The 3rd Kentucky Infantry was organized in 1861 in Tennessee. It was a part of Kentucky’s “Orphan Brigade,” until late 1862 when it was reassigned to the Army of Tennessee. Further research now shows that these flags were not just for the Orphan Brigade but, rather, were the battle flags of General John Breckinridge’s whole division. Formerly, the Reserve Corps at Shiloh, it was the only command at the Battle of Shiloh without standardized battle flags and in May of 1862, the division adopted these flags and continued to use them into 1863.
The 3rd Regiment became mounted in 1864 and would serve in Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama. As a mounted regiment it was removed from the Army of Tennessee and remained to fight in Mississippi under Nathan Bedford Forrest. On May 4, 1865, what was left of the regiment surrendered at Meridian, Mississippi.