In honor of the Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States, Knoxville’s United Daughters of the Confederacy will host a civilian artifact exhibit at Confederate Memorial Hall – Bleak House. The exhibit will be on display Friday August 5 thru Sunday August 7.
The exhibit will include men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, hats, bonnets, shoes, jewelry, photographs, publications, currency, and more. All items shown will be original pieces from the Civil War era. The exhibit will be provided by PNJW Collections and is one of the largest private collections of civilian artifacts in existence from the era. The exhibit will be displayed throughout the entire first level of the Bleak House which is quite large. “This is a unique exhibit for Knoxville and we want to welcome folks to come out and see this incredibly unusual collection,” says Rebecca Sardella, local chapter member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Admission prices will be $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-16. Children under 5 years of age will be admitted at no cost. At the exhibit visitors will be welcomed to take pictures and ask questions. Exhibit hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
All proceeds from the exhibit will benefit Confederate Memorial Hall – Bleak House preservation efforts. Right now, this mainly consists of hale damage repair from this spring’s hail storm. As a result of the storm the house suffered roof damage and at least twenty windows were damaged.
For those who have never visited this antebellum home in Knoxville, the Bleak House was built in 1858 as a wedding gift for Robert Houston Armstrong and Louisa Franklin. The couple named the house Bleak House after a popular read at the time, Charles Dickens’ ninth novel. Besides the siege and occupancy of the home by General James Longstreet of the Confederate Army in which the home was utilized as headquarters for the General and his staff, the home remained a private residence along the Tennessee River until1959. On May 4 ,1959 the 89th chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy acquired the home as their local chapter house, a Confederate memorial, and a museum. Today the home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and much effort continues to go towards restoring and maintaining the home’s original charm and elegance. The home is open for tours on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons. For more information on the home visit http://www.knoxvillecmh.org.
For more information on the exhibit or to make group discounted reservations email Rebecca at [email protected] If interested in making an appointment for closer inspection of the items email [email protected]