Confederate States Navy Button
c 1861-1864

This button was passed down through the Lee Family. Lee’s older brother, Sidney Smith Lee, served as a commodore in the Confederate Navy. Prior to the Civil War he served as an officer in the United States Navy for over thirty years. He commanded a ship in Matthew Perry’s fleet that opened Japan for trade in 1852-1853. During the Civil War, Smith Lee commanded the Norfolk Naval Shipyard when the USS Merrimack was fitted with iron plates and rechristened the CSS Virginia, the world’s first ironclad warship.

Bronze, gilt. Diam 2.2 cm
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, ARHO 5028