Confederate First National Flag with Seven Star “Crescent” Pattern, Captured at the Fall of New Orleans. 48″ x 33″ and accompanied by family provenance and notarized affidavit of Dorothy B. Morrill, the great-granddaughter of Commander Charles Caldwell of the U.S.S. Gunboat Itasca who captured this flag during the fall of New Orleans in 1862.
The flag is made of flannel and the canton is a faded blue with seven white stars hand applied in a very rare crescent pattern. On March 4, 1861, the Confederate Congress created the Confederacy’s First National flag bearing seven stars as only seven Southern states had yet seceded and Congress was hurried to give the new country a standard to rally around. The stars on this flag were arranged in a wreath, or crescent design, and are believed to have been made in New Orleans, the “Crescent City”. It was believed that more states would secede and room was left to welcome the new states on the flag with a star of their own. In early April of 1862, Commander Charles Caldwell of the Union began the perilous duty of opening the way for Farragut’s fleet to come up the Mississippi River from the Gulf of Mexico to attack the Confederate forts protecting New Orleans. Commander Caldwell and a small crew from the Itasca went before the forts under cover of night and cut the chains the Confederates had strung across the Mississippi River to block passage. On the night of April 20th, Caldwell returned to the scene in a ten-oar rowboat to make sure the chains had not been repaired. Dodging fire rafts and risking detection by the Confederates within the forts, he discovered that there was indeed a passage enabling free movement along the eastern shore, and he signaled Admiral Farragut of his discovery. With that signal, the Union fleet sprang into motion and the assault of Forts Jackson and St. Phillip began. It ended five days later with the surrender and capture of New Orleans. Commander Caldwell was lauded for his bravery as he undoubtedly ensured the success of Farragut’s Union fleet that night. Family history firmly documents that it was during this engagement and the surrender of New Orleans that he captured this early style Confederate First National flag. Its seven star “Crescent” design dates between February and April of 1861 and corresponds to its early capture in the Civil War with the fall of the Confederacy’s first major city.
Info of flag and it’s sale at auction found here