May 28, 2012
'His heart's blood has written upon the flag he loved so well...'
You've never heard of Sgt. George Poundstone of tiny Grand Ridge, IL. Poundstone was a member if the 53rd Illinois infantry regiment that mustered in during 1862. He had what, at the time, was considered one of the most important - and dangerous - jobs in the regiment; he carried the flag into battle. I described the job of the color bearers during the Civil War here: There was no more deadly job in the Union Army than color bearer - and none more honored. Carrying the flag into battle made one an instant target, the enemy believing quite correctly that killing the color bearer would sap the will to fight in their opponents. It became a point of honor for a regiment that if the standard bearer fell, another would immediately pick the fallen flag off the ground and take his place. There was a reverence for the flag then, a feeling of personal responsibility for upholding what it represented. It was a tangible way for these men to express something inexpressible that lived in...(Read Full Post)