Appomattox Court House 12th Regiment Battle Record Banner, Plus

Lot of 5 framed items. The centerpiece of the archive is a hand-painted banner listing the battle record of the 12th West Virginia Infantry.

The banner is 27 in. square, of blue silk, trimmed with gold bullion on 3 sides, framed and glazed, 30 x 30 in. overall. Originally it was probably fitted with a bar for hanging, which is now missing.

At the top a gold field reads Battle Record of the 12th Regt. W.Va. Volunteer Infty.. Below are names of battles in gold paint from the Battle of Winchester, June 13th & 14th 1863 to Appomattox Court House VA. April 9th 1865, 12 in all, two with two days.

J. M. Mayfield, the original owner of the banner, mustered into Co. I of the 12th on 30 August 1862 at Camp Wiley on Wheeling Island. In Nov. 1924 he was asked to write down in his own words his memories of the Civil War. That letter is framed and included here. On a "State Grocery Company" letterhead, Mr. Mayfield wrote: This sketch is true as far as I can remember of the event of the surrender of General Lee to General Grant. It hapened on the 9 day of april 1865 near Appamatic Court house in Virginia. The writer of this sketch was thier in person and was on the frunt line when the white flage came around and we was order to stop shooting. General Lee hung his side arm in an appel tree and General Grant taken them and gave them back to General Lee. Then Both of the General rode out of camp side by side. We in a very short time cut the apple tree down and divided it & got some of the tree and made me a watch charm. the surrender of Lee was one of the grate events of my life. I haven't words to express it. Tha was maney shouts went up to heaven that day. I think on both sides of the armes. The surrender of Lee was my last fight I was in. It made me 16 in all. I was wounded in the Battle of Winchester Sept the 19 1864 and laid on the battel groun all night not care for it was a very sad night for me . Maney more thin me was thair in worse shape thin I was. My Reg was 2 WVa Co. I J.M. Mayfield. this was riten by my own hand age 83 years 10 months. The letter is framed with the charm (watch fob) carved from the apple tree.

Some of the events described may be idealized memories, such as Grant and Lee riding off together, or Grant handing Lee's arms back to him. The apple tree occurs in many stories, however. Although the accounts of what happened under that tree vary, it was significant. There are stories of men returning the following day trying to obtain a piece of the tree, only to find a hole in the ground - roots and all had been taken. Many mementos made from the wood of that tree appear in auctions and at shows regularly, most, like this one, only an inch or two in size.

Of note, Mr. Mayfield recalls being wounded at Winchester, but the date he recalls corresponds to Opequan. That battlefield was only 5 miles away and is sometimes referred to as the Third Battle of Winchester. He also remembers 16 battles, apparently including some that were not large enough to "make the list" on the flag.

The newspaper article in another frame was written by Joe Jones for the 97th anniversary of Lee's surrender and published in the Chapel Hill Weekly on Thursday, April 12, 1962. In the article, Mr. Jones notes that he was recently given a reproduction of Lee's farewell address - still popular in the second half of the twentieth century (for all of you who think you have old copies of Lee's General Order No. 9). Jones got some information from the gentleman, Mr. Clyde Eubanks, who was born just as the war ended, but heard stories from his father, who was in Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, for his entire life. Mr. Eubanks also described his father as having a piece of wood from that apple tree. The article was sent to the consignor's grandmother from her sister, who lived in Chapel Hill, and knew of her sister's interest in genealogy and stories from the Civil War. Because of that interest, she contacted Mr. Eubanks and had him write to her sister. The other framed letter is from Mr. Eubanks to "Grandma" Bloyd, again relating that his father was at Appomattox and acquired a piece of the apple tree, and kept a large photo of Lee in his room. The last item is a post-Civil War photograph of the home of J.G. Mayfield, West Virginia, son of the Civil War veteran.

Condition:Older letter toned, other items very good. The flag is in excellent condition. It was well cared for even before being framed and protected. (Not removed from frame for examination.)

Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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