While there are many Union textiles, particularly dress-scale prints, Confederate partisan prints are rare. The reasons are complex but have a great deal to do with the lack of a textile printing industry in the south.
But there were mills in England that would take commissions. An English manufacturer printed this handkerchief featuring portraits of Confederate heroes. In the center is Confederate President Jeff Davis with generals in the corners.
- Morgan (?)
- Stonewall Jackson at 1:00
- John Mason at 3:00
- Robert E. Lee at 5:00,
- Raphael Semmes at 6:00
- Pierre Beauregard at 7
- John Slidell at 9:00
- and Johnson at 11:00 (perhaps James Johnson)
One would imagine these textiles are rare indeed.
At the end of the nineteenth century there was some discussion of them in the press, including the New York Times, which in 1894 described two versions: a red silk example in good condition owned by Walter Aldrich of Providence, Rhode Island, and a worn white square with a blue border (much like the one at the top of the page) owned by Mrs. William Daingerfield Peachy of Washington, D.C. Lelia Russell Meem Peachy inherited it from her father Dr. Andrew Russell Meem. (See a picture of Lelia Peachy here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/27841557@N03/2594760859/
"About each of the vignettes is a wreath of finely executed cotton plants and fern leaves." The Times attributed the origins of these relics to two sets of twelve handkerchiefs ordered by Judah Benjamin when he was in England during the war."
How many of these were printed?
Is that black and white photo really of a cotton bandana or were they all silk?
Did Benjamin actually order them when he was doing diplomatic work in London during our Civil War? The 1898 Confederate Museum catalog added to the romance with a story that Miss Green's piece was "One of twelve said to have been ordered from England by Judah P. Benjamin. Was rescued when on its way to this country from the Alabama when she sunk. Only one other [the Providence example] is said to have been saved....
Rafael Semmes is pictured on the bandana. He was the commander of the CSS Alabama, another Confederate commission built in England in 1862 to harry Union shipping and run the blockade. The Alabama was sunk by a Union boat in French waters in 1864.