It’s Saturday, May 25 and 11:03am in Downtown New Orleans.
Memorial Hall Civil War Museum, also known as the Confederate Museum, is the oldest operating museum in Louisiana. The Louisiana Historical Association built the museum in 1891 as a repository for war records, artifacts and memorabilia of the Civil War. A large Columbiad cannon (circa 1865) mounted on the front terrace welcomes visitors.
Louisiana residents donated most of the contents of the museum, and Varina Howell Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederate States of America, contributed the large collection of Davis memorabilia. The Davis family artifacts were divided up among only four museums, and The Confederate Museum displays about one-fourth of the donated estate.
The museum features Civil War uniforms and other attire worn by officers and common soldiers. Confederate weapons, including guns, bullets, shells and swords, are also showcased. Exhibits also explain everyday life of Confederate forces and display mess kits, personal belongings of soldiers and individual items belonging to Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard, Braxton Bragg and Franklin Gardner. Paintings, prints and photographs depict leaders, soldiers and events that occurred in Louisiana during the Civil War period. Displays include the secession of Louisiana, the capture and occupation of New Orleans by Federal forces, and the battles that were fought within Louisiana.
The main interior of the museum is a large exhibition room with an exposed beam ceiling. The walls, ceilings and most of the exhibition cases are made from heart of cypress, a wood that is indigenous to Louisiana swamps.
Memorial Hall was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and bears a plaque of New Orleans Parish Landmark Commission. About 15,000 Civil War buffs visit the museum each year. The greatest turnout was on May 27 to 28, 1893 when more than 60,000 paid respects to Jefferson Davis, who died in New Orleans and was buried in the city from 1889 to 1893. The remains were later moved to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, for reburial.
The Confederate Museum is located steps away from the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the National D-Day Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center. Admission prices are $5 for adults, $4 for students, seniors and active military, and $2 for children ages 2 to 12. For more information, call (504) 523-4522 or visit www.confederatemuseum.com.
- taken from NewOrleansMuseums.com
DETAILS929 Camp St
New Orleans, LA 70130
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The Memorial Hall Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
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