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General JEB Stuart: A Large Lock of His Sandy Brown Hair and his Field Compass

Discussion in 'Civil War Uniforms & Relics' started by Mike Serpa, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. Mike Serpa

    Mike Serpa Captain

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    Somebody mention his compass in another thread!
    lf.jpeg
    lf-1.jpeg
    General JEB Stuart: A Large Lock of His Sandy Brown Hair and his Field Compass. The hair was removed from his head on the night of his death by his wife Flora and saved for their son JEB Stuart, Jr. Flora had rushed to be beside her husband, but arrived only to see him in death at the house of Dr. Charles Brewer. Word of her husband being wounded in battle reached her at Beaver Dam Station via messenger due to the telegraph wires being cut by Union General Sheridan's troops. Flora and their two children raced by private train and reached Ashland, finding that the tracks had been torn up by the Union troops. A group of sympathetic and loyal wounded Confederate cavalrymen gave them their ambulance which the group drove through a growing rainstorm. Throughout the journey Flora would receive erroneous word that her husband was doing well, only slightly wounded, giving her hope she would reach him in time. Finding the bridge at the Chickahominy River destroyed, blocking them from easy access to Richmond, they forded the river a mile downstream delaying their arrival at the Brewer home until 11:30 P.M. Her husband had died almost four hours earlier, receiving Confederate President Jefferson Davis as one of his last guests. The lock is accompanied by her original hand written note, "Hair of your dear father cut off. May 1864." A priceless memory of the greatest cavalry officer in American history.

    Also in this lot is his brass field pocket compass which would have been with him when he was mortally wounded at Yellow Tavern.

    Provenance: Stuart Family correspondence and Bill of Sale.

    Sold for - $44,812.50

    http://historical.ha.com/itm/milita...removed-from-his-head-on-the-ni/a/642-25449.s
     

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  3. Northern Light

    Northern Light Captain

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    Every time see hair like this it makes me shiver.
    My husband had been given a large book that belonged to his Grandmother and he had put it away on a shelf. I was packing some things up for a move and came across the book, about whose existence I had forgotten. Just as I opened it to thumb through, my husband yelled "DON"T"! Inside was not a lock of his uncle"s hair, but the whole thing from his first hair cut and he had not had it cut until he was three or four! Freaked me out totally! I get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it. YUCKx4 Needless to say, I would not be paying over $40,000 for THAT!
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
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  4. MRB1863

    MRB1863 Captain Forum Host

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    The Victorians made hair jewelry like necklaces and pendant fobs to remember the dead.
     
  5. Mike Serpa

    Mike Serpa Captain

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    The hair and the compass do not seem to be worth that much! Custer' hair sold for $21,00o and he was noted for his hair.
     
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  6. BarryR

    BarryR Private

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    Now he can be cloned....Hmmmm
     
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  7. chucksr

    chucksr Private

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    Keeping a lock hair, and old fashioned convention, is not as bizarre or macabre as one might think. Hair is the only part of the human body that can be kept as a keepsake and it is a comfortably familiar thing. Just because the convention has passed does not make it eerie or unacceptable in the least.
    I once saw an article about a woman who had weaved her dog's hair, collected over many years, into thread with which she made an afghan for her comfort and to help retain the good memories--I liked that idea.
     
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  8. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

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    I can understand your feelings, I once visited Dunvegan castle in Scotland and there sat in a small glass case was a lock of Bonnie Prince Charlie's hair, it had been sat in that glass case from 1780, it was interesting but a tad creepy, I wouldn't want it in my home.
     
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  9. skb8721

    skb8721 Private

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    In the archives I manage there's a clipping of Lee's hair, which came from William Preston Johnston, son of Albert Sidney Johnston, per Lee's daughter Mildred; it came with other Lee mementoes bequeathed by Mildred. . . . DSC_0244 sm.jpg
     
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  10. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

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    Your post made me think, my wife has kept a lock of hair from all of our kids from when they had their first haircut, I guess that even today its not that unusual, perhaps its just the age of the hair that I found a bit weird, I'm a bit of a believer in spirits attaching themselves to objects, so old hair from a complete stranger would be a no go area for me.
     
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  11. Mike Serpa

    Mike Serpa Captain

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    And a letter from R.E. Lee!
     
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  12. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Retired Moderator

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  13. AndyHall

    AndyHall Colonel Forum Host

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    Possibly. I don't recall if it is the same one.
     
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  14. Mrs. V

    Mrs. V Corporal

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    Victorians made momento mori all the time. Woven hair, and sometimes quite intricate in design. It was normal to them..I actually find that dolls with human hair are creepier than the jewelry.
     
  15. War Horse

    War Horse Captain Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2016 Member of the Year

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    Super cool, Thank you!
     
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  16. diane

    diane Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

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    I feel the same way! Shastas used to weave belts from their hair but we don't know now why. Usually the only time hair is cut is in mourning, though. That seems to be what happened in Stuart's case as well. It's a fascinating article, for sure, but if anyone said want to hold it - NO!
     
  17. mofederal

    mofederal First Sergeant

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    I used to own a Civil War house wife named to a soldier in the 25th Missouri. It had sewn into it a locket of his daughter's hair, although it may have been his wife's. Thank you for thread with JEB Stuart's locket of hair and his compass. It was a great thread.
     
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  18. Mrs. V

    Mrs. V Corporal

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    Perhaps they believed, as some still do, that possessing someones hair or fingernail clippings would give that person power of some sort over them? Or, Maybe they saved the hair so it would travel with them to the after life?
     
  19. diane

    diane Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

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    That wasn't exactly the belief although it's close. There's other materials and objects attached to the hair belts that indicate something else, but no one passed on what that might be.

    Jeb was a Christian so he probably isn't hanging out in his hair...but just to be on the safe side... I believe I'll just gaze respectfully upon it! :confused:
     
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  20. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    Similarly, I have an ambrotype of an armed Confederate soldier from Georgia that had a snippet of unknown hair (his?) sewn into the lining of the case. Some kind of bugs have found it tasty, though, making it now even less than when I got it now many years ago at a gun show.
     
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  21. NH Civil War Gal

    NH Civil War Gal Corporal

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    I once saw an entire Victorian hair wreath made from all different family members (obviously). It was about 12" x 12" and 15-years-ago was 400.00 at an antique mall. It had been mounted in a Victorian frame with convex glass. I've never seen another. Each type of hair was woven or braided differently. I did find out that jewelers would subcontract this type of thing out for family members to have hair woven for lockets or mounted under crystal for rings.

    The poignant thing about this now is we can associate the object with sadness but all the pain is gone.
     

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