Thomas Sykes Archive, Including Star from the Flag of the CSS Alabama and Correspondence

Collection featuring cotton star, 8 in. point to point, with period inked inscription that reads, "From the Flag of the Confederate Alabama / Cut by / Thos. E. Sykes." The star, which was originally found in an album accompanied by an abundance of Sykes family information, has been framed together with an illustration of the CSS Alabama taken from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, which was also removed from the album.

The star is accompanied by three additional pages from the album: the first page contains seven pieces of Civil War fractional currency; the second page features a tintype of Thomas Sykes with his dog as well as a newspaper clipping about his death (1804-1884); and the third page contains several newspaper articles regarding the sinking of the SS Canadian on June 4, 1861. Sykes and his wife were on the British passenger ship at the time but were rescued. The lot also includes a highly detailed, 3pp letter written by Thomas Sykes to his sons from St. Johns, Newfoundland, dated June 15, 1861, in which he describes the disaster and expresses his feeling of relief to be alive.  

The CSS Alabama was a screw Sloop-of-War built in 1862 by John Laird Sons and Company for the Confederate States Navy at Birkenhead on the River Mersey opposite Liverpool, England. The Alabama served as a successful commerce raider. Over the course of her two-year career, she attacked Union merchant and naval ships and never docked at a Southern port. The Alabama was sunk in June 1864 by the USS Kearsarge at the Battle of Cherbourg, outside the port of Cherbourg, France.


Wear to flag fragment typical considering age and previous use. Letter in very good condition overall. 

Estimate: $3,500 - $4,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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