The original banner of the 72nd Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry was discovered in the attic of the Sandusky County Historical Society earlier this year. Yesterday, the county commissioners voted unanimously to budget the $9,000 needed to restore the banner and to buy new lighting for the museum that is used for such displays.
The azure banner, with a traditional war image of an eagle, carries the embroidered inscription “72nd Fort Stephenson Regiment.”
According to a story by reporter Mark Tower of the News-Messenger, the banner was made by the women of Fremont and presented to the nearly 900 men of the 72nd Regiment by the town mayor on Jan. 24, 1862. At the Battle of Shiloh, the flag was seized by the Confederates and presented to Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard. He gave it to Gen. Thomas Gordan who in turn gave it to his daughter who then donated it to a New York City fundraiser.
In 1896, the Ohio governor tracked down the flag and brought it back home. No one seems to know what happened to the banner after that until it was found in the society’s attic.