does not antedate 171 1, as prior to that 
date the Connecticut arms bore thirteen vines, not three. It will 
occur to any one reading these lines, that in 1775 there was much 
rejoicing at the Siege of Boston over a red Connecticut flag with 
the motto QUI TRANSTULIT SUSTINET, which appears on 
this color in abbreviated form. I do not claim that this is the 
flag then hoisted, but I suggest that this color may be like that 
flag. 

10 



AMERICAN COLORS 
THIRD (WEBB'S REGIMENT) 

(plate IV AND TITLE PAGE) 

There are in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, two flags, 
the property of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Rev- 
olution, and which were presented to the latter Society, by Mr. 
Francis Parsons Webb (a descendant of Colonel Samuel B. Webb) 
through Mr. Oliver Hough, as having belonged to Colonel Sam- 
uel B. Webb's regiment. I am greatly indebted to both Societies 
for their courtesy in allowing me to have photographs made of 
these flags. One or both of these flags must have belonged to 
the Third Connecticut Regiment of which Colonel Webb, after he 
was exchanged, became Colonel. It was made up of the Ninth 
(Webb's old regiment) and the Second Regiment (see Webb's 
" Correspondence and Journal," Vol. Ill, p. 367), and was ac- 
cepted July 23, 1780, by Connecticut as a regiment. On Jan- 
uary II, 1777, Webb had been appointed by General Washing- 
ton Colonel of a new battalion (one of sixteen), and as is known, 
he was taken prisoner in December, i JJJ, and remained unex- 
changed for many years. On September 6, 1782, Edward Hand, 
Adjutant General, wrote to Colonel Webb, from the Camp at 
Verplanck's Point (Webb, Vol. II, p. 416), as follows: 

" Dear Sir: 

" By direction of the Commander in Chief, I send you two 
" of the Lt. Infantry Standards, one for the use of your own, and 
" the other for Col. Jackson's Regt. I am 

"Very sincerely yours, 

" Edw'd. Hand A. Genl." 

A. The larger flag, shown on Plate IV, was probably a 
regimental color, not the Light Infantry standard referred to. I 
regret to say that I have found no account of this flag, and I have 

II 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

also been unable to find any explanation of the curious design and 
equally curious motto: IN MERIDIEM PROGRED, ET(C ?) 
(the last letter is not clear). Only half the motto appears on 
either side of the flag. 

The flag is of yellow silk, the scroll blue, the Indian figure 
bears a golden shield, and the banner flying from under the Quaker 
hat is red and white, striped. At the Indian's feet is a very pe- 
culiar animal standing over a King's head, cut off at the neck, 
pierced through the temples by an arrow ; a royal English crown 
is falling from the head. When new, the flag must have been six 
feet square or over. It is painted the same on both sides, and is 
badly damaged at the outer and lower edges. 

B. The smaller flag, shown in colors on the title page, is ap- 
parently a guidon of some kind. The wreath is green, tied with 
a pink ribbon. The sword is painted to represent steel. The '* I " 
is black. The flag (about three feet square) is well preserved. 

The larger flag is referred to by Preble, who gives no account 
of it, however. I have not found anywhere a reference to the 
smaller flag. 

There are still in existence two standards of 

TALLMADGE'S DRAGOONS 

(plates V AND Vl) 

of which exquisite prints are to be found in the " Memoir of Col- 
onel Benjamin Tallmadge," edited by Henry Phelps Johnson, Esq., 
and published by the Society of the Sons of the Revolution in the 
State of New York in 1 904. This Society has very kindly allowed 
me, as a personal favor, to have these prints photographed for re- 
production here. One of the standards is pink, the other blue. 

( I ) The Pink Standard is about 2>^ feet square, and is of thin, 
fine silk. It is painted in oil, and is generally in good condition. 
It is somewhat cracked where the paint has been folded. In the 

12 




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AMERICAN COLORS 

centre is a winged disk (blue with silver wings) with ten golden 
thunderbolts running from it, like the sun's rays. Under this is 
a silver scroll with the motto: PAT^. CONCITA. FULM^t 
NATI. in black capitals. In the upper corner next the staff two 
silver lines, together with the upper and inner edge (hoist) of the 
flag, form a canton, in which are six stripes of edged, white (French) 
ribbon, sewed on the silk, making thus thirteen pink and white 
stripes. This little standard is so clean and fresh, as to suggest 
that it has not been much exposed to the weather. It is in the 
possession of Mr. F. E. Harper of New York City, who very 
kindly let me examine the standard. 

(2) The Blue Standard, which is in private hands in Troy, 
New York, is very much like the other. The blue disk has golden 
wings and thunderbolts. The motto below (the same as on the 
other standard) is on a golden scroll, and there is, above, a golden 
scroll with the inscription : z^ REGT L^ DRAGOONS. There 
is a canton, edged with a gold line, containing seven gold stripes 
painted on the blue silk. 

NEW YORK 

There is in New York State but one regimental color, that 
of the 

THIRD NEW YORK REGIMENT 

(plate vn) 

which regiment was commanded by Colonel Peter Gansevoort. It 
was afterward consolidated with the 2d New York, but it seems 
to be unquestioned that this flag was at Yorktown, with the con- 
solidated regiment. The flag, which was made in 1778 or 1779, 
is about six feet square, and is of dark blue silk. The fringe is 
also blue. The State Arms are painted on both sides of the flag. 

13 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

The coloring of the arms is as in the present State Arms, except 
that the wreath is red and white, not blue and gold. The sup- 
porters, who are in costumes of the second half of the eighteenth 
century, have dresses of cloth of gold, red mantles and sandals, 
and blue sashes across their bodies. The scroll work is yellow- 
brown, shaded brown. This flag, until recently in the possession 
of Mrs. Abraham Lansing, Albany, has been carefully framed 
and is now deposited, for safe keeping, in the Albany Institute 
and Historical and Art Society. To this Society and to Mrs. 
Lansing, who is a descendant of Colonel Gansevoort, I am in- 
debted for the privilege of having the photograph made, from 
which the plate is reproduced. It is by far the handsomest regi- 
mental color of Revolutionary days. 

PENNSYLVANIA 

There are in existence two Pennsylvania regimental colors, 
a picture of a third, and one very beautiful Cavalry standard. 

THE WESTMORELAND COUNTY BATTALION 

(plate viii) 

The flag of this Battalion, which was raised by John Proc- 
tor in 1775, is now in the possession of Miss Jane M. Craig of 
New Alexandria, Pennsylvania. The Battalion did not take part 
in the war, as an organization, and it is not known whether the 
flag was ever under fire. The flag measures 6 feet 4 inches by 5 
feet 10 inches, is of red silk, and has in the upper corner next the 
stafl^ the English jack ; in fact, it is an old English red ensign. 
In the centre of the flag is a coiled rattle-snake, its head directed 
toward the jack. Above the snake are the letters I. B. W. C. P., 
and above that the monogram, J. P. These letters are said to 

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PLATE X 



AMERICAN COLORS 

mean 'John Proctor s ist Battalion Westmoreland County Prornncials 
(Pennsylvania Archives, 2d Series, Vol. XIV). Under the snake is 
the famous motto : DON'T TREAD ON ME on a ribbon, from 
which spring on either side of the snake gracefully designed scrolls, 
all in yellow. This is the only existing Rattle-Snake flag, as far as 
I have been able to ascertain. Miss Craig very kindly had the 
flag photographed for me. In doing this she was assisted by Mr. 
Taylor, a direct descendant of Samuel Craig, the original color- 
bearer. The plate is from this photograph. The usual prints of 
this flag, it will be observed, are quite inaccurate. 

HANOVER ASSOCIATORS 

This was a red flag with a hunter in buckskin and the motto 
"LIBERTY OR DEATH." As far as I have been able to as- 
certain, this flag no longer exists, but it is represented in colors in 
Vol. XIII (Second Series), Pennsylvania Archives. The authority 
for this print, I do not know. 

FIRST PENNSYLVANIA RIFLE REGIMENT 

(plate ix) 

This is a dark green flag with a square of red in the centre, 
and on the red (in white) a hunter with a lance attacking a tiger 
(lion ?) which is in a net. Below the figures is the motto " DOM- 
ARI NOLO,"andabove, theletters" P. M. istRt." This color is 
in the State Capitol, Harrisburg, and is described as early as March 
8, 1 776, by Lieutenant Colonel Hand (see Pennsylvania Archives, 
Second Series, Vol. X. p. 12). There is a colored print of the 
flag as a frontispiece to that volume. The plate is from a photo- 
graph of the original, made for me by the State Librarian, Mr, 
Montgomery. The regiment was in numerous engagements, from 
Boston to Yorktown. 

15 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

PHILADELPHIA LIGHT HORSE 

(PLATE X) 

This standard was presented to the organization bv Captain 
Markoe in i;'~5, and was carried at Trenton, Princeton, the 
Brandvwine and Germantown. It is about 3 feet by ^H f"^et in 
size, of dull vellow color, and has a canton with thirteen blue and 
silver stripes, recalling the Tallmadge standards. The shield con- 
tains on a blue ground a gold knot with thirteen golden scrolls. 
The supporting hgures are delicately colored. The spear head 
and tassels axe silver. There are several colored prints of this 
standard, the best being that in the historv of this organization. 
The plate, which gives the details of the standard better than anv 
description can do, is from this latter print, for which I am in- 
debted to Captain Groome of the present First Troop, PbilaJelpbia 
City Cavalry. Preble gives a detailed description of this standard 
at page 253 and a fair print, and there is a colored print of the 
standard in Pennsylvania Archives, Second Series, Vol. XIII. 

MARYLAND 
THE plt.\sk:i standard 

(P1_\TES XI ANT) XU) 

This, the only existing Marvland color, is a small embroid- 
ered standard, the plates of the two sides of which are from pho- 
tographs, made for me as an especial favor by the Marvland His- 
torical Society-. The colors have faded veri" much, but the little 
standard, around which so much romance is clustered, is well 
preserved for so old a color, especially one that was carried in ac- 
tion. Pulaski was killed at Savannah in 1 7~9, and this standard 
was then saved by one of his officers. This little standard is a 
trifle over eighteen inches square, and is of double silk, ori^inallv 
red, now faded to brownish red. The embroidery is in vellow 

16 




PULASKI STANDARD 

MARYLAND 
PLATE XI 




PULASKI STANDARD 

MARYLAND 
PLATE XII 




COLONEL WASHINGTON'S CA\ ALRY 

(El TAW standard) 

SOUTH CAROLINA 

PLATE XIII 



AMERICAN COLORS 

silk. The fringe is bullion. The standard, on which Longfellow 
wrote his well-known ode, is given in colors in the Pennsylvania 
Archives (Second Series), Vol. XI, while a detailed description of 
it will be found at page 153 of the same volume. 

SOUTH CAROLINA 

THE EUTAW STANDARD 
(plate xiii) 

as it is commonly called, belonged to Colonel William Washing- 
ton's Cavalry troop. It is a small square of red damask, and is 
now in the possession of the Washington Light Infantry Corps of 
Charleston, South Carolina. The romance connected with its 
origin is well known. This standard is shown in various publi- 
cations, among others in Preble's book, so often referred to ; but 
my plate is made from a photograph of the original standard, 
for which I am greatly indebted to Captain Lanneau of the Wash- 
ington Light Infantry, who had this little color especially photo- 
graphed for me. 

NEW HAMPSHIRE 

In addition to the flags to which I have referred, there 
exist, so far as I have been able to ascertain, but two American 
colors captured during the War of the Revolution. They be- 
longed to the 

SECOND NEW HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT 
(plates xiii-a and xiii-b) 

and were captured at Fort Anne two months before the battle of 
Saratoga, by the Ninth Foot [British). The flags are now in the 
possession of Col. George W. Rogers, of Wykeham, Burgess Hill, 
Sussex, to whom I am greatly indebted for the photographs from 
which the plates have been reproduced. 

»7 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

Colonel Rogers informs me that these flags (one of which is 
of light grey blue silk, the other being buff) were brought home 
by Lt. Colonel Hill, who commanded the Ninth Foot, together 
with the colors of his own regiment (see page 35). Lt. Cblonel 
Hill's daughter was the first wife of Colonel Rogers' grandfather, 
and the flags have been passed on from one generation to another 
until they came into Colonel Rogers' hands. Pictures of the flags 
have never before been made, I believe. 

A. The blue flag (Plate XHI-A). This flag, which has a 
gold fringe, measures 5 feet along the staff" and 5 feet 6 inches on 
the fly. In the centre of the flag is a small red shield with golden 
scrolls on either side and over it. On the shield are the letters 
N. H. interlaced, under which is 2D, and under that again reg^' 
On the scrolls is the motto: "The Glory not the Prey." In 
the upper corner next the staff" are two small, superimposed crosses, 
the upright cross being red, bordered gold, the diagonal cross gold 
bordered red. 

B. The buff flag (Plate XIII-B). In the centre of this flag 
is a golden disk with thirteen rays and thirteen thin lines radi- 
ating from it, each of which latter touches one of thirteen inter- 
lacing golden rings. The disk bears the motto: We are one, 
and each ring the name of one of the thirteen original States. In 
the upper corner next the staff" are eight triangles, alternately red 
and pale blue, so arranged as to form two crosses, one upright, 
the other diagonal. This flag is of the same size as the blue flag. 





PLATE XIII-A 




PLATE XIII-B 

SECOND NEW HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT 



NOTES 

The flags painted by Peale in his portraits of Washington shown on 
Plates XVII and XXII, are plain white flags with blue cantons and thir- 
teen white stars. The stars are, strange to say, six-pointed. No ornamen- 
tation or emblem of any kind can be distinguished on these flags, but they 
suggest the standards referred to on pages 4 and 5, in the correspond- 
ence between Washington and the War Board. It should be noticed that 
the War Board expressly refers to the design of a standard for the Army, 
with the Union and Emblems, as being a variant for the Marine flag. This 
would indicate that, while the Stars and Stripes were used at sea, they were 
not used by the Army, and this may account for the fact that no regimen- 
tal Stars and Stripes of those days now exist. 

For orders relating to colors in general for the Army, see : Am. Arch. 4th 
Series, Vol. VI, p. 622,, 637, May 31, 1776 ; Orderly Book, Feb. 20, 1776 
(see Ford's Writings of IVashington, Vol. Ill, p. 431, note), an order which 
allows the colonels, with others, to " fix upon any such [colors] as are proper 
"and can be procured. * * * The number of the regiment is to be 
" marked on the colors, and such motto as the colonels may choose. * * * " 
Of the colors shown on my plates, but five have anything which might 
refer to a regimental or battalion number. 

In Steuben's Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the 
United States, will be found at Chapter IV a regulation relating to colors, 
namely: "A regiment is to consist of two battalions, if of over 160 files, 
" and one color shall be posted in the centre of each battalion. If the reg- 
"iment is of less than 160 files, it shall consist of one battalion and both 
"colors shall be in the centre." In the chapter on Instructions, it is pro- 
vided in regard to Ensigns, that, " As there are two colours to a regiment, 
" the ensigns must carry them in turn." The diagrams on Steuben's Plate i 
show how the colors are to be posted. 

There is in the possession of the Massachusetts Historical Society a 
flag which Nell, in his Colored Patriots of the Revolution, says (pp. 24, 25, 
but without giving any authority for the statement) was given to the col- 
ored organization known as The Bucks of America at the close of the Rev- 
olution by Governor Hancock. I have had a plate (Plate XIV) of this 
flag made as it is quite curious and has on it a Pine Tree and the union 

19 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

with thirteen stars. The flag is now a shade of bufl^, the union a faded 
blue ; the stars were once gilded. The buck is painted in brown, the tree 
and ground blue-green shaded with brown ; the scrolls are dark robin's- 
egg blue shaded with dark green, and the letters were gilded. The flag is 
a little over five feet by about three feet six inches in size. 

The Vko Rhode Island colors above described are referred to, among 
other places, in : Rhode Island Colonial Records^ Vol. X, pp. 14, 15 ; Col. 
Isaac AngelTs Diary; Report by Col. Asa Bird Gardiner to the Adjutant Gen- 
eral of Rhode Island, January 4, 1897, which contains interesting informa- 
tion on the subject of the two regiments. I have already spoken of 
Peale's pictures of Washington which show a large white flag with a blue 
canton and stars, but no stripes. The blue unions on the Rhode Island 
flags and the Bucks of America flag, also suggest the design proposed by 
the War Board, referred to above. 

In May, \~~6, the Connecticut Assemblv resolved that the flags for 
the six Connecticut regiments should be of various colors ; that of the First 
Regiment to be yellow. The smaller Webb flag with the " I " on it, mav, 
therefore, at one time have belonged to the First Connecticut. In connec- 
tion with the use of cantons with thirteen stripes, the following regulation, 
for regimental colors in the Connecticut Line, quoted in Record of Connec- 
ticut Men in the Military and Naval Service during the ff^ar of the Revolu- 
tion, p. 139 (under date of September 10, 1780), is of interest: 

"The ground of each to be different — each to bear the number of the 
" Regt. in large characters: — the devise on one side, the Connt. Arms — 
" on the other, the devise and motto of the jo Dollar Bills. If the ground 
" of two colours should be so alike as not to be distinguishable 3 or 400 
"yards, a small field of 13 stripes in the Lower Quarter of one of them 
" may ser\'e as a distinction." 

Preble's unusually interesting and valuable book. The American Flag, 
and the books on the same subject by Gen. Schuyler Hamilton and Peleg 
Harrison, should be examined by those who wish to go deeper into the 
question of United States colors. Lossing's Field Bock of the Revolution 
also contains a good many references to colors that were carried or captured 
in the Revolution. 

20 




^ > 






< 



FRENCH COLORS 









C3 



•X. 
< 



z a 
< ■- 
= < 



z 



Z 
Z 



C/3 



C/3 



r.\-C-i-* 



FRENCH COLORS 

FRANCE sent to the United States during the Revolution 
a number of regiments and detachments of regiments, 
of which the greater part were very actively engaged at 
Savannah and Yorktown. Besides what were known as 
French regiments, the French army then had among others within 
its ranks, German and Irish regiments, and of these latter all of 
one German and parts of two Irish regiments served here. 

The flags of the French regiments which served in America 
were all according to one general pattern. A regulation reduc- 
ing the flags from one for each Company to two for each battal- 
ion, so that each regiment had at least four flags, was promulgated 
just before our Revolution; but whether or not it had been com- 
plied with in all cases, is not certain. Whether the detachments 
brought over any of their regimental colors, it is probably impos- 
sible to determine. Of the regimental flags one was all white (the 
colonel's), the others (called in French " drapeaux d'ordonnance"), 
showed a white cross with four colored squares or cantons. No 
two regiments had colored flags exactly of the same kind, and 
there appears to have been absolutely no rule for the color of the 
silk in the four cantons. If there was any ornamentation on the 
colored flags such as coats of arms, fleur-de-lys, or mottoes, they 
appeared on the white flags in color, gold and silver, as the case 
might be. The white crosses or other patterns on the colored flags 

23 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

were reproduced on the white flags in white stitching. The Ger- 
man and Irish regiments had flags of different designs, as will be 
indicated when the colors of these regiments are referred to spe- 
cifically. 

Of the regiments which served here only three had fleur-de- 
lys on them, and two of these were artillery regiments. Each 
French flag had a white scarf just under the spear-head, and this 
was the true badge of royal service. The flags had short cords 
and tassels of white silk, generally interwoven with threads of the 
color of the colored cantons. The spear-heads were rather small 
and were pierced with a fleur-de-lys. Of these I give a print 
(Plate XXIII) made from a full size drawing from nature, sent me 
by M. Mouillard, to whose work on French colors I refer later 
on. The flags were painted and measured about four feet square 
(130 cm., to be exact). Many flags of this period of the eight- 
eenth century still exist in France and elsewhere in Europe. 

In connection with this subject I wrote to M. Edouard De- 
taille for certain information, and I received from M. O. Hol- 
lander, a well-known authority on French colors, a colored draw- 
ing of the Royal Deux-Ponts flag, of which I had unsuccessfully 
sought elsewhere for a correct drawing. To both M. Detaille 
and M. Hollander I express my sincere thanks for their courtesy. 
I know of no other source from which this information could 
have been so pleasantly obtained. 



The following list of French flags includes all the regiments 
and parts of regiments which served in the United States. It did 
not seem necessary to reproduce drawings of more than a very few 
of the flags. In describing the flags I shall always begin with the 
upper left hand corner next the staff and continue around the flag 
to the right. The descriptions are of necessity very brief, and as 



24 



FRENCH COLORS 

I am here interested in the flags, not the regiments, I do not go 
into any historical details. 

GATINOIS REGIMENT 

Known after 1781 as Royal Auvergne, in honor of its dis- 
tinguished conduct at Yorktown. This regiment was formed in 
1776 out of two battalions of Auvergne, one of the most famous 
of the old French regiments. 

Flag. White cross. Each canton divided into two triangles 
by a line connecting the outer edges of the cross and colored as 
follows : ( I ) outer triangle purple, inner triangle black ; (2) outer 
triangle black, inner triangle purple ; (3) purple, black ; (4) black, 
purple. [Auvergne had two purple and two black cantons.) 

SAINTONGE REGIMENT 

This regiment distinguished itself greatly at Yorktown. 

Flag. White cross. Each canton divided by diagonals into 
four triangles, colored blue, yellow, green and red. The sequence 
of these colors does not seem to be determined, and the flag is, 
therefore, differently colored in different books, 

TOURAINE REGIMENT 

Flag. White cross. Cantons colored as follows: Aurora, 
blue, red, green. 

BOURBONNAIS REGIMENT 

Flag. White cross. Cantons colored as follows : purple, 
blue, purple, blue. 

SOISSONNAIS REGIMENT 

(plate xv) 

Flag. White cross. Cantons divided into two triangles by 
diagonals of the flag, and colored as follows : ( i ) upper triangle 

25 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

black, lower red; (2) upper triangle red, lower black ; (3) red, 
black ; (4) black, red. The plate of this Hag is drawn from Gen- 
eral Susanne's book. 

AUXONNE REGIMENT (Artill.ry) 

Flag. White cross, seme of fleur-de-lys in gold. Cantons: 
Gorge de pigeon (i. e. iridescent green and reddish purple), yel- 
low, gorge de pigeon, yellow. 

ROYAL DEUX-PONTS REGIMENT 

(plate xvi) 

A German regiment named after the Duke of Deux-Ponts 
(Zweibriicken). 

Flag. White St. Andrew's cross, each arm bearing two 
golden fleur-de-lys. A crown in the centre of the cross. The 
upper and lower triangles striped with six white and five red ver- 
tical wavy stripes. The right and left-hand triangles striped with 
six white and five blue horizontal wavy stripes. 

The arms of the Duke of Deux-Ponts are placed on this flag 
but in a very unusual manner, namely : they are separated into 
four arms each with a mantling. The triangle next the staff and 
the opposite triangle are charged with the following arms : per 
pale the Palatinate and Bavaria. The upper triangle bears : per 
pale Veldenz and Hohnstein; the lower triangle bears per pale 
Rappolstein and Hohenack. The mantlings are blue, the dexter 
side charged with the arms of Hohnstein and Hohenack, a not 
very common but very artistic method of drawing the mantlings. 
The plate is an accurate copy of Mr. Hollander's drawing ; the 
latter being on tracing paper could not be used for the purpose of 
making the plate. 

26 




DEUX FONTS REGIMENT 

FRANCE 
PLATE XVI 



FRENCH COLORS 

The foregoing regiments were at Yorktown ; the following 
were at Savannah or elsewhere : 

AGENOIS REGIMENT 

Flag. White cross. First and third cantons divided into 
two triangles by lines joining the outer edges of the cross. The 
outer triangles thus formed are green, the inner yellow ; the sec- 
ond and fourth cantons are purple. 

CHAMPAGNE REGIMENT 

This is one of the oldest French regiments. It was orga- 
nized in 1569, and was counted as one of the six which bore the 
proud title of " Vieux." 

Flag. White cross, all four cantons light green. 

ARMAGNAC REGIMENT 

Flag. White cross. All four cantons feuille-morte (a shade 
of brown). This regiment was formed in 1776 from a part of a 
very old regiment, Navarre, whose flags were feuille-morte, the 
cross charged with the arms of Navarre. 

AUXEROIS REGIMENT 

Flag. White cross. Cantons divided into triangles by lines 
drawn from the outer edges of the cross and colored : ( i ) outer 
triangle blue, inner green ; (2) outer green, inner blue ; (3) blue, 
green; (4) green, blue. This regiment was formed in 1776 out 
of a part of the Marine regiment, whose colors had two blue and 
two green cantons, symbolical of water and earth. 

FOIX REGIMENT 

Flag. White cross. Cantons divided into triangles by di- 
agonals of the flag, and colored ( i ) upper triangle brown, lower 

27 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

green ; (2) upper triangle green, lower brown ; (3) green, brown; 
(4) brown, green. 

HAINAULT REGIMENT 
Flag. White cross. Cantons brown, blue, purple, green. 

METZ REGIMENT {Anillery) 

Flog. White cross, seme of golden fleur-de-lys. Cantons : 

1 and 3 vellow, 2 and 4 gorge de pigeon (iridescent green and 
reddish purple), the reverse oi Auxonne. 

DILLON REGIMENT {IruV) 

Flag. On a white cross a broad red cross, which does not 
touch the edges of the flag, and bearing the motto, in black let- 
ters: IN HOC siGNo viNCES. (The arrangement of the lettering is 
uncertain.) In the centre is a golden harp. Cantons: i and 3 red, 

2 and 4 black, each charged with a large crown, the cross of 
which is directed towards a corner of the flag. 

WALSH REGIMENT {Irish) 
(plate xv) 

Flag. White, with a red cross which does not touch the 
edses of the fla?, and around which an edging of white is indi- 
cated by stitching. The cross is charged in the centre with the 
royal crest of Great Britain: On a roval crown a crowned lion 
statant, guardant. (The colors of the English army to-day have 
this crest on their staves instead of a spear-head.) The plate is 
from my drawing, made from the print in M. Mouillard's work. 

The Dillon and Walsh Regiments were originally Irish reg- 
iments which came to France when James II left the throne. 

28 



FRENCH COLORS 
ROUERGUE REGIMENT 



Flag. White cross, dark green cantons, each charged with 
a red diamond. Rouergue reached the United States too late to 
serve in the war. 



It is not known what, if any, standards lauzun's cavalry 
had during the Revolution. 



NOTE 

Those who may be interested in this matter I refer to the following 
works, in which the colors of the French Royal regiments are described 
with great detail : General Susane, Ancienne Infanterie Fran^aise, with a vol- 
ume of plates in color of uniforms and flags ; Mouillard, Les Regiments sous 
Louis XV, with plates of uniforms and flags in color ; de Bouille, Les Dra- 
peaux Fran^ais, with many illustrations in color ; Desjardins, Les Drapeaux 
Fran^ais, containing a reproduction in colors of an old plate of the flags 
and standards, published in 1771. 

I do not know what French flag Peale has painted in the right hand 
upper corner of the picture shown on Plate XVII. 



BRITISH COLORS 




(..KM.RAL WASlllNClON yvt.Ai.t. 

METROPOLITAN MUSEUM, NEW YORK 
PLATE XVII 



BRITISH COLORS 

EACH British regiment, except the Guards, had during the 
War of the Revolution two colors — a King's color, cor- 
responding to our National color, and a Regimental color, 
of which we still have the counterpart. Except in the 
Guard Regiments, where the rule was reversed, the King's color 
was the well known jack, the regimental color a flag with a field 
of color, and with a small jack in the upper corner next the staff. 
The Guard Regiments had a color (the Jack) for each Company, 
each with a different badge and a King's color for each battalion. 
As these badges varied with the seniority of the companies, it is 
impossible now to determine what colors were in America, espec- 
ially as the Guard companies were taken from three different regi- 
ments. I shall not refer to these regiments again. The flags 
were 6 feet by 6 feet 6 inches in size, and were embroidered in 
color and gold. Each flag had a pair of tassels of red and gold in- 
terwoven, and a spear head of which I give a print (Plate XXIII). 
During the period of the War of the Revolution, where a 
regiment had a badge (like the Rose and Garter), that badge was 
placed in the centre of the flags, and the regimental number, in 
Roman numerals, in the upper corner next the staff or in the cen- 
tre of the small jack. Where a regiment had no badge, the num- 
ber was in the centre of the flags, and in the case of the regimental 
colors, if the flags were of recent origin, it was surrounded with 

33 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

a handsome wreath of roses and thistles, in accordance with the 
regulations of 1747, 1751 and 1768. The regimental flags varied 
in color according to the facings of the uniforms. Thus they had 
blue (Royal Regiments), yellow, green, and buff fields for fac- 
ings of these colors. Where the facings were white or red the 
field was white, with a broad St. George's cross ; where they were 
black, the field was black with a broad St. George's cross. 

Regiments with flags of all these colors served here, and we 
captured flags of many hues; but of all those we captured, only 
two are known to exist, both King's colors, and both at West 
Point. What became of the others, no one knows, as far as I 
have been able to ascertain. Thus we captured two sets of colors 
of the Jth Fusiliers, one at Fort Chamble in 1775, and the other 
at Cowpens in 1779. The Regimental colors have disappeared. 
One of the King's colors is at West Point. In Peale's smaller pic- 
ture of Washington at the Metropolitan Museum, of which I have 
had a plate (Plate XVII) prepared from a photograph, which the 
Museum allowed me to have made, he has painted a King's color 
of the j6th Regiment, lying on the ground, and as he is said to 
have been very accurate in his details, undoubtedly he is accurate 
in this respect. This regiment surrendered at Yorktown, and we 
took its colors as well as those of the 4jd and 8oth. On the 
same picture is a green British color, but it is impossible to deter- 
mine the number of the regiment as the centre of the color is not 
visible. We captured five colors at Fort Stanwix, but there is no 
record of what flags were taken there. In fact, there appears to 
be no official record here of any of the flags taken. There is none 
in the War Department. In Milne's "Standards and Colors of 
the Army" (an excellent work on British Army colors), several 
flags are referred to as having been captured. Thus the author 
says (p. 113) that the lyth Foot lost its colors at Stony Point (the 
regimental color was white with a red cross), and consequently it 

34 




SEVENTH FUSILIERS, KING'S COLOR 

WKST POINT 
PLATE XVIII 



BRITISH COLORS 

had none when it surrendered at Yorktown. As is well known 
the colors of the Ninth Foot were secreted by the officers at Sara- 
toga and not surrendered to us. So, too, the colors of the 2jrd 
[Royal Welsh) Fusiliers were secreted at Yorktown and not sur- 
rendered. The colors of the Jjrd Foot were not surrendered at 
Yorktown, having been left in New York. (See Milne, p. i i 2.) 
These flags still exist in whole or in part in England. 

Congress presented to Washington certain colors captured at 
Yorktown, and of these the King's color of the ^th Fusiliers, now 
at West Point, is said to be one. As, however, that regiment was 
not at Yorktown, it is rather difficult to explain this. The sug- 
gestion that another body of troops had that regiment's colors 
seems untenable, when the great jealousy with which an English 
regiment treasures its regimental honors and badges is considered. 

Congress, by resolution of October 29, 1781, presented a 
British color to General Greene, but it is not known to what 
regiment it belonged, nor is it known what became of it. 

Just how many British colors we took no one knows, and 
it is very probable that some were destroyed in Washington, when 
the British burned that city. Others, again, may simply have 
rotted to pieces, although this is not very likely, as the flags were 
embroidered. Others may be still in private hands or stowed 
away and forgotten. Thus Mr. Milne wrote me that he had 
found the embroidered centre of a color of a famous regiment in 
a junk-shop in London. How it got there, no one knows. Mr. 
Milne has given me a great deal of information on the subject 
under consideration for which I am greatly indebted to him. His 
book is unusually interesting, many of the very fine illustrations 
being from photographs. The English regimental histories gener- 
ally make no mention of the loss of flags. 

In the following pages I have referred to but one color beside 
those at West Point, as it seemed unnecessary to describe any others. 

35 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

[/ SEVENTH (ROYAL) FUSILIERS 

king's color 
(plate xviii) 

This flag (which is now at West Point) was, I believe, taken 
in 1775 at Fort Chamble. It is in fine condition. The embroid- 
ery is quite perfect, but its weight has torn the flag at the centre. 
The blues and reds have faded somewhat. In the upper corner 
next the staffs is the Roman numeral VII in gold. The Garter 
(which with the Rose is still one of the regiment's badges) is 
blue ; the rose (red and white, with green leaves) is on a red 
ground. The crown is silk and bullion. The spear-head is mis- 
sing ; so, too, the regulation tassels. 

In the American Archives, 4th Series, Vol. Ill, at page 1132, 
is printed a letter dated " Camp before St. Johns, October 20th, 
1775," from Richard Montgomery, announcing, among other 
things, the capture of the colors of this regiment at Chamble ; 
and a letter from John Adams to Elbridge Gerry (at page 1354 
of the same volume) refers to these flags thus : " We have the col- 
"ours of the Seventh Regiment as the first fruits of victory." 

The regimental colors of this regiment, also captured by us, 
were (if according to regulation) blue with the same badge in 
the centre, and in three corners the Badge of Hanover (a white 
galloping horse). These have disappeared, as well as the Second 
King's color, unless the next flag be that color, something wholly 
unascertainable. 

UNKNOWN REGIMENT 

king's color 

(plate xix) 

This flag, also in the Chapel at West Point, has evidently 
been mutilated, by having a number or badge cut from the cen- 

36 




KING'S COLOR OF UNKNOWN REGIMENT 

WEST POINT 
PLATI-; MX 




NINTH FOOT 

PLATE X.X 



BRITISH COLORS 



tre. Its place of capture is unknown. It will be observed that 
the proportions of this flag are not the same as those of the jtb 
Fusilier's flag, and that the St. Andrew's Cross does not run cor- 
rectly to the corners. Mr. Milne surmises that this flag was made 
in America and not by a Government department, for some reg- 
iment (perhaps the Jth, which received new colors after Cham- 
ble), and he thus accounts for the error in shape and design. This 
and the preceding color were sent to West Point from the War 
Department in 1858. The plates are from photographs made for 
me at West Point through the courtesy of Brigadier General Mills 
and Major J. M. Carson, Jr. 

NINTH FOOT 

(plate xx) 

This plate was drawn by me from data in Mr. Milne's book, 
in which (at page 106, plate XIII), he gives a picture of the cen- 
tre, made from a photograph. The flag is yellow: This regi- 
ment surrendered at Saratoga, but the colors, as I have stated, were 
not delivered to us. I give this plate to show a good example of 
the wreath of roses and thistles. 

There were upwards of fifty English regiments here during 
the Revolution and a correct description of the flags would prob- 
ably be impossible, and in any event not especially interesting. 
To give an idea of the various colors, I will add that the Fifth 
Foot (one of the regiments at Bunker Hill) had a green regimen- 
tal color; the Sixty-Fourth Foot (\n\\ic\v so distinguished itself at 
Camden) a black color with the red cross, of course ; the 
Twenty-seventh [Inni shilling) Regiment, a buff color. 



37 



NOTE 

On January 28, 1845, a report was made to the House of Represent- 
atives (28th Congress, 2d Sess., No. 80) referring to a resolution of June 
23, 1778, and quoting it as follows : " Resolved, That the Board of War 
" be directed to collect the standards and colors taken by the Army of 
"the United States since the commencement of the war." It then quotes a 
report to Congress (January, 18 14) by the Secretary of War thus : "Of 
"the standards and colors taken by the army of the United States during 
"the War of the Revolution, six remain in this office; others, it is under- 
" stood, were deposited in Philadelphia while Congress sat in that City. 
" Whether they were, or were not, brought to this place with the public 
"offices cannot be ascertained." The report of 1845 continues as follows : 
"The small number of revolutionary trophies in possession of the Execu- 
"tive Departments should cause Congress to take immediate measures for 
" the preservation of those which remain. The capture of the Earl of 
"Cornwallis, alone, furnished twenty-four standards and colors. Perhaps 
"as many more were taken with General Burgoyne. Where are they now ? 
" Either mouldered into dust, or rotting in some obscure place, at this 
" time unknown / * * * 

"The committee, which considered this subject, January, 1814, re- 
" mark concerning the place most proper for the exhibition: 'This should 
"'be public, and easy of access, at the same time that it should be per- 
'" fectly secure from villainous attempts. These flags should be placed 
'"so as to be seen by every citizen who may wish to observe them. 
'" It will be of advantage that they should be noticed by every foreigner 
"'who may visit the United States.'" 

It will be noticed that reference is made to six flags. The United 
States now own but five. There are two Hessian flags in Philadelphia, 
to which I shall refer later on. In 1900 I saw in the War Department 
at Washington an English flag, like a King's color of a Regiment, in very 

38 




UNKNOWN BRITISH FLAG 

WASHINGTON, D. C. 
PLATE XXI 



BRITISH COLORS 

bad condition, but with a regulation spear-head. The flag was very long, 
much too long to have been carried by a man on foot. I have had a pho- 
tograph, which I took of this flag, reproduced as a curiosity (Plate XXI). 
This may have been a King's color, although I doubt it; it bore no mark 
to indicate to what regiment it may have belonged. On the spear-head 
is cut a Roman XII, but the 'Twelfth Regiment did not serve here; it was 
at Gibraltar. 

Mr. Milne's book, Standards and Colors of the Army, London, 1893, 
and Major Carson's elaborate paper in the Bulletin of the Association of 
Graduates of the United States Military Academy for 1902, should be con- 
sulted by those desiring more detailed information on the British colors. 
Lossing also gives an account of the colors which he saw at the Alexandria 
Museum. 

There is a good deal of uncertainty as to just what flags were pre- 
sented to Washington after Yorktown. 



GERMAN COLORS 




GENKRAl. WASHINGTON (pkale) 

PHII.AOELPHIA 
PLATE XXII 



GERMAN COLORS 

IT is probable that all of the German regiments which served 
in the United States had one color for each company. I 
am informed by the Historical Society at Bayreuth, that the 
two Ansbach-Bayreuth regiments undoubtedly had one color 
for each company. This would explain the great number of Ger- 
man colors captured at Yorktown — eighteen, ten belonging to the 
two Ansbach-Bayreuth regiments, Voit and i;. Seybothen (of five 
companies each), thus leaving four to each of the two Hessian regi- 
ments, Erb-Prinz and von Bose. The Yagers and Artillery had no 
colors. There is no small disagreement over the number of 
colors taken at Trenton. William Ellery in a letter, I quote later 
on, written December 31, 1776, gives four as the number, as does 
the return quoted on page 386 of Stryker's " Battles of Trenton 
"and Princeton." We there captured three regiments, v. Knyp- 
hausen. Rail, and v. Lossberg, and the Hessian General Heister 
admits a loss of fifteen flags in his report of January 5, 1777, to 
the Prince of Hesse. 

There were no national colors in Germany during our Rev- 
olution, as there were none in France. Hence the regimental 
colors were very often fanciful, although each bore something to 
indicate to which State the Regiment belonged. Thus the Hes- 
sian colors had on them a red and white striped lion (the arms of 

43 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

Hesse), the Brunswickers a white horse in a red field (the arms 
of Brunswick), the Ansbach-Bayreuthers a red eagle (Branden- 
burg) and the letters M. Z. B. ("Markgraf zu Brandenburg," the 
reigning Markgrars family being allied with the Hohenzollern- 
Brandenburg house). 

Of the many German colors captured, not less than twenty- 
two, I know of but five existing, and a small piece of a sixth. 
Three Ansbach-Bayreuth colors are at West Point, two Hessian, 
and the remnant of a third, are in the Historical Society in Phila- 
delphia. As is well known, the Brunswick colors (and probably the 
Hesse Hanau colors) were not surrendered at Saratoga. The former 
were carried off in a mattress by Madame Riedesel, and returned 
to Brunswick. The VValdeck colors were probably captured by 
the Spaniards at Pensacola. In any event, I have been unable to 
find out anything about them, or about the Anhalt-Zerbst colors. 
To Herr Boehlau, Secretary of the Museum Friedericianum at 
Cassel, Herr Zwanziger, Director of the Historical Society of 
Ober-Franken at Bayreuth, Herr Julius Meyer, Secretary of the 
Historical Society of Mittel-Franken at Ansbach, Herr Walter, 
Director of the Vaterlandisches Museum at Brunswick, and to the 
Royal Staats-Archiv at Marburg, I am greatlv indebted for infor- 
mation about the German colors, which I shall now take up in 
order. 

HESSIAN COLORS 

(plates XXIII, XXIV, xxv) 

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania very kindly allowed 
me to have photographs made of the two Hessian colors, and of 
the small fragment of a third, which that Society owns. The 
plates show the flags, in very tattered condition, but still perfect 
enough for any one to be able to reconstruct them, especially if 

44 




BRITISH 



SPEAR HEADS 

(on' same scalk) 
ANSBACH-BAYREUTH 



FRENCH 




FRAGMENT OF HESSIAN COLOR 
UNKNOWN REGIMENT 

PHILADELPHIA 
PI.ATK XXIII 



GERMAN COLORS 



one examines Peale's large portrait of Washington at the Metro- 
politan Museum or at Independence Hall. On this portrait ap- 
pear three Hessian colors (well shown on my Plate XXII of the 
Philadelphia portrait), two of which are black, and one of which 
is green. The remnant of a Hessian flag, which is among the 
Clymer papers in Philadelphia, and which is shown in the illus- 
tration (Plate XXIII), shows a part of the monogram " F. L." 
(Friederich Landgraf) and of the wreath on white silk, and a very 
little piece of a black field. The same monogram appears clearly 
on one of the two flags I have had reproduced (Plate XXIV). 
The field of both these flags is a faded green, the corner blazes :" ij,^^ (Li ■ 

brownish white, the centre blue with traces of a red and white 
striped lion. The oddly shaped "blazes," which appear in the cor- 
ners of the flags, are still not uncommon on flags in the Prussian 
Army. The flags were painted in gold and colors, the gold being 
sharply outlined in black : the wreaths, monograms and crowns are 
gold. Where the two green flags were captured or to what regi- 
ment they belonged is not positively known. 

On December 31, 1776, William Ellery, writing from Bal- 
timore to the Governor of Rhode Island, described a Hessian color 
with great accuracy as follows : " Among other things that fell 
" into our hands by the victory at Trenton, were four standards, 
" one of which is now in the room where Congress is held, and 
" directly before me. It is a Hessian silken standard. The bat- 
" talions which were surprised and subdued were the regiments of 
" Landspatch, Kniphausen and Rahl. I would describe it, if I were 
" acquainted with heraldry, and if it were important enough to 
" engage your attention. In the centre of a green field of about 
" four or five feet, is a decorated gilted circle, which encloses a lion 
" rampant, with a dagger in his right paw, and this motto in the 
" upper part of it: ' Nescit Pericula.' The crest is a crown, with 
" a globe and cross upon it. In the corners are gilted decorated 

45 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OK THE REVOLUTION 

" circles, with crowns and globes, and crosses, on their tops ; and 
" in the middle * F. L.' in cyphers. A broad blaze extends from 
" the corners to the piece in the centre, and three small blazes 
" are placed in the field ; one in the middle of the side next 
" staff; one in the opposite side ; and one in the midst of the 
" lower side or bottom." * * * (R. I. Col. Rec, Vol. VIII, p. 
170). Any further description of the Hessian colors would seem 
unnecessary. I will only add, that on the better preserved flag the 
sword and the lion's paw can be seen distinctly (Plate XXV). It 
would seem as though the lion as well as the corners had been de- 
liberately torn out of each of these flags. 

ANSBACH-BAYREUTH COLORS 

(plates XXVI TO xxxi) 

The three Ansbach-Bayreuth colors in the Chapel at West 
Point are alike in design, except that two have the date 1775 and 
the third 1770. They were captured at Yorktown on the sur- 
render of the two Ansbach-Bayreuth regiments, v. Seybotheyi and 
Voit. They are of double, heavy white damask, the pattern be- 
ing a small spray of flowers and leaves ; the flag of older date is 
on silk of a different pattern from the others. Lossing speaks of 
one of these colors as having been in the Alexandria Museum, and 
says that it was probably made in England. There is no authority 
whatever for such a surmise. The nailing of the flags to the 
staves is a common German custom, but it will be observed that 
the three flags are not nailed in the same manner. The embroid- 
ery is of colored silk much faded. On one side of each flag is an 
eagle, now dull reddish brown, but originally red (the Branden- 
burg eagle), and a scroll with the motto PRO PRINCIPE 
ET PATRIA (gold on silver), now badly tarnished. On the 
other side of the flags are palm and laurel branches of green, 

46 




HESSIAN COLOR 

UNKNOWN REGIMENT 

PHILADELPHIA 

PLATE XXIV 



i 



^ 




>- 






HESSIAN COLOR 

UNKNOWN REGIMENT 

PHILADELPHIA 

PLATE XXV 




ANSBACH-BAYREUTH COLOR 



WEST POINT 
PLATE XXVI 




ANSBACH-BAYREUTH COLOR 



WEST POINT 
PLATE XXVn 




ANSBACH-BAYREUTH COLOR 

WEST POINT 
PLATE XXVIII 




ANSBACH-BAYREUTH COLOR 

WEST POINT 
PLATE XXIX 



GERMAN COLORS 

tied together by a pink ribbon now quite pale in color, to- 
gether with a large monogram, a crown and the letters M. Z. B. 
and the date, all of bullion. The spear-head is shown in detail 
with the French and English spear-heads and on the same 
scale. I am informed by Dr. Julius Meyer, Secretary of the 
Mittel-Franken Historical Society at Ansbach, that the large 
monogram should be read as follows: S. E. T. C. A., and that the 
first four letters stand for: sinceriter et constanter (the motto 
of the order of the Red Eagle, then of Ansbach, now of Prussia). 
The fifth letter is the initial of alexandkr, the reigning Prince, 
whose complete monogram appears in the spear-head (Plate XXIII] 
— C. F. C. A., Christian Friedrich Carl Alexander. The only 
remaining cord and tassel are silver and black. 

Two of these flags are clearly shown on Peale's smaller picture 
of Washington at the Metropolitan Museum (see plate XVIIj, 
where the bullion is shown as apparently sewed down with red 
silk, and the eagle is painted bright red. The plates of the 
Ansbach-Bayreuth colors at West Point are made from photo- 
graphs, for which I am again indebted to Brigadier-General Mills 
and Major Carson. 

Dcihla, who wrote a remarkable diary of his experiences as 
an Ansbach-Bayreuth soldier, says eighteen German colors were 
surrendered at Yorktown. What has become of the other colors, 
no one seems to know. The disappearance of the heavy embroid- 
ered squares of silk of the Ansbach flags is not easy to explain. 

BRUNSWICK COLORS 

(plate xxxii) 

By a letter from Director Walter (April 15, 1907) of the 
Vaterlandisches Museum in Brunswick, I am informed that, while 
the Brunswick flags which were saved by Madame v. Riedesel and 

47 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

brought back to Brunswick, were deposited in the Arsenal there, 
they are no longer in existence. Only four of the Brunswick reg- 
iments had flags. All were of the same pattern, but of diff^erent 
colors, namely: The Prince Frederick regiment had a black flag 
with a yellow cross ; the Riedesel regiment's flag was yellow with 
a blue cross ; the Rhetz regiment's flag was green with a white 
cross ; and the Specht regiment's flag was red with a white cross. 
The centres of all the flags were red with a white horse (the horse 
of Brunswick) and the decorations, monograms, crowns, mottoes, 
etc., were painted in gold and color. The print I have had made 
of such a flag is from a large water-color sent me by the Ducal 
Museum in Brunswick. The motto, " NUNQUAM RETROR- 
SUM," is still on one of the colors of the g2d Regimeiit (Bruns- 
wick). The cypher in the corners, a double C, is for " Carl," 
the reigning duke. 

The Brunswick Dragoons brought with them to Canada four 
small swallow-tail standards, but did not carry them in the field, 
as the regiment fought on foot. These standards were blue with 
decorations painted in gold and colors. The two sides were not 
the same ; on one side was the Brunswick horse, in white, stand- 
ing on green grass ; on the other side were the large Brunswick 
arms emblazoned in their proper colors. 




ANSBACH-BAYREUTH COLOR 

WKST POINT 
PI.ATK XXX 




ANSBACH-BAYREUTH COLOR 

(west point) 

plate xxxi 




BRUNSWICK COLOR 
RIF.DESEL'S REGIMENT 

PI.ATK XXXIl 



NOTE 

I am informed by the Royal Museum Friedericianum at Cassel, from 
whom I received a very elaborate report on the colors of the German 
mercenary troops (April 26, 1907), and the Royal Staats-Archiv, at 
Marburg, that, singular though it may seem, it is a fact that the color of 
the flags of the Hessian regiments captured at Trenton and Yorktown is 
not known. The records in Cassel refer only to the flags of the regi- 
ments which returned to Germany. Of these (to refer to but two regi- 
ments), the Prinz Karl Regiment's flags were, one green with wine-colored 
corners, the others all green ; those of the Ditfurth Regiment were, one 
dark yellow with brick-red corners, the others dark yellow with light blue 
corners; the centres being blue, with a red and white striped lion. The 
flags of no two regiments were alike. Water color drawings of these flags 
exist at Cassel on which, oddly enough, the word " PERICULA" is in- 
correctly spelled "PERCULA," as on one of the flags on Peale's large 
picture at the Metropolitan Museum. The spear-heads, as Peale paints 
them, are quite diflferent from those on the Cassel water-colors. These 
latter have a crowned monogram in an open-work lance point, whereas 
Peale has drawn spear-heads of very peculiar design. (See Plate XXII.) 

The remnant of a Hessian flag referred to, is from a flag captured at 
Trenton. (Mrs. Clymer to Historical Society of Pennsylvania.) It prob- 
bly belonged to Knyphausens Regiment, whose facings were black. The 
green flags are believed to have been also taken at Trenton. Ellery does 
not give the color of the corner blazes of the flag he describes. Peale 
shows one of them white on the green flagon Plate XXII. What the 
original color of the blazes of the Philadelphia flags was, I am not prepared 
to say. Pictures of the remnant and of the two Hessian flags have not 
been published before this, to my knowledge. 

The flags oi Rail's Regiment are said to have been recaptured by the 
Hessians near Stono Ferry in 1779. (See Eelking, Lowell, and other 
authorities.) 

49 



REGIMENTAL COLORS IN THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

It is not known what the Hesse-Hanau regiment's flags were like and 
in like manner the pattern of the Anhalt-Zerbst colors is uncertain. 
Several Anhalt-Zerbst colors of the latter half of the eighteenth century 
are in existence, but whether they belonged to the regiment sent over 
here is not known. (Letter from Herr Stadtrat Miiller, of Dessau, July 
ID, 1907.) No Waldeck colors exist in Germany. (Letter from Royal 
Staats-Archiv, Marburg, March 25, 1907.) 

Infantry colors, embroidered as are those of the Ansbach-Bayreuth reg- 
iments, were very unusual in Germany in the eighteenth century. I do 
not know of any embroidered colors of that principality now existing in 
Germany. Those that I saw in Berlin are all painted. 

Major Carson's article in Bulletin No. 2 of the Association of Graduates 
of the United States Military Acadetny, referred to above, contains an ex- 
ceedingly interesting account of the Ansbach-Bayreuth colors at West 
Point. There is in the Military Museum in Munich a damaged spear-head 
exactly like those at West Point described as a spear-head of the Ansbach 
Regiment Voit v. Salzburg, "shot off at the battle of Jamestown, July 6, 
1786." What action is really meant, I do not know. Undoubtedly one 
or more of these flags belonged to Washington. They were sent to 
West Point with the English colors in 1858. 



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