Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fourth Museum of the Confederacy Site Announced

Here's the press amongst yourselves!

Museum of the Confederacy Announces Fourth Proposed Location
Fort Monroe Under Consideration
The Museum of Confederacy has announced a fourth proposed location in its aim to establish a statewide system of visitor sites. Earlier this month the museum released its plan to operate a system of museums---the White House of the Confederacy in Richmond and new museums in Appomattox and Chancellorsville. Fort Monroe, a U. S. military installation set to close in 2011 in Hampton, Virginia has now been identified as a fourth site.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work with the communities of Hampton Roads and help keep this historic treasure a part of the Virginia visitor experience,” stated S. Waite Rawls III, President and CEO of the Museum of the Confederacy. “Fort Monroe played a major role in the Civil War. Our artifacts of the Confederate Navy could provide a major addition to the fort’s interpretation.”
The construction of Fort Monroe was supervised by young U.S. Army Lieutenant Robert E. Lee and completed in 1834. Named for President James Monroe, the site is a six-sided stone fort completely surrounded by a moat and is the last of its kind in the United States. Fort Monroe played a major role in U. S. military history. In March 1862, the naval Battle of Hampton Roads took place near Fort Monroe between the first ironclad warships, CSS Virginia and USS Monitor. Confederate President Jefferson Davis was also held at Fort Monroe for two years after his capture in May 1865.
The proposed museum system will advance the Museum’s educational mission by broadening the reach of its extensive artifact collection. The visitor sites will reach across the state, concentrating on and complementing existing flows of both historical and recreational travelers. The plan is contingent on support and financing.
The Museum will retain its headquarters, marketing and development functions, research library, and collections storage and conservation and preservation efforts in Richmond. Plans call for the current museum building to remain operational and open to the public for the next five years. The new facilities will be built in time for the Civil War Sesquicentennial (2011-2015).
CONTACT: Megan Stagg 649-1861 ext. 13

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Roanoke River Lighthouse Dedication

Last Saturday, I played a part that was totally new to me....Lighthouse Keeper. I've done US Navy (Age of Sail thru WBTS), Confederate Navy and Age of Sail Privateer. I was roped into this job when I was contacted by friends with the Roanoke River Lighthouse and Maritime Museum in Plymouth, NC. Initially, they wanted me to set up my typical navigational display and talk about commerce on the river. I said I would and suggested that they also needed someone to portray the lighthouse keeper since they had the perfect setting. My friend quickly told me that since I suggested it, why didn't I do it. Not being quick enough to shove it off on someone else, I said yes. So, over the last 30 days I acquired period correct buttons and a hat device using them to convert one of my US Navy sack coats to the keeper's coat. Then, I found myself scouring the internet for all sorts of tidbits on lighthouse keepers. Last week, I even acquired a fourth order fresnel lens (scale replica) for show and tell. Saturday morning, I assumed my post inside the lighthouse and from 11am to 4:30pm, I didn't get a break until the dedication ceremony. I don't know how many folks visited with me but I would gander to say approximately 500 people. For those interested in the lighthouse and its history, go to

Monday, September 10, 2007

Digging for the Truth, Monday night 9/10/2007 @ 9pm

All hands! Make sure you watch tonight's Digging for the Truth as it spotlights the H. L. HUNLEY. Also, keep a look out for my friend, mentor and partner in crime, Mike Kochan, who will help show how the HUNLEY did the voodoo that it did so well!

My goodness, What is happening to the Museum of the Confederacy?

Last week, I received an email from the Museum of the Confederacy containing a press release which outlined a rather unique direction for the Museum. For some time now, all WBTS enthusiasts have been waiting on the edge of their seats for the MOC board and management to unveil where exactly they would be moving the museum so as to make it a much more visitor-friendly location. As I began to read the press release, I was a bit surprised! They decided to create a branch system with Appomatox and Chancellorsville being two of the three locations. This was totally unexpected. So, I got on the phone to someone in the museum with whom I am acquainted to verify what I was reading. After a few days, he called and told me I understood their plan correctly. The feeling was that if they were trapped in Richmond by the medical school, why not bring the artifacts to the people. I asked if the sites would be limited to three and he responded that three was the number at the present but the future could bring other sites once they were able to get the initial three up and running and if funds were available to constuct and operate other branches. I asked then if he knew the third site's name and he said that I had to wait like everyone else to find out the last branch location. Now, I know that certain factions will be ripping this plan apart. However, I think this plan could work. Bringing the artifacts back to the battlefields on which they had been over 140 years ago is almost like reuniting kindred spirits. So my thoughts are these.....GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO ROLL OUT THIS PLAN!!!! At least at these battlefield locations, folks won't have to fight for a parking place, endure a long walk several blocks to the museum and dodge all the construction workers. Let's keep watching as the picture they are painting becomes clearer. Just my thoughts.....