The Tennessee State Museum is hosting a traveling exhibition from the National Archives until September 1, 2013. “Discovering the Civil War” features clothing, papers, weapons, and more in attractive glass cases, spaced so that everyone can enjoy them.
The museum is the sole Southeast venue hosting this display. It does not matter if you are a Civil War buff, or just now educating yourself on this part of history, the museum has something for everyone.
Standing in front of a glass case, one visitor examines the two wax figures dressed in period clothing at a soldier’s campsite. They are surrounded by everything needed for battle, from a saddle to a pistol to camping gear. “They look like they are about to start talking,” the visitor finds herself whispering.
The exhibit “is the culmination of 150 years of analysis, interpretation, and opinion on the Civil War through lesser-known stories and perspectives. Many items on display never have been publicly exhibited. Highlights include the original copy of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.” (Source)
The display includes women and their role in the war, from nurse to soldier. There is information on the Navy, the black American contribution to the war, and rare documents. The latter includes a draft notice and paperwork for President Lincoln’s substitute, fighting in the President’s place in battle. For some of the photos, click HERE.
“I am going to come back to see the exhibit a second time,” said one Nashvillian. “You could spend all day looking at everything.” One of her favorite pieces was a cipher disk that was found in John Wilkes Booth’s effects. “Amazing, isn’t it?” her companion asked. Both agreed this was “an amazing part of history” come to life. “It’s almost like you can feel the energy, these people who created history.”
The exhibit is open February 12 through September 1, 2013. The Tennessee State Museum is located downtown at 5th Avenue and Deaderick Street. There is a parking garage only a few blocks away. Do not miss this chance to see a part of history come to life. Click HERE for all information.
All photos by the author
Credit photo of J. Yates