Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Texas Civil War Museum

Two days before Christmas, I had the pleasure of visiting the Texas Civil War Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. My mom, who is not a Civil War buff also visited the museum. In spite of her low level of interest in the Civil War, she enjoyed her visit to the museum and stated that she was impressed by it. Now that is high praise! I too thought it was a nicely done museum, and I strongly encourage you to visit it if you haven’t done so already.

After paying the modest entrance fee of $6.00, I entered the museum and learned that it is really three collections under one roof. The collections are:

Ray Richey’s collection of Union and Confederate artifacts

Judy Richey’s collection of 250 Victorian dresses as well as many accessories

The Texas Confederate Museum consisting of Texas artifacts and other items from the Texas Division United Daughters of the Confederacy

The first part of the museum is dedicated to Mr. Richey’s wonderful artifacts—only a part of his collection is on display. The organization of his collection is well done with Union and Confederate artifacts in separate areas and then subdivided by army branch. There are also areas devoted to musical instruments, medical items, and the navy. A surprisingly large number of artifacts are traced to the actual soldier who used the item. Mr. Richey’s artifacts include all theaters of the war with the majority associated with the eastern and western theaters. Mixed in are some magnificent banners from both sides. My personal favorite was the regimental flag of the 12th Illinois Cavalry that featured a rather humorous slogan: “I Like Your Style.”

Mrs. Richey’s collection of Victorian era ladies clothing is attractively displayed and well worth a perusal. As an avid bicyclist I almost collapsed with laughter while viewing a lady’s bicycling outfit from the Victorian era. Admittedly, I am thankful that bustles, heavy fabrics, parasols, fans, and hair jewelry are not a part of my fashion ensembles.

The Texas Division United Daughters of the Confederacy have some wonderful items on display associated with Texas soldiers including some beautiful flags and other artifacts. It was exciting to see a gun used by Captain J. C. Means of the 28th Texas Cavalry—the very unit whose history I wrote.

While purchasing some items from the gift store, I struck up a conversation with a couple of store employees and they suggested an excursion into Fort Worth…that side trip will be the subject of the next blog posting.

No comments:

Post a Comment