Museum of the Confederacy

The Museum of the Confederacy, home to the first White House of the Confederacy, is a private non-profit educational & preservation organization, home to the world's largest collection of artifacts, manuscripts & images associated with the domestic, military & political life during the historical period of the Confederacy. Museum exhibits feature the personal effects of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and other Confederate figures of the Civil War. The Museum and White House of the Confederacy, which was home to Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his family throughout the war, is available for guided tours daily.

The Museum and White House of the Confederacy is located in Richmond, Virginia's state capitol. This Museum of the Confederacy is home to a Confederate object collection of more than 15,000 items in a wide variety of categories. A few of the items on display include Confederate uniforms as well as information regarding their origins and an educational plaque informing visitors that while there was a long held belief that Confederates had no specific uniform, in fact the Confederacy's Quartermaster General had put into place a clothing issue system for the whole army, including state forces, by the fall of 1862. Other items on display in the Museum and White House of the Confederacy include swords and sabers, civil war firearms, saddles and horse equipment, personal items, Confederate headgear, and more. All of the Museum of the Confederacy objects are not on display at one time due to limited space, but visitors may call ahead and make an appointment to view a particular item in the museum collection.

You'll want to make the first White House of the Confederacy a highlight of your trip to the Museum of the Confederacy. Designated a National Historic Landmark, the first White House of the Confederacy has been described by the Washington Post as “a meticulously restored neoclassical masterpiece that, in terms of quality, historical associations and authenticity, probably is second only to Mount Vernon among restorations of historic American dwellings.” The White House itself is actually situated amongst the modern buildings of downtown Richmond, at the corner of 12th and Clay Streets in the historic Court End neighborhood, and has been since 1818. The first White House of the Confederacy was home to quite a few wealthy families throughout the antebellum period, but became known as the Executive Mansion of the Confederate States of America from 1861 to 1865 when it was the official residence of President Jefferson Davis and his family. Guided tours of the White House of the Confederacy are conducted on a daily basis and usually last about 40 minutes. Virtual tours are also available online through the Museum of the Confederacy website.

If you're an avid history buff, which most who visit the Museum and White House of the Confederacy are, you'll be glad to note that the Museum of the Confederacy also maintains a special collections and research library, called the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library. The Library maintains more than 15,000 books and pamphlets, 1,000 prints and sketches, and more than 200 shelf feet of manuscripts, all related to Confederate history. You can find a listing of some of the Library's collections on the Museum of the Confederacy website, but the museum wishes visitors to note that the Brockenbrough Library does not house Confederate service or pension records or other genealogical resources.

At the end of your foray into Confederate history, check out the museum gift shop, where you can pick up souvenirs related to the first White House of the Confederacy and the many Museum and White House of the Confederacy collections and exhibits. The Museum is open daily, Monday thru Saturday 10:00 - 5:00 and Sunday 12:00 - 5:00. It is closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Admission prices range from $4-10, discounts given to children, seniors, and museum members.

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