When the Confederate States of America were first formed in 1861, the flag pictured here was the first flag of the new nation. It is the flag properly known as the "Stars and Bars," The circle of seven stars represents the first seven states that seceded from the Union. This is the flag under which the Confederate troops fought at Perryville. Flags from their own states and regiments may have been used as well. This flag was later replaced because during battle it was sometimes mistaken as a United States flag.
In the hidden pictures I will show other Confederate flags.
The Second Flag of the Confederacy, called the "stainless banner", has a white field and 13 stars for the states that eventually became a part of the Confederacy. This flag, when furled, was sometimes mistaken as a white flag of surrender so it was replaced by the third flag of the Confederacy.
The Third Flag of the Confederacy added a vertical red bar to the right side of the white field. This flag was little used because it was adapted by the Confederate congress just a few weeks before the fall of the Confederacy. When furled it looks as if has been dipped in blood.
The Bonnie Blue Flag, with its lone star, was originally the flag of the short-lived Republic of West Florida, which included parts of the present day states of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. This flag was also used in the early days of the Confederacy, before the first official flag was adapted.
The best known of all was the square Confederate Battle Flag, also known as the Navy Jack (in it's rectangular form) This flag features a St. Andrew's Cross, borrowed from the national flag of Scotland. A large percentage of Confederates, including my own ancestors, were Scotch-Irish. On the cross are 13 stars representing the 13 sovereign states of the Confederacy. This flag was used as a battle flag because it was easily identified during the heat and haze of conflict.
In war the victors write the history, and the politically correct version of America's Civil War heard most often today is that the North fought to free the slaves in the South. Virtually no serious historian believes that, but many average citizens do.
The Conn family owned no slaves to my knowledge. Their ancestors, and mine, most likely came to this country as indentured servants from Ireland. Most Southrons did not own slaves, and there were more abolitionists, anti-slavery societies and free blacks in the South than in the North. More than 60,000 blacks, both slave and free, were in the Confederate army.
The Southern commander, General Robert E. Lee, called slavery "a moral and political evil." General U. S. Grant, the Union commander was a slave owner. Slavery would have soon ended in the South just as it did in Massachusetts, New York, and in scores of other countries - without War.
The battle of Perryville took place during the second year of the War, and it was not until the beginning of the following year that Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation took effect. Lincoln called it a "war measure." It was rhetoric that did not free a single slave. Freedom didn't come until the 13th Amendment.
At the Perryville Visitor Center are many quotes from soldiers who fought there. Among them I did not see a single mention of slavery. In their own words, the Southern men fought to defend their homes and families. They felt that America should remain a union of sovereign states with a limited federal government, as outlined by our founding fathers in the Constitution. Abraham Lincoln and the North fought to squash states rights and institute an all powerful Federal empire.
There are many good books that tell the truth about the War Between the States, but you won't find them in Federally funded public schools. Here is a link to one of my favorites:
The War Between the States: America's Uncivil War
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