Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Impeccably Provenanced Confederate Silk First National Battleflag of Co. K, 3rd Texas Cavalry, Used At The Battles Of Oak Hill...

Military & Patriotic:Civil War, Impeccably Provenanced Confederate Silk First National Battleflagof Co. K, 3rd Texas Cavalry, Used At The Battles Of Oak Hill...

 .......Elkhorn, Ark. and Farmington, Tenn. 

Known as the "Chilton Flag", "In Memory of George W. Chilton, 1828-1884, Major, Third Texas cavalry CSA an his son Horace Chilton 1853-1932 US Senator", the flag had been on loan and at times displayed at the Goodman House Museum in Tyler, Tx. A brass plaque affixed to the frame bears the following engraved inscription, "The Chilton Flag / Loaned To The Goodman Museum / By The Heirs Of Ella Chilton Boren", with the flag being consigned to Heritage by a direct lineal descendant of Ella Chilton Boren, who was Major Chilton's Granddaughter. The flag was originally loaned to the museum in 1965, where it remained until now.

The flag is constructed entirely of silk, with a note included with the museum documentation from Major Chilton stating he believed it was fabricated from silk cress goods by the ladies of Tyler, Tx. Further stating the frailty of the flag negated it's lengthy use in the field resulting in its return (although the Battle of Farmington was on Oct 7, 1863 so the flag did in fact see field use for over two years. The sight measurement of the flag is 31" X 71 1/2" although obviously slightly larger based on the material hidden by the frame. The flag was mounted in the 2 1/4" antique gold frame by the museum for display in, we believe 1977. The flag is entirely hand sewn with the stripes each being 10 1/2" wide, with the red and white stripes that abut the canton each 50" long. The 22" square white canton displays eleven five pointed stars applied with blue paint. The stars in the exterior circle are 3" point to point with the large center star being 4 1/2".

The flag exhibits obvious but minor damage, with most of it logically being from use in the field. There are a number of small scattered cracks with no loss, and several small holes, the largest (a bullet) being 1 1/2" X 2". There is deterioration at the side and top of the canton, although there is very minor, really negligible actual loss. Obviously, no later than the date the flag was framed a 1" wide piece of white silk was placed along the top of the canton, although based on the stitching visible along the top of the canton its purpose was obviously more for stabilization than to replace loss. The blue painted stars all show some degree of deterioration, with one star retaining only traces of the blue paint while the others are at least 80% intact. The flag was obviously professionally mounted by a skilled archivist and shows no signs of deterioration beyond what existed when it was framed, and appears to be quite sound in its current configuration.

The Third Texas Cavalry was organized on June 13, 1863 and served until May 4, 1865. Attached to what is actually the lower left corner of the flag is a period 3 1/2" X 4 1/2" ink script label which states, "This flag was made by the ladies of Tyler, Texas and presented in 1861 to the first company which left Smith County for war - Company K Third Texas Cavalry, Ross's Brigade. The flag was sent home after having been carried in the battles of Oak Hill, (Mo)., Elkhorn Tavern (Ark.) and Farmington, (Tenn.)". "Oak Hills" is actually in Tennessee.

The flag is accompanied by extensive documentation from the Goodman Museum, the City of Tyler, Tx., and direct lineal descendants of the Chilton/Boren family.


  1. Brock these posts of yours on the Confederacy are excellent. I truly enjoy reading every one of them.

  2. "Living History"..... far to much of it goes missing simply because people don't know what they have.... or much worse, don't care!
    I'm always excited to read these posts, as I always learn something new or am reminded of what I'd learned years past.

    1. All silk. It's a good thing they were able to return it instead of using it until it disintegrated.