February 2015 Artifact of the Month

 

The Carolinas Campaign

Hat worn by Private Clement Newton Bassett

This wide-brimmed hat was worn by Private Clement Newton Bassett while serving in Co. H, 8th Texas Cavalry, also known as “Terry's Texas Rangers.”  The front of the hat sports a five-point star, “Terry’s Texas” with an “R” in the center of the star.  The hat also bears a bullet hole received on Feb. 21st, 1865 at Akin, South Carolina.  According to Bassett: "The hat having a heavy twisted silk band around it representing a snake also a silver ornament where the head and tail of the snake crossed (Note: the silk band and silver ornament did not survive). The bullet struck the silver ornament going through it, also the band and the hat. Breaking the skull and lodging against the membrane of the brain from which place it was extracted. The ornament band and hat certainly being as hard to shoot through as an inch plank. The hat saved my life for if I had have had on an ordinary hat the bullet would have passed through the head killing me instantly."

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