COMING IN DECEMBER 2020
IDENTIFIED CONFEDERATE 50TH VA CAP.
inv # 02-13580
This headgear belonged to two Confederate soldiers from Tazewell County, VA, Allen L. Hash & Lt. George W. Wallace, Company C, 50th VA Infantry. On July 2, 1861 Hash & Wallace enlisted from Burke’s Garden (a very small isolated community built in the mouth of an ancient volcano so that it is completely surrounded by mountains). Both were farmers. The 50th VA was serving at Carnifax Ferry in the mountains of VA when a battle was fought there in which the Confederates were driven back. It is not known if Hash was captured or was one of the many Confederates in the field hospital w/ smallpox. Either way he was taken prisoner Sept. 10, 1861. Eight days later he was at Cross Lanes on his way to an OH prison camp. At this time it was discovered that he had enlisted at only fifteen years old. This, however, apparently did not save him & he was never heard from again. Most likely he succumbed to the smallpox under the harsh conditions of the prisoner’s march. Both men’s names are inside the cap. Hash’s name is hand embroidered into the inner band & Wallace’s name is on a paper label pasted on the inside top. From this we can deduce that Hash first owned the cap & Wallace must have picked it up at Carnifax Ferry after the formers capture. It is reasonably assumed that the paper label was inserted after the war, when Wallace loaned it for display. Confederate enlisted infantry caps are extremely rare, much more so than Confederate officer’s caps because privates could ill afford to put them aside for sentimental reasons after the War. The cap has had no restoration, yet it is in very good condition, primarily because Private Hash died so early in the War; Lt. George W. Wallace preserved it. The cap has had a complete chemical, fiber & dye analysis which positively dates it to the Civil War period.