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A blog of Nineteenth Century history, focusing, but not exclusively, on the American Civil War seen through the prism of personal accounts, newspaper stories, administrative records and global history.
A thousand tales. A miscellany. A maze of historical tangents.

A Capitol View

A Capitol View
Images of 1861 juxtaposed- Union Square, New York vs. Capitol Square, Richmond

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Battle of the Crater- An Old New Spin on an Old Motto

Image from the Library of Congress

An interesting post on the flag of the Twenty-second United States Colored Troops . . .

The 22nd USCT fought in 1864-1865 at the battles at Petersburg and Richmond; was assigned to the XXV Corp, the only all Black army corps in United States history; participated in President Lincoln’s funeral procession after General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox; and patrolled the Rio Grande River in Texas to prevent foreign encroachment into the United States through Mexico.

What I found most interesting was the use of the motto, "Sic Semper Tyrannis," on the flag. "Thus ever to Tyrants" would seem an appropriate slogan for an African-American regiment during the Civil War, but it is more freighted with history than that. It is of course  the state motto of Virginia, featured within the seal on its state flag , and had a prominent place on the flags of many a Virginia Confederate regiment. History enthusiasts will also remember it as what John Wilkes Booth yelled as he leapt from the theatre box that April night.

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