3rd Arkansas Infantry Regiment 4×4 Battle Flag

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Hood’s Texas Brigade Third Arkansas Infantry Regiment 4’x4′ ANV Style Square Battle Flag

The 3rd Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a line infantry formation of the Confederate States Army attached to General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War. It was the only Arkansas regiment to serve the entire war in the Eastern Theater. The regiment was formed during May and June of 1861 in Virginia from Arkansas volunteers who had made their way east. It was composed of 11 companies with a total of 1353 men who served in the regiment throughout the war. The regiment would eventually become one of the hardest fighting and most well-respected units in the Confederate Army. Before their first battle, however, first impressions of them by their peers was that the regiment was poorly dressed and poorly equipped and consisted of mostly ignorant country boys. Once proven in combat, those opinions changed quickly. The regiment’s first assignment was to the mountains of West Virginia, where it fought in the Battles of Cheat Mountain and Greenbrier River, followed by the actions in the Valley Campaign under General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. They were engaged in the battle of White Oak Swamp, on June 3rd, and on July 1st, 1862, participated in the battle of Malvern Hill. Later in July of 1862, the 3rd Arkansas was joined by nearly 140 soldiers from the 2nd Arkansas Infantry Battalion which had recently been decimated while leading an attack against the Union position at Beaver Dam Creek. The War Department disbanded the 2nd Arkansas, transferring its surviving members to the 3rd. On September 17th, 1862, at the Battle of Antietam, the Third Arkansas Infantry suffered so many casualties from companies “A” and “L” that the two companies had to be consolidated into one company “A” thus eliminating company “L”. This reduced the regiment to ten companies, the standard complement for an infantry regiment. In November of 1862, the Third Arkansas became part of the famous “Hood’s Texas Brigade” along with the 1st, 4th, and 5th Texas Infantries. The Third Arkansas remained an integral part of Hood’s Brigade until the end of the war. The first engagement that the 3rd Arkansas participated in as part of the Texas Brigade was the Battle of Fredericksburg in December of 1862. They were not present at Chancellorsville, because they were detached along with the rest of Longstreet’s Corps at Suffolk Virginia. The Third Arkansas along with the rest of Hood’s Brigade were very tenacious fighters. They usually found themselves in the most intense fighting on the battlefield. Their presence at the “Sunken Road” during the Battle of Antietam is one example. The 3rd’s most well-known action was during the Battle of Gettysburg, at the Devil’s Den. They suffered heavy casualties while serving at the front of Hood’s assault which meant it was one of the first units to be directly engaged during the second day of the battle. The 3rd was commended for gallantry as a result of that action. There is a monument at the Gettysburg battlefield dedicated to the 3rd Arkansas Infantry. The regiment was transferred to Longstreet’s Corps and sent to Tennessee in September of 1863 where they fought at the Battle of Chickamauga. They went on to fight in the battles of Chattanooga, Wauhatchie, and the siege of Knoxville before returning with Longstreet and rejoining the Army of Northern Virginia in the spring of 1864. The 3rd Arkansas suffered heavy casualties during the Battle of the Wilderness May 5th – 7th 1864, then continued on and fought at Spotsylvania Courthouse, Cold Harbor, Deep Run, and Petersburg during the siege by Grant. Then during the closing days of the war in 1865, High Bridge and Farmville. When General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865, Hood’s Texas Brigade had only 617 men left fit for duty out of total of 5,353 who served in the brigade during the war. The 3rd Arkansas had only 144 men remaining.

The Flags of the 3rd Arkansas

The 3rd Arkansas is believed to have had at least four different regimental battle flags during the Civil War. The first flag was most likely a First National-style flag and was carried during the Battle of Antietam. Little is known about this flag as its whereabouts are unknown and likely did not survive the war.

The second regimental flag of the Third Arkansas Infantry was made by the ladies of Fredericksburg Virginia and presented to the 3rd Arkansas Infantry as a gesture of gratitude for the kindness shown to citizens of Fredericksburg while the regiment was stationed there in the winter of 1862. It was an Army of Northern Virginia (ANV) style Battle Flag, but the specifications differed slightly from the standard issue as it was smaller (35.5″ square). It is believed that the color bearer James M. Johnson was killed while carrying this flag at the Battle of Chickamauga on September 19th, 1863. The original flag is currently in the custody of the Old State House Museum Collections, Little Rock, Arkansas. The flag was donated by the family of Private R. Jessie Bailey, 3rd Arkansas Infantry, regimental band.

The third flag carried by the Third Arkansas Infantry, which is the one listed here, was an ANV-style Battle Flag made by the Richmond Depot. It measured 49″ square and the unit designation in the center covers the thirteenth star. It was issued to the unit on September 20, 1863, on the battlefield of Chickamauga, and was carried until January of 1865. During the Battle of the Wilderness, the color bearer was wounded and Private Spencer Young picked up the flag and carried it through the battle. He received a battlefield commission of 1st lieutenant for this action. Young was able to retain the flag and at the end of the war, he took it home to Arkansas. It remained in his custody until he died in 1924. Shortly thereafter, the family donated it to the Old State House Museum in Little Rock.

The fourth and final flag of the Third Arkansas was also an ANV-style Battle Flag made by the Richmond Depot and measured 51″ x 50″. This flag was surrendered by the regiment at Appomattox Courthouse and is currently in the collection of the Museum of the Confederacy, in Richmond, Virginia.

This is a reproduction of the 3rd Arkansas Infantry Battle Flag. The actual dimensions and materials are not the same as the original flag. The artwork is visible on both sides. The lettering reads correctly from 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: 4′ x 4′

Additional information

Weight 5.5 oz