ACWM Magazine (Fall 2020): Celebrating Our Journey

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS Edward L. Ayers Ph.D. J. Gordon Beittenmiller Claude P. Foster George C. Freeman III Bruce C. Gottwald Sr. Monroe E. Harris Jr. D.D.S. Elizabeth Cabell Jennings Richard S. Johnson Donald E. King John L. Nau III Lewis F. Powell III Walter S. Robertson III O. Randolph Rollins Kenneth P. Ruscio Ph.D. Thomas A. Saunders III Leigh Luter Schell Daniel G. Stoddard Ruth Streeter W. Hildebrandt Surgner Mario M. White Elisabeth S. Wollan Ph.D.

ACWM FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS Donald E. King* President J. Gordon Beittenmiller * Walter S. Robertson III * Kenneth P. Ruscio Ph.D. * Jeffrey Wilt Elisabeth Muhlenfeld Wollan Ph.D. (ex officio) * *Also on Museum Board

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ear Friends,

Eons ago, when I stepped in to serve as interim President and CEO of the American Civil War Museum in mid-January, we were breathing a sigh of relief that our spectacular new building and exhibits had opened to rave reviews, attendance was running well ahead of budget, and we finally had the luxury of time to plan for the future in an orderly way. If history teaches us anything, however, it is that unexpected events can upend our expectations. By March, the world was grappling with a pandemic. The Museum closed its doors. Planning became an exercise in futility; every week or so the outlook changed, and our guess as to when we could get back to “normal” stretched further into the future. To complicate matters, by the end of May Richmond was among the first of hundreds of towns and cities all over the nation to erupt in demonstrations and riots, reflecting outrage over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, protesting the racial injustice against Black citizens that has been a drumbeat in America for too long. Suddenly, a spotlight was turned on our nation’s “original sin” of slavery, and from there, on the Confederacy and the statues commemorating its heroes, especially along Monument Avenue. Our historic landscape changed, and the Civil War moved to the forefront of nightly newscasts. This spring and summer have illustrated vividly how crucial an understanding of the Civil War is to every one of us today. Our principal exhibit, A People’s Contest, uses the imagery of fragments and shards to illustrate how quickly “normal” can be broken and how upheaval impacts not only the “great men” of history but also, and even more profoundly, those who are buffeted about

by the decisions of others, who are forced to make choices, the outcome of which they cannot know. It reveals how decisions have unanticipated consequences, and it not only highlights man’s inhumanity to man, but also the triumph of the human spirit — all within the same historical moment. We at the ACWM have found renewed energy in the process of pivoting to digital programming and, at the same time, finding the parallels within our archives and exhibits to what we see in today’s lived experience. We have discovered anew what countless people living north and south, slave and free, learned in the 1860s: that the challenges we face can seem insurmountable but, in fact, almost always fuel creativity. It is not yet clear when we will return to “normal,” but as was the case in 1865, “normal” for us will not be exactly what it was before the pandemic and the events of this summer. In short, the America Civil War Museum is more relevant than ever, more attuned to our calling to offer context and historical accuracy to difficult and complex debates, and to be a place for people of every age, ethnicity, and political instinct to come together to learn from the past. Stay tuned!

Elisabeth Muhlenfeld Wollan Interim CEO


Your Magazine is Going Digital In mid-March we finished the feature stories for what was to be the spring issue of this Magazine, and we were preparing the issue for the designer when our world suddenly turned upside down. The mandatory closure of all three of our museum sites stopped production in its tracks, as we redirected our efforts and resources toward providing digital content (see article on page 6). As it did for most businesses and institutions around the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic exerted operating budget pressures that compelled us to cut costs, including publication of the Magazine. It also prompted us to take a step that we have been contemplating: converting the Magazine to a primarily digital platform.

Publishing the magazine digitally will save the ACWM significantly on printing and postage costs, allowing us to devote more of our resources to programs that will benefit our members and our patrons. The digital version will offer the same content that has been the hallmark of the Magazine since its debut in 2005: news about your Museum, schedules of and details about upcoming programs and events, and beautifully illustrated feature articles focused on the Museum and its collections and activities. The digital format will have the additional benefit of allowing more efficient links to upcoming events, timely news features, and related digital content. The issue you are reading now will be the last all-print issue of the Magazine for the foreseeable future. Please see the form below to let us know how you wish to receive the Magazine in the future.

TELL US HOW YOU WANT TO RECEIVE FUTURE ISSUES Beginning with the Winter 2020/2021 issue, we will publish the Magazine digitally and make it available to our members on our website and send it to you directly via email. To send you a digital copy of the Magazine directly, we must of course have your correct email address. Please register your email address with us on the response card below, or by going to If you wish to receive a hard copy of the Magazine, you may still do so for an additional $15 per year. To receive a hard copy issue, please use the response card below.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------I wish to receive the Magazine by USPS mail. Enclosed is my check for $15 (please enter mailing address and other information below.) I wish to receive the Magazine by email (please enter email address and other information below). Name(s) _________________________________________________________ Mailing address ________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ Telephone number(s) (______) ______________________________________________ Email address(es) ____________________________________________________________ T H E A M E R I C A N C I V I L WA R M U S E U M 3





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COVER PHOTO: As part of its livestreamed first anniversary celebration, Museum staff members participated in a virtual panel discussion, answering questions about the Museum and its collections and exhibits and about general Civil War history (see page 9). Photo by Penelope M. Carrington. T H E A M E R I C A N C I V I L WA R M U S E U M 5

Working Hard to Bring Our Museum and Its Stories Straight to You


erhaps there is something to that Friday the 13th superstition, after all. It was on Friday, March 13, 2020 that the American Civil War Museum staff and board began to realize the full impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, prompting the Museum’s closure beginning on March 16. The first months of 2020 were good ones for the Museum. Our visitation numbers were up, our financial picture was improving, our public programs had been very successful, and our search for a new CEO was ramping up (including initial meetings with the search firm scheduled for Monday, March 16). As it did for all of you, everything changed that weekend. Meeting remotely, the Museum’s senior staff began immediately to craft a strategy for continuing our educational work as much as possible 6 S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 2 0

without meeting face-to-face with students or the general public. Like public schools and other museums, we shifted to online programming and took advantage of the same technology that made it possible for our employees to work from home and meet with each other. Many of you are familiar with the results. Instead of canceling our scheduled public programs – History Happy Hours, Foundry Series, and Book Talks – we have been holding them using the Zoom platform. This has made it possible for members and visitors from around the nation and around the globe to sit down with a beer and enjoy a talk and a Q&A session on such topics as the Richmond “Bread Riot,” Civil War amputations, the backstory of Richmond’s Jefferson Davis monument, “The False Cause,” the “Great Partnership” between Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson, and Black Churches in the

Post-Emancipation Struggle, the looting of Fredericksburg, and, in commemoration of the 19th Amendment centennial, Women’s suffrage and the Civil War. Beyond just continuing our programs, we decided to increase the number and variety of our offerings. We extended our popular History Happy Hour series through the summer instead of suspending it in June, July, and August, as we have in previous years. We also have produced special videos of staff members displaying and discussing specific items from the collection storage vaults and sponsored a “Let’s Talk” forum about the Monument Avenue statues. The staff has offered numerous virtual programs for residents of assisted living facilities. These programs join the dozens of earlier programs available on the Museum’s own YouTube channel and on C-Span’s website.

For those who would rather read than watch and listen, the Museum has also extended its blog to cover topics that put the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects in historical perspective. Postings address topics within the general themes of Not Alone in History, Annual Legacies, and Ask ACWM. Recognizing that schoolteachers – and parents – around the nation (many of whom had just a day or two to convert their lesson plans into a digital format) would benefit from relevant online content, we devised methods to provide that content. Working with Creative Services Manager Penelope Carrington and Digital Engagement Manager Rachel Harper, our Education Department members, Stephanie Arduini, Joseph Rogers, Kelly Hancock, and Rod Stanley, swung into action. The results are several ongoing series of programs that employ the Museum’s exhibits, collections, and educational programs to offer material that supplements standard school curricula. Walk Through the War addresses specific themes covered in the flagship exhibit, A People’s Contest. HomefrontEd consists of segments from popular field trip programs and readings from popular books on the Civil War and Emancipation for early elementary school students. Education Programs Manager Joseph Rogers hosts the school program offerings, assisted by colleagues, including Visitor Engagement Supervisor Chuck Young. “We’re working hard to bring our museum and its stories straight to you,” Rogers declares to the camera with his usual infectious enthusiasm. His words capture perfectly what the museum staff has been doing since that fateful Friday the 13th.

VIRTUAL VISITOR VOICES Here is what people are saying about our virtual programming.

‘There are so many points brought up here ... I really appreciate the conversation.’ @INQUISITIVEWANDERER YOUTUBE

‘Love the last question & answer, and I really look forward to reading this book.’ @DKBERMAN YOUTUBE BOOKTALK

‘As both an educator (always!!) and a museum member, I wanted to applaud you and your staff for executing a lovely gala event worthy of its three honorees.’ ANNIE EVANS SEPTEMBER 14TH VIRTUAL ANNIVERSARY EVENT


follow us @TheAmericanCivilWarMuseum T H E A M E R I C A N C I V I L WA R M U S E U M 7


of slavery, participation in elections transformed from a privilege into an essential right of citizens. Discover the origins and continued impacts of the final of the three “Reconstruction Amendments.” With Stephanie Arduini, ACWM.


A LL PROGRAMS ARE ONLINE. Sign up and attend from anywhere; go to and then click on the specific event. Book Talks, History Happy Hours, and Foundry Series programs through December 2020 are made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

OCT HISTORY HAPPY HOUR The Fifteenth Amendment — 150 Years Later Monday, October 12 @ 6:30 Free. Registration required. Donations suggested. While America tried to understand what was included with freedom after the end 8 S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 2 0

HISTORY HAPPY HOUR No Safety for Union Men Monday, November 9 @ 6:30 Free. Registration required. Donations suggested. On April 16, 1866, a race riot erupted in Norfolk,Virginia. Uncover the limits of the U.S. Army’s protection for African Americans and their civil rights when faced with exConfederates’ paramilitary violence during the early years of Reconstruction. With Brianna Kirk, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Virginia.


HISTORY HAPPY HOUR The Homestead Act of 1862 and the Black Exodus of 1879 Monday, December 14 @ 6:30 Free. Registration required. Donations suggested. In 1879, thousands of emancipated African Americans made use of the 1862 Homestead Act and migrated to Colorado, Oklahoma, and especially Kansas, seeking a way out of the repressive conditions in the South. Discover how John Brown’s memory inspired this migration to Kansas “because of the sacredness of her soil washed by the blood for the cause of black freedom.” With Ana Edwards, ACWM.


JAN HISTORY HAPPY HOUR Gettysburg Myths and Mistakes Monday, January 11 @ 6:30 Free. Registration required. Donations suggested. Myths and mistakes have been part of the story of the Civil War and its largest battle from the start. Even as the war unfolded, participants engaged in reputation protection, misunderstandings, and intentional mythmaking. Later, historians, authors, filmmakers and others propagated myth and error, making historical truths elusive. Let’s sort fact from fiction and have a bit of fun in the process. With Garry Adelman, Chief Historian, American Battlefield Trust.


HISTORY HAPPY HOUR Farmville’s Israel Hill Community Monday, February 8 @ 6:30 Free. Registration required. Donations suggested. Established in the early 1800s, Israel Hill, in the heartland of Virginia, was a communal experiment of limited social and economic freedom for more than 100 formerly enslaved people. Engaging in business opportunities and land ownership, the Israel Hill residents used the legal system and became an integral, viable part of the overall Farmville community. With Rod Stanley, ACWM. BOOK TALK You Are Not American: Citizenship Stripping from Dred Scott to the Dreamers Thursday, February 25 @ 6:30



Battle of Gettysburg

Free. Registration required. What it means to be American and the issues surrounding membership, identity, belonging, and exclusion continue to occupy and divide us today. How have the concept of citizenship and the rights of citizens evolved? Author Amanda Frost explores the impact that the American Civil War had on the citizenship of individuals — from those formerly enslaved to Confederate leaders.

ACWM Board of Directors chairman Dan Stoddard recognized the contributions of the evening’s honorees, former CEO Christy Coleman, former Foundation President Waite Rawls, and founding Board chairman Edward Ayers.

Celebrating Our Journey A First-Year Anniversary

T The 2021 Symposium: Most Pivotal Decisions Exact dates, times, and speakers TBA. When the American Civil War started, no one could anticipate how long it would last or what the outcomes would be. Both unanticipated events and deliberate choices altered the course of the war throughout its four years. From enslaved people seeking freedom, to the decisions of military commanders on the field, and the actions of politicians on the home front, explore significant decisions that changed the course of history. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

he journey to celebrate the first anniversary of the American Civil War Museum’s grand opening proved to be a few months longer than anticipated, but it finished with a “pandemically correct” virtual event on September 14. The event celebrated not only the anniversary, but also the successful completion of the years-long capital campaign. It also honored three principle leaders and visionaries who made the new museum possible: Dr. Edward L. Ayers, Christy S. Coleman, and S. Waite Rawls. Generously sponsored by Dominion Energy, A Sharper Palate, Historic Linden Row Inn, and RVA Tuk Tuk Tours and, coordinated by Museum Events Manager Christi Connors, the evening featured a blend of live speeches and presentations with pre-recorded videos about the Museum’s collections and exhibits. Justin Reid, Director of Community

Technicians from Seagram’s Systems Audio Visual tackled the technical challenges of livestreaming an event that featured live and recorded segments.

Initiatives at Virginia Humanities, hosted the event. Dr. David W. Blight of Yale University (and a longtime friend of the Museum) delivered a keynote address from his office in New Haven and answered live questions from Dr. Ayers. A recording of the anniversary celebration is forthcoming. Be sure to follow our monthly e-newsletter for updates. T H E A M E R I C A N C I V I L WA R M U S E U M 9

O President





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If you take a tour of the restored Confederate President’s House, you will learn much about President Jefferson Davis – and you will hear a lot about his endlessly fascinating wife,Varina Howell Davis, and about their youngest child,Varina Anne “Winnie” Davis, born in the White House bed chamber in 1864. But what about the Davis’s other daughter and eldest surviving child, Margaret “Maggie” Howell Davis?

O ‘My impression has always been that she was the quiet, responsible child in a family with spoiled brothers and celebrity/artsy sister.’

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“Truth to tell, I know very little about her, aside from the dog-biting anecdote [a family story from her childhood] and general only-Davis-child-to-marryand-have-children-of-herown,” noted a long-time White House interpreter in response to that question. “My impression has always been that she was the quiet, responsible child in a family with spoiled brothers and celebrity/artsy sister.”

All the interpreters mention that Maggie was the only child to survive her parents, marry, and have children of her own. Some relate the few anecdotes we 1 2 S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 2 0

know from her childhood in the Confederate Executive Mansion or describe her adulthood in Memphis, Tennessee, her family’s move west to Colorado, or her role in uniting the Davis family in death in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery. The relative obscurity of Maggie Davis extends beyond the walls of the house at 12th and Clay streets. In recent decades, her mother and sister have enjoyed something of a vogue, as they have been the subjects of authoritative biographies by Joan Cashin and Heath Lee and novels by Charles Frazier and Julia Oliver, as well as several exhibits and programs at the American Civil War Museum. As the life story of Winnie Davis dramatizes, celebrity – especially when unsought and unwanted – comes at a high cost. The story of Winnie’s older sister demonstrates the costs and the benefits of living outside the limelight.

“I am so much better and happier at home.” Margaret Howell Davis was born on February 25, 1855, a little over eight months after Varina and Jefferson Davis buried their firstborn child, Samuel Emory. Both parents were obviously proud of their new baby, and, by the time Maggie reached toddlerhood, each described her as smart and pretty. However, in a letter to her father, shortly before Maggie’s second birthday,Varina noted, “Little Maggie is the pet and pride of the house — she is very like Ma and exceedingly pretty — and smart — but there the praise must end, for she is the worst tempered child alive and spends three hours out of four fighting.” In writing to Jefferson Davis in April of 1859,Varina noted that she “had to whip” fouryear-old Maggie “three times-since which she is perfectly biddable.” That Maggie was strong-willed does not seem to have bothered Jefferson Davis. He took special pride in her outgoing nature and called her “Polly” in honor of a favorite sister.

When the Davis family moved into the President’s House, Maggie was six years old, and by this time she was a big sister to two brothers — Jeff Jr. and Joseph, ages four and two. One more brother, William (“Billie”) and a sister,Varina Anne (“Winnie”) would be added to the family before the war was over. Maggie apparently enjoyed a typically tempestuous relationship with her famously high-spirited brother Jeff. “I miss you very much and wish you would come home,” Maggie wrote him when he was visiting his uncle, Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Davis, near the battle front in March 1865. “I am very sorry that I told you I would be glad if you would go.” After filling him in on the activities of Tippy the family terrier and sending love from other members of the household, she assured him that

Margaret Howell Davis as a toddler.

she was “your most affectionate Sister.” There is little that reveals how the move to a new home and the coming of war impacted Maggie, but certainly, the death of her brother Joseph on April 30, 1864, had to have been devastating. A Confederate officer, passing by just after Joseph fell from the mansion’s portico, wrote that “a little girl ran out of the house crying to the next door and pulled the bell violently.” It is not difficult to imagine the panic and desperation Maggie felt as she sought help from a neighbor since both her parents were out at the time. Becoming a refugee at age ten, also must have left its mark. Although the flight south may have seemed like an adventure at the outset, seeing her father captured brought home the

Cabinet card by William Notman, Montreal, of Jefferson Davis, Jr., Maggie Davis, William Davis, and Varina Anne “Winnie” Davis.

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reality of the situation.Varina recalled in a1904 letter Maggie “nearly lost her senses” and then clung to her father “her arms close around his neck” as the family was transported to Macon, Georgia. If the capture of her beloved father had been traumatic, the separation from both her parents that soon followed was more so. After military officials imprisoned Jefferson Davis at Fort Monroe, they sent Varina sent with the children to Savannah. Worried about tensions between U.S. troops and Confederate citizens as well as her own mental stability, Varina arranged for the children to live in Montreal, Canada, under the care of her mother. In September of 1865, Maggie was placed in the Convent of the Sacred Heart located at Sault-de-Recollect. The convent was described as a stately, gothic stone mansion with a large chapel.

daughter.” In March, after learning that her mother was coming for a visit, “Little Pollie” as she signed herself, poured out her heart, “I have prayed every night and every morning for Precious Mother and you and that we might all meet soon again and He has granted that I should see Mother if not you, but as I will continue to pray I hope that he will also grant that you may come to see us and live in happiness and harmony all our days together.” Jefferson Davis’s release on bail in May of 1867, brought about a brief reunion, but his trial date remained uncertain, and both he and Varina were away from their children for long periods of time. In January, anticipating her parent’s homecoming Maggie wrote, “You cannot think how anxiously we are all watching for you to come back, but I am sure I want you more than any of them.”

“I have the ribbon for good behavior, and my Mistress said

After a month in the convent school, Maggie wrote her father, updating him on her progress, “I have the ribbon for good behavior, and my Mistress said that she was very much pleased with me for she said that I was very 1 4 S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 2 0

good and that I was trying very hard to speak French.” Separation from her family and immersion in a French-speaking environment would not have been easy, and it is telling that in this fairly short letter she repeated the phrase “Precious

that she was very much pleased with me ...” Father” five times. Jefferson Davis sensed her unhappiness and wrote Varina in February 1866 that he worried about the treatment of “our nervous confiding little

With no prospect of a trial in sight, the Davis family sailed for Europe in the summer. By December of 1868, Maggie was once again separated from her family — this time she was placed (ABOVE) Carte-de-visite of Maggie at age 11 by Notman, Montreal, Canada, “taken while she was wearing a ribbon for good conduct.”

Photograph of adolescent Maggie by Stanton & Butler, Baltimore.

in the Convent of the Assumption outside of Paris, France. She wrote reassuringly to her “Darling Father,” of her visits to the Bois to Boulogne and the Arc de Triomphe, and told him, “Madame Walburge is so good to me…[she]comes every night to see if I am comfortable and every morning to see if I have a head ache and if I would like to sleep longer.” The separation may have caused not only emotional problems for Maggie but also physical. Jefferson Davis worried about his 14-yearold daughter, and, as he returned to the United States, cautioned Varina, “You will order all things for Maggie’s mental and physical good. She was nervous from her infancy and a mistake in her treatment would be to us a crowning misfortune.” After spending the summer break with her family in London, Maggie did not return to the

convent. She had developed a back ailment, and a physician advised that travel could cause complications. “She is the happiest thing you ever saw at the prospect of staying with her ‘darling Mother’ flies at me and kisses me a dozen times a day,” Varina wrote. Giving her husband a further update, she continued, “We are very happy here in the improved health and perfect teachability of Maggie. She has improved wonderfully in her health… and perfectly happy with her governess, who is very strict, but manages to hide it in an affectionate kind of exhortation which delights Maggie beyond expression.” “Little Pollie” concurred, telling her father in November, “I am so much better and happier at

home and I have a sweet young lady for a governess.” There was one more brief separation as the family transitioned to Memphis, Tennessee, but this most difficult and formative chapter of Maggie’s life was finally over. Maggie’s adulthood seems staid in comparison to her earlier life. On January 1, 1876, after a three-year courtship, she married Joel Addison Hayes at St. Lazarus Episcopal Church in Memphis. Known as a man of good business sense and high moral character, Addison was described as having a “rosy completion, soft blue eyes, and a drooping mustache of gold.” Addison helped his father-in-law regain control of his “Brierfield” estate, and, with Maggie, established an (ABOVE) Cabinet card of Joel Addison Hayes by Bingham Brothers, Memphis, inscribed “For my darling little Winnie with much love from her B[rother] Addison May 21st 1878.” (LEFT) Carte-de-visite of Maggie, aged 19, printed by Bingham & Hilliard, Memphis.

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affectionate, quasi-parental relationship with younger sister Winnie. Seven years older than Maggie, Addison was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi, but by 1860 his parents had settled in Memphis, where his maternal grandfather was a professor at the Memphis Medical College. Although his father was a well-respected attorney, Addison chose to go into banking. By 1874 he was cashier of the State National Bank and well on his way to a successful career. The couple honeymooned in St. Louis, and as, a wedding gift, the Davises had a home built for them on 362 Vance Street. The house, which was brick and in the Italianate style, was described by Maggie as a “perfect gem.” After Jefferson Davis’s Carolina Life Insurance failed in 1873 and he, then Varina, relocated to “Beauvoir” near Biloxi, Mississippi, Margaret and Addison remained in Memphis. Her troubled, but beloved, brother, Jefferson, Jr., also remained in Memphis working at Addison’s bank. To Addison and Maggie fell the anguishing responsibility of caring for her last surviving brother (Billie had died of diphtheria in 1872) as he died of yellow fever in October 1878. Addison and Maggie resided in Memphis until April of 1885, when they moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, in hopes that the drier air would be a cure for Addison’s asthma. Addison’s success continued, and he eventually became president of 1 6 S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 2 0

Joel Addison Hayes with grandchildren, ca. 1917.

the First National Bank in Colorado Springs, a post he held for twenty-five years. He and Maggie enjoyed life as a socially prominent couple. An unidentified writer “who loves and admires her in her far away Western home,” wrote in the Saturday Review that Maggie’s “broad charities and tireless generosity have made the name of the daughter of Jefferson Davis beloved among a once hostile people; her brilliancy and fascination have made her home the most charming in Colorado Springs, and many a lonely stranger and homeless young man will say with me “God bless our Princess,” for so we call her.” The death of Jefferson Davis in December 1889 conferred upon

his widow and two daughters a new status: living legacies of the Confederacy’s only president. Following her mother’s example, Maggie began signing her name Margaret H. Jefferson-Davis Hayes. She did what she could in her Colorado sphere to perpetuate

“I only wish I could do more ...” her father’s memory. As befitted a woman of her status, she established a room in memory of Jefferson Davis at the Union Printers’ Home. She also provided for two rooms in St. Francis’ Hospital, one in memory of her firstborn son Jefferson Davis Hayes, who died in infancy, and one for her “beloved brothers.” For better or for worse, her life out west and her involvement with her growing family limited her involvement with the bourgeoning Confederate memorial movement. This was in marked contrast to her sister, Winnie, who found herself the unwilling, but obedient, symbol of Confederate womanhood. At an appearance with her father in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1886, Senator (and former Confederate general) John Brown Gordon hail Winnie as the “Daughter of the Confederacy.” The name stuck, and its burden eventually killed her.

(TOP) The profile of Margaret Davis Hayes published in “Representative Women of Colorado” (1911) featured a photograph of her wearing several of her Confederate badges and pins. (ABOVE) Cabinet card of Margaret and Addison Hayes and others in her carriage after receiving first prize in the Colorado Springs flower carnival, 1896.

Typical of the Davis women’s experience was the example of the American Civil War Museum’s antecedent organization, the Confederate Memorial Literary Society (CMLS), which opened the Confederate Museum in the Davis’s Richmond home in 1896. Emulating the model of other women’s preservation societies, the CMLS had enlisted prominent women from each southern state

to serve as “regents,” including Winnie as regent of the Mississippi Room and Varina as regent of the “Solid South” Room. On February 24, 1896, two days after the Museum opened,Varina wrote to her former Richmond neighbor and dear friend, Ann Crenshaw Grant, to ask a special favor. “I write to you on a matter which I could only entrust to a woman off your matchless delicacy and sacred faith, to all confidence reposed in you,” she began. “My poor little Maggie is one of the most devoted of Southern women, and clings lovingly to all the traditions of our people. From the fact that her name is not now Davis, and her address is unknown, she has been left out of all complimentary notice of our family. Her husband who was born in Missi[ssippi] and fought there is much wounded by this, for their openly expressed opinions have been a stumbling block in his business and to her socially in that rabid northwest where his health has compelled his residence. – Do you think she could have some complimentary position given her in the Museum? Do you think it could be arranged with out any one knowing my suggestion?” Mrs. Grant obviously shared her former neighbor’s request, as overtures of involvement soon arrived in Colorado Springs. But only after yet another tragic turn in the Davis family’s story. After attending the United Confederate Veterans annual T H E A M E R I C A N C I V I L WA R M U S E U M 1 7

reunion in Atlanta in July 1898 and spending a long afternoon in a rainstorm, Winnie caught a severe cold. By the time she joined her mother at Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island, Winnie was ill with malarial gastritis. She died on September 18, 1898. In the midst of tremendous public grief for the celebrated “Daughter of the Confederacy,” attention turned to the late president’s other daughter. No doubt through the influence of its president, Janet Weaver Randolph (who was also a CMLS officer) the Richmond Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy elected Maggie as an “honorary daughter” in October 1898. “Our ‘Loved Cause’ [a short lived alternative to the name ‘Lost Cause’] is indeed sacred and inexpressibly dear to me,” Maggie wrote in thanks, “and I am prouder of being a ‘Daughter of the Confederacy’ than I would be of any title that could be conferred upon me, born as I was a daughter of the glorious south, and a daughter of my father - My one regret is that my husband’s health requires me to live so far away from my own dear people, as I am therefore debarred from active participation in the glorious unending work, you my sisters of the Confederacy carry on so untiringly.” Her enforced geographic isolation from the South was a common complaint in Maggie’s correspondence with the leaders of the Confederate Museum. “I beg to say it would give me pleasure to serve you or the Confederate Memorial Literary 1 8 S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 2 0

Society in any way in my power, though my power is limited living as I do in a community composed of northern people,” she wrote to CMLS vice-president “Lizzie” Cary Daniel from Colorado Springs in February 1899. The CMLS named her honorary regent of the Museum’s Solid South Room. “I only wish I could do more to show the tender reverential interest the work of the memorial society inspires in me,” Maggie replied. In addition to her symbolic role, Maggie joined, then succeeded, her mother in the work of distributing Davis family effects among the several associations dedicated to memorializing Jefferson Davis. “Mother and I expect to go very soon to Bea[u]voir to break up our old home then I suppose she will send the Museum such things a she wishes to give,” Maggie wrote in February 1899. Among the items she sent were family photos and

her sister’s childhood books (“she valued them greatly and they were always tenderly cared for”) and furniture displayed now in the restored rooms of her former Richmond home. After Varina’s death in October 1906, Maggie became the only surviving member of the immediate family, and her role expanded accordingly. In June 1907, she pulled the cord to unveil the Jefferson Davis statue on Richmond’s Monument Avenue. She also maintained a vigilant defense of her father’s reputation. In October 1907, she wrote to President Theodore Roosevelt thanking him for his public compliment of Davis’s leadership of the Mississippi Regiment in the Mexican War.

A few months earlier, Maggie had a rare opportunity to demonstrate her southern patriotism and her reconciliationist spirit in her own home city when the veterans of “I shall always prize my badge and wear the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry it proudly,” MAGGIE wrote to thank the traveled to Colorado Springs to Richmond Chapter, United Daughters of honor their recently-paralyzed the Confederacy, for her honorary commander, Brig. Gen. William membership pin. J. Palmer. One of the veterans posted in the lobby of the Antler Hotel a framed copy of Palmer’s 1865 proclamation offering a reward for the capture of Jefferson Davis and linking him with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Even before receiving Maggie’s letter of protest, Palmer removed the display. Maggie described Palmer as a “highly esteemed friend” who had expressed regret over “I have several badges presented to me his orders to capture Davis, by our people that I wear always and my and she, in turn, repeated her northern townspeople and friends are father’s lament about Lincoln’s always very kind in expressions of assassination. interest and unstinted pleasure in the honor paid me.”

[ I HAVE ] QUIETLY ALLOWED MY BIRTH RIGHT TO PASS FROM ME...” Less than three years after her mother’s death, Margaret Davis Hayes died of breast cancer on July 18, 1909. At a simple October 1909 memorial service, her ashes were interred in a grave in what become known as Davis Circle in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery. In 1911, Joel Addison Hayes commissioned George Julian Zolnay, who had sculpted memorials for Jefferson and Winnie Davis in 1899, to create one for Maggie. Upon his death in 1919, Joel Hayes’ remains also came to Hollywood, as did those of their infant son, Jefferson Davis Hayes. Tributes poured in from around the country. An Alexandria,Virginia, newspaper praised Maggie’s “unostentatious service” and her “benefactions, always dispensed in the most quiet manner possible.” The CMLS joined dozens of other memorial associations to pass resolutions in her honor. Two months after her death, 25 southern women “scattered throughout Colorado” formed the state’s first chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The Margaret Howell Davis Hayes Chapter #1228 was “named in recognition of the personal loveliness and high-toned patriotism of one whose name is enshrined in our hearts as worthy of a grand and gifted family and an exemplar of Southern womanhood….” Margaret Hayes’ correspondence and relationship with Confederate

organizations was always polite, and there is no reason to doubt the sincerity of her pride in her southern roots and her father’s legacy or her pleasure in being included in the work of those organizations. But she must have recognized that her role as daughter of the Confederacy’s only president would have been more oppressive and less pleasurable if she had been in her sister’s place – and that distance afforded her and her family a wider sphere of privacy denied to Winnie. Physical distance exacerbated an emotional distance that she had long felt within her family. She enjoyed a lifelong bond with her father, but her mother’s favoritism to Winnie was obvious. Writing to Maggie on her 17th birthday,Varina cautioned, “You are your mother’s nurseling baby — & all mine — & my precious one on all the earth the dearest except two — & those you would not wish to displace — your father & your precious little beautiful sister.” In a 1989 article (“The Daughters of Jefferson Davis: A Study in Contrast” published in The Journal of Mississippi History) historian Suzanne T. Dolensky made the case that Maggie was exceedingly jealous of Winnie. This may be an overstatement, as the sisters seemed to have had a close relationship, but Maggie occasionally betrayed some resentment. In a 1906 letter to Confederate veteran John J. Hood, she expressed regret at allowing her sister to take precedence. “[I have] quietly allowed my birth right to pass from me, until many southerners assert I am an imposter.”

Slipper that Maggie Davis made for her father.

As the only child to survive both her parents and all her siblings, Maggie endured a great deal of loss, but as a survivor, she produced life, four children—Varina Howell Davis, Lucy White, Jefferson Addison Hayes, and William Hayes Davis. Following the death of Jefferson Davis (while the family was gathered in New Orleans for the former president’s funeral),Varina noted that there were no sons to carry on the Davis name, so, at her urging, Maggie’s eldest surviving son, six years old at the time, consented to have his name changed from Jefferson Addison Hayes to Jefferson Addison Hayes-Davis. This was done by act of the Mississippi State Legislature on February 21, 1890. Producing descendants is Maggie’s greatest legacy. The Confederate Museum (Museum of the Confederacy) continued its close relationship with successive generations of Maggie’s family. Maggie’s descendants contributed furnishings and objects for the 1980s restoration of the Richmond Executive Mansion, and have continued to donate family photographs and papers. Kelly R. Hancock is the Museum’s Public Programs Manager and John M. Coski is the Museum’s Historian.They both began their Museum careers as White House of the Confederacy interpreters.

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Reconciling Conflicting Perspectives on Confederate Soldiers “This is my birthday. I am today twenty five years old. A short time ago I was a little boy. Now what am I? What have I done?

aptain John Taylor Smith sentiment and that is war! War! War!” (left) was 23 years-old when Smith’s subsequent letters described he raised a volunteer matter-of-factly the horrors of war and how company in Randolph he and other soldiers adjusted to them. County, Alabama, in 1861. As Company I of the 13th Alabama Infantry, On February 3, 1863, he penned an Smith’s unit served throughout the Civil introspective diary entry: “This is my War in the Army of Northern Virginia. His birthday. I am today twenty five years old. wartime letters to his wife, mother, and A short time ago I was a little boy. Now sister, donated to the Museum in 1984, what am I? What have I done? Have I been Cap. John Taylor Smith 13th Alabama Infantry reveal a highly literate and sensitive young a blessing or a curse? Have I been as useful man who was at once deeply reflective about as I might have been? Have I accomplished life and fervently devoted to the Confederate cause. more good than harm? Have I done all the good I could, and as little harm?” “We are at last in Richmond, the capital of the last refuge of Republican Constitutional Liberty, the city that gathers February 20 found him in a philosophical mood: “The sun the feelings of the whole southern people,” he wrote his rises this morning in splendor and glory, while the sweetest mother in July 1861. “I had expected to find a few soresongsters of the grove warble their most melodious strains. backed Lincolnites in Virginia, but so far the tide in favor Ah, little birds, you are merry and full of life and joy, but of independence or death rolls high & overwhelming. man is still engaged in the bloody work of death.” His letter There seems to be perfect unanimity & confidence in our of April 15, 1863 anticipated the spring campaign and Confederate states government. I have heard only one predicted that the enemy would attack. Three weeks later, at T H E A M E R I C A N C I V I L WA R M U S E U M 2 1

the battle of Chancellorsville, John Taylor Smith fell, in the words of a resolution that his Masonic brothers passed in his honor, “Sealing his devotion to his Country, while charging the enemy’s fortifications….” Smith’s letters – along with several family Bibles and cased image photographs – provide the kind of human interest story and “dramatic personalness” (quoting journalist Julian Street) that has been the Museum’s stock-in-trade for more than a century. For the last 30 years, I have been mining such letters and diaries for exhibits and for dozens of magazine articles highlighting and promoting our collections. Smith’s letters (and the article that I wrote about them in 2002 for America’s Civil War) mention his desire to hire from his stepfather an enslaved man named “Boss” – or to procure “an ordinary field hand” – to be a camp servant. He estimated

that there were 25-30 African-American servants in his regiment, a reference that has given scholars a baseline from which to extrapolate the number of African Americans traveling with the Army of Northern Virginia in 1863. Smith’s quest for a camp servant also reminds us of something we tend to neglect in our profiles of Confederate soldiers: many of them were slaveholders or came from slave- owning families. John Smith did not own slaves himself, but his mother and stepfather owned 15 human beings: two men, aged 38 and 36, along with 13 women, eight of them under the age of ten. How does – and how should – that sobering revelation about John Taylor Smith’s family affect our perception of him as a soldier and as a person? How does it affect the validity of his patriotic rhetoric about the Confederate cause? Vignettes of enslaved African-Americans at work in the field appeared on three (of 72) Confederate treasury notes. ACWM Collection

For many of you, the answer is a simple “not at all.” Smith’s performance as a soldier and the value of his descriptions and testimony about campaigns, battles, and soldier life exist independently of his family’s status as slaveholders. For many Americans today, however, owning slaves or any kind of complicity in the ownership of other humans shapes and taints their perception of people in history, whether they were obscure farmers or American presidents. For many Americans reading about men like John Taylor Smith (to reduce the issue to a kind of bumper sticker language), slavery trumps bravery.

At the Museum’s February symposium, I asked Dr. Susannah Ural how she could write and talk admiringly about the fighting prowess of the men of Hood’s Texas Brigade even though she explained that most of the men were fighting to preserve a slave society. “Those Texans,” she replied, “they fought for things with which we all fundamentally disagree – that means slavery, of course…..But what I was most curious about is what makes an elite unit an elite unit.”

Perceptions of how central or peripheral slavery was for ordinary white southerners often turn on different interpretation of statistics. Those who believe slavery to have been peripheral often The study and cite census figures that admiration of men only 5% of white as soldiers and the southerners in 1860 contempt for them owned slaves. A as servants of a more meaningful slaveholding republic interpretation of those have coexisted for a census figures is the long time. To attend percentage of white a typical meeting of southern households Civil War roundtables that owned slaves, and then take a class which exceeded 25%. or attend a program (To use the 5% figure at a university can be as a measure of the like visiting different significance of worlds. The former slavery is analogous almost always to using the percentage emphasizes “bravery” of modern Americans and the latter who own a home, “slavery.” then representing all the children and The two worlds long dependents in homeAmbrotype of the winter quarters of “Wigfall Mess,” 1st Texas Infantry have coexisted, but we know owning households as not at Camp Dunlop, Dumfries, Virginia, early 1862, attributed to photographer Solomon Thomas Blessing. from reading the headlines living in home-owning that those separate worlds households because often collide, especially over monuments and other features they personally did not own the house.) on the modern commemorative landscape of the Civil War. Consistent with the familiar adage that the Civil War was, Is there a way of bridging what often seems like a huge chasm for the South, “a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight,” it in how diverse Americans study – and judge – the Civil War, is widely believed that the percentage of Confederate specifically the Confederacy? Yes. Prominent Civil War soldiers who owned slaves (or lived in slave-owning families) historians, such as Gary Gallagher, James McPherson, and was smaller than in the population generally. Recent research William C. Davis, emphasize the centrality of slavery as the suggests that the opposite was true – that sons of wealthy ultimate cause of the war (and the immediate cause of southern slave-owning families were overrepresented in Confederate secession) even as they narrate the “Homeric” story of soldiers forces, especially early in the war. in battle and parse the behavior and decision-making of their commanders. Joseph Glatthaar’s magisterial 2008 book, General Lee’s Army, found that 36% of soldiers who enlisted in the Army T H E A M E R I C A N C I V I L WA R M U S E U M 2 3

of Northern Virginia in 1861 lived in or with slave-owning families, a rate 42% higher than the general population. In her study of the famed Texas Brigade, Susannah Ural found that Major Raleigh Camp one-third of privates and two-thirds of officers came from slaveholding families. And, although those figures mean that a minority of white southerners and Confederate soldiers came from slaveholding families, even that figure is misleading. Slavery constituted a system of economic, social, and cultural incentive and of racial social control and white supremacy in which all but a few estranged white southerners held a strong stake.

“Tell all the negroes howdye for me” With these figures in mind, I have long been interested Colonel William F. Slemons in learning more about patterns of slave ownership among Confederate soldiers whose letters and diaries in the Museum’s collections I have transcribed, annotated, and published over the last 30 years. What follows is hardly a “scientific” survey, but it yields an impressionistic look at a small sample of men as both Confederate soldiers and as members of the antebellum “master class.” The sample I am using consists of 22 men whom I have profiled or whose letters and diaries I featured in articles published primarily in the Museum’s magazine, but also in America’s Civil War, Civil War Monitor, Civil War Regiments, North & South, and Goochland County Historical Magazine. The purpose of the articles was to highlight and share the Museum’s rich collections and to use those collections to tell the stories of men at war or to give new perspectives on specific campaigns and battles. My sample avoids familiar high-ranking general officers, emphasizing instead privates and lower2 4 S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 2 0

ranking officers. Of the 22 men in my sample, at least 13 (almost 60 %) lived or were raised in slave-owning families. This number is higher than the average because it is easier to find evidence of slave ownership than definitive evidence that men did Among the men in the not live in or grow up in sample for this article, slaveholding families, and Raleigh Camp, an officer possibly because families in Texas and Georgia who preserved letters and regiments, owned slaves. diaries and donated them Slemons, Woodard, and to the Museum were more Woods apparently likely to be more affluent did not. and, thus, to have been slaveholders. Sgt. William S. Woods

Only one soldier in my sample – John Christopher Winsmith of the 5th South Carolina Infantry – came from a family that fit the customary definition of a “planter,” owning 20 or more slaves, but several others (in addition to John Taylor Smith) were raised in substantial slave owning families: Edward Estes of the 38th Virginia Infantry lived on his father’s Pittsylvania County, Virginia, farm with 18 enslaved males, ages 7-45; Pride Jones of Orange County, North Carolina, father of Lt. Halcott Pride Jones of the 13th North Carolina Artillery, owned 14 enslaved males ranging in age from 3 to 56; Allen V. Private Theodore H. Woodard Montgomery of Camden, Mississippi, who received the famous blood-stained letter from his dying son, James Robert Montgomery of the 11th Mississippi Infantry and the Confederate Signal Corps, owned 10 enslaved males, ranging in age from 5 to 50; the father of brothers Archie, Albert, and Theodore Livingston of the 3rd Florida Infantry, Scottish-born Daniel G. Livingston, owned

eight enslaved males, ranging in age from 6-30. The slaveholding households in which others lived or were raised were more typical of the white southern experience. Randolph Fairfax of the Rockbridge Artillery grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, in a family that owned three enslaved men. John B. Cary, colonel of the 32nd Virginia Infantry, was the headmaster of a private school in Hampton, Virginia, and owned four male slaves. The father of James Thomas Petty of the 17th Virginia Infantry and John Summerfield Petty, who fought for the Union in two Ohio regiments, did not own slaves, but the elder Petty’s brother, a prosperous carriage maker who lived in the same town of Front Royal, Virginia, owned seven slaves in 1860 (and many more in 1850).

Sergeant Archie Livingston (top left), Lieutenant Edward Estes (above), and Lieutenant Halcott Pride Jones (above right), each grew up in slaveholding families.

References to slavery and race are sparse in the letters and diaries that I highlighted or used (which is the reason that the articles paid so little attention to those topics). Most of the references were descriptions of encounters with U.S. Colored Troops or opinions about the debate that occurred in the South in late 1864 and early 1865 about arming slaves for the Confederacy. The most frequent references to enslaved people are found in the letters of John Christopher Winsmith, who routinely closed his letters with “Tell all the negroes howdye for me” (as did another soldier, Jacob O. Woodson of the Virginia artillery, who is not in this sample).

Perhaps not surprisingly, the most frequent references to enslaved and free African Americans and to race come in the writings of Northern soldiers, for whom enslaved black people were new and unfamiliar, not a presence whom they could take for granted, as they were for most southern soldiers. The diaries of Virginia-born Ohio soldier Lt. John Summerfield Petty (brother of Confederate soldier James Thomas Petty)included frequent – and sympathetic – descriptions and accounts of encounters with African Americans. Not only are the letters and diaries in my unscientific sample largely silent on matters of slavery and race, but they defy the modern orthodoxy of what the Civil War was all about. Whereas it has become an article of faith among historians (including myself) that slavery was the indispensable root cause of the war and the distinguishing characteristic of the Confederate nation, these letters and diaries usually cast the Confederates as the victims of northern “invasion,” and, as John Taylor Smith wrote, the defenders of “Republican Constitutional Liberty.” Thomas Petty wrote in his diary about the South’s “Sacred cause of liberty” and predicted that besieged President Jefferson Davis would, like George Washington before him, emerge in the verdict of history as “first of his age in intellect, courage, & devotion to the Sacred Cause of Liberty.” The famously pious Randolph Fairfax of the Rockbridge Artillery (eulogized in a widely-distributed pamphlet after his death at the battle of Fredericksburg) saw the hand of God behind Confederate victories. He was ecstatic to be serving under “such a Christian man as [Stonewall] Jackson,” confiding to his mother, “No wonder the blessing of God attends his arms in such a signal way.” Fairfax, Petty, Smith, Winsmith, and others among my sample were intelligent, articulate, well-read, and moral

The Petty Brothers. Courtesy of David Robinson.

young men. They were the kind of young men who, in modern political parlance, you would “like to have a beer with.” We’re familiar with the philosophical conundrum: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” This article poses a variant of that: Why do (or did) good people do bad things? How did intelligent, articulate, moral, and likable young men own other people or reconcile themselves to slavery, and fight for the preservation of a slave society? Did those people really believe what they were saying and writing? Did they really believe they were the victims? Were they oblivious to what we see as hypocrisy when they used “slave” to describe their own status? Difficult as it is for modern Americans to accept, white southerners of the Civil War era apparently did indeed believe those things. The ownership of other human beings was “normal” for them, so they accepted and took it for granted, and they believed that interference with slavery was a form of aggression against the liberty of free people. We must try to understand people from the past on their own terms and in the context of their own times. Stating this does not, however, sanction the frequent and fallacious corollary that we cannot and should not judge people from the past. Americans often engage in what I call the “scorecard” or “cheering section” approach to studying history. To state that “we must understand people from the past on their own terms” will prompt many to react favorably and assume that this article is a “win” for “my side” in the debate about the relative importance of slavery to the Confederacy. To the contrary, the purpose of this article is to demonstrate how all of us must – and can – transcend that cheering section approach. “To judge or not to judge” people from the past is a conundrum as old as the historical profession. One common rule is that we can judge people only if we use standards that were familiar to them. Did those people know and understand the moral standard that we are applying to them? Did Confederate southerners have reason to believe that owning other human beings was wrong? To answer that question we need only quote Robert E. Lee’s oft-cited December 1856 letter to his wife: “There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil,” he wrote. Lee then qualified his statement to explain why he nevertheless considered it impractical and even immoral to free slaves then or in the foreseeable future. White southerners knew that owning other human beings was wrong, 2 6 S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 2 0

but most of them operated in a moral universe with a hierarchy in which slavery was less evil than the economic and social fallout from its abolition. That moral universe is certainly fair game for our judgment. Judging is not, however, a substitute for understanding. Judgment may make us feel superior to people of the past, but it does not help us understand why those people believed and acted as they did. Judgment has its place, but understanding should be the objective of our study. If the past is, indeed, “a foreign country,” we must explore its landscape and its features to understand its foreignness. What this means for students of Civil War history is that we must reach a consensus that allows us to conduct our exploration without wasting our time and energy debating the rules of our expedition. That consensus must begin with the recognition that the war was, undeniably, “about slavery,” but not all about slavery. We must stop denying the central role that slavery played in the coming of the war and in the lives and outlooks of white southerners – and, to a lesser extent, white Americans generally – even those who did not own slaves. But we must similarly stop denying the reality and validity of white southerners’ testimony that they believed they were fighting for independence and “constitutional liberty.” Their testimony does not mean that the real effect of their fighting was not to preserve and perpetuate slavery or that many soldiers and commanders counted ownership of slaves and perpetuation of white supremacy among the “rights” they were fighting to preserve. They exhibited what we call “cognitive dissonance” and we can learn much about them and about the past by trying to come to grips with that dissonance. Ideally, we can also come to grips with our own contemporary dissonance and decrease the distance between the worlds of Civil War roundtables and University classes and programs. As roundtable groups deliberate over the backgrounds of military leaders, they should consider those peoples’ association with and positions on slavery and the issues of the war as well as their military training. Don’t explain away slavery with knee-jerk defensiveness and references to Lee’s alleged “hatred” for slavery and Stonewall Jackson’s slave Sunday school. And, as university classes and programs emphasize the role of slavery and race in the Confederacy and the postwar “Lost Cause” ideology, don’t exploit evidence of support for slavery and white supremacy and conveniently ignore or explain away the more conscious and frequent references to other issues and concerns found in soldiers’ letters and diaries. If all of us take seriously the role of slavery and bravery, we will gain a fuller understanding of our Civil War. John M. Coski is the Museum’s Historian. He has been contemplating this article for several years and finished writing it in March.



he last months of 2019 and first months of 2020 not only saw the passing of long-time ACWM Board member S. Buford Scott (see tribute in Winter 2019/2020 issue of this Magazine), but also brought news of the deaths of three towering figures in the history of The Museum of the Confederacy. In April 2020, the Museum lost two more former board members. We remember them all here.

Joan Carpenter Massey was chairman of the MOC’s Board of Trustees when the restored White House of the Confederacy opened in 1988 and when the Museum launched the landmark exhibit project, Before Freedom Came: African-American Life in the Antebellum South. After her chairmanship, she remained on the Board for ten years as emeritus trustee. She served also on the boards of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and many other organizations. Peter Marquart Rippe was the Museum’s first professional director. From 1962-1968, he modernized and diversified artifact displays and period rooms in the White House. Holding a graduate degree in Museum Studies from the Winterthur Museum program at the University of Delaware, Rippe enjoyed a decades-long career as a museum director in Texas and Virginia. He retired to the Richmond area and assisted the Museum with its “House 200” programs in 2018. During a career spanning from the Civil War Centennial through the Civil War Sesquicentennial, Dr. James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr., was one of the world’s foremost scholars and teachers of the history of the American Civil War. Most closely associated with Virginia Tech, he also served on the MOC’s Board of Trustees, chaired numerous award committees, and was himself the recipient the Museum’s book awards and of the Museum’s Virginius

Dabney Award recognizing contributions to the popular study of the Civil War. The Robertson Family Education Center at the Museum’s Appomattox site is endowed in his honor.

Colonel James Ewell Brown (JEB) Stuart IV (above) was the long-time chairman of The Museum of the Confederacy’s Board of Trustees. Raised in New York state, he graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in aeronautical engineering before embarking on a career as a highly decorated U.S. Army officer. He spent 26 years in the Army, including two combat tours in Vietnam and service around the nation and the world. Returning to Richmond, he enjoyed a second career as a certified financial planner. The great-grandson of Confederate cavalry general JEB Stuart, Col. Stuart lectured widely about his famous ancestor and on military history generally.

Donald M. Wilkinson, Jr. (above) was born and raised in Richmond and graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Although he spent 50 years living in New York City, where he established a successful investment business, he was extremely active in VMI and UVA alumni affairs and immersed in the history of his native state. He was a founding member of the Board of Trustees of the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar and endowed the ACWM’s courtyard in memory of his collateral ancestor, Captain John Wilkinson, and other officers who served in both the United States and Confederate navies. He researched and wrote a biography of Captain Wilkinson, and sponsored The Museum of the Confederacy’s 2005 exhibition on the Confederate Navy. T H E A M E R I C A N C I V I L WA R M U S E U M 2 7

Featuring books by the historians on the A People’s Contest exhibit Advisory Committee and by Emerging Scholars.


The Union War by Gary W. Gallagher demonstrates that what motivated the North to go to war and persist in an increasingly bloody effort was primarily preservation of the Union. Winner of the Tom Watson Brown Award. Paperback, Item #2087 $21.50; Members $19.35 The Confederate War: How Popular Will, Nationalism, and Military Strategy Could Not Stave Off Defeat by Gary W. Gallagher is a landmark study rebutting arguments that the Confederacy lost the Civil War primarily because of internal dissension and of a loss of will.

In the Presence of Mine Enemies: The Civil War in the Heart of America, 1859-1863 by Edward L. Ayers gives us an intimate look at the coming of the Civil War and the conduct of the war to the eve of Gettysburg through the eyes and experiences of two communities in the Great Valley: Staunton, Virginia, and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Paperback, Item #13270 $23.50; Members $21.15

Paperback, Item #2317 $19.95; Members $17.95

Newby-Alexander shows how the region that had been “Ground Zero” for African-American slavery in English North America became “Ground Zero” for freedom and emancipation in the American Civil War. Paperback, Item #152696 $19.99; Members $17.99

Shifting Grounds: Nationalism and the American South, 1848-1865 by Paul Quigley traces the process by which white southerners transferred their allegiance from the United States to the Confederate States and back again. Winner of the Jefferson Davis Award. Paperback, Item #643 $26.95; Members $24.25

Nature’s Civil War: Common Soldiers and the Environment in 1862 Virginia by Kathryn Shively Meier reveals how 2 8 S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 2 0

Union and Confederate soldiers adopted self-care habits, forged informal health networks, and tested the limits of military discipline to cope with the harsh environmental conditions and rampant disease during the 1862 Peninsula and Valley campaigns. Paperback, Item #16355 $29.95; Members $26.95

An African American History of the Civil War in Hampton Roads by Cassandra

The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America by Edward L. Ayers picks up where In the Presence of Mine Enemies leaves off, and relates the story of the Civil War and Reconstruction in two Great Valley communities from the summer of 1863 to the Fifteenth Amendment. Winner of the Lincoln Prize. Hardcover, Item #40302 $35.00; Members $31.50

Appomattox: Victory, Defeat, and Freedom at the End of the Civil War by Elizabeth R.Varon offers an alternative to the dominant triumphalist view that Lee’s surrender effected the reunion of North and South and thus “saved America,” arguing instead that the surrender presaged the reconciliationist “lost cause” consensus of the late 19th century. Winner, Library of Virginia Literary Award for Nonfiction Paperback, Item #800 $19.95; Members $17.95

Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War by Elizabeth R.Varon integrates battlefield and home front and the stories of politicians, soldiers, and civilians, white and black, into a one-volume history of the war unified around the theme of “deliverance.” Hardcover, Item #153726 $34.95; Members $31.45

The False Cause: Fraud, Fabrication, and White Supremacy in Confederate Memory by Adam H. Domby focuses on North Carolina to examine the role of lies and exaggeration in the creation of a “Lost Cause” narrative that has long obscured the past and has been used to buttress white supremacy in ways that resonate to this day. Hardcover, Item #154024 $29.95; Members $26.95

Liberty and Slavery: European Separatists, Southern Secession, and the American Civil War by Niels Eichhorn examines the language of slavery, which he considers central to the revolutionary struggles waged in mid-19th-century Europe, and how that language influenced the reactions of European exiles in Civil War America.

A Republic in the Ranks: Loyalty and Dissent in the Army of the Potomac by Zachery A. Fry shows that the Army of the Potomac, famous for being a hotbed of political activity among its officer corps, also provided an intense political education for its common soldiers. Hardcover, Item #154076 $45.00; Members $40.50

Educational Reconstruction: African American Schools in the Urban South, 1865-1890 by Hilary Green explores how Black citizens of Richmond, Virginia, and Mobile, Alabama, and their white allies created, developed, and sustained a system of AfricanAmerican schools following the Civil War. Paperback, item #154079 $35.00; Members $31.50

Hardcover, Item #154075 $45.00; Members $40.50

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David Blight received the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for biography. Critics have hailed Blight’s book as “cinematic and deeply engaging” and as “the definitive biography of Frederick Douglass…a powerful portrait of one of the most important American voices of the nineteenth century.” Hardcover, Item # 153851 $37.50; Members $33.75

On a Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933–2013 by Jennifer M. Murray highlights the complicated nexus among preservation, tourism, popular culture, interpretation, and memory to provide a unique perspective on the Mecca of Civil War landscapes. Paperback, Item #154078 $29.95; Members $26.95

American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era by David Blight explores how Americans at the time of the Civil War Centennial made sense of the War’s meaning through a survey of four contemporary writers: Robert Penn Warren, Bruce Catton, Edmund Wilson, and James Baldwin. Paperback, Item #154086 $22.00; Member $19.80 T H E A M E R I C A N C I V I L WA R M U S E U M 2 9



The American Civil War Museum is in need of major funding for a slate

of projects that the staff of our newly-established Edward L. Ayers Center for Civil War and Emancipation Studies is now researching and developing. These needs include new temporary exhibitions, conservation, and preservation: Stressed Out Supply Chains: The Journey of a Jacket What do the conditions of a nation’s industrial workers, the sources of its manufacturing materials, the treaty obligations between governments, or the desperation of a country at war reveal EXHIBIT about the health, or the internal fissures, of a nation? Tracing the journey of a single uniform part created by the North Carolina Quartermaster Department from sheep to soldier - reveals a great deal about military logistics in the Civil War era. Support for the research, design, and production of this travelling exhibition will not only help visitors see a familiar topic in a new way, but also help them examine the choices they make about consumer goods today.

courts expanded felony crimes and convictions, with African Americans suffering the most. These two historical trends resulted in a highly racialized narrative of crime and punishment in America. Support the development and production of this travelling exhibition that will help visitors make connections between a critical legacy of the American Civil War and contemporary issues. To debut 2022.

Richmonders at War Richmond’s Civil War experience encapsulated all the stresses of a nation in crisis: food EXHIBIT shortages, rapid inflation, the presence of thousands of soldiers and civilian refugees alongside the ongoing slave trade. Civil War Richmond was emblematic of wartime After Slavery: Convict Leasing hardships few American and the Reinvention of White cities have endured. Support Supremacy the production of this new When slavery ended with the panel exhibit that explores 13th Amendment, industrialists the complex and diverse and capitalists in the American experiences of Richmonders during the Civil War, and south increasingly turned to invites visitors, whether convict labor EXHIBIT for inexpensive locals or tourists, to see this city with a new set of eyes. workers. At the same time, To debut late 2020. southern legislatures and 3 0 S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 2 0

Collections Funds The heart of the Museum’s storytelling stems from its unparalleled collection. Support the ability of the Museum to collect, preserve, and present artifacts of the Civil War era and its legacies. White House of the Confederacy exterior preservation projects Old houses need constant maintenance work, and the more than two-century-old historic house at 1201 E. Clay St. is no exception. Support projects that protect this National Historic Landmark and enhance our ability to use it as a site of dynamic storytelling with visitors.

North Carolina-made jacket of William Edward Tucker (above) to be the subject of Stressed Out Supply Chains: The Journey of a Jacket. Soldier sketch from the same pending exhibit. Library of Congress.


Estate and Planned Giving

ithin the walls of the American Civil War Museum, on our digital platforms, and through the work of our education and preservation departments, we work tirelessly to tell the legacies of the people who experienced the Civil War first hand - the people who never could have imagined that their lives, opinions, and personal belongings would be relevant over one hundred and fifty years later. Estate and planned giving donors to the ACWM have helped preserve these legacies. Did you know that including the ACWM in your will or estate plans can also be the beginning of your own legacy? A planned gift (such as a bequest, life insurance policy or charitable gift annuity) helps us ensure our future. We hope you will consider making a planned gift, or if you already have one for the ACWM, that you share those plans with us. Anyone who makes a planned gift will be invited to join The Regents Circle, a group created to recognize, honor, and thank our supporters who have remembered the ACWM in their estate planning. As a Regents Circle participant, you will receive invitations to selected events and programs, and with your permission, you will also be acknowledged in our yearly Annual Report.

Civil War-era instrument from the American Civil War Museum Collection.

If you are interested in learning more about creating your legacy at The American Civil War Museum, please contact Patrick Daughtry at

T H E A M E R I C A N C I V I L WA R M U S E U M 3 1

490 Tredegar Street, Richmond, VA 23219

AN UPDATE FROM THE FOUNDATION Dear Members and Friends, At this time of coronavirus, economic distress, and racial unrest, you can take great pride in the outstanding performance of the American Civil War Museum and its Foundation. Here are some of the highlights: • We have completed our $48 million capital campaign. Board members, faithful donors and foundation grants have put us over the top. • The Museum outperformed its operating budget for the year ending June 30, 2020, notwithstanding a $1.2 million revenue loss because of Covid. A Paycheck Protection Program loan, Covid-related private grants and prudent cost savings made this possible. • The E. Claiborne Robins Experience Theatre is now fully funded. Production of the immersive film is underway. Its debut is planned for the first half of 2021, pandemic control permitting. • Attendance at our facilities has resumed and is climbing slowly and safely. • The new building and exhibits at Tredegar, which, before Covid, were exceeding our budgeted projections, continue to receive acclaim. • We enter the new fiscal year in a strong financial position, including a $1 million appropriation from Virginia (received and in the bank), notwithstanding the state’s difficult revenue position. We owe special thanks to Betsy Wollan, who is performing magnificently as interim CEO (without pay) and the staff, who

have risen to the challenge under her leadership. We need to thank NewMarket Corporation for its renovation of the Foundry building (formerly home to the American Civil War Center’s In the Cause of Liberty exhibit) and its generous help in improving our financial and legal position. Our search for a new CEO is progressing well. A number of extraordinary candidates are vying for the job. The critical importance of our mission to be the preeminent center for the exploration of the American Civil War and its legacies from multiple perspectives, our role as the indispensable source of objective background and perspective on the American Civil War, our location at the epicenter of the Civil War, and our magnificent facilities are drawing these people to us. Finally, we owe a special thanks to three people, whose tremendous service was vital to our success: Christy S. Coleman, former CEO S. Waite Rawls III, former Foundation President Edward L. Ayers, former Board Chair Ed, Christy, and Waite received well deserved special recognition on Monday, September 14, during our virtual event celebrating the first-year anniversary of our opening the new museum. I encourage you to continue to visit the museum virtually and when it is comfortable for you, to do so, in person. We look forward to you visiting us soon.

Donald E. King Chair of the Foundation