Exhibit opens January 27, 2019 and will be on display through December 31, 2019. The Business of War exhibit will discuss how private businesses adapted to a war economy and contributed to or detracted from the war effort in their Union or Confederate sphere of influence. The exhibit will focus on businesses that worked with their respective governments and how that relationship helped or hurt both parties. Special attention will be paid to companies that have stood the test of time and continue to operate to this day.
Exhibit opens January 18, 2018 and will be on display through December 31, 2018. This exhibit will examine the motivation behind the great Civil War photographers; Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner and Timothy H. O’Sullivan to name a few. For the first time in history, war was documented for all to see and the faces of soldiers frozen in time at home and in the field. At first, soldiers would have their portraits taken for the folks back home, clutching their weapons to show that they were true men of war, young and destined for glory. Soon the glory would fade and images created on the battle field would show the dreadful cost of that glory. The public wanted to see their heroes and in many family photograph albums, alongside of their sons in uniform, would be found the likeness of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis and the great military leaders of their nation’s cause. History was being made and now there was a way to capture it for generations to come. The iconic images of people and places that we know and revere from that terrible time, were captured on a wet plate.
The exhibit will feature many of the famous photographic prints that we are familiar with and many that we are not. We will see the stress of battle on an unknown soldier’s face and the innocence of a young man untested by battle. We will see a last portrait with loved ones before making the ultimate sacrifice on the battle field and images of young men in uniform, far younger than we could imagine sending off to war today. Sailors and soldiers of the North and South and loved ones left behind to wait and worry for word of their boys. The great politicians, war hawks and peacemakers will be represented, Heroes and scoundrels will all be there, just as they were more than one hundred and fifty years ago. Additionally, photographic equipment used to create these wonderful images will add to the wonder of this special exhibit.
This exhibit will tell the story of all Civil War Veterans, North and South, Men and Women, Black and White. During the war soldiers developed friendships and a sense of camaraderie that was as strong as their dedication to their cause. When the war ended the weary veterans looked forward to going home, but soon after leaving the service, many realized that something was missing. The bonds that they had forged with their brothers in arms remained strong in their memories. By 1866 veterans began to re-establish their wartime friendships in the form of fraternal organizations. These groups would allow them to maintain their connection to those with whom they had served over four long years and to remember the honored dead left on the field of battle. In time The Grand Army of the Republic and the United Confederate Veterans would become the largest of these organizations among many others. Veterans would use the power of their numbers to lobby for widows and orphans and for veterans rights and pensions, becoming a political force to be reckoned with in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Their numbers began to diminish over the years as veterans answered their last roll call, and the organizations were passed to their sons to keep their memory alive for future generations.
Exhibit opens January 18, 2017 and will be on display through December 31, 2017.
This exhibit will discuss the unfinished issue of equality among the races in the reunited states. The fighting came to an end in the spring of 1865, but the bitterness remained, leaving many in the southern states unable to accept that the Confederacy was gone. Former slaves were now able to hold political office and demand equality under the law as citizens of the United States. The reconstruction of a fractured nation would be a long and difficult road to travel, a journey that continues to this day.
Exhibit opens on June 18, 2016 and will be on display through June 02, 2017
This exhibit will examine the service of black soldiers in the armed forces of the United States from the Revolution to the integration of the services in 1948. The main focus of the exhibit will be the Civil War, Reconstruction and Indian Wars.