Forrest’s Battle Flag 3×5 – Printed


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Twelve-Star Confederate Battle Flag

Nathan Bedford Forrest (1821-1877) was a cavalry officer in the Confederate Army in the western theater during the Civil War, eventually rising to the rank of Lieutenant General in February of 1865, despite having no formal military training. Although a wealthy businessman a planter and exempt from military service, Forrest enlisted as a private in the Tennessee Mounted Rifles on June 14th, 1861. Noticing how poorly equipped the men were, he purchased equipment for the unit using his own money. He soon earned a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and was placed in charge of raising and training a battalion of his own, consisting of about 650 mounted troopers. Forrest went on to lead his men in numerous engagements including the Battles of Shiloh, Chickamauga, Brice’s Crossroads, and Second Franklin. He became known for the saying “get there first with the most men,” and relentlessly attacked Union forces during the Vicksburg Campaign in 1862 and 1863. He and his men successfully raided federal supplies and communication lines throughout the war. Forrest became known as the “Wizard of the Saddle” for his creative and successful use of cavalry tactics while usually being outnumbered. On one particular occasion in May of 1863, he cornered a Union cavalry unit near Cedar Bluff, Alabama. Recognizing that the enemy held a substantially larger force, Forrest led his troopers around the same hilltop multiple times leading the Union commander into believing that the Confederate force had greater numbers and bluffed them into surrendering the 1,500 Union cavalry men when in reality, he had less than a third as many men. By the end of May 1863, Nathan Bedford Forrest was given the cavalry command of Earl Van Dorn, who had recently been murdered. In the fall of 1863, General Joseph E. Johnston decided to standardize the battle flags of the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana. The new battle flags were made in Mobile Alabama by Mobile Depot. All of these flags had twelve stars. It is believed that the reason for this is that General PGT Beauregard’s “personal twelve-star silk flag was sent to Mobile for safekeeping during the war. It was undoubtedly displayed and seen by many people in Mobile including the flag makers at Mobile Depot. It wasn’t until July of 1864, that Forrest’s corps would receive their new Mobile Depot flags. They would fight under these flags, with few exceptions, for the remainder of the war. It is unknown for certain, but most of the regiments under Forrest’s command likely carried 1st National or 2nd National style battle flags before being issued the new twelve-star flags. Although Forrest’s Cavalry Corps was not the first or the only cavalry or infantry unit to carry twelve-star battle flags in the Western theatre, the design is widely recognized as “Forrest’s Battle Flag”. After General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Grant in Virginia, Forrest surrendered as well. At Gainesville, he read his farewell address to the men under his command, urging them to “submit to the powers that be, and to aid in restoring peace and establishing law and order throughout the land.” General Nathan Bedford Forrest died in 1877 at the age of 56.

This is a reproduction of the twelve-star-style Confederate battle flag (of which there were many). The exact size and materials are not the same as the original flags.

Made of printed polyester, which is very lightweight and will fly nicely in light breezes. The artwork is visible from both sides of the flag.

  • One solid piece of printed, hemmed fabric
  • Very lightweight, 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′

Additional information

Weight 4 oz