The Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, Virginia has opened its new exhibition titled “An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia.”
It is free to the public and will run through December 30, 2011 since 2011 is the beginning of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Featuring people and their stories from the home front as well as the battlefront, the exhibition explores thirteen specific themes including medicine and medical practices during the Civil War presented from a personal view of those who fought in the 36 battles that took place in Virginia and those ordinary people who survived at home during that multifaceted extraordinary human event.
For a sneak peek at the more than 200 objects and 17 state-of-the-art audiovisual programs, check out Jeremy Slayton’s article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch to meet a few of the people and their stories, including Sally Tompkins, awarded a captain’s commission so she could keep her hospital open, and James Hangar, reputedly the first amputee of the war and founder of a company that became Hangar Prosthetics and Orthotics, the country’s largest provider of artificial limbs.
The historical society openly deals with the issue of slavery through a simulation that enables visitors to play the role of an individual attempting to escape slavery and make it to the union lines, overcoming obstacles and making decisions that impact the final outcome. The exhibition also features the story of Siah Carter, a 22-year-old slave from Shirley Plantation, who rowed a boat out to the USS Monitor seeking freedom. He eventually was assigned as first assistant to the ship’s cook, survived the Monitor’s sinking, and was discharged from the Union Navy in 1865.
In addition, the Virginia Historical Society will reopen on Mondays beginning Monday February 7, 2011 beginning a seven-day-a-week schedule. In January 2009, the historical society closed on Mondays as a cost-cutting measure. The Virginia Historical Society is located at 428 N Boulevard, along Richmond’s Museum Mile, adjacent to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Plan a few days in Richmond to explore the history, culture, arts, museums, architecture, dining, and shopping of Virginia’s capitol city! And, we invite you to consider a stay at Richmond’s premier bed and breakfast inn located in the middle of it all.