RECRUITING FLAG FOR THE 144th OHIO

$12,000.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1179-002

This flag measures 53” by 120” – pretty much dead-on-the-money for a recruiting flag in the revised 1861 US Army regulations, which specify four-feet four inches by nine-feet nine inches. This is finished on one side only and clearly meant to be hung vertically, as a banner, and viewed from one side, with the canton, measuring 28-inches by 34-inches at the upper left. The upper edge, as hung vertically, has a simple hand-sewn ½” rolled hem that is certainly a repair for a missing rope or other means of suspension along that edge, but there cannot be much missing. The flag is instantly recognizable as the United States stars and stripes, though the stripes have been limited to seven: five red and three white, and the canton is stenciled with just 25 white stars, 21 3-inch stars in a circle and a 4-inch star in each corner, with the word “UNION” stenciled in the same white paint or coloring in block letters 3-inches tall. The end of the right stripe has a period pen inscription reading, “Lantz” and “144th O.V.I.”

The flag is accompanied by a 1992 condition and treatment proposal from Textile Preservation Associates, giving a detailed description of construction, condition and proposed conservation. They note some repaired tears in the canton, and two of the stripes near the bottom, along with some minor staining, and the missing upper edge. We can provide copies to interested parties. The flag displays very well and was clearly meant to hang at a rendezvous or headquarters for the 144th Ohio Volunteer Infantry as it mobilized for active service.

The 144th Ohio was officially organized at Camp Chase, Ohio, 11 May 1864 and composed of men from the 64th and 19th Battalions of the Ohio National Guard from Wood and Wyandotte counties. It was mustered in for 100-days service, and expected to perform guard and garrison duty, but ended up on active campaign, largely because of Jubal Early’s 1864 thrust into Maryland and against Washington, seeing action in two engagements, and suffering battle casualties in each. Some 834 men strong, the regiment was first posted to Baltimore and assigned to the 8th Corps as part of the Middle Department, with three companies in the fortifications and the remainder at Fort McHenry, Wilmington, Annapolis, and the Relay House, where the regiment ordered on May 18. Three of its companies saw action at Monocacy on July 9, a battle that delayed Early’s Confederate forces long enough for reinforcements to reach Washington, but costing the regiment about 50 men in killed wounded and missing. It then moved to Washington, took part in the advance to Winchester and Snickers Gap, and then took part in operations in the Shenandoah, losing another 5 killed, 6 wounded and 60 captured defending a train from an attack by Mosby near Berryville on August 13. The remainder of the regiment returned to Ohio soon after, mustering out in late August.

We have not identified “Lantz” in the ranks of the regiment, but he may have been involved with the national guard units constituting the volunteer regiment, or connected with it at Camp Chase or a more local rendezvous in Wood or Wyandotte County. In any case, this is scarce type of flag, one with good eye-appeal, and one associated with a unit that saw some action.  [sr] [PH:L]

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