Battle flags at Franklin 1864
To remember how much spirit of honor, sacrifice, determination and love for country and freedom is represented in every Confederate battle flag and how much this tradition must be kept high by protecting and defending the colors against modern hate attacks, it is good to read the diaries and memories of the veterans. Love for the Cause living in the colors comes alive again. Read this from John M. Copley’s Sketch of the Battle of Franklin, TN:
The color-bearer and color-guard of our regiment were all killed near the edge of the ditch; the last man of the color-guard was shot while waving the regimental colors at the breast-works, and fell forward, the flag reaching over within the Federal works, the staff resting across the head-logs. Some brave soldier of our little remnant quickly seized the staff, recovered the flag and carried it off the field. I regret never having learned his name. This deadly strife was destined to be of short duration; as our attacking columns were destroyed and repulsed, the firing became less frequent, except from our batteries in the rear, which were kept active by the fearless and solitary few who survived this bloody encounter. The carnage and destruction was so dreadful that the sun, as if loath to longer gaze on this terrific scene, slowly sunk behind the western horizon and hid from view his smiling face; but the stars, more pitying, came forth to keep vigil o’er the silent and sleeping dead.
(John M. Copley, A Sketch of the Battle of Franklin, pages 57-58, Boeckmann
Printing, Austin, TX, 1893)
Remember the end of the last sentence every time someone says that the battle flag should not fly on Confederate cemeteries: the stars of the sky came to keep vigil of the sleeping death after Franklin…the stars of the battle flag should keep vigil of the sleeping heroes of the South over their resting places forever.