Colonel James A. Mulligan
This sheet music (music by George F. Root, lyrics by Paulina) commemorates the death of Colonel James A. Mulligan: "...And they neared the sacred banner with their foul and flaunting rag, When the dying hero shouted, 'Lay me down and save the flag."
Currier & Ives lithograph of Colonel James A. Mulligan. Mulligan commanded the 23rd Illinois Infantry, also known as the "Irish Brigade." Mortally wounded and believing the flag might be taken by rebels, he ordered his troops to "lay me down and save the flag." The flag was indeed saved; soldiers tore it into small pieces which each man kept. Born in New York to Irish immigrants, Mulligan also served as commander at Camp Douglas, a prison housing Confederate soldiers in Chicago.