: The regimental flag of the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry (O.V.I.) is displayed in an 8 by 10-inch (20.32 by 25.40 cm) photograph. A painting by commercial artist Robert Needham shows the flag's original appearance. The blue flag bears the arms of the United States, an eagle with a shield on its chest holding an olive branch and a bundle of arrows and a red scroll with the national motto "E Pluribus Unum" in its beak. Below the arms is a red scroll containing the text "23rd Regt. Ohio Vols." Names of battles in which the regiment participated are painted to the left and right of the arms.
Nicknamed the "Regiment of Two Presidents," the 23rd could claim Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley as its own. Joseph T. Webb, brother of Lucy Webb Hayes, was also a member. It was organized in June 1861 at Camp Chase in Columbus. Among the battles in which the regiment fought were South Mountain, Antietam, Winchester, and Opequan. Two hundred and ninety men of the regiment died in battle or from disease. The regiment was mustered out in July 1865.
Ohio battle flags were on display at the Ohio Statehouse until the 1960s, when efforts were taken to restore the fragile flags. Some of the battle flags were on display at the Ohio History Center from 1970 until 1989. For conservation reasons, the flags have been in storage since 1989. The collection was photographed in the 1960s, and paintings were made that recreate badly deteriorated flags. The images are now part of the Ohio Historical Society's archival collections. View on Ohio Memory.
: Om288_1116300_038 Subjects
: Military Ohio; Civil War; Flags; 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry (O.V.I.); McKinley, William, 1843-1901; Hayes, Rutherford Birchard, 1822-1893 Places