Special Report

Civil War Artifacts in the Smithsonian

The museum collections house many items from the Civil War, including photographs, uniforms and personal diaries

Lincoln's Top Hat (National Museum of American History)

John Singleton Mosby’s Cavalry Jacket and Hat, National Museum of American History

John Singleton Mosby Cavalry jacket and hat
(National Museum of American History)

This cavalry jacket and hat belonged to John Singleton Mosby (1833-1916), a Confederate cavalry battalion commander during the Civil War. Mosby, known as “The Gray Ghost,” and his unit, Mosby’s Raiders, were famous for their ability to swiftly attack the enemy and then evade patrols by blending into the local population. “We have very little Confederate material,” says curator Kathy Golden regarding the artifacts’ significance to the collection. “When the war ended, you just didn’t get Confederates leaving their belongings to a national museum in Washington, D.C. Mosby’s an exception because after the war he became friendly with Grant. He was not a very well-liked person in the South for a very long time.”

by Jeff Campagna


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