Origin of the Confederate battle-flag.

After the battle of Manassas, in 1861, it was observed by the principal officers of the Army of Northern Virginia that it was difficult to distinguish, in the field, the Confederate from the United States colors. I attempted to get rid of this inconvenience by procuring for each regiment its State colors. In this I was unsuccessful, except as to the Virginia regiments. Governor Letcher had the State colors made for each of them, brought them to the army himself, and delivered them to the troops with his own hands.

After failing in this attempt, I determined to have colors for use before the enemy made for the army, and asked (in the army) for designs. Many were offered, and one of several presented by General Beauregard was selected. I modified it only by making the shape square instead of oblong, and prescribed the different sizes for infantry, artillery, and cavalry.

The proper number was then made under the direction of Major W. L. Cabell, the chief quartermaster of the army, and paid for with the funds in his hands for military purposes.

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