Civil War Sesquicentennial Observed at Museum in Fort Worth
This week marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, and there’s a special place in Fort Worth where Texans can remember those who fought and died on both sides of that conflict.
It’s the Texas Civil War Museum, the largest museum of its kind this side of the Mississippi. With an impressive collection from both North and South and all three theaters of action, it deals even-handedly with a subject that can be as painful to discuss as it is critical to understanding how that war made America what it is today.
The museum opened in 2006, and it features an array of uniforms, hats and saddles that were part of soldiers’ everyday lives; the guns and cannons they fired at each other; a blood-stained copy of the New Testament found on a Florida battlefield; and surgical saws that amputated so many arms and legs in makeshift hospitals on the battlefields.
The museum already attracts more than 20,000 visitors a year, but many more are expected during this sesquicentennial year.
Not all Texans wanted war. In fact, Angelina County was the only county in east Texas, and one of only a handful of Texas counties that voted against secession from the Union.
Despite this official opposition, two companies of Angelina County men marched off to fight for the Confederacy, but they saw only limited action. Only nineteen men from Angelina County died in the entire war.
Here’s one more interesting factoid. Historians call this conflict “the Civil War”, or “the War Between the States”, but some people in the south still refer to it as the “War of Northern Aggression.”