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Radio Free Flint Podcast

Flint and its Tattered Civil War Battle Flag

The 10th Michigan Infantry Regiment flag traveled to civil war battlefields.

There were 90,000 Michigan soldiers deployed in the American civil war. The 10th Michigan Infantry Regiment was organized at Flint, Michigan, and mustered into Federal service for a three-year enlistment on February 10, 1862.

The Flint 10th Infantry was deployed along with their battle flag to the civil war battlefields of Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, and North Carolina.

This Michigan unit fought their way in support of and on the front line of civil war battlefields, all the way with Sherman to the Sea with the battlefield flag in hand. They were part of the attack and taking of Atlanta that resulted in the union side winning the civil war.

The 10th Michigan Infantry Regiment lost during service; 7 Officers and 95 Enlisted men were killed and mortally wounded, and 2 Officers and 223 Enlisted men died by disease. There were 327 total civil war casualties in the unit.

The civil war union battle flags they carried were made and gifted to the 10th Michigan Infantry Regiment by women of Flint, Michigan. Before leaving for the battlefield, the men of these regiments were presented with beautiful silken battle flags. Regiments received a stand of colors consisting of two national flags and union regimental flags. The national flag was the traditional American red, white, and blue Stars and Stripes. The civil war union regimental flag typically had a solid blue field decorated with the Federal or Michigan coat of arms.

The Flint 10th Michigan Infantry civil war union battle flags played a vital role on the battlefields where they fought. After the American civil war ended, the unit's union flags were returned to Michigan and given to the Governor of Michigan. However, not all battle flags made it back.

Save The Flags is a State of Michigan project. The group's mission is to preserve, research and display the 240 civil war battle flags carried by Michigan soldiers during the Civil War, the Spanish American War, and World War I.

Michigan now has an "adoption" program to conserve these battle flags. Individuals, organizations, schools, families, and communities can help preserve, research, and display the civil war flags by "adopting" flags in the collection. To date, almost 150 flags — mostly from the Civil War — have been adopted, providing the project with much-needed funds.

Flint resident David Norris' great-grandfather, Talmon C. Owen, fought on the civil war battlefields with the 10th Michigan Infantry and its now famous battlefield flag. Dave has spearheaded the restoration of three civil war union flags.

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Music provided in this episode is courtesy of songwriter David O. Norris, who wrote the song "Peach Tree Creek." Folk singer Neil Woodward performs the song written in honor of Flint's 10th Infantry, who fought bravely in the Civil War battle at Peach Tree Creek. That critical battle led to the fall of Atlanta.

Flint area resident David Norris' great-grandfather, Talmon C. Owen, fought on the civil war battlefields with the 10th Michigan Infantry and its now famous union flag. Dave has spearheaded the restoration of three civil war union flags.

Folk singer Neil Woodward is a recipient of the 2018 State of Michigan Heritage Award "in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Michigan's cultural heritage."
In 2003, the State of Michigan Legislature officially named Neil Woodward Michigan's Troubadour in recognition of his lifelong commitment to preserving Great Lakes folk music and culture.

You can listen to more of Neil Woodward's music at: Michigan's Troubadour
Special thanks to our guests David O. Norris, Neil Woodward, Mattew J. VanAker, Director, Tour, Education, and Information Service, Michigan State Capitol, and Save The Flags, Curator.

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