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U.S. CIVIL WAR CHAPLAIN'S MUSEUM

 
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The excellent and unique National Civil War Chaplains Museum is located on the main campus of Liberty University between the Hancock Welcome Center and the prayer chapel at 1971 University Blvd. Lynchburg, VA. 24151. It was founded in 2005 and is the only museum dedicated to the history of chaplains, priests and rabbis (for both Union and Confederacy). The director is Mr. Kenny Rowlette, and he graciously devoted several hours to providing us with a private, guided tour of the museum during which we made a few representative photographs of the extensive collection of artifacts. The museum contains hundreds (thousands?) of items ranging from tiny uniform buttons and bullets to large manikins and full wall mural paintings. The displays include many handwritten letters and manuscripts as well. The museum has an extensive gift shop with many books and related items; and a research library and workshop. The museum is reached easily from route 29 and is very well worth a visit.
The museum provides visitors with interesting fact sheet and brochure. Among the interesting facts: The Union armies had 2,154 regimental chaplains, and the Confederate armies had 1,308 regimental chaplains. In addition there were over 200 chaplains in hospitals or military posts. Among them were the many different Protestant denominations, Catholic priests and Jewish Rabbis (in Union army only). There were African-American, Native-American and female chaplains. Interesting also is the split in some denominations created by the war. The Methodists did not reunite until 1939, The Presbyterians not until 1973 and the Baptists still remain separate.


 
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Exhibit describing the legacy of Bishop Henry M. Turner

 
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Organ with TV monitor screen on which museum videos are shown

 
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Display describing the general duties and functions of chaplains during the Civil War

 
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Painting of Confederates tending to wounded after a battle

 
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Painting of Father Corby giving absolution to troops during 2nd day of the Battle at Gettysburg - a statue in this same pose is on the battlefield.

 
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Painting of General Jackson praying

 
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Exceptionally fine small statue of General Jackson

 
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A wood section of the sign at the Shiloh Chapel

 
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A small diorama of a Confederate artillery position

 
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Manikin of Protestant minister, Union chaplain.

 
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General view of one of the museum rooms to show some of the variety of exhibits.

 
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Diorama depicting a field chaplain's meeting place

 
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Manikin of rabbi with some adjacent artifacts

 
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Manikin of seated chaplain

 
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Painting of Irish Brigade of Union Army in battle

 
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A very interesting original temporary coffin. It is designed with openings in top through which to place ice to preserve the body for transport to final resting place

 
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Manikin and wall mural

 
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Portrait - "In God We Trust"

 

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