Thanks to the efforts of patriotic citizens, the restored Civil War flag has a new home.
A piece of Macoupin County history dating back to the Civil War has finally made it back home after being away for 150 years. A national flag from the 122nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry was restored and now hangs, framed and on display, at the Macoupin County Courthouse. John Alexander, chairman of the Macoupin County Civil War Round Table, headed the restoration project and made sure the restored Civil War flag found its way back home.
The Country of Macoupin supplied over 2,000 soldiers to many states over the course of the war. However, the 122nd Infantry was special in that most of the men in nine out of ten companies originated from Macoupin Country. From there the name “The Macoupin Regiment” was born and they fought from 1862 through the end of the war.
A dedication ceremony for the restored Civil War flag was held December 30th at the county courthouse. Coincidently the date matched up with the 150th anniversary of one of the regiment’s finest moment in which they defeated Confederate forces under the command of Nathan Bedford Forrest at the Battle of Parker’s Crossroads.
Restoring a flag as old and fragile as this one, does not come with a cheap price tag. The $34,000 necessary to bring the flag back to life was raised through fundraisers and private donations over a two-year span. Alexander believes that when the public begins to discover the flag, they will soon learn to appreciate the rich history it tells. Bringing home such a treasure is an important thing for a community. This flag will give people the opportunity to remember the heroes that fought so long ago.
Immediately before being restored, the flag resided at Camp Lincoln in Springfield in a storage unit along with other Civil War flags. For the rough battle it saw and pure age, the flag was in moderate condition and the required restoration took a few months to complete. A minor confusion over the intended flag for restoration set the project back a little bit but Alexander says he is not upset and is determined to see all his work to the end.