(Contributed by Bob Hackett).
Confederate Flag in VermontSt. Albans Daily Messenger, Wednesday, July 12, 1911
CONFEDERATE FLAG IN VERMONT
Interesting Story of the Civil War Comes from Enosburg Falls.
A recent issue of The Confederate Veteran published in Nashville, Tenn., contains a short article on "The Confederate Flag in Vermont in 1861" by Miss Grace O. Giddings, of Enosburg Falls which will be of interest:
"In the beginning of the war between the states there was much contention in the North, owing to division of opinion, some favoring the North others the South. Many who sympathized with the South cautiously concealed their sentiments.
"Among those who openly expressed their convictions that the South has a righteous cause was Horton Hall, a respected and influential resident of Enosburg Falls, Vt., noted for his generosity and genial disposition.
He was informed on topics of the day, and did not hesitate to explain to neighbors and friends the position of the Confederacy. To the consternation of the people he unfurled a large Confederate flag over the road in front of his house. No Yankee could enter the town on South Main St. without passing under the waving banner of the South. Although sullen looks and threatening countenances greeted the flag, it waved on in defiance of the citizens displeasure. Imagine the situation --a Confederate flag waving over the heads of loyal Vermonters. The new spread throughout the Missisquoi valley, and great excitement prevailed.
"The wily Yankees saw the necessity of playing some of their tricks which they could use adroitly. Forthwith a scheme was devised to detain Mr. Hall at the post-office with some startling war news. While he was there a boy cut the rope which held the Southern banner, and a horseman, seizing the rope, galloped furiously through Main St., with the flag trailing in the road. Cheers and shouts rent the air, while men and boys pursued the fleeing horseman. Hearing the disturbance, Mr. Hall looked out in time to see his banner rudely dragged through the streets.
It was impossible to recover the flag, for it disappeared in a cloud of dust, and never appeared again. Free speech had been tolerated but raising a Confederate flag in Yankeetown was unendurable.
"When adversity overtook Mr. Hall, soon after, he disposed of his property in the village and retired to a farm, a few miles distant, where he passed the remainder of his life amid peaceful surroundings.
His daughter Mrs. Arvilla Cross, who made the flag, died at an advanced age in this town last year.
"Not many persons who were present when the Confederate flag was raised now remain, but the few survivors distinctly remember the thrilling events of that day."
CAPTURED REBEL FLAGS.
In February, 1865, I made application to the War Department for permission to take into the custody of the State the rebel flags which have been captured by Vermont troops during the war, believing that the State was best entitled to the possession of these evidences of the daring of her sons, and would best preserve them in such way that they could be seen by their gallant captors, and those who shall hereafter represent them in life, while, if displayed at the War Department, they would remain a constant source of mortification and grief to the future representatives in the Congress of the United States of those States who so foolishly and with such utter failure submitted under them to the arbitrament of the sword. This request was renewed in July, but has not yet been granted, the Secretary of War not deeming himself authorized to grant it under present legislation, but communicating his intent to recommend to Congress the enactment of a law which would authorize the delivery of all such flags to the State authorities."
The War Department's response, enclosed in Appendix B of the 1865 report:
Washington City, July 7th, 1865.
Sir:--I am instructed by the Secretary of War to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 29th ultimo, requesting that the rebel flags which have been captured by troops from Vermont, during the rebellion, be delivered to that State, to be preserved as trophies.
It is the intention of the Secretary of War to recommend to Congress the enactment of a law which will authorize rebel flags to be delivered to the State authorities, in the manner set forth in your communication, but under existing legislation he is required to keep them in the hands of the Adjutant General of the army.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. A. DANA,
Assistant Secretary of War."
See the main article on Vermont's Civil War Flags