He retired to Nashville in 1837, taking his treasured flag from his sea
days with him. By the time the Civil War erupted, most everyone in and
around Nashville recognized Captain Drivers “Old Glory.” When
Tennessee seceded from the Union, Rebels were determined to destroy his
flag, but repeated searches revealed no trace of the hated banner.
Then on February 25th, 1862, Union forces captured Nashville and raised
the American flag over the capital. It was a rather small ensign and
immediately folks began asking Captain Driver if “Old Glory”
still existed. Happy to have soldiers with him this time, Captain Driver
went home and began ripping at the seams of his bedcover. As the stitches
holding the quilt-top to the batting unraveled, the onlookers peered
inside and saw the 24-starred original “Old Glory”!
Captain Driver gently gathered up the flag and returned with the
soldiers to the capitol. Though he was sixty years old, the Captain
climbed up to the tower to replace the smaller banner with his beloved
flag. The Sixth Ohio Regiment cheered and salutedand later adopted the
nickname “Old Glory” as their own, telling and re-telling the
story of Captain Drivers devotion to the flag we honor yet today.
Captain Drivers grave is located in the old Nashville City Cemetery,
and is one of three (3) places authorized by act of Congress where the
Flag of the United States may be flown 24 hours a day.
For more information on the
Flag of the U.S.A.