Thursday, April 23, 2009

Civil War (and some other) History in Washington

On April 4, I went on a school field trip sponsored by the Penn State Altoona History Society (of which I am president) to our nation's capitol. It was a beautiful day and we were there during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Throughout the day, I visited the Abraham Lincoln exhibition, "With Malice Toward None" at the Library of Congress, the newly remodeled National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian, and also the new reception gallery at Ford's Theater. (The theater was closed because the musical The Civil War was playing and the museum downstairs was still under renovation.) It is a curse that follows me on every historical trip I make - something is always closed due to renovation. Oh well, I still had a great time! The following photos are mostly Civil War related, but there is some other cool stuff too. Enjoy!

Detail on U.S. Grant Memorial on Captiol Hill. (I told the people climbing on this to get off of it because it was disrespectful! See, that's the inner park employee in me for this summer!)

Abe Lincoln's Hat at the Smithsonian's Lincoln Bicentennial exhibit. I'm surprised they let me take photos of all this cool stuff in such a museum environment!

Closeup of Lincoln's pocketwatch.

Abe's and Mary Todd's clothes.

Since Dwight Eisenhower is one of my favorite presidents and he lived in Gettysburg, I thought I'd take a photo of his Army uniform. This is in the Smithsonian's permanent exhibit, "The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden."

Here was a pretty cool artifact. This is one of the file cabinets from the Watergate break-in. So tricky...

Here is an especially unique item I thought. At first, it looks like a regular Civil War sword...

...But upon closer inspection, one can see that it is the sword Col. Strong Vincent had when mortally wounded at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863.

Soldier James H. Stetson died with this New Testament at Gettysburg.

George Washington's Revolutionary War uniform.

Cavalier John S. Mosby's acoutrements.

The surrender table and chairs from Appomattox.

The coat Lincoln was wearing when he was shot. This was in the lobby of Ford's Theater. Notice the tears on the inside from when doctors tore his clothes off. This isn't on display most of the time, so I was really lucky to get a shot this good in such a dark environment.

And such were my adventures in Washington!

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