FRAGMENTS OF THE LAST CONFEDERATE NATIONAL FLAG, REMOVED FROM THE CONFEDERATE CAPITOL IN RICHMOND, APRIL 4TH, 1865

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Item Code: M26448

John O. Foster was a Methodist minister attached to the Union’s 24th Army Corps and is said to have preached the first sermon following the fall of Richmond, April 4th, 1865. Foster landed at City Point on April 2nd, 1865 at 2 P.M. and upon his arrival helped tend to the wounded from both sides that had arrived by train nearby. Foster also had the opportunity to watch the bombardment of Petersburg. That evening Foster watched Richmond burn and was later given a pass to enter the city. On April 3rd or 4th, Foster, undoubtedly the first Union chaplain in the city, was given a section of the enormous Confederate flag that flew over the Confederate State House. On April 5th, his diary states he visited the Confederate Treasury. He noted: "Promises to pay [bonds] in ton lots -- told help yourselves -- did so." Foster obtained as many varieties of bonds and Confederate money as he could and glued the sections of the Confederate flag he obtained on to them. A label was later affixed to one section stating: "Confederate money valuable as curios, pieces of flag floating over Capitol at Richmond on day of capitulation." Foster than preached under guard at the Presbyterian Church to an audience composed of mostly liberated slaves.

The flag remnants above, each measuring 1 1/2" x 1 1/2", are from the flag taken from the Confederate Capitol with the verso showing a portion of a Confederate bond or banknote Foster removed from the Treasury and glued thereon. The photo shows the missing flag on the Capitol as well as the new "Stars and Stripes" floating in the breeze nearby. Provenance documents accompany the unframed display; 11" x 14", ready to frame.  [LD] [PH:JET]

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