The battle flag the 1st Texas Regiment carried into the most ferocious and desperate two hours of the battle of Antietam proudly flew the colors of the State of Texas.
Stonewall Jackson's corps were desperately trying to hold General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia's left flank from a sea of blue clad soldiers under the command of US General Joseph Hooker. Reinforcements were called in and General John Bell Hood's Texans were brought up to hold the line. Hood's brigades were able to hold their ground during the pitched battle but the 1st Texas Regiment decided not just to hold their ground but charged forward across the Miller's cornfield on their own.
These courageous men could not be stopped even by their own officers' orders, and they fought across the 40 acre corn field carrying what became know as the Texas Wigfall Flag. The flag was so named because it was made from Mrs. Wigfall's wedding dress. Nine color bearers were killed carrying the flag during some of the most savage fighting of the war. The 1st Texas suffered over 82% casualties on that field, more than any other Regiment North or South, during the entire war. The blood soaked flag was not captured in battle but found by a federal soldier under the body of one of those brave Texas heroes.
The flag was returned to the State of Texas in 1909, and hung with honor in the chamber of the Texas House of Representatives until the 1920's.
This painting was commissioned by the Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans to be placed on the State of Texas motor vehicle license plates.
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