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Museum of the Confederacy opens two new exhibits

Courtesy Museum of the Confederacy

RICHMOND, Va. — The Museum of the Confederacy opened two new exhibitions in February that showcase the museum’s collection of artifacts from the mid-19th century and explore the impact of the Civil War on Southern people.

“The War Comes Home” takes a look at how the war altered the daily lives and accustomed roles and responsibilities of Southern civilians and how they coped with shortages caused by the federal naval blockade, the erosion of slavery and the destruction of property. It also looks at how families and communities coped with death on an unprecedented scale.

The exhibit features such popular objects as wartime “ersatz” or substitutes; slave-made textiles and baskets; mourning dresses and jewelry; smuggling dolls; and documents and possessions of women who worked in Confederate hospitals and in the Treasury Department.

The second new exhibit, entitled “Knickknackery: Curiosities from the Museum’s Vaults,” features objects that tell interesting stories but are not related to important themes or events in history.