Flag: 1st Alabama Infantry (Co. I-K, Wilcox True Blues)
Catalogue No. 86.4006.1

Obverse image of flag of the 1st Alabama Infantry, Companies I-K after conservation treatment (left), reverse after treatment (right).

Provenance Reconstruction:

According to local tradition, this flag was made from the blue silk dress of Miss Adele Robbins of Canton Bend and was painted by Samuel Tepper. It was presented to the company prior to their departure for Pensacola, Florida in February 1861. The regiment was captured at Island No. 10, in April 1862 and the flag was taken from a private home in Tiptonville, Tennessee near there. The flag was discovered in Lansing, Michigan in 1917 by Miss Maude McWilliams who was visiting her sister. At that time, the flag was being displayed at the capitol. Miss McWilliams then notified her father, Mr. Richard Ervin McWilliams of Camden, who had served with the True Blues.

Through the efforts of Mr. McWilliams, the flag was returned to him by permission of the Board of Governors of the State of Michigan and the Michigan Grand Army of the Republic. The letter granting permission is dated September 16, 1920. Dr. Owen, Director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, had previously requested the return of the flag without success. McWilliams' daughter presented the flag to the Department on May 7, 1921.

The flag received conservation treatment and was prepared for display by Textile Preservation Associates, Inc. of Keedysville, Maryland in 2007.

      Brewer, Willis. Alabama: Her Resources, War Records and Public Men, From 1540 to 1872. Montgomery, AL. 1872.
       Curator's Object Files, Civil War Flags, Alabama Department of Archives and History.
      Tancig, W. J. Confederate Military Land Units, 1861-1865. New York, Thomas Yoseloff 1967.

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Updated: February 1, 2011