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Confederate Flags (U.S.) Part 3

Flags Using the Van Dorn Pattern

Last modified: 2023-09-23 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | confederate | csa | van dorn pattern | van dorn's corps |
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Introduction: Van Dorn Pattern Flags

There were six (or more) different basic design styles of Confederate Army Military Flags. As the flex and flow of military necessity effected the organization and reorganization of Confederate forces, so did the designs of their flags. A couple of examples of this would be in the Vicksburg Defense a subgroup of flags came into being that featured white crosses instead of blue, in Missouri and Louisiana a design subgroup with a Christian Cross design became popular. Faced with this we will divide them into groups. Some of these groups will be the Stars and Bars Pattern, the St. Andrews Cross Pattern (Southern Cross with a white flag border), the Army of Tennessee Pattern (Southern Cross without a white flag border), the Van Dorn Pattern, the Hardee Pattern, and the Polk Pattern. The last three are named for the Confederate Commanders who first designed (or had designed) the basic Regimental flag design to be used by the units under their command.
Flags using the Van Dorn Pattern were carried by units of the Army of the West under the command of General Earl Van Dorn. The flag was issued to his units in 1862. It's design had thirteen white stars and a crescent moon on a red field.
Pete Loeser, 26 August 2023

Van Dorn Regiment Flag 1862
Missouri Battle Flag

[ Battle Flag ] image courtesy of Hugh Warner, United States Flag Service

This modern interpretation illustrates the basic pattern of a Van Dorn Regiment Flag.
Source: Historical Flags of Our Ancestors.
Pete Loeser, 26 August 2023

Regimental Colors of the 15th (Northwest) Arkansas Infantry Regiment 1862-1865
Van Dorn flag with battle honors

[15th Arkansas Battle Flag] image by Pete Loeser, 17 September 2023
Based on this photo.

As an example of how battle honors were added to CSA Unit flags I offer this flag of the 15th Arkansas Infantry Regiment.
The history of this unit can be traced back to four companies of Arkansas State Troops from Benton, Franklin and Yell counties. In July of 1861 they marched to Bentonville expecting to be assigned into a regiment of Arkansas State Troops, but on the way were intercepted and reassigned directly into the service of the Confederacy as the 15th Arkansas Infantry Regiment. (They were actually the third unit to share the same name).
They would fight both in west and east Mississippi, Oak Hills, Elk Horn, Hatchie Bridge and would see action at Wilson's Creek, Battle of Pea Ridge, Iuka-Corinth Campaign, Second Battle of Corinth, and the Vicksburg Campaign. They were at the Battle of Grand Gulf, Battle of Port Gibson, Battle of Champion Hill, Battle of Black River Bridge, and eventually at Vicksburg. They were surrendered in Vicksburg in July of 1863. After being paroled and exchanged, the regiment was consolidated with other depleted regiments to form the 1st (Trans-Mississippi) Arkansas Consolidated Infantry Regiment and fought on.
When the Trans-Mississippi Department later surrendered to the Union in 1865, all of the Arkansas infantry regiments were encamped around Marshall, Texas. The regiments were ordered surrender formally in Louisiana, but many never did and disbanded without formally surrendering and just scattered.
Source: Wikipedia: 15th Arkansas Infantry Regiment (Northwest)
Pete Loeser, 17 September 2023