September 14, 2007

September 14, 2007: Restoration of the 15th Indiana Infantry Regiment’s battle flag, known as the “Little Girls’ Flag”, completed.

The 15th Indiana Infantry Regiment was raised in Lafayette, Indiana, in May-June, 1861.  On December 31, 1862, the regimental battle flag was so shredded at the Battle of Stones River that new colors were requested from the State.  Hearing this, a group of girls from Haskell Station in northwestern Indiana raised nearly $35 to purchase a cotton bunting flag as a replacement. On May 1, 1863, they presented the flag to the soldiers, who, touched by their effort, chose to carry the “Little Girl’s Flag” into battle, instead of the silk flag provided by the State.

The flag’s final and most historic usage was at the Battle of Chattanooga on November 25, 1863, during which the 15th, despite heavy casualties, captured the Confederate rifle pits at the foot of Missionary Ridge, avenging a devastating loss at Chickamauga two months prior.  Color Sergeant George L. Banks was wounded three times carrying the flag during the charge against Missionary Ridge, and was awarded the Medal of Honor.

The restoration process took nearly four months to complete.