Illinois insurance man and history-lover Isham "Gaylord" Davidson, front row, far left, takes part in a ceremony in April 1922 marking the formal return of an old captured Civil War regiment banner from the state of Illinois to the state of Tennessee. The presentation coincided with the unveiling of the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial in Washington, DC, and was made at the office of Illinois Senator William B. McKinley. Others pictured are W.C. Galloway, Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, Confederate Veterans; Senator McKinley; Senator Kenneth McKellar of Tennessee; and Wade H. Cooper representing Tennessee Governor Alfred A. Taylor. A similar version of this image was printed in the Memphis Commercial Appeal on May 14, 1922.
The artifact originally was the battle flag of the 11th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry during the war, under the command of Gen. John B. Gordon. It was captured by the 118th Illinois Infantry during fierce fighting at the Battle of Franklin, TN, on Nov. 30, 1864. The flag later came into the possession of General E.B. Hamilton of Quincy, IL. Today a color photograph of the flag may be seen on the 11th Tennessee's website. The lettering reads:
The husband of Ella Frances Stillman, Gaylord was a lifetime member of the Lincoln Centennial Association, known today as the Abraham Lincoln Association. He also was a poet, and two of his works were published in the 1890 book, Local and National Poets of America. In a strange twist of fate, two other cousins had poems published in the very same volume -- S. Isadore Miner of Battle Creek, MI and Minerd-Miner family historian Allen Edward Harbaugh, of Mill Run, Fayette County, PA.