April, 2011. Richmond, Virginia – Confederate White House and Museum of the Confedercy

Posted on December 18, 2011

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The Museum of the Confederacy and the Confederate White house sit in the shadow of the tall buildings of modern downtown Richmond, Virginia.

The museum contains an amazing number of original uniforms, firearms, battle flags and photographs.  It even has Robert E. Lee’s personal items used in his headquarters tent, which was hauled along wherever he went as the war progressed.

Out the door and across a small courtyard sits the second Confederate White House – the first was very briefly located in Montgomery, Alabama.

Built around 1818, the gray-stuccoed mansion was home to a succession of wealthy Richmond families before it took on its role as the official residence of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his family from 1861 to 1865.

Rather plain on the outside, the inside was very ornate and opulent in its decorations and furnishings.

We couldn’t take photos inside, but instead purchased a set of postcards to preserve images of this historic home.

Of particular interest were the many faux finishes and some very strange and rather ugly wallpaper with an abstract marble-like design.  Turns out at the time of its construction, wall paper was more expensive than real marble, so it was chosen not for its beauty, but to convey considerable wealth.

After the fall of the Confederacy, the house and its furnishings were sold to help the City of Richmond pay its war debts.  After it was eventually purchased by a group of Southern ladies hoping to open it for tours, over 70% of the original furnishings were donated back.

Amazing.

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