What Happened to the Battle Recognition of All the Battles West of the Mississippi?
Battle actions are recognized by streamers on the flags of all service organizations above company level. The US Navy flag carries one Civil War streamer with three silver stars, each denoting five separate actions. The Marines and Coast Guard flags have one Civil War streamer each that is unadorned. That means it is just a ribbon half blue and half gray with no lettering or other devices.
The US Army flag has twenty-five streamers, each representing a major campaign such as Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Chancellorsville and Manassas. It is interesting to note that there are no battle streamers recognizing actions west of the Mississipi River. The area encompassing Missouri, Arkansas, West Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma (then called Indian Territory) and the territories of Arizona and New Mexico. Additionally there were battles in Kansas as well. Americans from all these states campaigned, fought and died as did their brothren in the East. However, for various reasons the inportant battles like Pea Ridge, Wilsons Creek, Westport, the Red River Campaign and the others seem to have been forgotten.
A petition drive is underway to ask the Secretary of The Army to correct this oversight by designating a Battle Streamer for the “Trans-Mississippi 1861-65” to provide some recognition to all the 2,000,000 or so men, white, black, brown and red who served in this oft forgotten theater of operations during the Civil War.
A copy of the petition is available on my website: WWW.civilwartriviajunkie.com. Please feel free to download or copy the petition and send signed copies to me at the address in the website.