Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Museum of the Confederacy coming here next?

It is hard to believe that it has been two years since we last wrote about the Museum of the Confederacy and its interest in this area for a museum.

It really does seem like yesterday when the Richmond-based museum’s president Waite Rawls told a room of local NAACP members that he planned to “tell the full American story” of the Civil War.

Rawls had envisioned a museum near–even at–the Chancellorsville Battlefield site in Spotsylvania County, one of the most historically rich battlefields in the country.

There were some hiccups. Rawls showed some interest in downtown Fredericksburg instead of in Spotsylvania County.

“I was surprised to hear [about the interest in the city] because we have yet to see a formal proposal,” said Supervisor Hap Connors two years ago. “We are still waiting on that and our arms are wide open.”

But he last told us that he needed to focus on opening a museum in Appomattox, where the processed seemed to flow a little easier for the goal of opening this museum before the 150th anniversary.

Well, they are opening the Appomattox museum in Spring 2012, according to the Washington Post.

Which stop is next?


  • SteveThomas

    It would be a terrific get for the region for MOC to open a museum here. So much of our tourism revolves around the Civil War, having a museum that focuses on one part of that- in a tasteful way- will solidify us as a Civil War tourism destination.


    I feel that the Idlewild site would be perfect for a branch of the Museum of the Confederacy. The mansion could be restored and used for special events and there is more than enough room for a state of the art museum on the grounds as well. The location could not be more perfect. Idlewild sits at the cener of a wheel of sorts of battlefields and related sites (Chancellorsville, Wilderness, Chatham, and Slaughter Pen). This National Register Property is just one stop light off of 95 and would be a perfect starting point for visitors unfamiliar with our area. Chancellorsville is too far away with far too many traffic issues to be visitor friendly. Downtown Fredericksburg would also be difficult to manuever. Idlewld has been sitting empty for far too long and with its association with skimishes on site and the honor of being the headquarters of General Robert E. Lee it could not be a more perfect location for this musuem.

  • mustang2

    But except that Idlewild is a ruin and sits in the middle of a subdivision. I think the Museum of the Confederacy is in need of funds and the restoration of Idlewild would take much, much more than a new building. Of course, a new building would not attract the numbers of visitors that a handsome old one would. What about the Alsop House at the Courthouse? How about Braehead on Lee Drive in the Fredericksburg Battlefield?

  • Dan Telvock

    A story is coming soon on the follow up, and I think you will all be interested in what everyone says. It’s news

  • LarryG

    I think you already have a Civil War Museum at Sunken Road and Chancellor so I’d vote for Spotsy Courthouse adjacent to Bloody Angle – one of the most hallowed places of the war – on par with Appomattox.

    I’d like to see the county step up and provide walking/biking facilities from the CH complex to the Spotsylvania Battlefield.

    And I still believe that a replica “roots” farmstead would be a big draw – because it represents a significant aspect of the civil war life not well recognized.

    I say – build it …and they will come…

  • Jsmith

    I would love to see a branch of the museum of the Confederacy here in the area and don’t care if it’s in the city or the county.

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