Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

MoC Appomattox is Doing Just Fine, Thankyouverymuch.

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on July 22, 2012

For all the kerfuffle surrounding the opening of the Museum of the Confederacy’s annex at Appomattox a few months back, attendance seems solid:

“We wanted to open last year,” said Museum of the Confederacy/Appomattox site manager Linda Lipscomb, “but that didn’t happen. Still, I think things are going well for us. We’ve had more than 17,000 visitors so far since the end of March, and we’re very happy about that number. We didn’t really set a goal.”
Nevertheless, the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond knew it was taking a chance by establishing a satellite branch. Appomattox’s status as the place where the war ended made it a logical choice. On the other hand, the county really isn’t on the way to anywhere tourists are likely to visit.
“We’re a destination,” Lipscomb said. “That’s how we have to look at it.”

It’s benefiting the local business community, too:

Sheila Palamar of the Babcock House Bed & Breakfast in downtown Appomattox would have to agree. Palamar said she has seen a significant spike in both overnight stays and lunch and dinner reservations since the museum opened.
“We rented more rooms in June than we ever have in a month,” she said, “and a lot of those people stayed two nights.”
This week, she was preparing to happily confront a mini-invasion of her own — 54 Civil War buffs from Salem wanting lunch.

MoC memberships are up, too.

“We’ve added 800 members since we started,” said Lipscomb. “On the day we opened, we offered a special deal for membership, and a lot of people passed on it when they went in. But when they came out, they said, ‘We have to sign up for that membership. We didn’t get a chance to see it all.”

Museums are usually not huge drivers in a local economy; they don’t generally rake in huge piles of cash, and they tend to be very precarious enterprises, from a purely financial point of view. It is a success story when a museum — any museum — can hold its own in terms of attendance and memberships. Seventeen thousand visitors in a period of less than four months, in a (relatively) out-of-the-way place like Appomattox is nothing to sneeze at. If that works out to around 50,000+ visitors annually, that’s a sizable chunk of the 216K people who visit Appomattox Court House NHP each year. I expect, though, that attendance at the MoC annex at Appomattox will increase substantially over the next few years, as we move through the sesquicentennial into 2015. It sounds like the MoC Appomattox is off to a solid start.

Image: Jimmy Lipscomb (right) demonstrates loading a musket for visitors (from left) Tammy Smith, Ashton Fowlkes and Hannah Smith at the Museum of the Confederacy in Appomattox, Va., July 18, 2012. Several days a week, Lipscomb greets visitors with a hands-on introduction to life as a soldier in the Civil War. (Photo by Parker Michels-Boyce/The News & Advance)

12 Responses

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  1. Craig L said, on July 23, 2012 at 6:19 am

    I actually came within twenty miles of visiting Appomattox in November of 2001 and that’s close considering that I live twelve time zones away. I suggested a visit to the courthouse at the time, but was outvoted in favor of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I would have insisted if I had known or even suspected then that I have a Civil War ancestor. My wife had a professional meeting in Atlanta that year and I agreed to go along. We did visit the Stone Mountain monument in Atlanta after we returned from our side trip to Lynchburg where we visited my wife’s grad school colleague from nearly twenty years earlier in Seattle. While in Atlanta we actually passed through the battlefield several times where my great great grandmother’s younger brother was wounded at Bald Hill. I found the plaques marking the spot online five years later. On the freeway going sixty miles an hour you couldn’t really see the historical markers, much less read them.

  2. Foxessa said, on July 25, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I just heard a fellow on a local public radio talk show use the term, “history is destiny.” What you — a person, a region, a nation, whatever were, you tend to remain.

  3. Billy Bearden said, on July 29, 2012 at 8:20 am

    And since about 2007 the MoC has lost about 1,750 donors because of Rawls leftist agenda. Remember in 2008 Rawls sported an Obama/Biden campaign sign at his home. The Palamars of Babcock B&B fame are members of the MoC and Rawls cheerleaders, so no surprise they have praises to sing…. You of all people should appreciate media spin when you see it Andy.

    • Andy Hall said, on July 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      And since about 2007 the MoC has lost about 1,750 donors because of Rawls leftist agenda.

      I’d like to see some hard data — not anecdotes — that support that claim, especially where that 1,750 number comes from. It sounds, frankly, like a bogus statistic that gets repeated over and over until it’s accepted as unchallenged truth. It has a specificity that gives it a sheen of authority that I suspect it doesn’t actually have.

      I can easily see that the MoC may have lost donors and memberships in recent years, but that’s true of a great many non-profits these days, who’ve been hit hard by the recession and slow recovery, things that have nothing to do with Waite Rawls or a “leftist agenda” or whatever boogyman happens to fire up the make-believe Confederate base. A lot of people just don’t have the disposable income to support organizations that they did a few years ago, and there’s nothing conspiratorial or invidious about that.

      Remember in 2008 Rawls sported an Obama/Biden campaign sign at his home.

      God forbid, as a private citizen on his own property, he should be able to express a political view you disagree with. Of course, the fire-eaters never were ones for tolerating dissenting views, and their ideological descendants aren’t any better. As one ridiculous person said recently, without a hint of irony or self-awareness, “there will be no room for traitors in a free South.”

      Some readers might see your mention of Rawls’ yard sign as being purely gratuitous and not relevant his role at MoC. But its inclusion makes sense once one understands that the modern “Confederate heritage” movement has relatively little to do with events of 1861-65, but is largely an historical veneer on what’s really a modern political/cultural struggle You guys are quick to yell about the alleged political beliefs of folks like Rawls and Brodsky and Elrod, but seem oblivious to the fact that y’all are every bit as driven by rabid political/cultural ideology, if not more so, than they are. In short, your mention of Rawls’ political affiliation says at least as much about you as it does about him.

      So who are you going to vote for, Billy? — the guy who sends a memorial wreath to the Confederate monument at Arlington every year, or the guy who’s publicly denounced the Confederate flag on live teevee? Or are you going to be like silly Mark Vogl, and write-in “Jefferson Davis of Mississippi”?

      • Billy Bearden said, on July 30, 2012 at 11:24 pm

        Lest we forget Andy, Barry wrote the VA Admin on behalf of the NAALCP to force a ban on useage of Confederate flags in a little ceremony by the SCV when dedicating a 7 foot tall obliesk inside the grounds of Camp Butler in Ill-Annoy. The marker was to the 866 dead CSA POWs. I have opposed him ever since (2006)

        As an individual whose parents are interred in Arlington, Barry is an insult to our brave servicemen, their memory, and all they stood/stand for. He dirties the sacred soil when he steps foot in Arlington.

        So, to answer the question, NO, I shall not vote for Barry, nor the RINO Mitt. I will vote for the Libratarian.

        Not because of their stance on flags, but because there is a higher duty to one’s country, and RINOs and Marxists are not our salvation.

        • Mark said, on July 31, 2012 at 10:06 pm

          There are so many things wrong with this statement that I don’t even know where to begin. In the first place, it was 2005, not 2006. Secondly, Barack Obama did not write on behalf of the NAACP. He wrote on his own as a senator at the time and a private citizen. Senator Dick Durbin did the same. The NAACP, along with the Anti-Defamation League, also lodged separate protests of their own. The fact that you say he did this “on behalf of the NAACP” says more about you that it does about him. As for those brave servicemen, they fight for a flag that those vaunted Confederates you praise fought against, so I fail to see the link here. Next, there was already a ban on the flying of the Confederate flag in national cemetaries long before this, and Obama had nothing to do with it. And it was for good reason, too, for exactly the reason I cited above; that flag was carried by traitors who fired on and fought against the flag of the United States of America. Finally, they were allowed to use the flag anyway, because Camp Butler officials said that the flag could be carried in and out when memorials are dedicated. By the way, I say this as someone with three ancestors (my great-great grandfather and two of his younger brothers) who fought in the Confederate army. Yes, I know that you will probably call me a traitor to the South, and if opposing nonsense makes me a traitor, so be it.

          • Billy Bearden said, on August 1, 2012 at 8:39 am

            Thank you for correcting my error, I am now revising my mistake so I can proudly say I have been opposed to Bary Soetero since 2005! As for the rest of your reply…

            You wrote : “The NAACP, along with the Anti-Defamation League, also lodged separate protests of their own.” Fact is the NAALCP created the whole issue by themselves and got the usual suspects to pitch in
   Plan to display rebel flag at ceremony draws criticism

            You wrote: “Secondly, Barack Obama did not write on behalf of the NAACP. He wrote on his own as a senator at the time and a private citizen. Senator Dick Durbin did the same.” Fact is the media disagrees with your attempt at protecting Obama, and Durbin.

            NAACP’s objections to Confederate flags at monument dedication.
            “In response to a request from a local NAACP chapter,
            US Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama of Illinois are expected to ask the US
            Dept. of Veterans Affairs to ban the display of Confederate flags
            at the dedication ceremonies for a Confederate monument in an
            Illinois national cemetery where over 800 Confederates are

            You wrote “Next, there was already a ban on the flying of the Confederate flag in national cemetaries long before this” Fact is Camp Butler director says different:
            Bill Rhoades [director of the cemetery] said the policy at national cemeteries is to
            allow Confederate flags to be carried in and out when monuments are dedicated.

            May God Bless you, Mark. I see no need for any name calling. We just see things differently. You were correct on my date error and I appreciate the correction. Thanks!

            • Mark said, on August 9, 2012 at 11:43 pm

              Billy, you clearly did not read what I wrote. I wrote, “Next, there was already a ban on the flying of the Confederate flag in national cemetaries long before this, and Obama had nothing to do with it.” This is true, and I stand by it, I also wrote two sentences later, “Finally, they were allowed to use the flag anyway, because Camp Butler officials said that the flag could be carried in and out when memorials are dedicated.” The flag is allowed to be carried in AND OUT as an exception to the rule (which is not to allow Confederate flags to be flown in national cemetaries) when dedicating Confederate memorials. This is, again, an exception to the rule. The general rule is and was to disallow the flying of Confederate flags in national cemetaries. Hence the wording that clearly implies that the flag has to be carried back OUT afterwards. Secondly, your link isn’t working, and I can find no other news site that reports that the senators wrote those letters in response to a request to do so from the NAACP. The only site I can find that words it this way is a Southern Heritage message board that includes that same link: I don’t think that qualifies as “media.” Third, your first link says absolutely nothing about the NAACP “creating the whole issue by themselves and getting the usual suspects to pitch in.” All it says is that the NAACP protested the action. You’re going to have to do a lot better than that to prove your claims. Finally, as you yourself implied, people see things differently. Whereas white Soutrherners committed to a certain view of the past see heritage, African-Americans DO see a history of oppression and violence. They aren’t making it up. They see Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy, boldly declaring, “Our government if founded upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man.” They see the secession conventions declaring threats to slavery as justification for secession. They see white Southerners lynching blacks who dared to vote or hold office or even look cross ways at a white man for a century after the war. They see white Southern state governments raise the flag once again as a symbol of defiance and white supremacy during the civil rights movement. I’m not trying to call you a racist, mind you. I’m just trying to open your eyes that blacks have plenty of justification for seeing a history of oppression, murder and violence in that flag. You have every right to fly it, but they have every right to hate it.

              • Billy Bearden said, on August 10, 2012 at 10:30 am

                OK Mark, lemme see if I can answer some of your points… The links provided were taken AT THE TIME the story was hot off the presses, so it is not at all surprising the link is now dead after what, 7 years? Since I was very involved in the issue while events were unfolding, I made copies of all articles to my hard drive with the links.
                Just because you cannot find the story via the link provided, doesnt mean I am a liar. Most newspapers have a subscription based archives, or you can send a few bucks to them for a copy of the story.

                In some locations, like Southern Heritage topica list, the story was posted and remains.

                For whatever reason, most likely the zero tolerance policy on Confederate anything and race card playing stand of the NAALCP they objected to a Confederate Battleflag to be used by the SCV in a Confederate Memorial service and dedication of a Confederate Memorial to 866 dead Confederate soldiers in a Confederate POW camp. They sought the assistance of barry soetero and dick durbin to write to the VA to ban the flags use. The left leaning radical democratic hate fest against the Battleflag was in full swing, but it failed 🙂

                To use Alexander Stephens comments is a reach. Yeah, he may felt that way at the time, but he was severely reprimanded by Jefferson Davis later for it, and he himself also made statements later he didnt say all that was attributed to him. I do know that Vice Presidents are not the spokesmen for the beliefs of a Nation, else we take Quayle’s statement on how to spell “potatoe” or Biden’s statement to give more money as tax to the govt to increase our patriotism as Americans.

                I understand that some folks hold personal negative views of the flag due to bad experiences. Never said everyone should love it, or my own views are the template for all views. But I do have a view, and I fight for that view. I have met others who share similar views, and they also fight for those views.

                In the Battle of Camp Butler, those views won the day against the NAALCP, ADL, Soetero and Durbin. The winners were the memories of the 866 dead POWs

              • Mark said, on August 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm

                Billy, the fact of the matter is that the Confederate flag was already banned long before. It is also a fact that there was also already an exception in place for the carrying in AND OUT of flags during the dedication of Confederate memorials (although a memorial in a national cemetary to men who fired on the US flag seems perverse to me… just saying). You never addressed this point in your latest reply. The wording you used came directly from the Southern Heritage board whose website I posted. I never called you a liar. I am suggesting that you likely never checked the link yourself and instead just copied and pasted from that site. If you have a copy of that article, perhaps you would be good enough to provide the actual article rather than a quote and a link provided directly from a Southern Heritage message board? Then again, what more can I expect from somebody who actually believes the birther conspiracies? Yes, I caught “Barry Soetero” reference. Oh, and it’s the NAACP; no L. You obviously listen to too much Rush Limbaugh.

                I didn’t know that one’s stance on the Confederate flag determined one’s political persuasion. Fascinating. Perhaps you can enlighten us with more of your wisdom?

                As for Alexander Stephens, clearly he was speaking for the Confederacy as a whole. The secession ordinances written by the secession conventions in the various Confederate states testify to this fact. This is not interpretation, mind you. This is fact. It is simply not disputable. The entire purpose of secession and the Confederacy was to defend slavery. That may not suit your political beliefs, but you will just have to deal with it.

                You know what? Why am I arguing with someone who is obviously a birther anyway, on top of being a flagger?

              • Corey Meyer said, on August 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm

                Billy the issue with A. Stephens is that he made the same Cornerstone speech a week earlier and again he refered to slavery as the conerstone of the confederacy. So what he said after the war was only a cover-up in an attempt to distance the confederacy from the issue of slavery.

  4. Billy Bearden said, on August 11, 2012 at 3:05 am

    My good friend Mark,
    I do believe Barry was born in Hawaii, I also believe however that while Stanley Ann Dunham was making nude photos with Frank Marshall Davis, they also made Barry. Kenyan Obama was a willing dupe to lend his name in the whole sordid affair. Frank is the most mentioned name in Barry’s book written by Bill Ayers DOMF. I also believe that Barry is still a citizen of Indonesia from Lolo Soetero days, then he was a foriegn exchange student here in America, and has not became an American citizen yet, and as an Indonesian, adopted to Lolo, he remains Barry Soetero.

    “…The wording you used came directly from the Southern Heritage board whose website I posted. I never called you a liar. I am suggesting that you likely never checked the link yourself and instead just copied and pasted from that site…”

    OK Mark, you got me, but not in the way you think 🙂
    You see, the story happened 7 years ago. At the time it was happening, I made copies of the news articles with links. It was these very stories that were posted to the Southern Heritage sites and other non-news places. What I have on record in my computer is what you’ll find on the archives from 7 years ago there and other places.

    However, short of using Andy’s WayBack machine, I did a minute Google search and found this:,2933,171030,00.html
    Flag-Free Memorial

    The NAACP has drafted two Illinois senators in its crusade to prevent officials from flying a Confederate flag at the dedication of a memorial to Confederate dead in central Illinois, reports the Journal-Register.

    The memorial is being built at Camp Butler National Cemetery near Riverton, the site of a prison camp for Confederate soldiers. Some 866 Confederate soldiers died there during the war.

    Illinois’ senators Barack Obama and Dick Durbin have asked federal officials to bar display of the stars and bars at the memorial.

    “We, along with the NAACP and many Americans, believe that the Confederate flag has become more than an historic battle standard; for millions of Americans it is a symbol of slavery and segregation,” the senators said in a letter to the director of the National Cemetery Administration.

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