The American Civil War Center at Tredegar in Richmond is set to open its new exhibit on Saturday. Emory Thomas worked as one of the historical advisors for the project. Click here for his Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial on the project:
I do not think it hyperbole to suggest that the center is to the history of the Civil War what the civil rights movement was to the nation as a whole. For far too long our understanding of the war has focused upon battles between white men. The time is long overdue to pay attention to African-Americans during their transit from slavery to freedom.
Indeed, a focus upon battles and white males ignores the roles of women, the trials of the homefront, the legacy of this experience, and a host of other topics. This nation, section, and city feel the impact of the Civil War profoundly in the present, and thus we will profit from telling the story — stories — whole and fresh. War is battles, of course, and the center will offer a gracious plenty of fighting and killing. But war is about whole peoples caught up in conflict and crisis.
I am looking forward to this opening.