New Orleans Visit – Confederate Memorial Hall

1 09 2016

In this post, I hipped you to my recent trip to New Orleans. After our stop outside at Lee Circle, we paid the small ($8) fee to tour Confederate Memorial Hall – Louisiana’s Civil War Museum. The exterior is nice, but the inside is very impressive – lots of wood and open timbers. Way old-school, outside of the 20 minute video presented at the end of a hallway on a flat-screen TV. So much to see, and you can check out the history of the place at their website. As with anything that is Confederate in NOLA, don’t put off seeing it until your “next trip,” as it may very well be “lost in time, like tears in rain.” Lots and lots of manicuring going on in the town.


One odd thing – the video mentioned a vast store of documents in the basement. When I asked the attendant how one gains access for research purposes, I was told one does not. I asked why and was told the documents are historic, hence no access. Ummm, OK, I guess.

Here are some photos, and I’ll try to let them do the talking for the most part. Click on any image for great big giant versions.

First, the exterior:


The interior:


Jefferson Davis ephemera:



This is the crib used by Jeff Davis as a child, also used for his children.



First Bull Run stuff:

  • Rob Wheat and the First Special Battalion:



Stars and Bars of the First Special Battalion


The story goes that, after his wounding at First Bull Run, Wheat was wrapped in these colors and borne from the field…


…and that his bloodstains are still visible today

  • 6th Louisiana Infantry


  • 7th Louisiana Infantry


  • 8th Louisiana Infantry


  • Washington Artillery



About that piece of wood (click on the image to enlarge) – it was not likely taken from Sherman’s Battery at First Bull Run, as the battery was not captured there.

  • P. G. T. Beauregard


Odds and Ends:

  • Benjamin Butler


  • A Piano, confiscated – or rescued – at Jackson, MS in 1863


  • Braxton Bragg



Any Masons in the house?

Lee Circle

Metairie Cemetery



6 responses

1 09 2016
New Orleans Visit – Lee Circle | Bull Runnings

[…] Confederate Memorial Hall […]


1 09 2016
Dave Dixon

Looks like they have a lot of treasures there. How did you feel about the conservation environment? I lived in N.O. for four years and the humidity is pretty damaging to everything not made of living plant material.

Liked by 1 person

1 09 2016
Harry Smeltzer

Hi Dave!

Well, it’s not state of the art. But things seemed well attended to. Some of the flags are in remarkable shape. Temperature was good on a very hot and humid day. I think some velvet ropes would come in handy in some cases – Davis’s cradle is rockable. And they need some work on the tagging of some items – figuring out what was what in the WA collection was tough. And the Wheat wounding/flag bit, while recounted in the video, was not included on the placard for the flag itself. All-in-all it’s a fantastic collection.


4 09 2016
New Orleans Visit – Metairie Cemetery | Bull Runnings

[…] Confederate Memorial Hallo […]


18 05 2022
Dave Powell

For a Western Theater historian, the Hall is especially remarkable. And I thought the artifacts on display were well conserved, but I am no expert. However, I also have heard about the reputed treasure trove of documents in the basement. But who has ever used them? I have never heard of a historian accessing them, let alone seen them cited in book biblios. I was also refused access way back when, while researching Chickamauga. My feeling is that the Documents have been carelessly and casually stored for decades, and are probably now too fragile to handle – which means they are lost.

Liked by 1 person

18 05 2022
Dave Powell

(hit return to soon) and if they are lost, then it only reinforces my dislike of private historical associations of this sort. What should happen is that every document should be scanned, and if possible, preserved. Even if they can’t really be effectively preserved, then the scanning means that at least the contents are saved. Then the scans should be widely disseminated, to ensure a continued digital existence. I am betting, however, that will not happen. Too bad.

Liked by 1 person

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