Confederate Hair Relic
Original Author: Jeannetta E. Conrad
Created: ca. 1861–1865
Medium: Hair relic

Confederate Hair Relic

An arrangement of artificial flowers fashioned from the hair of Confederate leaders is affixed to a satin backing in this artifact commemorating the heroism of the Confederacy. Jeannetta E. Conrad, of Harrisonburg, constructed this piece using strands of hair that she collected during the Civil War. In the Victorian era women frequently made relics out of hair and wire to commemorate the dead. In this case, Conrad created a kind of shrine to the Confederacy and its key figures. A legend, at left, notes the people included in this piece—among them, from top to bottom, are Confederate president Jefferson Davis, Virginia governor John Letcher and his wife, General and Mrs. Robert E. Lee, as well as General J. E. B. Stuart and General Turner Ashby, who was killed near Harrisonburg on June 6, 1862.