Civil War sites for Black History Month
The history of African Americans and the Civil War are tightly interwoven. The Civil War Trust has made a detailed list of eight sites and events that illuminate that connection during Black History Month.
They include walking tours of the District of Columbia following the footsteps of President Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and also of Boston to the sites where abolitionist Frederick Douglass spoke and Williams Lloyd Garrison published his anti-slavery newspaper, The Liberator.
The African-American Museum in Philadelphia has a permanent exhibit that tells the stories of black residents of that city and the contributions they have made there.
Three lectures are recommended by the Trust. On Feb. 6 at Georgia’s Atlanta History Center, historian and author William A. Link will speak on the aftermath of the Civil War and the African-American contribution in rebuilding the city into the cultural, economic and political center it is today. On Feb. 14, at the Civil War Museum in Kenosha, Wis., historian David Maas is scheduled to discuss the role of the underground railroad at Illinois’s Wheaton College.
On Feb. 22, the National Civil War Museum at Port Columbus in Columbus, Ga. is hosting a discussion on black sailors in the Union and Confederate navies.
In Towson, Md., visit the Hampton Plantation on Feb. 8 to hear stories of the slaves who lived there, and on that same date, visit North Carolina’s Greensboro Historical Museum to meet costumed interpreters who will portray influential black leaders of that city.
Civil War life-size figures go to auction
Gettysburg’s American Civil War Wax Museum is going out of business and its 95 figures, including those of President Abraham Lincoln and Gen. Robert E. Lee, will be sold at auction on March 15, beginning at 9 a.m. Also listed in the sale at the museum are all the theatrical props used in the displays including clothing, furniture, curtains, backdrops, murals and lighting.
Advertising for the museum said it offered five hallways of scenes that “recreates history with life-sized dioramas” and told, “the entire story of the Civil War era and the Battle of Gettysburg with remarkable realism.”
The 52-year-old museum, long a stable of family visits to the famous battlefield and town, was sold in August 2013, when the owners decided to retire. FutureStake Inc. of Gettysburg purchased the building and has renamed it, the Gettysburg Heritage Center. The museum and gift shop were kept open through last year.
According to news stories, plans call for a new, interactive way to tell the story of the Battle of Gettysburg and of the town where it took place.
Bricks from Brig. Gen. W. H. L. Wallace house for sale
For $35, a brick from the chimney of the Brig. Gen. William Hervy Lamme Wallace house in Ottawa, Ill. can be yours. It comes with a brass identification plaque and a letter verifying its authenticity. Wallace, who died at the Battle of Shiloh on April 6, 1862, preferred to be known by his initials.
The Wallace home, known as The Oaks, is privately owned but when Chuck Sanders, president of the WHL Wallace Memorial Committee, heard of a chimney reconstruction project at the house, he approached the owners about salvaging the bricks. He has retrieved and cleaned more than 300 of them.
“Some are simply removed with traces of original mortar and others show external erosion,” he said in an e-mail. “All bricks are reddish and hand pressed as per the period. No two are the same dimension. The average weight of a brick is about 3.5 pounds.”
He has sold six so far.
The shipping fee outside the immediate area of Ottawa is $15, Sanders said.
Contact Sanders at Chuck@email@example.com
Live oaks to honor South Carolina soldiers
Horry County, S.C., has begun an ambitious project to pair live oaks with Civil War soldiers from the county. Named the Patriot Tree Project, the county’s planning department expects, when finished, to have given a soldier’s name to about 900 trees.
The plan is to identify a good specimen of the tree, which grows well in the area, and then look for a soldier who has some connection to that area. Each tree will have a bar code. When scanned by a smartphone, it will take the user to a Web site that will give the soldier’s name, birth date, death date, burial place and details of the man’s service, according to a story in The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Next month, the first 12 trees will be named at a ceremony at the Upper Mill Plantation, an historic site where the first steam-operated lumber mill in the state was located. One will be named for Capt. Henry L. Buck and another for Henry McCall, an African American man who went to war along with Buck.
New museum name embraces the total Civil War experience
A proposed museum about the Civil War may be in the capital of the Confederacy, but the just-announced name for it indicates that the time has come to unite the Union and the Confederacy, at least in the way the war is presented at a major museum. The American Civil War Museum is the name for the future institution that will bring together the American Civil War Center, whose mission has been to tell the Northern, Southern and the African-American side of the war, and the Museum of the Confederacy, which houses the country’s largest collection of Confederate artifacts.
A tagline was also created for the American Civil War Museum: “Confederacy, Union and Freedom.” According to a news release, the leaders of the two existing museums were assisted in the name and tag selection through a market research survey of members of heritage groups, museum supporters and the general public.
In a surprise move late last year, the two Richmond museums announced a joint venture to build a 30,000-square-foot museum on the campus of the American Civil War Center, about a mile from the Confederate museum. The center, which opened in 2006 and has a limited collection of artifacts to display, is rich in open land, and Museum of the Confederacy, which opened more than a century ago and has more than 15,000 Confederate objects, had no space to expand.
The next steps include site and exhibit planning, design, construction and development of new marketing strategies. Construction of the $30 million museum is expected to begin this year and the opening scheduled for firstname.lastname@example.org