Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Flags of the 30th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry

Colors return to Governor Andrew, 1865
In general I would like to follow the chronological order of how the 30th Massachusetts was formed, how it fought, and what its men had to say about their experiences.  When it comes to the flags of the 30th, I feel that perhaps I should share all of the information that I have up front.  The colors were the physical embodiment of the regiment, and while the men have all passed on, the colors still survive.  They are a symbol that we can still see and touch, and for some of us may even bring a deeper connection to our relatives and the men who served.

The bulk of this post will consist of an account taken directly from Passages from the Life of Henry Warren Howe: etc... (which is a quite lengthy account).  Along with Howe's information I will post images that I have of the colors that are being referred to and additional/updated information that is currently know about each of them.  I am grateful and owe thanks to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for permission to post the following images and some of the information that accompanies them.

The following information is from pages 187-199 of Passages from the Life of Henry Warren Howe: Consisting of Diary and Letters Written During the Civil War, 1861-1865. A Condensed History of the Thirtieth Massachusetts Regiment and Its Flags, together with the Genealogies of the Different Branches of the Family.

Flags of the 30th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

The history of the flags which were borne by our regiment during the years of the Rebellion has been a cherished theme with me, and I have made strenuous exertions to collect the facts in regard to them from my diary, from letters written at the time and from letters written by comrades since the war. The following pages tell of our flags from the moment they were received by our Color-Guard until they were placed in their last resting places. I consider them in the order in which they were received. The first that was entrusted to our care was a fine National flag, with which we are familiar under the name of the flag of the Eastern Bay State Regiment.

It was presented by Major General Benjamin F. Butler to the Eastern Bay State Regiment January 2,1862, on Boston Common. It was a cold and disagreeable day, but,"not withstanding this, a large assembly was present to witness the presentation.

General Butler and Staff rode to the front of the Eastern Bay State Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Jonas H. French commanding. The officers of the regiment were ordered to the front and centre, when the General presented a National flag to the regiment in the following words:—

"Colonel French and Officers of. the Eastern Bay State Regiment:

"As the organ of the government of the United States, I present you this banner, the emblem of our country's nationality. Receive it as such. I am sure I can confide it to no better hands. Preserve it as a title to the rich inheritance of our fathers, as the type of the country's honor. Defend it as the symbol of the unity of the republic, and, if need be, die for it as a representative of the glorious past of the country's history."

Colonel French, having received the flag, replied substantially as follows:

"General, In the name and behalf of the Eastern Bay State Regiment, which at the present moment I have the honor to command, I receive this symbol of our country's honor. Be assured, Sir, it shall be defended. A thousand stalwart arms are here to protect it, and, if need be, a thousand hearts to bleed in its defence. I need not assure you, General, that the Eastern Bay State Regiment are ready to carry it with confidence wherever you may lead. We will guard it and cherish it, and if, in time, it is permitted to us to return, we will bear this flag, then as now, without a stain of dishonor."

Lieutenant-Colonel French then placed the flag in charge of Sergeant Henry C. Brooks, of Company C, who had been appointed Color-Sergeant of the regiment. The flag was carried by Sergeant Brooks as the regiment marched through the streets of Boston to Long Wharf, where the command embarked on the Steamer Constitution. This flag was in the charge of Sergeant Brooks during the voyage, also at Fortress Monroe, and was carried thence to Ship Island, Miss. It was also carried by him at the occupation of the city of New Orleans by the American forces under General Butler, and thence to Baton Rouge, La.

When the regiment left Baton Rouge for the investment of Vicksburg, which occurred from June 25 to July 24, 1862, Sergeant Brooks was detained at Baton Rouge by illness, and the flag was carried on that expedition by Sergeant Francis Shattuck. He brought it back to Baton Rouge and carried it in that city July 26, 1862. On the recovery of Sergeant Brooks, the flag was again placed in his charge and he carried it into the battle of Baton Rouge, August 5, 1862. Thence he carried it to Carrollton, La., and to Camp Williams, at Materie Ridge. It was at Carrollton, La., October 31, 1862, that the 30th Regiment received their first set of colors from the State of Massachusetts. The Eastern Bay State Regiment flag was carried by Sergeant Brooks when the regiment marched from Camp Williams back to Carrollton, and thence to the United States Barracks, four miles below New Orleans, where Sergeant Brooks was taken ill and sent to the hospital.

Sergeant Francis Shattuck, of Company D, succeeded Sergeant Brooks as Color-Sergeant—and carried the Eastern Bay State Regiment flag from the barracks back to Baton Rouge. He also carried it at the battle of Plain's Store, La., May 21, 1863, and at the siege of Port Hudson, La., from May 27 to June 14, 1863. Sergeant Shattuck was wounded and carried from the field on the 14th of June. His place and duty were taken by Martin Smith, 2d, of Company G, senior Corporal of the Color-Guard, who carried the flag from June 14,1863, through the fortifications at Port Hudson, after the surrender, July 8; thence to Donaldsonville, La.; also at the battle of Cox's Plantation, July 13,1863, where, it was reported, he saved the colors from capture. Corporal Smith carried the flag from that time until March 19, 1864, when the regiment arrived in Boston on their veteran furlough.

It was when in camp at Cox's Plantation, July 28, 1863, that the regiment received the second set of colors from the State of Massachusetts.

The Eastern Bay State Regiment flag was in the following named battles:

Investment of Vicksburg, June 25 to July 24, 1862.
Baton Rouge, August 5, 1862.
Plain's Store, May 21, 1863.
Port Hudson, May 27 to July 8, 1863. (Two assaults, May 27, June 14.)
Cox's Plantation, July 13, 1863.

This flag was constantly in the care of the regiment. Though it was carried covered much of the time, yet it was displayed on important occasions, as the inauguration of Governor Hahn in New Orleans, March 4, 1864; the grand review at Washington, D. C., May 24, 1865; and also at Savannah, Georgia, and Georgetown, South Carolina.

When the regiment was paid off in New York City, the Eastern Bay State Regiment flag and the (Fourth) National flag (ladies' flag) were boxed up by order of the Commander of the regiment and sent by express to the State House in Boston.

The Eastern Bay State Regiment flag was loaned by General Butler to the surviving members of the 30th Regiment for displaying at their annual reunions. It was also borne in the funeral procession, January 16, 1893, when the remains of General Butler were conveyed to the grave. After the General's decease, the flag was returned to the Regimental Association by Mrs. Blanche Butler Ames, daughter of General Butler, and by Mr. Paul Butler, his son. By a vote of the Association, the flag was placed in the custody of the City of Lowell, Mass., and is now preserved in a glass case in Memorial Hall.  Unfortunately all that is left of this flag is shreds of silk (a couple of stripes and a star), owing most likely to a fire in the early 1900's.  The remains are currently held by the Lowell Historical Society.

SECOND NATIONAL FLAG.

2nd National Color
(1st to be issued by the Commonwealth)
Image Courtesy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
The first set of colors received by the 30th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry from the State of Massachusetts, arrived at Carrollton, La., October 31, 1862. On the National flag when received we had inscribed the name "Baton Rouge," also the same was placed on the Eastern Bay State Regiment flag. The battle of Baton Rouge took place two months and twenty-six days before the flag was received. Soon after its arrival it was returned to the State, unused, without further inscriptions of battles, and was placed in the care of the State.  A State Color (1st) was issued at the same time as this National Color.  It appears to have been sent back unused as well.





THIRD NATIONAL FLAG.

On the 28th of July, 1863, while the 30th Regiment was encamped at Donaldsonville, La., the second set of colors was received from Governor Andrew, with "Baton Rouge" inscribed on the National flag. This flag succeeded the Eastern Bay State Regiment flag, presented by General Butler, and was carried by Sergeant Francis Shattuck from Donaldsonville to Baton Rouge, thence to Sabine Pass, Texas, returned to Algiers, La., thence to Brashear City, through the Teche country to and beyond New Iberia, La. It was borne thence to New Orleans, and was carried during the ceremonies attending the re-admission of the State of Louisiana into the Union at the inauguration of Governor Hahn, March 4, 1864. The Eastern Bay State Regiment flag, though not always displayed, was carried by the regiment in all the above-named movements.

The third National flag was next taken on board the Steamer Mississippi, en route to Boston, Mass., being carried by those members of the 30th Regiment who had received a veteran's furlough.

Upon the reassembling of the regiment, at the expiration of the furloughs, Sergeant Francis Shattuck, of Company D, carried the flag back to Camp Chalmette, the old battle ground of General Jackson, in the war of 1812-15, near New Orleans, La.

This flag was not in any battle, but the names of all the battles in which the regiment had been engaged, as well as the names of subsequent battles, were inscribed upon it. The flag became worn and tattered — the Union being nearly all gone.
3rd National Color
(2nd to be issued by the Commonwealth)
Image Courtesy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

This flag is inscribed as follows:—

Baton Rouge,
30th Regiment,
Massachusetts.

Opequan.
Plain's Store.
Fisher's Hill.
Port Hudson.
Cedar Creek.
Cox's Plantation.

Sergeant Alonzo Joy and Sergeant Ira B. Dennett, of Company G, distinctly remember the colors which arrived at Donaldsonville. They remember, also, that the red had run into the white on the National flag and were informed that the flag would be returned to Governor Andrew with the statement that "the 30th Massachusetts never carried colors that run."  This quote is most likely in reference to the 2nd National Color (1st to be issued by the Commonwealth) which was sent back unused. The 3rd National actually bears evidence of quite heavy use. A State Color was issued at the same time as this National Color, and is last listed as in the care of General Butler...current location is unknown.

FOURTH NATIONAL FLAG.

May 28, 1864, a National flag was presented to the regiment by their friends, through the assistance of Governor John A. Andrew. The flag was received by the regiment at Camp Chalmette, near New Orleans. It was a gift from lady friends who lived in Boston and vicinity. The ladies constituting the committee who raised funds to procure the flag, were the Misses Porefis, Miss Sarah M. Haley, sister of Lieutenant John P. Haley, Miss Emma Hood, and Mrs. S. D. Shipley. It was forwarded with a letter from Governor Andrew, and was presented to the regiment by General N. A. M. Dudley.

On the pole, which was crowned by an eagle in creat, was the following inscription on a silver plate:—

"Where liberty smiles on a peaceful people's rise,
4th National Color
"Ladies' Flag"
Image Courtesy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 They use their swords but to protect their blessed prize."

         Presented by
       Governor Andrew
In behalf of some of their friends
              to the

30th Massachusetts Volunteers,
As a token of their devotion to
And bravery in defence of the
   Freedom of the People
              of the
       United States.
           Boston,
       May 3, 1864.

Upon the Union of this flag there was a gilt eagle surrounded by thirty-four stars, and the flag bears the following:—

30th Massachusetts Veterans.
             Opequan.

Baton Bouge. Plain's Store.

Fisher's Hill.

Port Hudson. Kox's Plantation.

Cedar Creek.

This flag above described was on exhibition the 4th and 5th days of May, 1864, at Childs & Jenks', No. 127 Tremont Street, Boston.

It was carried by Sergeant Francis Shattuck to Morganzia, La., thence back to New Orleans, and thence to Washington, D. C, where the regiment arrived July 13, 1864. When on the march, near Bolivar Heights, about July 29, 1864, Sergeant Shattuck fell out and his place was taken by Sergeant Calvin Perkins. The last-named Sergeant carried the flag through Monocacy to Harper's Ferry, and through the Shenandoah Valley. This flag was displayed in the engagements at Opequan Crossing, near Winchester, Va., September 19, 1864; at Fisher's Hill, Va., September 22, 1864; at Cedar Creek, Va., October 19, 1864, and was displayed up to July 23, 1866, when it arrived in Boston.

The staff of the veteran flag was broken off while the regiment was under fire at the battle of Opequan Crossing, Va., September 19, 1864. As Sergeant Perkins was getting over a rail fence, a shell from the enemy exploded over his head. The shock caused him to fall forward, breaking the staff of the veterans' flag.

This was the first flag to reach the intrenchments abandoned in the early morning of that memorable victory — the day General Sheridan made his famous ride from Winchester "twenty miles away." It was carried with the Eastern Bay State Regiment flag at the grand review in the city of Washington, D. C, May 24, 1865, and afterward it was carried in Georgia and South Carolina.

The following are the names of the Sergeants and Corporals of the color-guard of the 30th Regiment of Massachusetts—so far as can now be recalled:—

Sergeant Henry C. Brooks, Co. C.
" " Francis Shattack, Co. D, wounded at Port Hudson.
" " Calvin Perkins, Co. A.

Corporal Martin Smith, 2d, Co. G.
" " Patrick Tobin, Co. D.
" " William Roberts, Co. C.
" " Wm. H. Rogers, Co. K, lost an arm at Port Hudson.
" " Ruel W. Greenleaf, Co. C, killed at Cox's Plantation.
" " Horace F. Davis, Co. E.
" " Francis Houghton, Co. I.
" " John Delaney, Co. F.
" " Owen Gallagher, Co. F.
" " James F. Carroll, Co. H.
" " Jeremiah Hendley, Co. H.
" " James Sands, Co. H.
" " Ira B. Dennett, Co. G.
" " Eugene M. Deering, Co. C.
" " J. F. Dow, Co. I.
" " Jacob Ourish, Co. I.
" " Nathaniel R. Cole, Co. I.
" " Walker Clapp, Co. I.
" " Michael Donahue, Co. A.
" " James Coulter, Co. I.

The total number of flags delivered to the 30th Massachusetts Regiment during the Rebellion was six, viz.:
The flag of the Eastern Bay State Regiment. (See diary.) 1
October 31, 1862. Received at Carrollton, La. "2
July 28, 1863. Received at Donaldsonville, La. " 2
May 28, 1864. The Veterans' flag, Camp Chalmette, La." 1

National flags, 4; State flags, 2. 6
There were in charge of the State at the State House:—
In 1863, one National flag and one State color.
In 1864, one National flag and one State color.
In 1865, two National flags and one State color.
In 1866, three National flags and one State color.
In 1866, one National flag at Lowell. Six.

The colors received in 1862 were returned in 1863.
The colors received in 1863 (the National) were returned in 1865.

The National flag received in 1864 (called the ladies' flag) was returned in 1866, making four flags at the State House, which, with one State flag missing and the Eastern Bay State Regiment flag, constitute the first six mentioned.

There occurred in Boston, at the end of the Rebellion, a public ceremony called "The Return of the Flags." It took place on December 22, 1865, the two hundred and forty-fifth anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth.

On the day appointed all the flags of the regiments were formally handed over by Colonel Clarke, United States Mustering Officer, in whose custody they had been deposited. The procession—composed of cavalry, artillery and infantry divisions, every Massachusetts regiment being represented and bearing the returned flags — marched to the State House, where the ceremony of returning the flags was observed. In the infantry division, the 30th Massachusetts Regiment was represented by thirty men who carried three colors—two National and one State. The detachment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel H. O. Whittemore. At this time, December 22, 1865, the regiment was still in the field.

June 1, 1865. The 30th Regiment was ordered from Washington, D. C, to Savannah, Georgia; was stationed at Georgetown, S. C, and afterward at Sumter and places in that vicinity, remaining more than a year on provost duty. The regiment was mustered out of service at Mount Pleasant, Charleston, S. C, July 5, 1866, the last volunteer organization recruited in Massachusetts and the last volunteer regiment in the United States service during the Rebellion to be mustered out. The regiment was paid off in New York city and there disbanded, the members proceeding to their homes by various routes.

July 23, 1866, a call was issued for the late members of the 30th Regiment to meet in Boston, where a formal welcome was to be extended and the National Eastern Bay State Regiment flag to be turned over to Major-General Benjamin F. Butler and the other flags to the Governor of the Commonwealth.

On the day appointed, the members of the regiment gathered in response to the call. The weather was unfavorable, but the cordial, good feeling which Bostonians have always manifested toward the "boys in blue" was everywhere exhibited. It rained hard in the morning, cleared off at midday, but in the afternoon it poured in torrents. The reception was to take place from 1 to 3 o'clock P. M., but the weather occasioned a delay of two hours.

At 2.30 o'clock P. M., the 7th Regiment, Colonel D. G. Handy commanding, left their armory in Pine Street, preceded by a squad of police and Gilmore's Band. The regiment marched directly to the corner of Washington and Boylston Streets,where they received the officers and men of the 30th Regiment to the number of about one hundred, the 30th having possession of the fourth National (the ladies' flag) and the State flag which were sent to them from the State House. The line of march was then resumed in the direction of the State House, where Major-General Butler, General Schouler and Majors Carney and Davis were received, after which the column proceeded to Faneuil Hall, where the formal exercises took place.

The procession arrived at Faneuil Hall at 3.30 o'clock P. M., and, entering, surrounded the tables loaded with refreshments, which the City Government had provided. Upon the platform were Major-General Butler, His Honor Mayor Lincoln, Adjutant-General Schouler, General Tyler, General McNeil of Missouri, Colonels Whittier, French, and others. The galleries were crowded with spectators, who greeted the returned veterans with generous cheers.

When quiet and order had been secured, prayer was offered by Rev. Mr. Whittemore, of South Boston, after which the members of the regiments and other guests were invited by Mayor Lincoln to partake of the city's hospitality. After a short time spent in this manner quiet was again restored, and the soldiers of the 30th Regiment were formally welcomed by His Honor Mayor Lincoln. He was greeted with enthusiastic applause and spoke substantially as follows:

"Mr. Commander, Officers and Men of the Massachusetts 30th: In behalf of the City Government and people of Boston I extend to you a most cordial welcome home. It was my fortune in the month of March, 1864, to welcome the regiment to Faneuil Hall. It had gone forth early into the war, under one of our Massachusetts Generals. Its first period of service had expired; many of its men had re-enlisted; they had determined to see the struggle through to the end, and after a short furlough they were again to go forth as veterans, under the old flag, to meet the enemies of their country. The history of your second term of service is as honorable as your first. You did your full share to bring the Rebellion to its final and glorious end, and such were the merits of the regiment and its additional recommendation, that the Government kept up its organization long after its companions in arms had returned home and their members had resumed the avocations of civil life. It is fitting that this body of men, the last regiment of Massachusetts troops in the service of the country, should have a formal reception. If we could extend to them a welcome during the heat of the contest, when they had come home for a brief respite from duty, how much more appropriate when their tasks are completed, the Union re-established, and their country saved in part by their valor. Boston, the capital of the Commonwealth, therefore welcomes you. It thanks you for your services in behalf of the common cause. It would bear in remembrance your many honorable deeds, and congratulate you, one and all, on your safe return. You have done your part well and nobly from the commencement of the war to the final blow which overthrew the Rebellion. In that fact you will have a proud satisfaction as in the future you look back upon what you have achieved. This occasion does not entirely belong to me. There are others who will in more fitting terms extend to you a greeting. I will introduce to you other gentlemen who will express to you what they feel on the subject."

Three hearty cheers and a "tiger" for Mayor Lincoln testified to the soldiers' appreciation of the "welcome home," after which the colors of the 30th were formally returned to the State, represented by General Schouler, in the following brief address by Colonel Whittier:

"Allow me, sir, in behalf of the members of the 30th regiment, to return our thanks for this, your second kindness to us as a Regiment, and for the substantial repast you have given us. None of the volunteers of our army ever passed through Boston hungry. Boston has always been kind to the soldiers of the Union, whether from Massachusetts or elsewhere, and the kindness of the citizens of Boston will always form a green spot in our memories."

[Colonel Whittier here produced the National and State flags of the regiment, and presented them to General Schouler, amidst the most enthusiastic cheers, and resumed his remarks.]

"After nearly five years' service," he said, "I meet you to-day with this small detachment of what was once a full regiment from this State, and return to you these colors entrusted to our care by the Governor of this State. I assure you they have always been honorably borne by the 30th Regiment—always found in the front of the battle line, and never have been trailed in the dust. And now, in behalf of the soldiers of the regiment, permit me to return them to the keeping of the State."

Cheers followed the conclusion of these remarks, after which General Schouler accepted the colors in behalf of the State and spoke substantially as follows:—

"Soldiers of the Massachusetts 30th: In the absence of His Excellency the Governor, it becomes my pleasant duty to stand here to-day in his behalf and to receive these colors from your commander, to have them deposited with the other colors of the State in the great archives of the Commonwealth, where they will remain forever, as proud memorials of the services of the 30th Regiment, and grand mementos of the patriotism of the people of Massachusetts. These colors, although absent from our sight, and the old 30th Regiment from the Commonwealth, neither the colors nor the regiment were ever absent from our memory. We kept track of you always, from the Army of the Gulf to the Army of the Potomac. Everywhere we have held in memory the services and the deeds of the 30th Regiment of Massachusetts. Our State has sent forth sixty-two regiments of infantry, four regiments of cavalry, four regiments of heavy artillery, and sixteen light batteries, and they have all come home. The old30th, which left the City of Boston on the second day of January, 1862, in the beginning of a new year, has now come as the last of all and is heartily welcome. And they are welcomed in our thoughts who are left behind, whose graves are in Louisiana or Carolina or Virginia, or wherever they may have fallen in their last sleep, they are welcomed to-day in our hearts and memories, and will be forever. Mr. Commander: I regret exceedingly that His Excellency the Governor could not be present, who with his eloquence would speak the just praises of the regiment; but there are other gentlemen to follow, one of them the originator of the regiment, who will not leave anything unsaid which should be uttered. I take these colors and will carry them to their place in the State House, where the young man and the old, the children and the children's children of him who fought beneath their folds can gaze upon them, and remember that with them his ancestors fought for a noble cause and in one of the bravest regiments of the war."

Cheers, and the spirited strains of "Yankee Doodle " by the band, followed General Schouler's speech, after which His Honor the Mayor came forward, accompanied by General Butler and Colonel Jonas H. French, holding in his hand the Eastern Bay State color, whose appearance was the signal for the greatest enthusiasm, breaking into hearty and prolonged cheers. After the applause had subsided, Colonel French formally presented the colors to General Butler in the following speech: —

"Fellow Soldiers: A pleasing duty has devolved upon me—and I accept the invitation of your committee with the more alacrity, because it gives me the opportunity of offering a word of welcome to my old companions in arms. (Cheers.) If the soldier ever has a moment for, self-congratulation, if he ever has an opportunity to be proud of his profession, it is when returning from the conflict with the object of his labors and sacrifices accomplished, when victory has perched upon his banners, he finds himself at home, surrounded by his friends and receiving the plaudits of a grateful people. This, fellow soldiers, is your privilege to-day, and nobly, heroically have you earned it. (Cheers.) The City and the State vie with each other in showing evidences of appreciation. The people rise to do you honor, and the welcome of the last of the Massachusetts veterans is an earnest that you cannot and will not misunderstand. Organized, fellow soldiers, as your regiment was, in the midst of trial and difficulties such as only one other body of Massachusetts troops has ever experienced, you went forth into this war manifesting a devotion and self-sacrifice most unusual and extraordinary. Privates of the Eastern Bay State Regiment (cheers) left these shores doubting whether their wives and little ones would be the participants in that liberality and bounty which the State had vouchsafed other troops. And, I blush to say it, at that very time some persons attempted to sow the seeds of mutiny in your ranks, but, fellow soldiers, you resisted and resented all such endeavors to injure your efficiency. You had devoted yourselves to your country; you were no mercenaries; you had determined to fight for your country, and you went forth into the battle resolved to rely for support land encouragement at home upon your record only. And what is that record? Your thin ranks, those battle-stained flags, attest the fact that you need no prouder history. But this occasion, fellow soldiers, with'all its joyous gladness, brings its shadows. We must not forget those brave fellows—those private soldiers—who went forth so patriotic, so joyful, who found such early graves. Nobler sacrifices were never offered on our country's altars. We mourn their loss, yet we envy them their glorious death. For truly a soldier has no higher privilege than to find a soldier's resting place in a grave on the field of his honorable warfare. And now, General Butler (cheers), I approach one of the most satisfactory duties of my life. Here, sir, is the old flag of the Eastern Bay State Regiment. On the second day of January, 1862, you placed this flag in my hands, charging me and charging these soldiers that it must never be dishonored and that it must never be abandoned. Here, sir, it is, brought back by these soldiers. Here it is, sir, all tattered and torn; but it has never been dishonored (prolonged cheering). From under its folds many a proud spirit has taken its flight. Often it has cheered the heart and renewed the strength and vigor when the conflict seemed doubtful. But it has never trailed in the dust. It has always flaunted defiance to the foes of that Union it so gloriously symbolizes. This, sir, was the only flag the Eastern Bay State Regiment had; and, perhaps, because it was their only flag, these men have for it a deeper reverence. It is thus a most precious relic, and as such they commit it to your care, knowing full well how much you will prize it, and how carefully you will preserve it. Let it remind you in times to come of the regiment of soldiers who sprang with alacrity to your call for troops. They are proud to remember you as their honored leader, since they were organized under your immediate personal supervision. They have sheathed the last sword, furled the last banner, and now give to you the last flag. You can, sir, recall or desire no more pleasing recollections."

After the cheering which followed this speech had subsided, General Butler replied as follows:—

"Fellow Soldiers and Comrades of the Eastern Bay State Regiment: The sight of this banner awakens memories so vivid and so glorious, so varied and bewildering, as almost to make me doubt my own recollection. In the infancy of the death struggle of the nation, ere any considerable success had cheered the hearts of the people save, perhaps, the capture of Fort Hatteras, when the first enthusiastic rush of men to arms had been checked by the stern, realizing sense of what war was, when the fierceness and deadly character of the contest in which we were engaged had for the first time been seen and appreciated, and when many good and patriotic men stood aloof from the field lest the war should be waged for political purposes, by the authority of the President of the United States, from the dictates of the wisest patriotism, I was authorized to raise six regiments of troops in New England, and came from the field for that purpose. And to raise them, too, from those men who had acted with me in sustaining the rights of the South under the Constitution, who should then fight against the wrongs of the South in their attempts to overthrow the Constitution. Officers and men of your regiment gallantly came forward as an answer to that call, with no bounty held up as an inducement, with no incitement to political organization, with no fostering care of the Commonwealth; nay, with a doubt whether you would receive the aid which had been given you in spite of the opposition of the then Executive, as unkind as it was ill-advised and senseless. This regiment was recruited in less time and with fuller ranks than any other regiment since the battle of Bull Run. True specimens of American soldiers, United States volunteers, Massachusetts men, beautifully illustrating the duty of allegiance, first to the country, then to the State, and, if need be, for the country against the State. Good men and true, with no hope of reward, nor with any bounty but patriotism, you and your absent comrades offered your lives as an earnest to the service of your country that the teachings of Massachusetts in 1812 had been forgotten in the lessons of 1861—the country first, the State next, and together one and inseparable, forever and ever. (Cheers.)

"Colonel, I gave you this flag, which was soon to be unfurled over the burning sands of the islands of the Gulf, as the regiment made its triumphant march through to Vicksburg, and ascending the Mississippi higher up than any other armed forces did during the Rebellion, in the face of an armed opposition, occupied the capital city of Louisiana, and how well did you defend Baton Rouge is now history and fame. No better battle was ever made, no better men ever deserved victory. And here, here, alas! our military connection ended; and it grieves me to say that your subsequent glorious deeds must be recounted by other eye-witnesses than myself. But there is one incident that I shall never cease to remember, or which will cease to thrill my heart while it beats within me. Relieved from the command of the Department of the Gulf, because of a supposed hostility to the foreign policy of my Government, I was steaming down the Mississippi, past the plains of Chalmette, when some good regiment sent me three cheers over the water of kindly parting. Men of the 30th, comrades of the Eastern Bay State Regiment, you gave me then a grateful remembrance which did more to cheer me on my wintry way than anything else, save the consciousness that I had endeavored, as you had, to do my duty. Understand then, my comrades, how dear to me is this token of renewed affection and love. It will be cherished by me and mine as the idolater cherishes the most honored of his household gods—an emblem of patriotic devotion to the country, and of that enduring union of officer and soldier, true United States volunteers, the first to enter the country's service and the last to leave it.

"And here, comrades, our military connections must cease, I trust forever. But we will never forget that we have been brothers in arms; and if any foreign or domestic foe so threaten the peace, the unity or the honor of the country, or if, still more unfortunately, it should be found that we have not done our work quite thorough enough, then together we will raise the old standard, shout the old battle cry, and fight again to secure equality of rights, equality of justice, and equality of laws. (Cheers.) And now, with grateful thanks, saddened only by the thought of parting, comrades, farewell! farewell!!"

Three cheers were given for General Butler with a ringing goodwill, after which His Honor the Mayor introduced General John McNeil of Missouri, who made a brief but spirited speech, which was received with applause.

The remarks of the last speaker closed the proceedings at the hall.

And thus closes the history of the flags borne during the Rebellion by the 30th Regiment of Massachusetts Veteran Volunteer Infantry.
1st State Color
(Issued by the Commonwealth with the 2nd National Color)
Image Courtesy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

    Our National Banner.

 "Uplift It to the heavens,
   Unfurl It In the air,
   And let its stars like beams of light
   Shed lustre everywhere.

  Let it float o'er every house-top,
  Let it wave o'er land and sea;

 'Tis the standard of our country,
 The bright emblem of the free.

 The old will look upon it
 And dream of battles won;

 To the young 'twill be the emblem
 Of glory yet to come.

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