Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 38.djvu/272
258 Southern Historical Society Papers.
Many very elaborate and quaint designs, modelled in silk and painted on paper or canvass, most of which could not have been made of bunting, were submitted and rejected. The session was on the eve of closing, when, as a last resort, the Stars and Bars were adopted. This flag was used, and, by its resemblance to the Stars and Stripes, caused some confusion at the first battle of Manassas, in which General Barlow fell.
The flag adopted by the Confederate Congress on the 5th day of March, 1861, did not meet with general approval, and numer- ous designs, considered by their authors more appropriate, con- tinued to be presented.
The Stars and Bars did not satisfy those who wished to retain the old flag, and was too nearly allied to the old flag in its devices to suit those who wished to tear away from it altogether. In use on the battlefield its resemblance to the Stars and Stripes led to confusion, and mistakes. At the first Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861, called by the Confederates the Battle of Manassas, the opposing regimental colors were so alike that each accused the other party of displaying its colors. On that account, Gen- eral Joseph E. Johnston attempted to substitute State colors for those of the Confederacy, but being unable to obtain them, except for the Virginia regiments, designs were called for. Most of the designs were by Louisianans, and presented by General Beaureguard ; the one selected had a red ground, with a blue diagcnal cross emblazoned with white stars, one for each State, and when first submitted was oblong in shape. General John- ston changed this oblong to a square flag, the infantry colors being four, artillery three, and the cavalry standard two and a half feet. They were furnished by the quartermaster's depart- ment, and adopted by all of the troops that served east of the Mississippi,
The Stars and Bars continued to be flown as the ensign of the Confederacy on flag-staffs and by the shipping. In the field it was almost entirely superseded by General Baureguard's battle- flag.
No other flag was used by the Confederates in the field after it was adopted and furnished to the troops in Virginia, October, 1 861.
The full history of the flag is contained in the following letter