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Object Name TASSEL
Catalog Number 0985.13.01873
Description Cord and tassels, from flag. Cord consists of a base fiber, possibly cotton or wool, wrapped in gold metallic thread; each strand was twisted into a tight spiral, and two of these spiral lengths are wrapped around one another to form the cord. One end of the cord terminates in a gold metallic thread tassel, which is bound in a piece of circular fabric; the loose metallic thread tassel is approximatley 3.5" long. The opposite end of the cord terminates in two tassels, which likey originally had fringe, but which is now missing. The body of each tassel consists of three oblong wooden acorns, which get progressively larger as they extend from the cord, and which are wrapped in gold threads, and through which one end of the cord passes all the way through and is knotted and tied at the extreme end. Wooden discs wrapped in gold thread separate each of the oblong acorns, and a ruff of decoratively looped gold thread is where the cord enters the smallest acorn. The wooden bases of the largest acorn are separate pieces of wood, attached by the knotted cord; one if not both are modified from sewing thread spool caps, as one has a white paper label adhered to it, onto which is printed in red ink, "GROVER & BAKER S.M.Co. / MACHINE B TWIST"; the other has no label, but onto which is written in ink, "T R M" (or "W"). A piece of red ribbon is tied around one end of the cord; it is unknown if this is associated with the artifact, or possibly where the old museum label was attached (similar red ribbons found on other artifacts).
Dimensions L-54 inches
Owned J. W. Anderson
Owner Regiment Botetourt Artillery
Made Mrs. J. W. Anderson
Event Siege of Vicksburg
Provenance This cord and tassel was brought home by a member of the company ("Botetourt Artillery"). Cord and tassel belonging to the flag presented to Capt. J.W. Anderson's company by his wife made from her wedding gown. The flag saw service at First Manassas, went through Kentucky campaign with Gen. Bragg, through Vicksburg, under Gen. Pemberton's army, took part in battles Port Gibson, Baker's Creek, Chicasaw Bayou and siege of Vicksburg. At Vicksburg, rather than surrender their noble flag to the enemy, they divided it, each soldier taking his portion. The company was then sent back to Virginia and disbanded in Christiansburg, Montgomery County.

A postwar publication relates this same history, but goes on to say, "Misses Sue and Annie Douthat, who had four brothers in the Botetourt Artillery, have now in their possession a tassel which decorated this flag."

Research confirms that there were four men by the name of Douthat in the Botetourt Artillery: Fielding Lewis Douthat (paroled at Vicksburg), Henry Clay Douthat (not present during Vicksburg Campaign), Robert Randolph Douthat (paroled at Vicksburg), and William Price Douthat (killed at Port Gibson, 5/1/1863).
People Anderson, J. W.
Anderson, J. W., Mrs.
Douthat, Sue
Douthat, Annie
Douthat, Fielding Lewis
Douthat, Henry Clay
Douthat, Robert Randolph
Douthat, William Price
Search Terms Siege of Vicksburg
Vicksburg Campaign
never surrendered
Subjects weddings
marriage
women
surrenders