Numbers 302. Reports of Major General Bushrod R. Johnson, C. S. Army, commanding Johnson's division.
HEADQUARTERS JOHNSON'S DIVISION, June 22, 1864.
COLONEL: In the Richmond Examiner of the 20th instant I find the following paragraph:
TROPHIES OF THE FIGHT.
There were deposited temporarily in this office on Saturday two flags taken from the enemy on Friday in the battle of Petersburg by General Wise's brigade. One of these flags that changed bearers on that occasion is a large, elegant silk banner, heavily fringed, which bears the inscription, "One hundred and thirteenth Regiment New York State Volunteers," and beneath the motto, "Excelsior." Either face of the banner bears a painting illustrative of battle scenes in the Revolutionary war, with the figure of General Washington in the foreground. It is the largest and most superb regimental flag we ever saw. The silken folds are rent in several places by bullet and shell, and the top of the staff is shattered by a minie-ball. Splashes of blood here and there upon the torn silk suggested a hand-to-hand conflict for the possession of the flag, closing with the death of its supporters.
The other trophy is an artillery bunting flag, and is emblazoned in the center with the red figure of the "ace of clubs." Its captors went one better, holding a "trump," and took the "trick." We understand that General Wise has presented at Excelsior banner to the State, and that it will be hung up in the State library along with the many other kindred trophies of the war that now adorn its wall.
The colors above referred to were captured on Thursday, the 16th instant, by Johnson's brigade, and were delivered into the hands of a Mr. Trent, acting druggist at Poplar Lawn Hospital, by Corporal Bush, Company I, Forty-fourth Tennessee Regiment, who was wounded and sent to the rear. This fact is attested by a certificate from Mr. Trent, of which I inclose a copy. In the same action of Thursday, the 16th, Johnson's brigade took as many of the enemy prisoners as they themselves had men engaged. This communication is not intended to blazon the achievements of Johnson's brigade, nor to detract from the just credit of any other troops. My object is simply to insure that a body of gallant and meritorious men are not bereft of the reward of their heroic deeds, and to procure the restitution of trophies that belong rather to the Confederate Government than to any particular State.
The accompanying statement by Lieutenant Kelso and Colonel Fulton, commanding brigade, furnish formal and conclusive evidence that the colors and prisoners in controversy were captured by Johnson's brigade.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. R. JOHNSON,
Colonel G. W. BRENT, Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF N. CAROLINA AND SOUTHERN VA., June 22, 1864.
The colors are the property of the Confederate States, and should be properly appropriated. It is respectfully recommended that Colonel G. W. Munford, Secretary of State of Virginia, be called on for them.
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
*A trefoil-flag design of the First Division, Second Army Corps.
49 R R-VOL XL, PT I