Answered By: Marie Rose Last Updated: Nov 17, 2015 Views: 40
This large flag is in a glass frame inside the main Museum entrance. It dates from the Civil War. On February 18, 1865, Union forces entered the city shortly after dawn. Confederate forces had evacuated several days earlier. The ensuing fires and explosions are estimated to have killed 100 to 200 civilians and destroyed many homes, churches and stores in just a few hours.
By mid-morning, Federal troops had arrived at The Citadel. The first item of their attention was The Citadel's Confederate garrison flag, the most imposing Confederate flag in Charleston. It was lowered and turned over to the Federal officer-in-charge. The Stars and Stripes were then raised for the first time in more than six years.
In the winter of 1865, the Federal forces sent the Confederate garrison flag to the War Department Building next to the White House, in Washington, D.C. In 1905, Secretary of War William Howard Taft returned this flag along with nine others to Governor Duncan C. Heyward in Columbia, S.C. Governor Heyward placed these flags in the repository of the state capital's Confederate Relic Room.
In 1973, Capt. W.W. Wannamaker Jr., USNR, Ret., class of 1919, began negotiating with Governor John C. West, class of 1942, and Mrs. LaVerne H. Watson, director of the Confederate Relic Room and Museum, for the return of the garrison flag to its original home for restoration and display. Late that year, Mrs. Watson brought the flag to The Citadel and presented it to Major Gen. Wallace E. Anderson, class of 1934, Vice-President for Academic Affairs.
After 108 years this historic flag was again displayed at The Citadel.