The History of The Museum of the Confederacy

The Museum of the Confederacy traces its origins to the years immediately after the Civil War. Its ancestral organization was the Ladies Hollywood Memorial Association which formed in 1866 to tend Confederate soldiers’ graves in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery. In 1890, the LHMA rescued from proposed demolition the former Confederate executive mansion and turned it into a museum that opened in 1896. Founded 25 years after Appomattox, housed in an important building, and led by influential women from all of the former Confederate states, the Confederate Museum soon had a large collection of important artifacts. Confronted with challenges in the early 1960s, the Museum’s leadership announced bold new plans: to construct a new building for the collection (opened in 1976), restore the White House to its wartime appearance (opened in 1988), and change from being a Confederate shrine into a modern museum with exhibitions based on scholarship. In the early 21st century, faced with new challenges, the Museum’s leadership again announced a bold new plan: to grow from a single museum site to a multiple site museum system. The Museum of the Confederacy at Appomattox is the first phase of this latest chapter in a long and rich history.

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