This flag may have been manufactured between February 21 and November 17, 1860 by J. O. Belknap, 28 Dauphin St., Mobile, Alabama.1 It was issued to the company prior to their departure for Virginia and was last carried during a dress parade at Harpers Ferry, Virginia in June 1861. No subsequent information concerning the history of the flag has been located.
The flag was received by the Alabama Department of Archives and History
between August 2, 1956 and February 4, 1957. It was presented by Miss Bertha
Mann of Montgomery, Alabama to whom it was sent by Mrs. Edith Searcy of
Boaz, Alabama. The flag had been sent from the effects of an elderly cousin, Miss
Minnie Elizabeth Smith of Cane Spring, Georgia who died in June 1956. She was
the daughter of Robert N. Smith who enlisted on April 25, 1861 in Co. D, 4th
Alabama Infantry. His association with the flag remains unclear.
1The Canebrake Rifle Guards were incorporated on February 21, 1860. An advertisement placed by Belknap in the Montgomery Mail, November 17, 1860 noted that an order for the flag of the Canebrake Rifle Guards had recently been "executed". However evidence also suggests that it was painted by Nicola Marschall of Marion, Alabama.
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Updated: October 25, 2006