Regimental flag of the 2nd Philadelphia Coal Exchange Regiment. U.S.Volunteer Infantry, 1863.
This richly decorated regimental flag was a significant part of the Madaus collection and remains in excellent condition.
The Howard Michael Madaus sub-collection of Civil War Military Flags was assembled from a variety of sources over a thirty year period of collecting (1970-2000) before being acquired by the Zaricor Collection in 2000. The sub-collection attempts to present an example of each of the major types of depot contractor regulation flags and colors carried by Union forces at the basic unit level, i.e. regiment, battalion, company, and battery, as well as the types of general military flags.
This sub-collection (Howard Michael Madaus collection) added to the Zaricor Civil War collection is the largest and (while not complete) most comprehensive collection of the military flags carried by the Union Army during the Civil War outside of state repositories designated by the War Department for the disposition of these flags after the War or in public museum collections. In fact this private collection is larger and more comprehensive than many of the public museum collections in the United States.
This flag is a Regimental Color from the Philadelphia Department of Pattern. Made especially by Evans & Hassell for the 2nd Philadelphia Coal Exchange Regiment, 51st Pennsylvania Militia by its sponsors, of the Philadelphia Coal Exchange. It is interesting to note that this militia regiment was organized during the Gettysburg campaign of 1863 for a period of six months.
The blue silk field is decorated with a full, painted rendition of the coat-of-arms of the United States (eagle with shield on breast, arrows in one talon, olive branch in the other) under a double arc of 34 stars (21 over 13), each measuring 1.5 inches across, which are painted gold on the obverse and reverse sides. There is an eagle bearing a purple painted scroll in its beak with the U.S. motto, "E PLURIBUS UNUM" (from many, one) in gold lettering. Below the eagle is a tripartite scroll, painted red, with the unit nickname, "2ND COAL" / "PHILADA" / "REGIMENT" in gold letters (each a height of 1.5). A golden fringe, 2" deep, circumvents the three outer edges of the flag. The old painting appears on both sides. The flag is attached to its staff by means of a sleeve, formed by doubling over and sewing the leading edge of the flag.
The 51st Regiment Pennsylvania Militia (nicknamed the 2nd Coal Regiment-- the 40th Pa. Militia was the 1st Coal Regiment-- for its sponsors, the Philadelphia Coal Exchange) was originally formed for 90 days service. It was organized under Colonel Oliver Hopkinson and mustered into federal service on 11th July 1863 with 37 officers and 777 enlisted men (an aggregate of 814 men). During the Gettysburg Campaign it served in Brigadier-General Orris S. Ferry's Brigade of the Department of the Susquehana, and from of 31st July 1863 was part of the force of five regiments garrisoning Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The regiment was mustered out of service on 2nd September 1863 by virtue of the cessation of the crisis caused by Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania.
For historical references to the unit, please see: U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington: GPO, 1880-1901), Series I, Vol. 27, Part 2, pp. 211-219 (with specifics on the 51st's service on p. 216) and Part 3, p. 812 (for unit's station of service on 31 July 1863).
• 2nd Regiment Philadelphia Coal Exchange Regiment (51st Regiment Pennsylvania Emergency Militia), 1863.
• By repute to the Pennsylvania State Fencibles Museum, Philadelphia, PA, until deaccession.
• Acquired by Mr. Joseph DeVito of Woodmere, NY, until 1976
• Sold to Howard M. Madaus of Cody, Wyoming, until 2000.
• Acquired by the Zaricor Flag Collection from the Madaus Flag Collection of Cody, WY, in 2000.