• Master Sgt. Mark Hayes, HHC 412th Theater Engineer Command, displays a
139-year-old shawl he originally bought for his wife as a Valentine's Day
present. Hayes and his wife later gave the shawl to the descendants of Civil
War Hero Frank Shubert.

    Master Sgt. Mark Hayes, HHC 412th Theater...

    Master Sgt. Mark Hayes, HHC 412th Theater Engineer Command, displays a 139-year-old shawl he originally bought for his wife as a Valentine's Day present. Hayes and his wife later gave the shawl to the descendants of Civil War Hero Frank Shubert.

  • A 139-year-old-shawl and the flour sack that contained it with notes written
by the shawl's maker Cecelia Shubert. Shubert, who made the shawl for her
son Walter, was the wife of Civil War Medal of Honor recipient Frank
Shubert. Master Sgt. Mark Hayes, HHC 412th Theater Engineer Command, bought
the shawl for his wife as a Valentine's Day gift, but gave it to Frank and
Cecelia's great grand children to add to their collection of family
heirlooms.

    A 139-year-old-shawl and the flour sack that...

    A 139-year-old-shawl and the flour sack that contained it with notes written by the shawl's maker Cecelia Shubert. Shubert, who made the shawl for her son Walter, was the wife of Civil War Medal of Honor recipient Frank Shubert. Master Sgt. Mark Hayes...

  • Master Sgt. Mark Hayes, HHC 412th Theater Engineer Command, prepares a
139-year-old shawl for shipment to the great grand children of the shawl's
original owners. Hayes originally purchased the item for his wife Sue as a
Valentine's day present. He later found out that Cecelia Shubert, wife of
Civil War Medal of Honor recipient Frank Shubert, made the shawl for her son
Walter.

    Master Sgt. Mark Hayes, HHC 412th Theater...

    Master Sgt. Mark Hayes, HHC 412th Theater Engineer Command, prepares a 139-year-old shawl for shipment to the great grand children of the shawl's original owners. Hayes originally purchased the item for his wife Sue as a Valentine's day present. He...

Imagine someone else more deserving of the Valentine's Day gift that you bought for your spouse.

That's the dilemma Master Sgt. Mark Hayes, senior noncommissioned officer of the 412th Theater Engineer Command's Resource Management Office, faced after he realized the historical significance of a baby shawl that he bought for his wife, Sue.

The shawl was packaged in an old flour sack with three hand written notes, one of which identified the maker as Cecelia M. Shubert.

Cecilia, according to Hayes' research, was the wife of Frank Shubert, a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient who fought with the 43rd Regiment New York Volunteers. Frank received the medal for capturing two Confederate markers at Petersburg, Va., April 2, 1865.

The notes also said that Cecelia made the shawl in 1873 for her baby, Walter Shubert.

Hayes then noticed that Frank and Cecilia had two great grandsons who are still living.

"I thought, if they're still alive then they're probably interested in having these items," said Hayes.

He discussed the issue with his wife, who agreed that Frank's and Cecelia's descendants are the shawl's rightful owners.

"I just kinda looked at him and my thought was, 'this doesn't belong to us,'" said Sue.

Hayes e-mailed Ed Shineman, one of Frank's great grandsons, and asked if Shineman was related to the Civil War hero. In the same message, Hayes told Shineman that he (Hayes) had something that Shineman may be interested in.

"Yes, I am Frank's great grandson," Shineman replied via e-mail.

Shineman said that he and his brother maintain most of his great grandfather's Civil War memorabilia, which include the Medal of Honor certificate and Frank's sword. He said they also have a number of Cecelia's items, most of which have notes attached.

"She wrote down everything," said Shineman. "We went through her effects. She has all kinds of notes; everything's labeled."

On Feb. 24, 2012, Hayes mailed the shawl to Shineman, who plans on displaying it in a case along with the rest of his great grandparent's heirlooms.

"We're also making a website for Frank and Cecilia," said Shineman. "We'll probably photograph it and put it up on the site with the other memorabilia."

"I feel pretty good about the decision to send it back to the family," said Hayes. "Who knows what it's worth? It's priceless to them."

To make up for the Valentine's Day present that Sue didn't get, Hayes took her out to dinner and he also bought her an airline ticket to attend her daughter's bridal shower in Columbus, Ohio.

"We've been married 23 years," said Hayes. "She's over the flowers and candy."

Page last updated Mon March 5th, 2012 at 00:00