Flag: 36th Alabama Infantry
Catalogue No. 86.3935.1

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Provenance Reconstruction:

Flags of this pattern were manufactured in Mobile, Alabama, and issued within the Department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana1. This flag was issued to the regiment between February 25th and May 15, 18642. According to documentation received with the flag, it was carried by flag bearer Joseph W. Tillinghast during an assault on a four gun battery at Atlanta. Following the surrender of the regiment at Meridian, Mississippi, Tillinghast crept back under cover of darkness and removed the flag from its staff. He wrapped the flag around his upper torso and covered it with his clothing, then slipped away undetected. Tillinghast retained the flag after the war. A letter from John J. Mahan of Greenville dated June 23, 1908 along with Archives' Director Dr. Thomas Owen's reply of June 25, 1908 support the story that the flag was saved by color bearer Joe Tillinghast and brought home after the war. Owen was especially interested in the flag since his father had served in the 36th Alabama Infantry. Owen wrote Mr. Tillinghast on at least two occasions concerning the flag yet, received no reply. Following Tillinghast's death, the flag became the property of his son, Joseph Winter Tillinghast Jr.

On May 19, 1957 the widow of J. W. Tillinghast Jr. of Decatur, Georgia wrote the Department stating that her husband had passed away in March and that she was looking for an appropriate home for the flag. After a brief correspondence with Archives' Director Peter Brannon, Mrs. Tillinghast donated the flag to the Department. It was received on May 28, 1957.

This flag is one of four nearly identical flags in the Department's collection which were carried by regiments within the brigade of Brigadier General H. D. Clayton at the Battle of Resaca, Georgia.

       Curator's Object Files, Civil War Flags, Alabama Department of Archives and History.
       Madaus, Howard Michael. The Battle Flags of the Confederate Army of Tennessee. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1976.

1Flags of this pattern were manufactured by James A. Cameron and Jackson Ogden Belknap.

2The other three surviving flags of Clayton's Brigade were all issued after the Battle of Rocky Face Ridge, February 25, 1864 and are known to have been used at the Battle of Resaca May 15, 1864.

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Updated: 09/03/99