Monday, May 29, 2017

Texas Civil War Museum

The Texas Civil War Museum in Fort Worth boasts the largest collection of Civil War memorabilia west of the Mississippi River. It is housed in a modern facility which opened in 2006, but I did not have the opportunity to tour it until a Saturday in April 2017. Accompanied by my brother Mike, I found the museum busy with tourists. Three of our great-grandfathers served in Confederate units from their home states: Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama. I have toured virtually all of the important Civil War battlefields, and I lectured about the conflict for four decades. For nine consecutive Decembers (when U.S. History classes study the Civil War) I organized Confederate encampments on the campus of Panola College. Since becoming State Historian I've provided programs for Sons of Confederate Veterans chapters in Carthage, Tyler, Center, Athens, Lufkin, and Marshall, as well as United Daughters of the Confederacy chapters in Longview and Henderson. Any of these SCV or UDC members, any Civil War re-enactors would enjoy a visit to the Texas Civil War Museum.  

 
Mike O'Neal at the entry memorial
 
There are 15,000 square feet in Fort Worth's Texas Civil War Museum, but the core of the collection began with the Texas Confederate Museum late in the 19th century in a room in the State Capitol building. The Albert S. Johnston Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy obtained the room for the collection of the uniforms, weapons, flags, and artifacts they began to gather. As a result of statewide appeals, the collection grew rapidly, and under the Texas Division of the UDC the Texas Confederate Museum was moved into the historic Land Office Building. By the 1990s items from the collection were on loan to the Bob Bullock Museum and to several other reputable museums, while the Texas Association of Museums, the Summerlee Foundation, and the UDC sought a permanent home.  

Robert E. Lee served in Texas before the Civil War.
 

In 2006 the Texas Civil War Museum opened on the west side of Fort Worth. Now there are excellent battle dioramas, artillery, and a vast collection of female antebellum clothing. The magnificent collection belongs to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and there is a UDC Office in the museum. The gift shop features a great deal of Gone With the Wind memorabilia.

 
 
  
 

Other sites in Texas that Civil War buffs will relish must start with the Sabine Pass Battleground, where Lt. Dick Dowling led a 46-man artillery company to victory over a Federal invasion force of 17 ships and 5,000 men. There is an impressive statue of Dowling. The last battle of the Civil War was a Confederate victory led by Col. John S. "RIP" Ford at the Palmito Ranch Battlefield. In Corsicana the Pearce Collection Museum on the campus of Navarro College offers superb Civil War displays. Perhaps the most striking monument in the Texas State Cemetery is the gravesite of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, killed while commanding Confederate forces at Shiloh.   

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, I didn't know that cemetery annual day happens as we believe we need to visit cementery regularly. Anyways thanks for sharing the post with us

    ReplyDelete