them to our forces—the latter can be done so likewise, if you desire it, when reinforcements shall have stopped coming up.G. T. B.
Colonel,—Your favor of the 2d instant was received last night. I am glad to hear of the probable success of my artillery raid. I hope the rockets (war) will also be forthcoming. I place much reliance upon them, for the purpose of running off the field McClellan's bipeds and quadrupeds. I regret to hear of the failure about the change of flag; but what can now be done is, to authorize commanding generals in the field to furnish their troops with a ‘field, or battle-flag,’ which shall be according to your design, leaving out, however, the white border, or rim, separating the blue from the red. I would have it simply a red ground with two blue bars crossing each other diagonally, on which shall be the white stars; a white or golden fringe might go all around the sides of the flag; we would then have two flags—a peace, or parade, flag, and a war flag. This would obviate all difficulties, I will be most happy to see here your committee. I hope no dissensions between ‘the powers that be’ will result from the action of said committee; for what we require most is the harmonious action of every department of our government. We have no time now for quarrels and bickerings; but there is no doubt it would be a national good if one or two individuals of our acquaintance could be sent ‘on a foreign mission,’ somewhere about the Celestial Empire or to Japan. I send you, herewith, a letter to General Cooper, which I wish you to read and then send to him. I have thought it was best to stop the thing referred to therein, at once. Read it, also, to Colonels Chestnut and Preston. Yours truly,
Saturday, Jan. 13th, 1872.Dear General,—Apologizing for not having communicated with you on the subject of your note of yesterday, I have to say that I presented several designs (colored, on pasteboard) which were prepared prior to my leaving New Orleans, with my command, in May, 1861. The battle-flag which was adopted, as I remember, was a square flag with the bar of blue running diagonally from the corners, making a Greek cross of blue, with stars white on a red field. I do not recollect if there was any discussion involving the question of the character of the cross. The flag was adopted as the best to be recognized in battle, to distinguish our troops in action. The time that has elapsed since we were at Fairfax, where these interesting occurrences took place, will excuse the absence of any precise, or even authoritative, statement. My memory is not as certain as I would desire. I am, General, very truly yours,