The Civil War Diary of Henderson George
    Introduction
Post-war Memoirs
  Roundhead History
  Family War Records
  Samuel B. George
  Morrisons & Taylors
  Poem by William Taylor
  Poem by John Morrison
 

 

  ABOUT THE OLD "ROUNDHEAD" STATE FLAG  

John W. Morrison

The following interesting incident in connection with the Old "Roundhead" State Flag, printed in the "Star Independent" on June 16th. 1914, on the occasion of the transfer of the regimental State Flags from the Strate Library Harrisburg, to the new Capitol building, in which Captain John W. Morrison, former state treasurer and now Deputy Commissioner of Banking, commanded a company.

This regiment participated in the charge into the crater in front of Petersburg at the time it was blown up by the Union Troops July 30th. 1864. The 100dth. P.V. (Roundhead) Regiment met a storm of shot and shell, and their flag was shot almost to pieces; but the remnant of it was carried off safely; and when the old flags were handed back to the state in Philadelphia July 4th. 1866, that of the 100dth. was among the number, and found a resting place with the other State flags.

Some time ago the War Department informed Adjutant General Stewart that it had several Pennsylvania flags returned to it from the South which it would like to return to the State. In due time the battle flags arrived in Harrisburg. They were laid away in the cases in the flag room. Recently it became public that among the flags restored as having been captured by the Southern Troops was the flag of the 100dth. Pennsylvania.

Captain Morrison at once made a protest that it was a mistake, the "Roundhead" flag was never captured, and that it is now in the flag room returned to the State almost fifty years ago. On investigation sure enough the tattered remnants of the 100dth. regimental flag, attached to the staff, duly labeled, was found in the flag room.

Assistant Adjutant General Stewart, still thinking there must be some mistake, went to the flag room, took out the staff bearing the remnants of the flag, and then opened the package containing the flag of the 100dth. regiment sent back by the War Department as having been captured by the South and returned.

Unfurling the tatters he laid them out carefully on a large table, and then took the part of the flag sent back from the South, and placing them together, he had the complete flag of the 100dth. P.V. (Roundhead) regiment.

When the regiment met with the storm of shot and shell in its charge into the crater, carried by the color bearer (name of color bearer unknown to the writer) it was riddled and one half of the blue field with its stars and five of the upper stripes bearing the regiments number was shot away.

It was this shot off part that was found by the southern troops and borne away as a captured flag. The flag was neatly sewed together making the flag complete, and one of the proudest men in the procession yesterday, was Captain Morrison as he carried the banner of the (Roundheads).

  FLAGS OF "SIXTY ONE"  
  By John W. Morrison  

The flags are furled. The faded, tattered colors
That once waved proudly in the battle breeze
Cling to their time-worn staffs, concealing
Rents from shot and shell---incarnadined
With heroes blood---mute witnesses of
Fields of carnage, agony and woe.
Through days of summer's ferved heat and
Winter's chilling winds, they waved above
The hosts of marching men, and, like a benediction,
Rested o'er their bivouac at night. they showed
With those who followed them the victories
Achieved and seemed to droop in times of
Anguish and defeat. They saw the zenith of
The soldiers hopes---the nadir of their
Despair and gloom. These treasured relics of a
Tragic past were borne aloft midst battle-flame,
By youths who bore the "Badge of Courage," and
Falling in their defense their last devoted
Gaze was on the dear old flag for which they
Bravely fought---for which they nobly died.
To-day with faltering steps and slow, surviving
Veterans bowed with age, with throbbing hearts
And kindling eyes, carry these standards to their
Last abiding place, their silken folds ne'er more in
Motion to be stirred, save by the breeze of tender
Memories---ne'er more to be unfurled in fratricidal war,
For "Peace like a River" extends o'er a united
People and a glorious land. No longer do they typify
The bitterness and hate engendered by a long and
Sanguinary strife.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

The veterans work is done. Their sun is sinking
In the western sky; for them the shadows lengthen;
For them the evenings twilight soon will mingle
With the mists of night, and calmly they await
The sounding of the bugle's last pathetic
Army calls---TAPS! LIGHTS OUT!!

The above poem was written at the time of the transfer of the battle-flags of Pennsylvania, from the state library to the rotunda of the New State Capitol. The author was a member of Co. E. 100dth. Penna. Vet. Vols. (The famous Roundhead Regiment.)

 

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