N.H. gets its flags back

  • This battle flag hangs in the grand stairway of the New Hampshire Historical Society and is a gift from Edward Tuck. N.H. Historical Society

Published: 5/23/2017 2:59:57 PM

In 1912, New Hampshire philanthropist Edward Tuck made an extraordinary purchase: two Revolutionary War battle flags that had once belonged to the fledgling state of New Hampshire.

The flags had been carried by the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment, but they were captured by the British in July 1777 at the Battle of Fort Anne as American forces retreated from Fort Ticonderoga before a British onslaught led by General John Burgoyne. Remarkably, the British did not burn the flags or tear them into strips for bandages.

Instead, a British officer, Lt. Col. John Hill, took them home, and over succeeding years the flags were handed down through his family. When a scholar working on a book about regimental colors came across the flags, he notified officials in New Hampshire, who brought them to Tuck’s notice.

Tuck purchased both flags from Hill’s descendants and donated them to the New Hampshire Historical Society the following year. They are among only a handful of revolutionary-era flags still in existence.

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