A report by Captain Burt - Commanding Honor Guard - Raleigh North Carolina
T here have only been a few times in my life that I can truly say," I wouldn't have missed this for the world", and today was one of them. To be able to stand and watch the 26th flag return home after almost 145 years was awesome. Last week, while conducting a tour a Gettysburg, I told the group that on Monday, the descendants of the last two members of the 26th to carry the flag would escort the flag home to North Carolina. Today, I saw that happen.
Nineteen uniformed, five in civilian attire, and two members from our brothers in the 6th NC were present at the NCMOH to see our flag back. At Four PM, all uniformed members formed an Honor Guard, under command of the undersigned, lining the hallway. As Jackson Marshall's two sons played "The Old North State" on fife and drum, the Honor Guard rendered "Present Arms", the battle flag of the 26th was rolled down the hall under escort of Captain Dennis Brooks and Private Ken Thomas. As the flag passed the Honor Guard, members stepped out and followed the procession into the museum conservation room. When all were in the room, "The Old North State" was rendered again under "Present Arms". At the conclusion, Dennis and Ken helped the museum staff remove the box and wrapping around the flag.
At this time, remarks were made by Captain Burt, Captian Brooks, and Private Thomas. I don't believe there was a dry eye in the room. Tom Belton then allowed all of us to closely inspect the flag for 10-15 minutes. Then, the flag of the 37th NC and the artifacts belonging to General Grimes were opened for our viewing. General Grimes effects were viewed directly, without glass or other interruption. Marshall said that the museum staff was surprised at the number of our folks that came for this event and at the emotion that was displayed. He also said that it was probably a good thing, the staff seeing their work means so much to people.
I guess I've said about enough. I trust that you can see what this meant to all of us. Thank you for working so long and hard to make this happen.
Your brother in arms,
Fred W. Burt
Captain, 26 NCT