By Leah Schmalz
Those attending the Mint Hill Madness parade at 10 am Saturday will glimpse a piece of history. The 13th NC Company B, a Civil War reenactment group, will carry a replica of the first flag captured by General Ulysses S. Grant during the Civil War.
The second national flag of the 13th NC was captured in the Battle of the Wilderness at Spotsylvania in 1864. The color bearer, Grief Mason, was killed for refusing to give up the flag. The Union Sergeant was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for its capture. The original flag is currently on display at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh as part of its Civil War anniversary exhibit.
The replica, handmade by Ben Tart of Garner and hand painted by TJ Miller of Fuquay-Varina, was carried in the 150th anniversary of the battle. 18 members of the 13th NC took part in the reenactment on May 3.
“The reason we did that was to honor Grief Mason, a North Carolinian who fought for his country, his home and his family, and paid the full measure,” said Geary Shafer, Unit Commander. “When you joined the army in 1860 in North Carolina, you didn’t swear allegiance to the confederacy or to Jefferson Davis. You swore allegiance to North Carolina.”
Shafer said the group has roughly 20 active members, and he hopes they will all take part in the parade. “We’re honored to be a part of it,” said Shafer.