Without stars or bars, blue and gray flags dot the entrance to the National Civil War Museum – each representing a soldier killed in a battle the Confederates called Manassas and the North called Bull Run.
History called it the “Great Skedaddle,” as Union troops fell back in a rout.
To show the impact of Civil War battles, the museum will display “Banners to the Fallen.” For Bull Run, 848 flags cover the ground.
As part of the commemoration of Bull Run, a descendant told the story of a Pennsylvania hero who later was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Col. John Hartranft showed valor and leadership skills in turning troops panicking in full retreat. He went on to become governor after the war, and is regarded by some as the “Father of the Pennsylvania National Guard.”
The flags representing the soldiers who died at Bull Run will be on display until August 4. After that, they will be viewed again in greater numbers.
The Patriotic Order of the Sons of America has donated 6,600 flags. They will show the losses of other Civil War battles as they happened 150 years ago – to the date – over the next four years.