This Second National pattern flag, carried during the War of Northern Aggression by the Consolidated 6th & 7th Arkansas Infantry Regiment, is currently housed in the Old State House Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas. In official service from May 26, 1863 to March 4, 1865, the pattern became known as the “Stainless Banner” due to its pure white field. By President Jefferson Davis’ order, one of its first uses was to drape the coffin of General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson who died on May 10, 1863 from a case of pneumonia contracted during treatment of injuries received at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2.
ARRIVAL OF THE REMAINS OF GEN. THOMAS J. JACKSON. – The sun arose on yesterday upon a mourning city, and as the telegraph sent the sorrowful intelligence of the death of Jackson over the South, it beamed upon a nation to whom its light, brilliantly and beautifully as it shone, became suddenly veiled and opaque, shedding gloom instead of gladness, and starting tears instead of happiness and joy. The morning press came forth with its columns shaded with long dark lines of mourning; and the people, of one accord, thronged the streets to give utterance with one another to the deep sorrow that enshrouded every heart. It seemed as if every man felt himself an orphan, and the sad tone that gushed from the popular soul dwelt upon the sense like the touching and dreamy wail of the miserero. It would be impossible to measure the depth of love felt by the people for the great and good man whom they were now come forth to mourn. Many wept when they read the unhappy tidings; but all were proud that he died for them, and their gratitude mingled with their grief, and his deeds, his worth, his fame, and his fortitude were the themes of every tongue.
Announcement being made that the remains of the lamented hero would arrive at twelve o’clock, the Fredericksburg depot was crowded long previous to that hour, and the shaded avenues and slopes of the Capitol Square, which is but a few rods distant, were thronged with ladies, who awaited impatiently the coming of the train. Twelve o’clock, however, came, and no train had yet arrived; the crowd became larger and the anxiety more intense. A detachment of the Public Guard, Lieut. Gay, commanding, attended by the Armory Band, arrived at the depot, and soon after followed the hearse. Not less than five thousand persons could have united in this sympathetic demonstration, all anxious to pay the tribute of their presence to the cold but sanctified clay of the departed hero. The hours wore slowly on, and one, two, three and four o’clock passed by.
A few minutes past four o’clock, the long expected train appeared in sight, moving slowly down the street, and finally stopping at the corner of Fourth. Thither the multitude pressed eagerly, and the signal of the arrival being given, the bells of the churches and public buildings commenced tolling. The 44th North Carolina Regiment, which had signalized itself on many battle fields, was fitly chosen to unite with the Public Guard in the escort, and moved to the scene from Capitol Square, whither it had been kept in waiting – when the arrival of the train was communicated.
The streets, for some distance in the vicinity of the train, were literally blocked up with people, and it was found necessary to establish a guard to the passage way beside the cars to prevent confusion in the labors of those whose immediate office it was to take charge of the body. After a delay of a few minutes, the corpse, enclosed in a coffin, around which was folded the Confederate flag, was removed from the car and deposited in a hearse in waiting, appropriately draped, topped with sable plumes and drawn by two white horses. The procession was then formed and proceeded down Broad street, in the following order:
Major General Elzey and Staff, mounted.
Forty-Fourth N. C. Infantry, Col. Singletary commanding.
Col. Skinner, of the 1st Virginia Infantry, and Col. S. B. French, A. D. C. to the Governor, mounted.
The Staff of Gen. Jackson.
Members of the City Council.
The procession moved to appropriate music from Broad to Ninth streets, and from Ninth to the western entrance of Capitol Square. Here it entered the Square, and proceeding down the broad avenue upon which stands the Monument; stopped in front of the Governor’s mansion. The hearse was then brought forward to the portico, and the body removed into the mansion, the escort and spectators standing with uncovered heads. The procession was then dismissed.
Last night the body was properly embalmed, and will today be laid in state in the Capitol, to which the public will have access until sunset.
To-morrow morning it will be removed, under escort, to the Central cars, which will bear it to its last resting place, in the county of Rockbridge.