A flag that last flew 150 years ago during the Battle of Franklin is slowly losing the battle with time, unless donors can raise money to save it. Preservationists need $6,500 to restore and conserve a 2-foot-by-3-foot flag last flown by Confederate Gen. John Adams during the Battle of Franklin. Adams, along with five other Confederate generals, was killed during the battle on Nov. 30, 1864, when Confederate and Union forces collided in Franklin.

Donated by Adams’ widow to the Tennessee Historical Society in 1907, the flag is kept today at the Tennessee State Museum, where curators hope they can restore the flag and keep a tie to the battle, which will celebrate its 150th anniversary later this year.

Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans are seeking $6,500 needed to preserve the flag and slow the march of time. Made of wool and silk, the flag’s silk fringe has begun deteriorating more than expected during the past decade. “We care about these tangible heirlooms from our ancestors,” Michael Beck, commander of the Tennessee Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, said in a statement. “We intend to do everything we can to be sure they remain intact for future generations.”
The Confederate flag was known as a headquarters flag because it was flown specifically to mark where a general’s headquarters were located.

The flag’s preservation would be the latest under the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ “Save Our Flags” initiative, which they say has donated thousands of dollars to help conserve Civil War items preserved by the Tennessee Historical Society and the Tennessee State Museum.

“In this past year I’ve watched the Save Our Flags people lead the way for the conservation of the battle flag of the 14th Tennessee Infantry, the famous kepi (cap) of General Cleburne and the Sam Davis overcoat,” Michael Bradley, member of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, said in a statement. “While other organizations are asking for money, it’s refreshing to see these folks volunteering to raise it.”

The flag was made by an unidentified Mississippi woman in 1863, but little else is known about its history or markings.

Reach Kevin Walters at 615-771-5472 and on Twitter @thekevinwalters.
For more details or to donate at http://saveourflags.org/index.php/donate