In researching my Regiments history (8th NY Cavalry, obviously), several sources, including the unit history written by J. David Petruzzi, lists them as the unit that received Lee's surrender flag at Appomattox. Other sources on the 8th aren't that specific, but state that they "witnessed Lee's surrender". But other unit histories I've read, including several other from NY, also state that they received Lee's flag. It seems that just about every unit from Custer's 3rd Division has made the claim.
Now, are they all being listed because they were part of the 3rd Division, or is it a case like the death of John Reynolds where almost everyone who was there claimed to be "the one" in the years following the war? Has it ever been conclusively stated who it was, or is the only known specific that it was Custers Division?
You can see the statement I'm talking about on the history page (bottom, obviously) of our unit, 8thnycav.homestead.com/ . The sketch of the unit written of by Col. William Markell in 1902 (the unit CO at Gettysburg) also states that the unit received the surrender flag. But I've never really seen it mentioned in any histories not specifically dealing with the 8th.
Post by AndyGerman on Dec 11, 2008 20:26:19 GMT -5
Such puzzles are always intriguing. Henry Tremain's Last Hours of Sheridan's Cavalry (1904) puts Lee opposite General Humphreys's Second Corps and says the first flag was sent to Humphreys's infantry. In The Cavalry at Appomattox (2003), Edward Longacre reports that several subsequent flags of truces were sent into Federal lines, including Custer's. He cites Harris S. Colt, "Flags at Appomattox," a research paper on file at the Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, which you might want to consult.
Post by 7th Mich Cav on Jul 10, 2011 9:23:42 GMT -5
in Asa Isham's book "seventh michigin cavalry" he, mentions that it was a michigan unit that recieved the surrender, he also mentoned in his book that JEB stuarts death was from a distant pitol shot by one of his troopers, there is also other facts that i feel he kinda boasted about in his writing, but seeing that custer was the one who took possesion of the towel used as the flag , that would lead me to think that it might have been a michigan unit