Museum of the Confederacy opening Gettysburg show

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 13, 2013 at 3:20 pm •  Published: May 13, 2013
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There is a photo of Edward Estes, along with a letter addressed "Dear Sis." He wrote of the carnage: "God forbid that I should ever see another such bloody field." Of Pickett, the Pittsylvania County man wrote to his sister in Maryland, "When he came out and saw how few of us were left he wept like a child, & said he wished they of killed him too."

Soldier C. Robey's Bible took a bullet during the battle, and the hole through its pages is proof of his good fortune. He took two other shots, in his arm and leg, and survived.

A letter from a Union surgeon written to the family of a Confederate soldier said he had "suffered considerable pain, but wore it with fortitude and patience I have never seen equaled." He also told the soldier's family where he was buried.

The exhibit also features a photograph of Thomas Owens, who died nine days after the battle, a watercolor, revolvers and Armistead's book, which included casualty figures.

The museum, which is located next to the former Confederate White House in the city's medical district, prides itself on knowing the origin of its collections. Much of it is from family members, handed down through generations.

The flags followed a different path to the museum.

Any flag captured during the war was to be returned to the U.S. War Department. They were so coveted, Hancock said, a soldier who turned one in was up for a Congressional Medal of Honor and a furlough. In 1905, Congress decreed that all the flags be returned to the states. All the Virginia Flags went to the museum.

The flags, which are made of wool, will be framed for the exhibit. They are, Hancock said, "the biggest and most colorful objects of the show," which is fitting.

"During the battle, they were figuratively and literally the centerpiece there too," he said. "The flag was important as a rallying point."

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Steve Szkotak can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sszkotakap .

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Online:

The Museum of the Confederacy: http://www.moc.org/