Museum of Confederacy to split
By Janet Caggiano, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer
The Museum of the Confederacy has found a new home for the world's largest collection of Civil War artifacts.
Make that homes.
Three Virginia localities will serve as a museum "system," replacing the single museum that has stood at 12th and East Clay streets since 1976. Officials yesterday announced two of those sites -- the Appomattox Court House National Park and the Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center near Fredericksburg.
"If our mission is to use our artifacts to educate the public about the Civil War and the Confederacy, man are we going to accomplish that so much better because we are going to have more on view and more visitors," said Waite Rawls, the museum's president and CEO. "We are taking the artifacts back to where they were made famous." (link)
The museum, if kept intact, would have been a huge tourist draw if it had been relocated to any one of a number of Civil War battlefield sites. But doing that would have kept the collection together. And therefore the name.
The Museum of the Confederacy.
Thus the collection is being broken up and sent off to park sites hither and yon. Where any resulting increase in tourism traffic will - in fact - be negligible (historians will find it wherever it is).
But the goal of those who are pushing Waite Rawls's buttons will be achieved.
That damn Museum of the Confederacy will be no more.