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In another edition of #AskACWM, we're looking at Confederate veterans involvement in the Reconstruction-era Ku Klux Klan. 

Museum Historian John Coski and Mellon Guest Curator Chris Graham: 

Your question, “what percentage of Confederate veterans became involved in the Ku Klux Klan…” is difficult to answer, and we do not feel comfortable making an estimation of any particular percentage.

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By Robert Hancock, Senior Curator

 

This armor breastplate was taken from an officer in the 5th New York Cavalry on May 24, 1862, during the First Battle of Winchester, part of “Stonewall” Jackson’s Valley Campaign.  The armor was brought to Confederate Colonel Bradley T. 

Johnson by one of his men.

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Today we launch a new blog series - #AskACWM - where we bring the best and most interesting questions we get on social media and put them to our staff to respond. To kick things off, we have a tweet. 

To answer, we called upon our Museum Historian John Coski and our Mellon Guest Curator Chris Graham.

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By Guest Blogger Brig. Gen. John Mountcastle 

 

On April 3, 1865, Federal troops prepared to march into Richmond. A cavalry detachment under Majors Stevens and Graves moved up the Osborne Turnpike, east of Richmond. Here they met Richmond Mayor Joseph Mayo and a small party moving toward them in a carriage flying a white flag.  The Mayor passed a note to Stevens advising him that Confederate forces had withdrawn from Richmond and asking that Federal troops occupy the city, some parts of which were on fire.

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By Robert Hancock, Head Curator 
 
According to one wartime visitor to the White House, "The walls and mantels of her (Varina Davis, wife of President Jefferson Davis) reception room were almost covered with chains and all kinds of knick-knacks, made and presented to her by those who had been captured and imprisoned by the enemy." (Emma Lyon Bryan)
 
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By John Coski, Historian

Waite Rawls’ May 12th “House 200” program on President Jefferson Davis’ military aides who occasionally worked at the Confederate executive mansion begs an obvious question: Was there any kind of guard – analogous to the U.S. Marine Security Guard stationed at the Washington White House – at the White House of the Confederacy? For most of the war, the surprising answer was “no.”

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Tonight's Foundry Series event, Women Soldiers in the Civil War, features DeAnne Blanton, archivist at the National Archives and Records Administration. After the lecture, DeAnne Blanton will participate in a panel discussion with Claire Gastanaga, ACLU of Virginia; Dr. Leisa Meyer, Diversity Richmond; and Dr. Francoise Bonnell, Director of the Army Women's Museum. We were fortunate enough to get to ask several questions of DeAnne and Leisa before tonight's event.

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We have attempted, on this blog, to explore the origins and meanings of the statues on Monument Avenue. In the process, we have seen the complexity of their original contexts and the transformation of their meanings over time.

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By Robert Hancock, Head Curator
 
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By Waite Rawls, Foundation President 

Like any other Chief Executive and Commander in Chief, Jefferson Davis was surrounded by many people who gave him advice. He listened to some and heeded their advice. He ignored others.

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