If you are a Civil War buff, you probably already know that the sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American history, will be on September 17 of this year. Since my museum’s satellite location, the Pry House Field Hospital Museum is located on the Antietam Battlefield and was General McClellan’s headquarters during the battle, and because Major Jonathan Letterman developed his Letterman Plan here, it is going to be a big event for the museum! There will be Living History events held at the Pry House the weekend of the anniversary, a Soldier’s Fair, period music and other forms of entertainment, and a modern armored ambulance that will be on display next to a reproduction Civil War ambulance. There will also be some special, temporary displays, and that’s my area!
A few days ago I was at the Pry House to clear the props and artifacts out of the “Richardson Room” in preparation for a display of artifacts from the Roulette Farm.
|Here’s the Richardson room – named for General Israel Richardson who died here after being wounded at the Battle of Antietam. I will need to remove most of the items here to make room for the temporary display.|
|We do have a few Irish Brigade artifacts on display here already. These will stay in place since they relate to the new display.|
Do you ever tackle tasks which should be simple, but which turn more complicated? That’s what happened here! With Tom and Kyle’s help, I was able to get most of the artifacts moved into a safe storage area with no trouble. However, when we started to take the bed apart we found a surprise waiting for us….
|Loose packing peanuts had been used to simulate a mattress on the bed. This was definitely not my idea! I was very glad I had help to clean up this mess. If nothing else, it was a reminder that I have to be prepared for just about anything!|
|Does anyone need six bags of packing peanuts?!|
So, the room is now clear and ready for the new display to be set up this weekend. I’ll post more about this display and other sesquicentennial activities over the next few weeks.
Photos courtesy of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.