Saving the Colors
Gettysburg - Little Round Top – July 2, 1863
15th Alabama
Sergeant John G. Archibald & Sgt. Patrick O'Conner
Law's Brigade – Hood’s Division – Longstreet’s Corps

Standing 10 feet from the same boulder, Colonel Oates glanced toward the flag in time to witness an incident that impressed him beyond the point of being forgotten.

Civil War soldiers rarely used their bayonets as weapons but any measure would be resorted to when the colors were threatened.

As a Maine soldier lunged forward to grasp the staff of the 15th Alabama battle flag Archibald stepped backward and Sgt. Patrick O' Connor, one of the finest soldiers in Company K, plunged his bayonet through the head of the brazen Yankee.

Although he suffered severe wounds at two different battles, Archibald carried the battle flag of the 15th until the end of the war.

During the surrender ceremony at Appomattox, it is alleged that Archibald tore the colors from the staff and hid them under his shirt. Archibald declared that he would keep the old flag until he died and requested that it be placed under his head inside his coffin.

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