Hall of Flags – 9th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Battle Flag

210 Capitol Avenue • Hartford, CT • Hartford County

Historical Significance

This flag was especially designed for the Ninth Regiment. It and an American flag were presented to the Regiment at Camp Welch on October 31, 1861. The flags were both made of silk. The American flag, or "flag of the Union," was donated by Mrs. Charles DeForest and the regimental flag was donated by a group of "patriotic ladies."

Photo: Battle flag of the 9th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry
(SteelOnTarget, photobucket.com)

Hartford sign painter and artist, Frederick F. Rice, made the first national flags purchased for Connecticut's troops during the Civil War. Connecticut Adjutant General Joseph Williams and Quartermaster General John M. Hathaway asked him to make the flags. Each flag that Rice created was hand-painted and unique. The national flags he created had eagles in their cantons. The eagles appear to be protecting the federal shield from attack on the flag.

Photo: Hall of Flags at the Connecticut State Capitol building.
(Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, George F. Landegger Collection of Connecticut Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive)

The Ninth Regiment's flag is part of a collection of battle flags of Connecticut units from the Civil War to the War on Terror in the Hall of Flags in the west wing of the Connecticut State Capitol Building. Most of them are in the oak and glass cabinets installed in the capitol shortly after the building opened in 1879.

In 1865 the Connecticut General Assembly declared battle flags to be sacred. They announced, "the battle-torn and battle-hallowed flags of our brave regiments be most sacredly and tenderly preserved, and used only on public occasions of great solemnity and importance." Prior to 1879, the flags were stored at the State Arsenal. The new capitol building opened in January 1879.

During the January session of the General Assembly, legislators passed House Joint Resolution No. 141 that stated: "Resolved by this Assembly. That the comptroller, adjutant-general, and quartermaster-general shall be a board to have charge of the battle flags of the State, now stored at the state arsenal, and they are directed to cause suitable cases to be erected in the Capitol, and the flags placed therein." With the resolution approved on March 11, 1879, officials placed a total of 80 flags in the capitol in 1879 as part of a grand parade. Today, 55 Civil War flags are on display in the Hall of Flags.

Unit History

The Ninth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers (Connecticut's "Irish Regiment") was organized in New Haven in September of 1861. They were transported to Ship Island, MS on the Gulf Coast by the end of the year and they saw action there, as well as in New Orleans the following spring. During the summer of 1862 they were part of the first campaign against Vicksburg and assigned to the "Williams Canal" operation, an unsuccessful Federal project to divert the course of the Mississippi River, bypass Confederate guns at Vicksburg and win control of the Mississippi.

The regiment lost 150 men due to the lack of supplies, heat, dysentery and malarial conditions in a four month period. At Baton Rouge Colonel Thomas Cahill of the Ninth took command of all Federal troops after the death of Brigadier General Williams and successfully repulsed the Confederate attack. After being assigned to defend New Orleans they later served in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and played a prominent role in General Sheridan's 1864 victory at Cedar Creek.


Cantore, Tara M. "Hall of Flags: Memorial to Connecticut's Civil War Colors."

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Murray, Thomas Hamilton. History of the Ninth Regiment, Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, "The Irish Regiment" in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865. New Haven: Price, Lee and Adkins Company, 1903.

"Welcome to the Ninth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers: A CT Civil War Memorial." Ninth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers 1861-1865.
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Battle flag of the Ninth Regiment, Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, "The Irish Regiment" from the Civil War. The field is of dark blue. On one side of the flag, in the center of the blue field, is the State seal, having the National seal as a background.

On the other side appears an Irish emblem comprising a green ground with a harp of gold. A spray of shamrock is entwined, and underneath is the inscription "Erin Go Bragh." This Irish emblem is, like the State seal, backed by the National one, and is in the center of the blue field on this side of the flag.

Additional Information

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