1st Texas Infantry – Wigfall Flag
History of the 1st Texas Infantry Regiment Flag
The 1st Texas Infantry flag is also referred to as the “Wigfall Flag” it because was presented to the Texas regiment in July 1861 in the name of Lula Wigfall, who was the 15-year-old daughter of the regiment’s 1st Colonel, Louis T Wigfall. It was said to have been made by the colonel’s wife, Charlotte using the material from her wedding dress. This may or may not be the case, however, the tilted or “walking” star on the blue field was likely made from the material of a bridal gown. In any case, the flag was assembled by a skilled seamstress using dress fabrics and sewing methods that were not typical of flags issued during the Civil War. The flag was entirely assembled with two layers of silk. The battle honors, “Seven Pines” and “Gaines Farm” were inscribed within the blue canton using white paint, while “Elthams Landing: and “Malvern Hill” were in gold or possibly red lettering on the white and red fields respectively. The latter two honors are not visible on the flag today as the lettering has worn off over time, however, traces of the lettering can be detected upon close inspection, but the original color is uncertain. The original flag is on display at the Texas Library and Archives Commission in Austin Texas.
The 1st Texas fought under this flag throughout the Peninsula Campaign from March through July of 1862. They carried it through the Second Battle of Bull Run in August 1862 and into Maryland during Lee’s first invasion of the North where they fought at the Battle of Antietam at Sharpsburg Maryland September 17th, 1862. This was the deadliest single-day battle of the entire Civil War with a total of over 22,000 casualties from both sides combined. The battle began at dawn when Joseph Hooker’s 1st Corps attacked Lee’s left flank across Miller’s cornfield. Although badly outnumbered, Hood’s Texas Brigade which consisted of the 1st, 4th, and 5th Texas Infantries along with the 18th Georgia Infantry and Hampton’s Legion of South Carolina mounted a counter-attack driving the Union troops all the way back to their defensive artillery positions, thus preventing Lee’s army from being routed from its flank. They did so, however, at a heavy cost. 186 out of the 226 men in the 1st Texas were killed or wounded. This amounted to more than an 82% casualty rate which was the highest of any unit, North or South for the entire war. Nine brave Texas color bearers were shot down carrying this flag. When the ninth was killed, the flag was finally lost. It was taken from among the dead bodies by a Union private from Pennsylvania.
This is a reproduction of the 1st Texas Infantry Regiment flag. The actual dimensions and materials are not exactly the same as the original flag.
Made of 100-denier printed polyester which is a very lightweight material with artwork that is visible on both sides of the flag. The lettering reads right on one side only.
- One solid piece of printed, hemmed fabric
- Lightweight, 100-denier polyester that will fly nicely in the slightest breeze.
- Bright colors
- 4 rows of stitching on the fly end to prevent premature fraying
- Reinforced header with brass grommets
- Flag size: 3′ x 5′