Cockade Answers - In Their Own Words!

What cockade did my ancestor wear? 
Is a cockade right for my impression? 
How do I know what my state's secession cockade looked like? 
And where do I find authentic answers, not just someone's opinion? 

Folks, I have the solution for you!! Read on...

Backstory: On January 24, 2011 I opened an Etsy shop to sell secession cockades. We and our friends were preparing for the 150th anniversary commemoration of the Firing on Fort Sumter and the cockades were a special touch of authenticity to our outfits. Here is a picture of that first cockade we listed, and we included our first bit of documentation - a quote from the Charleston Mercury about South Carolinians wearing blue cockades.

Ever since then, I've been hooked on cockade history. And I've continued to research original newspapers, diaries and memoirs to find out more about these tokens of patriotism. Cockades abounded in the 1860s but up till now, few historians have gathered the original documentation of them into one accessible resource.

Today is a special day for me because I finally get to offer YOU a compilation of my years of research!

Today, I'm announcing that the first in my series of e-books on American Civil War cockades is now available in my shop! 

"In Their Own Words: Cockades
and Badges in theSouthern States 1860-1865"
In Their Own Words
The stories and quotes about cockades in this digital book are all in the original words of people in the 1860s. Except for editing obvious typos, I have left the words and the spelling the same as when they were first written.

This is not a filtered history of cockades. I'm not playing the role of an egghead author "interpreting" what people really meant when they wore their patriotic rosettes. :) Instead, you get the unvarnished, original viewpoints of those who were there.

The stories are exciting and an excellent window into the turbulent times of 1860-1865. Sometimes folks found it easy to join the crowd in wearing a cockade. In other cases, people wrestled with the decision of which side - and cockade - to favor.

Still wondering if this book is interesting enough to bother reading it? Here are a few tidbits to whet your appetite!

Elizabeth Hardin
Which Side Is Right? 
Lizzie Hardin of Kentucky struggled at first with which side to favor. A cockade was the outward symbol of her final decision.

"Thus, at first, it was hard at first to decide which side had the most of justice and reason. Why, I asked, can we not wait for an overt act upon the part of Lincoln? What are we suffering that we have not suffered for twenty years? I do not know that I could enumerate all the arguments which first convinced me that South Carolina was right. I think it was more a mere statement of facts than arguments….At the end of two or three weeks I donned the blue cockade."

Richard Thompson Archer
The Oldest Secessionist 
"The capital of Mississippi is at present all alive with excitement, and densely crowded with people, who have been drawn to it by the deeply absorbing nature of the occasion of the assemblage of the Legislature in extraordinary session. . . 

"The people here, young and old, wear the blue cockade, the principal, if not the only, exceptions to the rule being those who are too well known for their ultra Southernism to need such symbols of their faith. Among the blue cockades I observe not a few quite elderly persons. Prominent among them is the veteran Col. Archer, of Claiborne, who declares that since the death of Senator Tazewell, of Virginia, he has become the oldest disunionist in the United States." 

Thomas F. Wood
Don't Let Dad Know About the Cockade 
And then there was the young man that had to hide his pro-Confederate sympathies - and cockade - from his Unionist father.

"I was a secessionist. It seemed to me that the North would not let slavery alone until we had a war, and the sooner begun the better. My father was a firm Unionist, and spoke his mind so freely that I only talked secession among my friends away from home. Mr. Erambert was a secessionist and his store was headquarters for the news. He was a Lt. in the Lt. Infantry and prided himself on his knowledge of tactics and studied books on that subject very attentively. The young men wore secession rosettes made of small pine “burs.”" 

Cockade in Effigy? 
The newspapers and diaries tell us that cockades were worn by men, women, children - black and white - rich and poor. And even the horses were adorned with cockades! Here's an account of yet another "person" that wore a cockade in Louisiana.

"There were general demonstrations of joy throughout the city of New Orleans on the reception of the news of the secession of South Carolina. One hundred guns were fired. The Pelican flag was unfurled and impromptu speeches made by leading citizens. The bust of Calhoun was displayed, decorated with a cockade."

Want to know more? Wondering what types of cockades the people in your state wore? Trying to decide which cockade your ancestor would have favored? 

Your questions can be answered by checking out my book! I've organized the quotes by state to make it easy to find information. All of the quotes are footnoted with their source. When you purchase the e-book, you can immediately download a PDF that you can save on your computer or smartphone.

You may be asking, Where is the book on Northern cockades? Sit tight folks, it's coming soon! I have it in the works, along with a book on Western cockades as well. Lord willing and the creek don't rise, both books will be available later this year.

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