Fort Fisher 3×5 Flag

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General Sam Bell Maxey Battle Flag/Fort Fisher Garrison Flag

Fort Fisher was located on a peninsula between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean. It was a key asset to the Confederate states as it protected the one remaining seaport still in control of the Confederacy by the winter of 1864. The port was located in the city of Wilmington, North Carolina which was 21 miles upstream from Fort Fisher. Although the Union Navy was blocking all incoming vessels, Confederate and British blockade runners were still able to get through with much-needed supplies for the Confederate Army. Despite the failure to capture the fort in December of 1864, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was determined to overtake it, thus attacked a second time in January of 1865 sending a Union force of nearly 9,000 men along with several ships and gunboats to bomb the fort and its 1,900 defenders into submission. At 10:00 PM on January 15th, the garrison flag came down and the fort surrendered. Confederate defenders suffered more than 500 casualties While the Union attackers lost 955 men. One of the survivors of the battle later wrote; “If hell is what it is said to be, then the interior of Fort Fisher is a fair comparison. Here and there you see great heaps of human beings laying just as they fell, one upon the other. Some groaning piteously and asking for water. Others whose mortal career is over, still grasping the weapon they used to so good an effect in life.”

The Fort Fisher Flag

The garrison flag flown at Fort Fisher was a Second National (Stainless Banner) style flag with the saltire in the canton (upper hoist-end corner) having reversed colors, similar to Richard Taylor’s flag of the Trans-Mississippi.

Sam Bell Maxey Flag

Brigadier General Sam Bell Maxey from Paris, Texas is believed to have flown a flag very similar in design to the Fort Fisher flag. In the parlor of the former home of Sam Bell Maxey which is now a Museum in Paris, Texas hangs a large painting by Dora Maxey Lightfoot, who was the daughter of the General. The portrait depicts a beautiful Second National Confederate flag with a reverse color canton. Word has been passed down through family generations that this was the banner used by Maxey’s troops while he was stationed in Indian Territory. It appears unlikely that an effort by the Maxey family to portray a fictional banner was made. Furthermore, many units of the Trans-Mississippi Department used the Taylor flag, so there seems to be no reason why Maxey could not have applied it to the Second National pattern for his purposes of identification and to give his men a unique rallying standard for battle and parade. Generals Beauregard, Johnston, Bragg, Hardee, Polk, and Taylor all had done likewise.

This is a reproduction of a 2nd National Confederate flag with a reverse-color saltire. The actual dimensions and materials are not the same as the flag that would have been flown at Fort Fisher or by General Maxey. The artwork is visible on both sides.

  • 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′

Additional information

Weight 5.5 oz