40th Alabama Infantry Regiment Battle Flag
The 40th Alabama Infantry Regiment was organized in May of 1862 at Mobile Alabama and was made up of men from Perry, Sumter, Morgan, Covington, Pickens, Colbert, Mobile, and Choctaw counties. The regiment remained in Mobile until December and then moved to Vicksburg, participating in the action on Deer Creek. While in that part of Mississippi, the 40th was brigaded with the 37th and 42nd Alabama regiments, as well as the 2nd Texas. Four companies were sent to Fort Pemberton, and from there they were transferred to General Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee, and were engaged at the Battle of Chickamauga. The other companies were attached to the garrison defending Vicksburg where they were captured after the fall of the city. After being exchanged, the surviving men of the 40th who were still fit for service were reunited and fought in the battles of Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain. They spent the winter at Dalton, Georgia where General Alpheus Baker took command of the brigade. The 40th then took part in the Atlanta campaign where they suffered heavy losses. They were then sent to Mobile, where they were on garrison duty for several months. In January 1865, the regiment fought at Bentonville with more severe losses, after which they were consolidated with the 19th and 46th regiments. The new regiment was designated 19th Alabama Infantry Regiment and was shortly thereafter surrendered at Yadkin River bridge on April 26, 1865, with only a handful of men remaining from the original 40th Alabama Infantry.
This twelve-star Army of Northern Virginia (ANV) style battle flag was issued to the 40th Alabama Infantry at Dalton, Georgia in May of 1864. Lt. Colonel Ezekiel Slocumb Gulley of the 40th Alabama stated that it was carried from the time it was issued until the end of the war. During the Battle of Bentonville in North Carolina, March 22nd – 23rd, 1865 three color bearers were shot down carrying the flag. A small group of about 40 men became separated from the rest of the regiment behind federal lines after the battle. They spent several days avoiding being captured. In an effort not to lose the colors, Hilliard O’Neal who was the color bearer removed the flag from its staff and wrapped it around his body underneath his uniform. A few days after the battle the men made their way back to camp with the flag flying from a new staff that had been cut just for the occasion. The men were so overjoyed to see the flag that they shouted, cried, hugged the flag, and even kissed it. After the 40th Alabama was consolidated with the 19th and 46th Alabama, and the new regiment was designated as the 19th Alabama Infantry, They were assigned to General Edmund Pettus’ Brigade. Lt. Colonel Gulley asked Pettus what would be done with the flag since officially, there was no longer a 40th Alabama Infantry Regiment. Pettus told Gulley that he could keep the flag. Gulley retained the flag after the war and planned to keep it in his family passing it down to his children and grandchildren. Thomas Owen, Director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History corresponded with Woodson and Bettie Gulley (two of Ezekiel’s children) between 1903 and 1907 in an attempt to convince them to loan or donate the flag. The flag was eventually loaned long enough for it to be photographed but then returned to Woodson Gulley. On January 2, 1940, the flag was donated to the Department by Robert Campbell, grandson of Ezekiel Slocumb Gulley.
This is a reproduction of the 40th Alabama Infantry Regiment flag and has a vintage/aged finish and includes the battle honors that appeared on the original flag. The actual dimensions and materials are not exactly the same as the original. The artwork 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′