The Old Flag Again, Waves Over Sumter

Although Charleston and its surrounding fortifications were often targets of Union bombardments and sieges, the city did not surrender until the final months of the war. Finally, as General Sherman approached the city, the mayor surrendered it to Union forces on February 18, 1865. This print depicts a scene from that day, when Captain Bragg planted an American flag into the ground at the site of Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the war had been fired. Henry M. Bragg was the aid-de-camp of general Quincy Adams Gillmore, who decimated the fortification after its Confederate occupiers refused to surrender it in August of 1863. The remains of its artillery and barricades and defenses are strewn about the captain’s feet.
In his right hand, Brag grips an impromptu flagpole which appears to have been cobbled together from an oar and a gaff. The 35 stars on the captain’s flag are configured in the shape of a large five pointed star on a blue background. This design differs from those of the two flags raised over Sumter on the 18th of February, indicating that the artist, Feodor Fuchs, employed artistic liberty when drafting the scene. Behind the captain stand two other soldiers, one holding a bayonet, and the other, possibly General Gillmore himself, carrying a sword. Behind them, the city of Charleston is on fire. The surrender on February 18th, was actually peaceful, although previous fires and bombardments had already destroyed much of the city.
The artist of the print, Feodor Fuchs, was a German-American painter and lithographer who was active in Philadelphia, where he contributed to several Kimmel & Forster prints during the Civil War. By 1876, he had relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Christopher Kimmel was born in Germany around 1850 and after immigrating to the United States, was active in New York City from 1850 to 1876. He was part of Capewell & Kimmel from 1853 to 1860, and then partnered with Thomas Forster in 1865, forming the lithography firm of Kimmel & Forster, which was active until 1871.
Currently not on view
Date made
Kimmel and Forster
Fuchs, Feodor
place made
United States: New York, New York
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
image: 17 1/4 in x 12 in; 43.815 cm x 30.48 cm
ID Number
catalog number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Chronology: 1860-1869
Uniforms, Military
Civil War
Patriotism and Patriotic Symbols
related event
Civil War
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Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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