Company “H” of the 3rd Alabama Cavalry Regiment “Prattville Dragoons” Guidon-Style Flag
The Prattville Dragoons were organized in Prattville Alabama subsequent to a meeting that was held at Alida Hall which was on the 3rd floor of the Pratt Cotton Gin Factory in December of 1860. They were the first company of men to be sent to serve in the Confederate Army from Autauga County. The name “Prattville Dragoons” was chosen by its members following the meeting at Alida Hall. The company consisted of 18 officers and 82 enlisted men for a total of 100 members. Many of the men were financially unable to outfit themselves with the proper equipment suitable for a cavalryman. Daniel Pratt who was the founder of Prattville and known for his generosity and charity donated $17,000 in equipment and horses for the company. He also collaborated with the Ladies Aid Society of Prattville to provide handsome gold-trimmed black uniforms for the men as well as a beautiful silk guidon battle flag which was a First National Confederate pattern in the swallowtail shape of a cavalry guidon. The guidon was inscribed with “The Prattville Dragoons” across the bottom red bar and “From the Ladies of Prattville” emblazoned along the top red bar. The flag was presented to the dragoons on April 27th, 1861 during a ceremony just before departing for Montgomery. The technical definition of a “Dragoon” is a heavily armed cavalryman. The Prattville Dragoons, however, were initially armed with Colt revolvers and long, heavy sabers which restricted them to close-up fighting. The long sabers were replaced in early 1863 by Enfield rifles which became their primary weapon thus making them “true dragoons” and increasing the distance at which they could engage the enemy. The Prattville Dragoons’ first assignment from Montgomery was to travel to Pensacola Florida where they were assigned as the “mounted” Company “I” of the 7th Alabama Infantry under the command of General Braxton Bragg. They departed Pensacola in February 1862 and traveled to Chattanooga Tennessee and then further on to southwestern Tennessee where they fought at the Battle of Shiloh on April 6th and 7th 1862. Shortly after Shiloh, the initial term of enlistment for the men of the Prattville Dragoons expired and almost without exception, the men re-enlisted. In June of 1862, they became Company “H” of the 3rd Alabama Cavalry Regiment which was just formed in Tupelo Mississippi from companies of Alabamians with prior combat experience. The 3rd Alabama was attached to the Army of Tennessee. As the Army of Tennessee moved on to Kentucky the Dragoons along with the 3rd Alabama Cavalry were engaged almost daily with the enemy through the Battle of Perryville. After withdrawing into Tennessee, the 3rd Alabama was constantly on duty throughout the remainder of the war protecting communications and guarding the Army’s flank and rear, and often raiding Union trains and outposts. The Dragoons along with the 3rd Alabama fought in every major battle of the Western Theatre losing continuously in casualties, and suffering severely during Longstreet’s winter campaign. Stones River, Shelbyville, Chickamauga, Kingston, Knoxville, Mossy Creek, Strawberry Plains, the Atlanta Campaign, Macon, Aiken, and Fayetteville, which was the last major cavalry battle of the Civil War. The Battles of Bentonville, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill further reduced the Cavalry to a shadow of its prior strength. The Prattville Dragoons and the 3rd Alabama Cavalry Regiment surrendered in North Carolina along with General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee on April 26, 1865. After waiting encamped for several days for Union Officers to officially parole them, what was left of the Prattville Dragoons, unwilling to wait any longer, disbanded and returned to their homes.
This is a reproduction of the Prattville Dragoons Cavalry Guidon. The actual dimensions and materials are not exactly the same as the original flag. 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
- 2 rows of stitching around the outside edge of the flag
- Reinforced header with brass grommets
- Flag size: 3′ x 5′