The Color Bearer

Published:August 31, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe

“The color bearer would not give up the standard until he was knocked down,” drawing from the diary of Alfred Bellard, 1860s (Alec Thomas Archives)

More on Bellard, who later published his diary as Gone for a Soldier: The Civil War Memoirs of Private Alfred Bellard:

English born and a resident of New Jersey at war’s commencement, Bellard enlisted as a private in the 5th New Jersey Infantry, a unit commanded by Cols. Samuel H. Starr and William J. Sewall. The unit’s duty was typical of an eastern three-year regiment: the Peninsular campaign, Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Virginia campaigns of 1864, and disbandment in November of that year. During the war the author kept a journal and sent letters home once a week to his father; about 15 years later he compiled this record into a lengthy and richly illustrated log of his Civil War service.