a regulation stand of first issue national colors made of heavy silk, hand sewn with embroidered 35 star canton in 5 rows of 7 stars, gilt painted text on 5th red strip reading 1st N.C.C. Heavy Artillery with black painted shading, 70″ x 78″, archivally framed in gold leaf wood frame, 72″ x 80″. The block style of the black painted shading together with the size and stacked arrangement of the stars is indicative of a Cincinnati Depot contract.
The 1st North Carolina Heavy Artillery was organized at New Berne and Morehead City in March 1864 with nearly 1300 officers and men in the usual 12 companies. The regiment formed part of the local New Bern district garrison within the Department of Virginia and North Carolina until March 1865 when the designation was changed to the 14th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery. The regiment remained in service until December 1865 when it mustered out without seeing any combat. Partial descriptive rolls for the 14th USCHA are online and show that the vast majority of recruits were local men. A handful of soldiers from other USCT regiments were transferred to the 14th, a few with prior combat experience on the Petersburg front.
Authentic national colors carried during the Civil War are exceedingly rare in the public domain. Nearly 2,400 stands of national colors and about the same number of regimental flags were produced under contract by the three depots–New York, Philadelphia and Cincinnati–and only a handful of well-worn survivors reside outside of state and institutional jurisdiction.