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Valuable battle flag donated to Georgia museum

A tattered, bloodied and bullet-holed battle flag that had belonged to the Georgia 65th Infantry Regiment was recently given to the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History in Kennesaw.

The still colorful flag, with its distinctive 41 bullet holes, was donated by descendants of regimental color bearer Pvt. John Davis, who took the flag home to Alabama at the end of the war. The blood is believed to have come from another color bearer, William Martin, who was killed during the Battle of Franklin. The officer who next grabbed the flag was wounded. Davis was the third and final color bearer that day.

Don Davis, the great-great-grandson of John Davis, told museum officials the flag and its story was an important part of his family's history. They have a photograph of Davis holding the flag at a Confederate reunion in 1900.

The flag is the only known surviving Army of Tennessee flag that features the unit and state designations sewn onto both sides, according to museum officials, who have consulted conservators about stabilizing the flag. Plans call for it to go on public display, although no date has been set.

By Linda Wheeler  |  April 30, 2010; 2:58 PM ET
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