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Record 247/294
Army of Northern Virginia (Confederate) battle flag, Fourth Bunting Issue or Richmond Clothing Depot Type IV, issued from June through September of 1864: hand-sewn construction of wool bunting: red field in three sections; blue St. Andrew's cross with white edges; thirteen hand-sewn five-pointed white stars (one is missing); white cotton binding along borders; and three hand-sewn grommets on the staff edge for attachment to staff. The place of capture of this flag is not documented, but it is possibly when the 5th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry participated in the Assault on Petersburg, Virginia on April 2, 1865 or the Battle of Sailors' Creek, Virginia on April 7, 1865. The regiment is known to have captured prisoners in both engagements. The donor was a descendant of 2nd Lieutenant Benjamin Smith, Company B, 5th Wisconsin Infantry. Benjamin Smith was born in England in July 1837. The family immigrated to Wisconsin prior to 1855 and were living in Greenbay in 1860. He listed his residence as Westford, Dodge County when he enlisted in Beaver Dam on April, 22, 1861. He was assigned as a Private in Company D, 5th Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. Benjamin was promoted to Corporal and Sergeant in that company. He was promoted to Commissary Sergeant of that regiment on October 10, 1863. He was transferred to the 5th (reorganized) Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry on July 13, 1864. Benjamin was promoted to Quartermaster Sergeant of that regiment on November 1, 1864. He was reassigned to Comany B in that reorganized regiment when he was promoted to 1st Sergeant in that company. He was then commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant of that company on December 13, 1864. He was slightly wounded on April 2, 1865 during the Assault on Petersburg, VA. Benjamin was mustered out on June 20, 1865, while the rest of the regiment was mustered out July 11, 1865. In the 1870 US Census he is listed as a Mail Agent in Milwaukee with his wife Caroline and two sons, the eldest born circa 1865. He is listed in 1880 in the "Wisconsin Soldiers and Sailors Reunion Roster" as living in Oshkosh, WI. In the 1880 US Census he lists his occupation as commercial travelor, age 42, born in England, and living with his wife Carroline A. Smith and children: Arthur P.; Barton D.; and Bennett K. Smith. He was listed in the 1890 federal census as residing in the city of Oshkosh, Winnebago County. That same year he applied for an Invalid Soldier's Pension. He was listed in the veteran section of the 1895 Wisconsin State census at P.O. Oshkosh. In 1900 he and Caroline were living in the 7th Ward in Oshkosh, where he listed his occupation as retired. A Benjamin Smith died in Milwaukee, Wi on April 15, 1901. Caroline A. Smith applied for a widows pension on April 22. He does not appear in the 1905 Wisconsin Veterans Census.
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