The American Civil War Museum, formerly the Museum of the Confederacy, houses several originals of this handkerchief. This particular one is 100% silk in a dyed purple color. The handkerchiefs were manufactured in England by the W.H. Tucker Kayess Company in London and sold in England and the Confederacy as souvenirs of the war. The museum houses these handkerchiefs in purple, red, white, blue, and yellow silk. The originals, except one, were all purchased in the south during the war and kept as souvenirs. One of these handkerchiefs was captured in Wilmington, NC, by Adolphus B. Withenbury of the 177th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The handkerchief features black printed portraits of prominent Confederate leaders, including: Jefferson Davis, Joseph E. Johnston, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, James Mason, Robert E. Lee, Raphael Semmes, PGT Beauregard, John Slidell, and John Hunt Morgan. The wreath and floral design was copyrighted by the Kayess company at that time and researchers believe it was done so the portraits of the southern leaders could be replaced as their popularity rose or ebbed.
South Union Mills’ reproduction is 100% silk, 36 x 34 inches, dyed purple (therefore not a perfect finish) and featuring artist renderings of the same Confederate personalities on the original. This, to our knowledge, has never been done before and is a collector piece as much today as it was during the war!