No. 52 -Hdqrs., Fortieth Indiana Vol. Infantry
Near Huntsville, Ala., January 14, 1865
Capt. L.L. Cox
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General
Sir: In compliance with your request to send you the rebel battleflag captured by my regiment at Franklin, Tenn., together with a statement of the circumstances attending its capture, I have the honor to report that the flag was captured by Private James S. O’Riley, Company I, under the following circumstances: After a part of the second line at the battle of Franklin had given way a number of the enemy came over our works and some into the yard of the brick house just to the right of the Columbia Pike. Private O’Riley with others stopped behind the house, and the fire they opened prevented the farther progress of the enemy at that place. O’Riley did not long remain behind his shelter, but sallying out met a color-bearer of the rebel force at the other end of the house, and running him through with his bayonet carried off his flag in triumph. Colonel Blake afterward obtained the flag and probably knows where it is. I shall request him to send it back to the regiment.
I remain, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. Fortieth Indiana Infantry Volunteers