|Confederate White House in Richmond, Va. in 1901, now part of the Muserum of the Confederacy. (Library of Congress)|
The Board of Trustees has announced the commencement of the construction phase of the Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox, the largest project in the nation for the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. The groundbreaking for the new Museum will take place on September 23, 2010, with the opening scheduled for Spring of 2012.
S. Waite Rawls III, President of the Museum of the Confederacy, said: “The Museum of the Confederacy- Appomattox will bring a new dimension in the story of Appomattox, as the focal point of the ending of the American Civil War and the starting point of national reunification.” The themes for the main exhibit will study the events which led to the end of the war and reunification of the nation. Visitors will be able to examine the ending of a war, which had torn the nation and cost more than 620,000 lives, yet ended with a nobility and dignity marking a desire to heal the wounds and bring the nation together. There was the uncertainty facing the Confederate soldier and the civilian refugee, as they began the road home, while that same road “home” held both challenge and opportunity for the newly freed slave.
“These stories make Appomattox one of those names that rings across the years of history; not only in our own country but around the globe. When people study the history of this great nation the importance of Appomattox draws them to see the place for themselves,” stated Dr. Paul Harvey, Mayor of Appomattox.
"We believe the future of Appomattox's growth is in tourism," Delegate Watkins Abbitt, I-Appomattox, and member of the Virginia Tobacco Commission said. "The Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox will certainly be a great addition to the region. The economy of the town and the region will benefit as more visitors will come and stay longer. The new museum will be an important component in creating an environment conducive to business expansion, new business establishment, job growth, and enhanced tax revenue.”
The Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox is the first new site in the expansion to a system of museums for the Museum of the Confederacy, which has its headquarters in Richmond. With this building the Museum will add more than 5,000 square feet of exhibit area to the nearly 7,000 which exists in Richmond for the display of the world’s largest collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents, of the Confederacy.
“For 120 years The Museum of the Confederacy has been educating the public on the history of the Confederacy from our site in Richmond;” stated Rosewell Page, Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, “this expansion will allow us to broaden our mission by expanding this effort to Appomattox."