Regimental flags the centerpiece of Indiana sesqui exhibit

From the Times of Northwest Indiana:

Region Civil War flags to fly again at Indiana welcome center

In the confusion, chaos and carnage often resulting from close-quarters Civil War combat, hundreds of region men relied on their regimental flags to show them where to rally.

A century and a half later, likenesses of five of those flags carried by Lake, Porter and LaPorte county Civil War regiments will fly again in April at a special Hammond exhibit commemorating hundreds of region men who fought — and in some cases died — in our nation’s bloodiest conflict.

The South Shore Civil War Memorial Trail, a historical preservation and tourism initiative, recently commissioned and bought to-scale reproductions of the Civil War battle flags for its exhibit Region United, Nation Divided: The South Shore in the Civil War from April 5 to May 3 at the Indiana Welcome Center.

The expo will arrive ahead of July’s 150th anniversary of the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg, at which 200 or more Northwest Indiana men saw some of the most brutal fighting of the war.

The flags will serve as the centerpieces of an exhibit laid out like a timeline of the war and showcasing the battles and local regiments involved.

To reproduce the flags, the memorial trail obtained color photos of the original Indiana regimental battle standards, which are kept at the Indiana War Memorial in Indianapolis. A flag reproduction business in Georgia then created the flags based on the photos, using similar techniques of the time period.

The flags were funded through a preservation grant provided to the trail by the Indianapolis-based Efroymson Family Fund.

The most unique flag reproduced was a national flag carried by the “Bloody 9th” Indiana Infantry, a regiment that earned its nickname because of its front-line participation in nearly every major battle of the Civil War’s western theater.

As many as 200 men from Porter and LaPorte counties served in the 9th Indiana, including its eventual commander, Valparaiso’s Col. Isaac Suman.

The original flag was presented as a gift to the 9th Indiana by Gen. William “Bull” Nelson for valor the unit exhibited at the April 1862 Battle of Shiloh, one of the war’s bloodiest individual engagements.

Following the Civil War expo in April, the flags will be dispersed for display among Lake and Porter County museums and libraries.

In addition to the flags, the April exhibition will include other region-related Civil War artifacts borrowed from local museums, photos and historical text pertaining to region Civil War soldiers and two traveling exhibits from the Indiana Historical Society. (Original article here)

The article only mentions the 9th Indiana, and I cannot tell which other regiments are represented from the photographs.

A good outreach for the sesquicentennial. It’s easy for us in Virginia, with our close proximity to the battlefields, to assume the sesquicentennial is all about tours and seminars. Those regimental flag replicas easily translate to a list of men who served under them. From there, what stories are found?

And we may be hearing more flag news from Indiana. Last month a state senate committee recommended funding of a project to restore some of Indiana’s collection of battle flags.

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