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Object Name Veil, Mourning
Catalog Number 0985.13.00245
Description Veil of black crepe fabric.
Material Cloth
Owned Mary Anna Custis Lee [Mrs. Robert E. Lee]; Catherine Inman Horner Marr
Owner Regiment "Warrenton Rifles" (later 17th Virginia Infantry, Co. K, "Warrenton Rifles")
Provenance The mourning veil belonged to Mrs. Robert E. Lee. She sent it to Mrs. Catherine Inman Horner Marr [Mrs. John Marr] of Warrenton, Virginia after the death of her son, John Quincy Marr, who was Captain of the Warrenton Rifles. He was killed on the morning of June 1, 1861 at Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia, in a skirmish with Union cavalry. "Marr is recorded as the first Confederate soldier to give up his life in the service of his country." He was buried in Warrenton Cemetery.

"A lady in Warrenton, Virginia, whose brother, a gallant young officer, was killed in a skirmish early in 1861, thus recalls...:
'Soon after my brother's death my mother received a package containing a crape veil, a black mantle, and perhaps some other articles I do not now recollect, and the following unsigned note:
' "Will the mother of Captain Marr permit a friend to contribute some small articles of mourning which may be acceptable in these hard times? She sympathizes deeply in your affliction, and has three members of her own family—her husband and two sons—engaged in this war. Your son died nobly in defense of his State, and his grave will be honored by the tears of all true patriots. Her prayers are offered that the God of all consolation may bless and comfort his family."
'We had no idea who the writer could be. My mother wore the articles. We had no difficulty in getting mourning. It was the first death of the war, and mourning goods, though high, could be obtained in the stores. There was the greatest sympathy expressed for us by every one, strangers as well as personal friends and acquaintances, and every one tried to help us in some way....
'[Some time later, after being introduced to General Richard S. Ewell,] he asked if our mother had ever received some dress articles of mourning and a note, and said that he knew they were sent by Mrs. R. E. Lee; that the General was in the adjoining room; that he would give himself the honor and pleasure of introducing us, and we would then have an opportunity of making an acknowledgment of Mrs. Lee's thoughtful kindness. This action of General Ewell was an unusual honor, and we felt it deeply.
'When we entered, General Lee was standing by a small table on which there was a high pile of presents the people had brought him....We were introduced as sisters of the late Captain Marr, and the General greeted us most graciously and gracefully. We sent our grateful thanks and acknowledgments to Mrs. Lee and 'passed on.' "
[from "Life of Robert Edward Lee as General in the Confederate States Army," by Henry E. Shepherd, New York: Neale Publishing, 1906, p. 50-51]
People Lee, Mary Anna Randolph Custis [Mrs. Robert E.]
Marr, Catherine Inman Horner [Mrs. John]
Horner, Catherine Inman
Marr, John Quincy
Custis, Mary Anna Randolph
Subjects mourning
Dead persons