FRAMED C.S. THIRD NATIONAL FLAG - ID’D TO BRIG. GEN. WILLIAMS CARTER WICKHAM

$2,250.00
Originally $2,750.00

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Item Code: 973-02

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Nicely matted on gray and framed is an original C.S. post-war reunion flag that belonged to Confederate Brigadier General Williams Carter Wickham. This flag, along with several others were discovered by John G. Wickham, the Great-Great Grandson of General Wickham, at the Wickham’s ancestral home, Hickory Hill. The flags were discovered in the back of a small storage closet under the stairway leading to the third floor of the manor house about 1987. The flags remained in the care of Mr. Wickham until 2006.

Flag is made of polished cotton and is mounted on a wooden staff measuring 24” long. Flag is attached by through a narrow slot in the wood, then the staff slots were joined, clamping the flag fabric to the staff via three short pins running through the staff. Colors of flag have retained their brightness. Some light soiling or staining is present in areas. No rips or tears are present.

Flag measures 9” by `13 ¾”. Frame is made of wood which has been painted black with a beaded gilt border. Measures 21” by 31”. Notarized letters of provenance are included that are signed by John G. Wickham.

Williams Carter Wickham (September 21, 1820 – July 23, 1888) was a Virginia lawyer, plantation owner and politician. At the Virginia Secession Convention of 1861, Wickham voted against secession, yet when fellow delegates and voters approved secession, he became an important Confederate cavalry general. After the Civil War, Wickham became a Republican and served in the Virginia Senate as well as became President of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway company.

Wickham was the son of William Fanning Wickham and Anne Butler (née Carter) Wickham. His paternal grandfather was John Wickham, the constitutional lawyer. On his mother's side, he descended from historic roots, as the Nelson and Carter families were each First Families of Virginia. Wickham's great-grandfather, Gen. Thomas Nelson, Jr., was one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence and a governor of Virginia during the American Revolutionary War. Other ancestors include Thomas "Scotch Tom" Nelson who was one of the founders of Yorktown in the late 17th century. He was also a descendant of Robert "King" Carter (1663–1732), who served as an acting royal governor of Virginia and was one of its wealthiest landowners in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. His mother was a first cousin of Robert E. Lee, whose mother Anne Hill (née Carter) Lee, was born at Shirley Plantation.

Wickham was born in Richmond, Virginia, but spent much of his youth on his father's 3,200-acre plantation, Hickory Hill, an outlying appendage to Shirley Plantation. He graduated from the University of Virginia and was admitted to the bar in 1842. He was married to Lucy Penn Taylor and had several children. He became a justice and was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1849. In 1858 he was commissioned captain of Virginia volunteer militia cavalry, and in 1861 he was elected by the people of Henrico County to the state convention as a Unionist, where he voted against the articles of secession.

Following the secession of Virginia, Wickham took his company, the Hanover Dragoons, into the service of the Confederate States Army. After participating in the First Battle of Manassas, Wickham was commissioned by Governor John Letcher as lieutenant colonel of the Fourth Virginia Cavalry in September 1861. On May 4, 1862, he incurred a severe saber wound during a cavalry charge at the Battle of Williamsburg. In this state of injury, he was captured, but quickly paroled. In August 1862, he was commissioned Colonel of the Fourth Virginia Cavalry. At the Battle of Sharpsburg, he was wounded again, this time in the neck by a shell fragment. Recovering, he participated in the battles of Chancellorsville, Brandy Station and Gettysburg.

Wickham was commissioned brigadier general on September 9, 1863, and put in command of Wickham's brigade of Fitzhugh Lee's division. On May 11, 1864, he fought at the Battle of Yellow Tavern. Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart was mortally wounded during this engagement, with his final order being: "Order Wickham to dismount his brigade and attack." In September 1864, after the Confederate defeat at the Battle of Fisher's Hill, Wickham blocked at Milford an attempt by Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan to encircle and destroy the Confederate forces of Maj. Gen. Jubal Early. He then attacked the Federal cavalry at Waynesboro and forced them to retreat to Bridgewater.

Wickham resigned his commission on October 5, 1864, and took his seat in the Second Confederate Congress, to which he had been elected while in the field. Recognizing that the days of the Confederacy were over, he participated in the Hampton Roads Conference in an attempt to bring an early end to the war.

After the surrender of the Confederacy, Wickham was active in improving harmony between the states and reorganizing Virginia's economy, which had been ruined by the war.

Throughout the years after the Civil War, while developing railroads, Wickham also maintained an active political life. He maintained his offices in Richmond and his residence in Hanover County. He was elected chairman of the Hanover County, Virginia Board of Supervisors in 1871 and as a Senator in the upper house of the Virginia General Assembly in 1883. He was an officer of the C&O and held all of these other positions at the time of his death on July 23, 1888 at his office in Richmond. Wickham was interred in Hickory Hill Cemetery near Ashland, Virginia. A statue of Williams Carter Wickham was given to the City of Richmond by the general's comrades and employees of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway in 1891 and was placed in Monroe Park.

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