Rowan Museum prepares Civil War exhibit

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rowan Museum
SALISBURY — Between 40 and 50 soldiers’ wives are rioting in the streets of Salisbury because of high prices. Thousands are being imprisoned just across the railroad tracks. Wounded soldiers are arriving daily and are being treated at local hospitals.
Many Salisbury women’s husbands were away or dead. Margaret Beall Ramsey, a young widow, was looking out her second story window, while describing, “missiles … flying thick and fast around and upon the house. … Thousands of cavalrymen were in hot pursuit of our Confederate soldiers, through yards, gardens and fields on to the Town creek (south of Salisbury).”
Yes, it’s all happening at the Rowan Museum. The Rowan Museum’s new exhibit, “When We Fought Ourselves — 1861-1865,” opens Sunday at 1 p.m. with a special reception to remember the events that changed America 150 years ago with an emphasis on events taking place in Rowan County.
The anniversary of the Civil War, or the War Between the States, is one of the greatest nation-changers in American history. Therefore, we cannot forget what those folks endured. This exhibit encourages people of all ages to come, learn and share their thoughts.
We know what two of the men closest to the action thought. They shared them this way:
“War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over,” said Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman.
Robert E. Lee summed up his feelings this way: “It is well that war is so terrible, else we should grow too fond of it.”
Come, see the beginning, walk past the arsenal, stand outside the Way-Side Hospital, protest with the women, walk in the shadow of the prison wall, and see what General Stoneman did during his raid on our community.
The exhibit will remain through mid-January of 2012. As Frederick Douglass said, “A battle lost or won is easily described, understood, and appreciated, but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it.”
The museum is located at 202 North Main St. It is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information or to schedule group tours, call the museum at 704-633-5946 or email