A mustache brush, tortoise-shell comb, hair brush, and covered mirror comprise this grooming kit, a wedding gift given by Confederate general Robert E. Lee to his staff officer, Walter H. Taylor.
During the Civil War, Taylor enjoyed a close relationship with Lee. As Taylor wrote, "it was my peculiar privilege to occupy the position of a confidential staff-officer with General Lee during the entire period of the War for Southern Independence." He remained with Lee from May 1861 until after the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865. Such was the relationship between the two that Lee gave special permission to Taylor on the night of April 2, 1865, to rush to Richmond to marry. While Confederates were frantically evacuating Richmond and Petersburg and withdrawing westward, Taylor was marrying Elizabeth Selden Saunders in the parlor of her boarding house in Richmond. Once the ceremony was over, he returned to the Army of Northern Virginia.