Back in the 1800s phrenology was a “science” and the Army Museum collected heads to study the bumps. After the Modoc War and chief Captain Jack was hanged, his head was sent off to DC for study
(Captain Jack is a fascinating story–he was responsible for the death of General Canby, the only general officer killed in the Indian Wars. Lots More on this in the Battle of Lost River
But lumps on the head are one thing, as ole Brody can testify, having his fair share. Having your skull spirited away is another. William Quantrill, notorious Confederate guerrilla leader, was shot and killed and buried. Only later did his brother dig up the body at their mother’s request. Mamas ain’t supposed to rob graves. Or maybe his brother felt guilty and only took the skull…which was shellacked and used as decoration by an Ohio fraternity. And nicknamed Jake.