Old South Military Antiques

Richmond’s Last Flag
Item #: OS-7131

The portion of flag shown here is a remnant of the last Confederate National Flag to float over the Capitol of the Confederacy. It was souvenired by Reverend John O. Foster, a member of the U.S. Christian Commission, attached to the 24th Corp, Army of the Potomac. On the morning of Sunday April 2, 1865 Confederate lines near Petersburg broke after a nine month siege. The retreat of the army left the Confederate capital of Richmond, 25 miles to the north, defenseless. Foster landed at City Point on April 2nd, and helped tend the wounded, while watching the bombardment of Petersburg. He wrote in his diary: "Artillery played all night, till nearly morning, shotted thunder” Moving on to Richmond, he watched as the city burned on the night of April 3rd, and on the 4th, Foster and the U.S. Christian Commission entered the city. As Chaplain, it is said he preached the first sermon in the doomed city.

At some point he was given a section of the enormous flag that had flown over the Capitol of the Confederacy. On April 5th, he visited the Confederate Treasury, and noted "Promises to pay (bonds) in ton lots, -help yourselves- did so.” He collected as many different types of bonds as he could find, and glued them to the sections of flag that he had obtained. He affixed a label to his montage of bonds which reads: "Confederate Money valuable as curios, Pieces of flag floating over caption at Richmond day of capitulation”

I personally remember when this surfaced twenty years or so ago. At the time there were numerous bonds glued to the section of the flag. At that time, the entire piece was sent to Textile Preservation Association for authentication and it comes with their report. Unfortunately, the dealer that acquired this rare artifact saw more value in cutting it apart and selling it in pieces than in preserving and protecting it. Most were cut into small pieces, but this one was preserved because he did not want to cut up the bond, which was valuable in its own right.

I don’t deal in bonds, so the following description was written by someone else: "A rare war-date Confederate Call Certificate, …The unengrossed four percent call certificate (Ball#174 (355), Criswell #160) was printed by Evans and Cogswell, Columbia, SC….A rare bond that catalogs at $2,000.00 in fine condition, this example bears some staining from glue and marginal chips, with a small hole above area where the flag relic had been attached”

A one by eight- and one-half inch strip of the last flag over the Confederate Capitol is still glued to the back of the bond. Both the bond and the flag remnant are only $1,980.00

Price $1,980.00 USD