The precise history of this flag is unclear. Research thus far suggests that it is possibly the 15-star flag given originally to the men who would form Company “A” of the 26th Tennessee Infantry, by Miss Sallie Hurst, in June of 1861, when the company was camped at Mouse Creek, passing through Meigs County. An article in the Athens Post for June 21, 1861, describes the presentation. Its title is “Another Flag for Capt. Boggess’ Company,” which refers to another article in the same paper describing a silk flag that had previously been given to the same group of men by Miss Cattie Locke of Ten Mile Stand.
There is a possibility that this was the flag selected as the 26th’s regimental flag. There is also a possibility (whether or not it was the regimental flag at the time) that it was captured at Fort Donelson.
However, without further precise evidence, none of the above history is certain.