The Co. K, 60th Virginia flag banner pictured above was found in an old trunk in Macon, GA belonging to Private David J. Wise of the 34th Virginia Cavalry, and after the war he was a member of the United Confederate Veterans, “Alleghany Roughs" Camp, in Clifton Forge, VA. The pike banner was used in United Confederate Veterans reunions.
The 60th Virginia regimental flag was captured at the Battle of Winchester on September 19, 1864 along with Color Sgt. Adam Johnston. Johnston gave the above flag fragment to the United Daughters of the Confederacy when he filed for his the Southern Cross of Honor medal in 1908. The fragment was verified to be from 1864-65 material and was most likely from the last 60th Virginia flag when the unit disbanded in Christiansburg, VA on April 12, 1865.
60th VIRGINIA REGIMENTAL FLAG IS PRESERVED!
The Sixtieth Virginia Regimental Flag
The 60th Virginia regimental battle flag was a symbol of honor and glory among the soldiers of the regiment. This emblem was highly sought on the field of battle by the enemy and many color bearers perished, still firmly grasping its pole. To capture a confederate flag meant a Medal of Honor and a thirty day furlough for any Yankee brave enough to contest the southern color bearer.
By mid-1862 Confederate regiments were authorized to record participating battles on their regimental flag. The 60th Virginia received distinguished recognition of crossed bayonets by order of General Robert E. Lee; the only one of its kind in the confederacy. This admiration was bestowed for their gallantry at the Battle of Frayser’s Farm. Their flag also contained battle honors for Cold Harbour, Mechanicsville and Frayser's Farm. The Seven Days Battle was the unit's first hard fought campaign and inflicted 204 casualties on a regiment that consisted of only 522 men in its companies three months prior.
This flag is an early (2nd bunting) issued in mid-1862 and is approximately 46.5” (hoist) x 47.5.” It was carried by the regiment until its capture at the Battle of Winchester on September 19, 1864.
After its capture the flag was delivered to the War Department, but not before a souvenir of the center star was retrieved by General George A. Custer. Custer removed one star from each captured flag so that he could later create a flag containing all the stars from captured flags as his remembrance of glory.
60th Virginia Infantry Regiment
On August 3, 2012 permission was granted by the American Civil War Museum to solicit donations for the conservation and preservation of the 60th Virginia Infantry regimental flag. This captured flag of the 60th Virginia had not been previously conserved or treated and was among 282 unidentified regimental flags held by the U.S. War Department returned to the Museum of the Confederacy, per Joint Resolution No. 43 of June 29, 1906. This flag was delivered to the Museum of the Confederacy, located within the White House of the Confederacy, in Richmond, Virginia. The flag was stored until the new museum facility opened in 1976, when it was transferred to that building. It now resides in the American Civil War Museum at the Tredegar Iron Works. This unidentified flag was later identified by its battle honors and cross bayonets as belonging to the 60th Virginia Regiment.
The conservator was so concerned with the condition of the flag during an inspection that it was recommended to be advanced "at the top of the priority list to halt any further loss." There was much damage from battle and time. The quotation for the complete conservation and restoration was $16,110.00.
The final donation for the restoration efforts was made on July 20, 2018 and the flag was shipped off to the conservatory in order for them to do their work. The restoration was time-consuming and tedious, but completed, framed, and returned to the museum in Richmond just in time for Christmas of 2019, where it now resides.
The 60th Virginia regimental flags saw hard service in the war, and only four flags possibly existed. The number of soldiers scarred, maimed and killed in battle is a good indication of their service. If you get the chance to visit the museum, don’t forget to ask to see the 60th Virginia flag that saw the wounding and/or death of 523 men beneath her fluttering wind pressed colors, as these soldiers marched into flying lead and steel.
60th Virginia Infantry Regiment © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.