For your consideration is a historic hand made and sewn Civil War Union battle flag made in 1861 at Harrison Valley (Potter County) in the northern tier of Pennsylvania. Just in time for the 150th Anniversary at Appomattox Courthouse.
This is probably one of the last large Union battle flags that has seen so much action during the Civil War and that came from the original family with first hand account of the War told by the soldier to the granddaughter and recounted thereto.
Gladys retold the story below as she was told first hand by her grandparents.
Mary Doud, with assistance from other women of Harrison Valley, hand sewed this 5.8 x 12 foot, 34-star US flag in the year 1861 at the beginning of the Civil War. To the best of her memory, Gladys recalled that less than thirteen stripes were used as several of the original thirteen colonies may have already sided with the south when the flag was made. Mary Doud hand dated the flag "1861" in a star, and stamped the flag "MADE AT HARRISON VALLEY, PA" with another hand dated "1861".
Gladys Swetland recalled with me on several occasions, times she spent with her grandparents and Civil War history she heard from first hand accounts by both grandparents. Gladys said her grandmother was furious when Charles enlisted. Gladys said her grandfather took this flag with him when he enlisted. Mr. Doud brought back a melodeon on his return trip after the end of the war to appease his wife and stored the flag in a blanket chest (he built) in the attic of the original family home on Main Street, Mills, Pennsylvania, where it resided until 1998. Gladys said that after returning home, Charles spoke very little of the War to anyone but his wife. She said by then he had had enough. According to her grandmother Mary, Charles walked with a limp after the War and became a local constable. In 1998, the than 106 year old Gladys (Ms. Swetland was born on April 18, 1892) still played that same melodeon which resided against the west wall of her original family home living room in Mills, PA. Gladys passed away on December 14, 2005 at the age of 113. She was the fourth oldest person in the USA and the ninth oldest person in the world. Much of her life has been documented and can be found on the internet.
Charles Doud served as a Private with the 53rd Pennsylvania Regiment, Company D, during the Civil War. The following details were copied direct from Mr. Douds' Civil War record taken directly from his original discharge letter (retained by Ms. Swetland at that time):
"Charles H. Doud enlisted from Potter County, Pa., and was mustered in to the limited 3 year Service at Harrisburg, Pa., April 4th, 1864, as Private to serve three years in Company II, 53rd Regiment. Pa. Vol. Infantry. Under Captains James S. Hall & Geo. B. Richards. Colonel Mr. M. Mintzer. Blue Regiment was assigned to the 3rd Brigade 1st Div. 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac. Engaged at Malderness, May 5-7, 1864, where he was wounded by gun shot in left foot. Spotsylvania May 8-18, Po River, May 10, Cold Harbor, June 1-12, Petersburg, June 15-30, Riams Sta. Aug 25, Boydton Plank Road, Mar. 31 of 1865, Five Forks, Apr. 1, 1865, Deep Creek, Apr. 5. Surrender of Lee on April 9, 1865. Marched to Washington, D.C. Grand Review May 23rd.
Honorably discharged near Washington, D.C. June 30, 1865 By reason of Close of War."
X-RAY ANALYSIS OF STAINS ON FLAG:
Signs of strenuous use and purported battle scars (blood, tears, and holes) are evident on the flag. Four random dark brown spots on the flag have been analyzed (non-destructive) with a Thermo Niton 3XLt 900S X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) elemental analysis detector for the presence of Iron. The results show Iron levels to be 0.2929%; 0.2780%; 0.3310%; and 0.3725%. Hemoglobin itself contains +/- 0.34% Iron by mass. The XRF results are consistent with the range of Iron levels in human blood. These areas are likely from blood staining.
On May 15, 1998, I purchased this flag from Gladys Swetland, granddaughter of Charles H and Mary E. Doud. While we don't know what other battles the flag may have seen, the battles Mr. Doud and the flag did see (according to his discharge letter) are quite impressive.
The purchaser will receive the original receipt signed by Ms. Swetland. Payment to be made by cash, check, money order, WU, international money order. Paypal is not accepted on this sale. Actual shipping and insurance will be calculated upon packing when purchased. Personal delivery is an option and subject to prior arrangement. Please email me with any questions. Thanks for looking. Serious inquiries are always welcome.
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