|Description and Photograph||
This cap belonged to Confederate Brigadier General Francis Marion Cockrell. Francis M. Cockrell was born on October 1, 1834 to Joseph and Nancy Cockrell in Johnson County, Missouri. He was named after Revolutionary war hero General Francis Marion.
He raised a company of Missouri
militia in 1861, and led his men to battle at Carthage,
Creek, Lexington and Elkhorn Tavern. His service was such that he was
quickly promoted to Colonel. He then fought at Iuka, Corinth, Hatcie
Gibson, Baker’s Creek, also known as
Champion Hill. Cockrell's forces executed one of the great charges of the
war and saved the Confederate forces from total destruction.
"Cockrell rode up and down behind the line,
clutching his reins and a large magnolia blossom in one hand and his saber
in the other. At a signal from Cockrell, the division unleashed an
ear-splitting Rebel yell and tore into the Federals. Cockrell's
hard-charging Missourians stormed up the face of Champion's Hill, where
the fighting became, in the words of a regimental historian, "desperate
and bloody." (From Literal Hill of Death -
America's Civil War)
“for Brig Gen F. M. Cockrell 71/4 full
1 Cap dark blue band. Sides and
crown - with good visor - all to be
according to army regulations.
Place o(rde)r sa(m)e
Mrs. Tufts – under “Battle House”
Capt. Cole (?) one
7 ¼ full $35.
The Battle House Hotel was built in 1852. The influx of Confederate officers and wealthy refugees transformed the Battle House from a quiet hotel, to the epicenter of Mobile’s social scene by 1863. The Battle House was the most luxurious hotel in all of Alabama. The hotel was filled with Confederate officers, dignitaries, Southern aristocracy and many of the most popular Belles in the Confederacy. Among the hotel’s guests were Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, General Joseph E. Johnston, head of the Army of Northern Virginia and later the Army of Tennessee; Captain A. H. Keller, Helen Keller's father; Augusta Evans, author of Beulah and Macaria; Belle Boyd, the famous Confederate spy, who ran espionage operations from her father's hotel in Front Royal, Virginia; U.S. Supreme Court justice John A. Campbell, who concurred with the majority in the Dred Scott case of 1857; Horace L. Hunley, inventor of the first ironclad submarine to sink an enemy vessel; Henry Wirz, commandant of Georgia's Andersonville prison; former United States Vice- President and Confederate General, John G. Breckinridge, and a host of others.
General Cockrell’s group includes another incredible piece of provenance; a modern photograph of an original war-era image taken of Cockrell in his Confederate Brigadier General’s uniform, holding, what is easily determined under close examination to be, this very General’s cap. The image will be included above as soon as I get it in my possession.
The Missouri brigade had a very active career. Cockrell and his men were transferred to the Army of Tennessee and fought in the Atlanta campaign. When General John Bell Hood led his men into Tennessee, Cockrell and his brigade went with him. General Cockrell was severely wounded in the battle of Franklin, Tennessee in November of 1863. He personally led his brigade's charge. He had two horses shot from under him and was wounded four times before leaving the field. After a long convalescence, General Cockrell returned to duty and on April 9, 1865, with a force of a scant 2,700 troops, Cockrell surrendered to a superior force of 40,000 Union troops.
After reconstruction, the General was elected to serve as Missouri’s United States Senator in 1874. He was re-elected numerous times, serving in that body for the next thirty years. The General passed away in 1915 and was buried in Warrensburg, Missouri.
Numerous post-war period photographs of the aging Senator Cockrell and his children and grand children are also included in the group as well as a letter of provenance from Amanda Cockrell.
Confederate General’s caps are extremely rare and of those that do exist, nearly all are in museum collections. The cap is totally original, except for some minor stitch replacement. Its condition is excellent, inside and out. The Confederate staff buttons adorning the cap are original and retain their original stitching.