March to raise money for flag preservation

Thursday, October 17, 2013
Mike Conley

At the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh, an old, battle-worn flag is in need of preservation.

And this weekend, members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Civil War re-enactors and others will march to raise money for this historic banner and remember those brave men who fought underneath it.

On Saturday, a fund-raising event called Jackson’s Flank March will be held in Old Fort. This event is hosted by the McDowell Men, Camp 379 of the SCV and the 22nd N.C., Company K re-enactors. It is a walk-a-thon type event where marchers or walkers will seek donations or sponsors. Jackson’s Flank March will start at 8 a.m. Saturday at Davidson’s Fort Historic Park, off of Lackey Town Road. The marchers will walk from there to Andrews Geyser for a lunch and refreshments. They expect to return to Davidson’s Fort at 4 p.m. It will be a round trip of approximately 12 miles.

The purpose of Jackson’s Flank March is to raise money for the preservation of the regimental state flag carried by the 35th N.C. Infantry. This flag is stored at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh, which is home to an impressive collection of Confederate flags from the Old North State.

Jeff Cordell, commander of Camp 379, said the local SCV has a goal of raising $7,853 to get this flag preserved and ready for display at the museum. So far, around $5,000 has been raised.

“Once it is preserved, it will be put into rotation,” said Cordell. “The only way they will put them on display like that is to have them preserved and put in one of those cases.”

Men from McDowell County fought in the 35th N.C. Infantry. They also fought in the 22nd and 58th regiments.

“The 22nd and the 58th flags have already been preserved,” said Cordell. “This will be the third flag to be preserved that McDowell County men fought under. We have been involved in all three of them.”

The event will also pay tribute to the Confederate soldiers who participated in the famous Jackson’s Flank March during the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863. During this battle, Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s men marched around the Union Army, without being detected, and flanked the enemy. It caught the Union troops by surprise and resulted in the biggest victory for Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

McDowell County’s Confederate soldiers were there too. They made the famous march as part of Gen. A.P. Hill’s Light Infantry Division.

Cordell said he’s expecting 40 to 50 marchers for the event. They will come from throughout McDowell as well as places like Hendersonville and Barnardsville. Some of the ROTC cadets from North Buncombe will be there too.

Some of the marchers are re-enactors and will walk the 12 miles in their uniforms. Others will wear regular clothes.

You don’t even have to march to participate in the event. Donations will be accepted and they are tax deductible.

Cordell said he and other SCV members appreciate the various companies and businesses around the county which have donated to this.

“We are getting close to the completion of this project but we still need your help,” reads a statement from Camp 379.

For more information about Jackson’s Flank March, call Jeff Cordell at 659-6377. The event has a Facebook page.

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