Death Bonnet in the Drummer Boy Civil War Museum.
Death Bonnet of Mary Surratt.

Death Bonnet of Lincoln Assassination Conspirator

Field review by the editors.

Andersonville, Georgia

We're suckers for 3-D miniature scenes, and the Drummer Boy Civil War Museum has a good one -- hundreds of itty-bitty, miserable Union soldiers at the Andersonville Prison, which was just down the street. In one corner of the chaotic tabletop display, a line of prisoners are being hanged on a gallows.

The museum fills a large room with Civil War memorabilia: guns, swords, flags, photographs. A dozen or so mannequins are attired in authentic uniforms of the Confederacy and the Union.

Gallows miniature.
Big day at the miniature gallows.

The museum's most famous artifact is the black bonnet worn by Mary Surratt when she, too, went to the gallows -- not at Andersonville -- as a conspirator in the Lincoln assassination. The unique relic is displayed on a simple styrofoam head with stringy black hair, and is unceremoniously packed in with items such as a Confederate penny found in Saudi Arabia, a hospital bullet with teeth marks, and "extremely rare" Civil War crackers.

Surratt, according to the sign that accompanies the bonnet, was "the first woman to be executed in the United States," and the hat was given to the general who escorted her to the gallows "when it was removed and the hood placed over her head."

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Death Bonnet of Lincoln Assassination Conspirator

Drummer Boy Civil War Museum

Address:
109 E. Church St., Andersonville, GA
Directions:
Drummer Boy Civil War Museum, which is in downtown Andersonville, which is about a block long. On the south side of Church St., just before the Captain Wirz monument in the middle of the street. Enter town under the Welcome to Andersonville arch from Hwy 49.
Hours:
Daily 11 am - 5 pm. (Call to verify)
Phone:
229-924-2558
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November 1, 2014

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