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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

October 18, 1861

Account of Cobb’s Regiment in Virginia Newspaper

The Richmond Times Dispatch printed an account of Howell Cobb’s regiment being presented colors.

Presentation of colors to Col. Howell Cobb’s Regiment. –Yesterday afternoon, the 16th Georgia Regiment, Col. Howell Cobb, marched from their encampment at the old Fair Grounds to the field northeast of Hollywood Cemetery, for the purpose of receiving a stand of colors, prepared in accordance with a resolution of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States. Quite a large number of ladies and gentlemen assembled to witness the ceremony, though many were prevented from attending by the inclemency of the weather. At four o’clock, a carriage, containing Hon. R. M. T. Hunter, Secretary of State, Colonel Jos. Davis, the President’s Aid-de Camp, and Col. Cobb, arrived upon the ground; and the regiment, drawn up in column under command of Lieut. Col. Bryant, received them with presented arms. Cols. Davis and Cobb approached to the front, and the former, taking the flag, presented it with a brief address, in which he alluded to the patriotism of Georgia and the gallantry of her sons, who, he was assured, would never allow those proud colors to be trailed in the dust in front of an enemy. He then read the following letter from the President: “Col. Howell Cobb. C. S. Provisional Army: “Sir. –On the 18th ult. I received an unofficial copy of a resolution of the Congress, which requested me ‘to cause to be prepared a stand of colors and a sword, to be furnished and paid for out of the fund placed at the disposal of the President by the contribution of the members of this body, to be presented to Col. Howell Cobb as a testimonial of the high esteem in which his patriotic services are held by the members of the Confederate Congress.’ “The stand of colors has been prepared, and will be delivered to you by my Aid-de-Camp, Col. Davis; and you will accept assurance of the confidence I feel that this flag, entrusted to you as the commander of a regiment of Georgians, will be gallantly borne wherever our country’s need may claim it, and be sustained with such heroism and patriotic devotion as shall further illustrate the proud history of Georgia. “The balance of the fund, which has been handed to me by the Hon. C. J. McRae, will be applied to the procurement of a sword, which will be transmitted to you as soon as obtained. “Had the request of the Congress been more promptly communicated, it would have received earlier attention. “Very respectfully, &c., “Jefferson Davis. Col. Cobb received the beautiful flag from the hands of Col. Davis, and after alluding to the fact that he had already expressed his thanks to Congress for bestowing this honor upon a regiment which it was his pride and pleasure to command, reiterated the grateful appreciation, by himself and his brave men, of the sentiments expressed by the President and his representative, and the confidence reposed in them. The Colonel then proceeded to address his command in brief but earnest words, saying, “this banner, received from the Executive of your country, under the direction of Congress, I am now about to entrust to your hands. Take it, and if one fold is ever sullied or dishonored, let no man of the 16th regiment ever return to Georgia to tell the tale. If it is ever your lot to encounter the enemy on the battle-field, let the rallying cry be that banner; and rather than surrender it, let it wave over the burial ground of every man in the regiment.” He complimented his men on their general good deportment and willing obedience to orders, and with an eloquent allusion to the part sustained by Georgia in the struggle for Southern independence, closed his remarks. The colors were then received by the regiment, the Armory Band meanwhile performing the stirring tune of “Dixie’s Land.” At this point, a heavy shower commenced falling, which caused the spectators to scatter in every direction, while the regiment marched back to the encampment. The flag is made of heavy silk, with the Confederate colors, and fringed with gold bullion. It is of large dimensions, and bears an appropriate inscription. There was a general impression that it would be presented by the President in person, but a pressure of public duties prevented his attendance. The 16th regiment is composed of good material, and their appearance yesterday, armed with the Enfield rifles lately imported from England, was in a high degree imposing. We learn that the regiment will soon leave for a place nearer the enemy.