The Flag

of the

1st Texas Sharpshooters

Burnett’s Battalion



Copied from Alan K. Sumrall, Battle Flags of Texans in the Confederacy, (Austin: Eakin Press, 1995.) page 48:


1st tx sharpshooters.jpg

It is believed that this variant (41 X 52 inches) of the Texas state flag was used by James Burnet’s 1st Battalion Texas Sharpshooters and was captured by Federal Forces

at Port Hudson


“Located approximately twenty miles north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on the Mississippi River, the sleepy town of Port Hudson once served as the southern bastion protecting Confederate cross-river traffic while Vicksburg served the same purpose to the north. Both were targeted by Federal forces in the spring of 1863. Gen. Nathaniel Banks, with Union forces from the captured port of New Orleans, attacked Port Hudson on March 15, 1863, but was repulsed. The campaign against the town continued, however, and the Confederate forces there surrendered on July 9, 1863, five days after Vicksburg fell.1


The Mississippi was effectively closed to commercial and military traffic and the western Confederacy was cut off from the east. At least two Texas units served near Port Hudson during this period: Burnet's First Battalion of Volunteer Sharpshooters and the Seventh Texas Volunteer Infantry Regiment.


The illustrated Lone Star Flag was allegedly captured by Federal troops possibly during their unsuccessful attack on March 15.2 It is more probable that this flag belonged to Burnet's unit because the Seventh Texas Infantry had been exchanged from the Fort Donelson surrender.


The star on this cotton flag is tilted in the opposite direction of the First Texas' flag used at Sharpsburg (Antietam). Of note is the substantially wider red lower bar on the field. This flag measured approximately 41 x 52 inches. Aside from the use of Hood's Texas Brigade, no other large Texas State Flags have been confirmed to be used by Texas Confederate regiments.3

            Burnet's Sharpshooters were perhaps the only Texas unit to return to the state after the closure of the Mississippi. In December 1863 they reputedly went back across the river in small boats, a difficult but not impossible task.

            The Seventh Texas Infantry, under Granbury, joined the Army of Tennessee, becoming part of Granbury's Texas Brigade.”4


Sources:

1 Alan K. Sumrall, Battle Flags of Texans in the Confederacy, (Austin: Eakin Press, 1995.) page 48.

2 Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 15, pages 1032-1033.

3 Howard M. Madaus, “The Southern Cross.” 3 volume unpublished manuscript.

4 Summrall.


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