16th Maine flag fragment, ca. 1863

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


Soldiers in the 16th Maine knew they were about to be overtaken by Confederate troops on July 1, 1863 at Gettysburg. To prevent their flags from being captured, they tore them in pieces and hid the pieces on themselves.

Col. Charles W. Tilden kept the small fragment that is mounted on a field of red and white stripes in his mouth to protect it. He also saved another section of red and white stripes, protecting it even while imprisoned at Libby Prison.

He sent the fragments to his "companion" and lieutenant, Francis Wiggin in 1914, and wrote that the flag pieces were "not to be surrendered to any one, friend or foe."

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About This Item

  • Title: 16th Maine flag fragment, ca. 1863
  • Creation Date: circa 1863
  • Subject Date: circa 1863
  • Media: Silk, bullion
  • Dimensions: 14.7 cm x 14 cm
  • Local Code: 1302*
  • Object Type: Physical Object

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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