Richmond National Battlefield Civil War Visitors Center
Richmond National Battlefield Civil War Visitor's Center
The Civil War Visitor Center is located on the site of the old Tredegar Iron Works. The iron works here made over half the cannons for the Confederate forces. The main building contains three floors of artifacts and information. There are examples of women's mourning dress and black mourning jewelry made out of "jet" which is a type of coal. There are children's artifacts such as a tea set, dolls, a crib, and handmade toys. There is a door and key from the Libby prison which housed Union prisoners." You will find artifacts from the soldiers here, too. There are knapsacks, silverware, games they made, and other personal items. In one room you will hear the voices and words of the women and children left at home during the war and then in another room you hear the voice and words of soldiers on the battlefield. It can be very moving to hear them.
Of course, this being the iron works, you will find many of the weapons made here. They manufactured cannons and artillery and you can see some of the different artifacts that have been found from here.
Walk the grounds and you can see some of the other phases that the Tredegar Iron Works has been through. Besides the war effort, the plant also produced railcars, machinery, and helped in the rebuilding of the South after the war. You can view the waterways that were built to carry the water from the canal to turn the water wheels to produce power. View a couple train cars and some of the machinery that was made here.
Your self-guided tour of the museum and the grounds will give you a good insight into the transformation of Richmond during the war.
The park was really cool. They had some hand-made cards that a 10-year-old made using paper and pen. They also had hand-made dominos there. There was a weird pair of sunglasses, too. The lenses were blue. There was a second set of lenses that flipped off to the side. there were cannons that they made here. And lots of machinery too.
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