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Museum of the Confederacy Appomattox Opens March 31

The Museum of the Confederacy celebrates the opening of its Appomattox site with a special ceremony in the morning and activities on March 31.

Architect Carlton Abbott’s rendering of the MOC-Appomattox site

In 2006 the Museum of the Confederacy embarked on a plan to increase its ability to reach more people in fulfilling its mission “…to serve as the preeminent world center for the display, study, interpretation, commemoration, and preservation of the history and artifacts of the Confederate States of America.” A plan was formulated to create a system of museums in various places in Virginia close to historic sites related to the Civil War. The first of these new museums in the system is the 11,700 square foot Museum of the Confederacy- Appomattox. This project is dedicated to our mission and the history of the Confederacy and its people, and it will be the largest single capital project in the nation during the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

The Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox will be an artifact rich experience for the visitor. Among the 179 artifacts; 166 photographs, images, and graphics; 95 documents; 25 Confederate uniforms; will be the sword and uniform worn by General Lee when he met General Grant at the McLean House; the pen he used to sign the document of surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia; and the parole signed by Lee and his staff. A special feature of the 41 interactive workstations will be the opportunity for visitors to see the original Confederate parole list to search for an ancestor who may have been present at the surrender.

The Museum’s galleries will include 22 original Confederate flags, including a special exhibition, “Colors of the Gray: Consecration and Controversy.” Together the display of Confederate flags will be the largest and most comprehensive display of war-time Confederate flags ever exhibited by any institution—museum or otherwise. In addition, there will be two computer stations devoted to the history and design of the Confederate national and battle flags. The stations will include the original flag design criteria issued by the Confederate Congress. Visitors will be able to use the criteria to design their own flags. We hope that this feature will encourage young people to learn more about the flags of the Confederacy.

Outside of the Museum, The Reunification Promenade will serve as an exhibit and symbol of how the individual states left the Union in 1861 and came back into the Union after the war. It will feature the state flags of the states that supported the Confederacy, including Missouri, Kentucky, and Maryland—in total 14 flags of the Confederacy—and the United States flag. Many of these state flags have already been dedicated to the memory of Confederate ancestors from those states.

If a visitor comes to our grand opening, they will experience a procession led by living historians portraying Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. The ceremony will begin with the 23rd Regiment United States Colored Troops color guard escorting General Grant, the Sons of Confederate Veterans Maryland Division color guard escorting General Lee, followed by several reenactment groups, who were invited due to their assistance in conserving Confederate flags. The reenactment groups will bear replicas of flags from the Museum’s flag conservation program. After a speech by James I. Robertson, there will be a ceremony to raise the flags of the Confederate states, followed by raising the American flag, symbolizing the states as they reunified with the United States.

The Museum of the Confederacy- Appomattox
159 Horseshoe Rd
Appomattox, VA 24522
(Located at the intersection of US 460 and SR 24)

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