Friday, December 11, 2009
Texas Civil War Museum in Fort Worth
We have visited many museums and find exhibits that we can walk past with a "been there, done that!" This one had some new & interesting additions and worth your time and the entrance fee.
The flag collection is extraordinary! As a seamstress I can appreciate the time, craftsmanship & stitching that went into making them.
The movie gives an overview of Texas citizens/soldiers involvement in the war. Another dimension to history for this area that affected our country.
(Interesting note for our grand kids: Our rock with Ft. Sumpter 1861 painted on it denotes the year that the south seceded and attacked the federal troops at Ft. Sumpter, NC! Why is it on our rock??? Good question--perhaps a wagon train going past wanted to leave a message. The trains did go through our area and there is a rocky base in the West Fork River where they could cross.)
Interesting tidbits from movie: Texas was largely free and unsettled. A new state with young males having fought for independence from Mexico under Sam Houston. He wanted the state to join the Union, but the people voted to go with the Confederacy. The US troops left the state leaving the forts to the Texans and Sam Houston resigned as governor.
General Lee liked the Texas regiments! They were fighters! They were recognized for their "Yahoo" battle cry and for not wearing homemade clothes, blankets & moccasins instead of regulation Confederacy uniforms.
Texas had fighting at their coastal ports, but no battles at their capitol.
Texans fitted old river steamers with piles of cotton bales,stunning the Yankees after they had taken the ports with their iron-clad ships.
The only medals awarded to the confederates in the Civil War were made from silver dollars for the Davis Guard who fought at the Sabine Pass.
When the war was over they discovered that the cattle had roamed the grassland and the herds had grown. The returning soldiers rounded them up, drove them north and sold them. (This was the start of the cattle trails)
Since the other southern states were destroyed from the battles former Confederates migrated to Texas. Most of the Union soldiers were stationed at the border forts and did not bother the settlers who were farmers & cattlemen. Land was affordable. Hard work, family & religious convictions formed the foundation for the prosperity of Texas.
Interesting items on display:
A general's trunk had a small box of white dominoes. Wonder if they played the Mexican Train Domino game??
Display of musical instruments used. When battle was imminent the musicians were generally ordered to the rear as stretcher bearers and assisted the surgeons with the wounded.
Note the "over the shoulder rotary valve sax horn." When played the bell rested on the shoulder, thus sending the sound behind the player!
A display of small Bibles that were carried by soldiers. The Union soldiers had an identification pin or pendant so they could be identified, but the Confederate soldier only had his name written in his Bible or on a small piece of paper carried in his pocket.
A soldier's "housewife"--A piece of cloth or leather with pockets containing needles, thread, scissors, etc that was rolled up and carried.
A "fid"--(remember this for your next Scrabble or Quiddler game!) It is a pointed piece of wood that sailors use when opening strands of rope.
Sail needles with holder--used to mend holes or tears in a ship's sails.
Sailor's glove--it wrapped around his hand & had thick leather padding to help push the needle through the sail.
A corn cob candle--a corn cob was wrapped in a coil of wax.
My favorite was the room filled with a display of Victorian Dresses!
Long gowns covered with rich embroidery, dresses made in two pieces to be worn on different occasions with a different bodice, hats & parasols to match, little girl's dresses and a display of bustles! Did you know there were soft bustles and hard bustles made out of wire springs???
When the sewing machine was invented in the 1850's London sold partially completed bodices or partially made clothes to dressmakers who tailored them to their customer to insure perfect fit!
Would you wear a hat with a stuffed dead bird? It seems that in the 1890's women were wearing them! Two "upper class" ladies were concerned that women would never be taken seriously (this was before they had the right to vote). They formed a club to protect the birds and indirectly protect women's self respect. This club was the start of the Audubon Society!
I could have spent more time here, but it was time to drive to Dave & Beth's for a sweet evening of fellowship.
Thanks for traveling back in time with us,
Tomorrow will be back to "cowboy" country!
Come & join us for some nostalgia!