October 18, 2011

Gov. Curtin Presents Flags to Negley's Brigade

Location: Allegheny Commons, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA
Early War 79th Pennsylvania Flag, presumably presented by Curtin in 1861
(PA Capitol Preservation Committee)
Due to a regimental numbering controversy, it is unclear specifically when this flag was used.

Pennsylvania Gov. Andrew G. Curtin
(Library of Congress: cwpbh.01288)
On October 17, 1861, Pennsylvania's popular and tireless wartime governor Andrew Curtin arrived in Pittsburgh to present flags to the three newly formed regiments gathered there, including Col. Hambright's regiment.  An unidentified correspondent "X" recorded the governor's speech and sent it on to the Daily Evening Express for publication.  As the flags were unfurled, so was the brigade's destination thereby ending weeks of speculation as to whether the men would be going to Western Virginia, Kentucky, or Missouri.  Curtin announced:
In a few hours (not a few days) you leave your native State of Pennsylvania and go--not to Western Virginia, for the orders have been changed--but to Kentucky; for while at Washington hordes of rebels, led on by men steeped in treasonable purposes, menace the capital--in Kentucky they are invading a State loyal to the Union and devastating the homes of her faithful people.  But Pennsylvania, true to her original compact, goes to defend Kentucky, and I now stand in the presence of men who go to defend the friends of liberty there.

From the October 19, 1861, Daily Evening Express: (alternate link)

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