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Keeping dress uniform pieces presentable could be a formidable task while traveling or while on board ship. Rear Admiral Francis Higginson kept his hat in a metal hat case to protect it when not in use. Higginson's naval career spanned several decades. He took part in the blockade of Charleston, South Carolina during the Civil War (1861-1865) and commanded a battleship in the Spanish American War (1898). He was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1899.