In the late 1800’s, the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum was built to house artifacts, records and documents from the Civil War. As it stands today, the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum is the oldest museum in Louisiana.
Even though the museum houses an impressive collection of authentic civil war artifacts and documents, the building itself an artifact. Henry Hobson Richardson, a native of Louisiana, founded the Romanesque style of architecture and used this style when designing the museum. This gives the museum a unique look from the street.
Inside, the walls and floors sport beautifully preserved dark wood. The walls showcase original oil paintings of Civil War and cases filled with assorted artifacts from the Civil War era. Joe, the assistant to the museum curator, spoke about the displays.
“Almost everything you see in the museum is original,” he says. “Even the glass is from the 1800’s. It’s amazing.”
The museum has weapons, uniforms, incredibly preserved letters and even utensils belonged to Robert E. Lee. Even after working and volunteering at the museum for a year, Joe still finds himself in disbelief.
“I’m a history major, so writing essays and doing research is pretty convenient for me working here,” he says. “Sometimes I can’t believe it. I mean, that’s the actual fork and knife that Robert E. Lee used.”
Preserving the Museum
The Confederate Memorial Hall Museum plays host to thousands of visitors each and every year. To preserve the history of the Civil War and keep the doors open, local historians and veterans founded the Memorial Hall Foundation in 1984. Through donations, memberships and admission fees, the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum remains open as a look into America’s era of civil strife and divide.
The Confederate Memorial Hall Museum is located at 929 Camp St, New Orleans, LA. For more information, visit the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum website or call (504) 523-4522.