Friday, September 4, 2015

Grand Army of the Republic Museum

There are many musuems and attractions in Springfield, more than we had time to see.  One of the smaller, and more interesting, ones we stopped at was the Grand Army of the Republic musuem.  The GAR was an Union veteran organization and this musuem has many artifacts from the GAR time, as well as items from the Civil War that GAR members later donated. 
Yes, this shot is pretty much the entire musuem.  But don't let its size fool you as the pictures below will show some of the many treasures on display there.
Here is a large collection of veteran musuems.

I love to play cribbage so this battleship cribbage board was interesting to me, and makes me want to create one of my own.

A cartridge biox from the Shiloh battlefield.

 Many years ago my mother brought home an old family sewing machine.  Later when we were sorting through the buttons that were in one of the drawers we came across a ribbon for the Women's Relief Corps.  Most likely one of the women of my family was a member.  It is possible she picked it up some other way but since there were many Civil War veterans on that side of the family the medal probably belonged to one of the women.

This might be the crown jewel of the musuem, at least in my eyes, and I'm surprised it didn't get more publicity.  It might be a bit hard to read but the note on this flag says that it was part of the display at Ford's Theater.  And that tear in the red cloth in the flag would be from John Wilkes Booth's spur.  That tear causes Booth to land awkwardly on the stage and break his leg.  Amazing piece of history, and one could reach right out and touch it (of course not really, but it's within arm's reach is the point).  We had just come from the presidental musuem where I think Michael was glazing over a bit from historical overload.  He seemed to like the real artifacts they had, better than the life size dioramas depicting Lincoln's life.  So here I was able to bring it all back for him.  "Remember being next to Lincoln's theater box and seeing the flags drapping it?  Well this was one of those flags.  And when Booth jumped to the stage after shooting Lincoln and got his spur caught on the flags, well this was that flag."  His eyes got bigger and for a few minutes he looked amazed. 

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