The ‘red Badge’ Explained. From the times-dispatch, May 20, 1906.
In regard to the ‘Red Badge’ mentioned by your Buckingham correspondent in last Sunday's issue, given to Mr. Jamieson, I think there is some error. The credit he bestows upon Mr. J. is deserved, but what he received was not a ‘badge,’ but a ‘Red Letter Commission as Lieutenant,’ given for conspicuous gallantry. I have been told only five or six were issued and only then near the close of the war. Some years ago, in collecting Confederate documents and relics, Mr. William A. Jamieson, now of this country, gave me this commission, the only one I ever saw. With the other Confederate papers, I sent it to Mrs. Ellyson as a donation to the museum, and presume she placed them there. Among them was a counterfeit Confederate five-dollar note, the only one I ever knew of, which I took from a Federal prisoner. I have been intending for years to visit the museum while in Richmond, and ascertain if the relics I sent were there, as I never received any acknowledgement of their receipt. I own and have read so many Confederate War books that I can not now positively say in which can be found the statement, that no promotion on the field, no badge or medal was ever given by the Confederate commanders or authorities for conspicuously gallant conduct in face of the enemy. I think it was in Major Stiles' book, ‘Four Years With Marse Robert.’ I can not recall any authentic incident of the kind mentioned in the numerous war books I take so much pleasure in reading. At the battle of Frayzer's Farm, or Glendale, on 30th of June, 1862, Pickett's Brigade gave away under the terrific and unexpected fire of a larger force of the Yankee army. In the disorder and confusion amid a storm of bullets, Captain W. Stuart Symington, of Pickett's staff, rushed at full speed on horseback to my regiment, the Fifty-sixth Virginia, and seized the flag from the color bearer and held it aloft, calling  to the men to rally. Some were falling on all sides of him and his horse was shot through the neck. I was standing near the head of the horse, with Lieutenant Frank C. Barnes, now of Charlotte county, on my right. This reminded me of pictures I had seen about battles in books when a boy. But Huger's Division came to our relief, over-lapping and capturing the whole force along with General McCall. General Pickett was not there, as he was wounded a few days before at Gaine's Mill. I will never forget the looks of a tall, whiskered North Carolinian as he passed near me, with his musket pointing to the front, saying, ‘They got you boys; but get out of the way and we will give them hell.’ Some years ago I published this incident, and received a letter from Captain Symington, now of Baltimore, who said that he distinctly remembered it; but Capt. Charles Pickett performed equally as meritorious service on that occasion. If any men deserved a badge or medal for extraordinary bravery in the face and under the fire of the enemy it was Captain Symington.