December 7, 2007

Confederate Museum, Front Royal

confederate museumA couple of weeks ago we were in Front Royal (where I had a periodontal appointment) and decided to visit a local museum. The Warren Rifles Museum (left) is one of those small museums chock-full of artifacts, mostly from the Civil War. There must be hundreds of these museums in the USA. What a monumental task it would be just to catalog all the Civil War uniforms on display!

This one has some nice items and helpful signage so you can figure out what you are seeing. There were also some items that seemed odd to me: a jar of sand that was once in a cannon, a section cut from a flagpole, and a cut chunk of rope from the hanging of John Brown. Obviously these artifacts were collected as souvenirs at the time, just as folks today might have a container of ash from a Mount St. Helens or a piece of concrete from the Berlin Wall.

boyd cottageBehind the museum is the so-called Belle Boyd House, not to be confused with the Belle Boyd House in Martinsburg, WV. The one in Front Royal was actually owned by Belle's uncle and she was visiting there when she carried information to Stonewall Jackson. Her escapades as a Confederate spy (which she may have exaggerated in her later career as an actress, lecturer, and writer) earned her the title "Cleopatra of the Secession."

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