The Flag Collection at Port Columbus represents the largest collection of Civil War Naval-related flags in the country. The collection in includes various flags from ships and coastal forts, as well as signal flags and Admirals’ pennants.
The collection includes the following flags, and tells the story and significance of each:
Original Museum Collection (acquired pre-2003)
- 34-Star US Navy ensign circa 1860-1863
- Surrender Flag of Ft. Jackson, LA, April 1862
- USS Galena, May 1862
- CSS Arkansas, August 1862
- USS Blackhawk boat flag, October 1862
- USS Water Witch boat flag, June 1864
- USS Saco naval jack, 1864
Gustavus V. Fox Flag Collection
The seven flags that make up the Fox Flag collection were acquired from the Massachusetts Historical Society in the Spring of 2003 by the National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus. The flags were given to the MHS by the former Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Lincoln, Gustavus V. Fox in 1869. All seven flags in the collection were captured by US Naval forces from 1861 to 1865 in many different areas in the South.
- Ft. Walker, SC, November 1861
- Ft. Henry, TN, February 1862
- Ft. St. Phillip, LA, April 1862
- CSS Atlanta, June 1863
- CSS Tennessee, August 1864 (Battle of Mobile Bay)
- Admiral Buchanan’s flag, August 1864 (Battle of Mobile Bay)
- Ft. Caswell, NC, January 1865
The famous quote “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” is paraphrased from orders given by Admiral David Farragut during the Battle of Mobile Bay, while lashed into the rigging of his flagship, the USS Hartford.
This exhibit was made possible in part through a generous grant from the Save Americas Treasures Program administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.