Flag Presentation to the Washington Artillery. 29
sas that the timely appearance of the forces of General Early, with his brigade of Virginia, Louisiana, and Mississippi troops, on the extreme right flank of the enemy, thereby insuring their defeat on that historic day, had well-nigh caused ruin to the Confederates, because Early's troops were supposed to be a part of the enemy's forces, and it was with difficulty that they could be distinguished by their flag.
After this graphic and brilliant introduction, which want of space has here required to be curtailed, the eloquent speaker continued as follows :
General Beauregard had determined that no troops of his command would again be exposed to such a mistake, and he did all in his power to accomplish that end, General Johnston, as the Commander in- Chief of our united forces, greatly assisting him in his efforts. Gen- eral Beauregard first endeavored, through Colonel Miles, of South Carolina, chairman of the House Military Committee in the Confed- erate Congress, to have our national flag entirely changed. Failing in this he proposed a battle flag different in every respect to any State or Federal flag hitherto used. Finally the three senior Generals, at Fairfax Courthouse — Generals Johnston, Beauregard and G. W. Smith — met in conference in the latter part of September, and after examining many designs — for many had been sent — " one of several presented by General Beauregard," says General Johnston, "was selected. I modified it," he continues, " only by making the shape square instead of oblong, and prescribed the different sizes for in- fantry, artillery and cavalry."
Such was the origin of the batde-flag of the Army of the Potomac, as it was first called, which soon became the rallying emblem of every Confederate soldier, whatever the, army he served in, and following which he showed on many a bloody field, from and after Manassas to the battle of Bentonville, the last of the war, that numbers did not always stand in the way of victory.
Its field was red or crimson, its bars blue with a narrow white fillet separating the red from the blue. On the bars, which formed a Greek cross, were stars, white or gold, equal in number to the States in the Confederacy. Its size was four feet by four for infantry, three feet by three for artillery, two feet and a half by two and a half for cavalry. This design, by a very singular coincidence, had been de- vised by Colonel Miles, of South Carolina, and offered to Congress as the Confederate flag as early as March, 1861. It had likewise been