Gettysburg Wax Museum – Part 2
The Gettysburg Wax Museum has long been a popular attraction for bus tours and families of tourists visiting Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the site of one of America’s most famous Civil War battlefields. Open since 1962 during the 100th Anniversary of the Civil War, more than 8 million people have viewed the exhibits, which include more than 300 life-size wax sculptures of Civil War personalities and events.
Here is Union Navy Admiral David G. Farragut as he steams into Mobile Bay on his flagship, the USS Hartford. The ship “rocks” with some simple animation to give the impression of the waves.
In a previous Cannonball blog post I presented a series of photographs of some of the other exhibits in the Wax Museum. Here are a few more pictures. All were taken on Sunday afternoon, June 12, 2011.
Women play a prominent role in the tableaux, with depictions of Jennie Wade (shown above rolling dough prior to being shot and killed by a stray bullet during the battle), Clara Barton, Belle Boyd, Rose Greenhow, Mary Todd Lincoln, and many others.
Rose O’Neal Greenhow was a leading Confederate spy whose circle of friends and acquaintances in Washington, D.C. included prominent politicians, army generals, and other high-ranking officials. Federal officials imprisoned her but later allowed her to leave Washington for Richmond. She drowned in 1864 while trying to slip back into the Confederacy on a blockade runner. Fearing another prison stay (she was carrying dispatches from England and gold for the Confederate treasury), she fled in a small rowboat. It capsized and she drowned.
Clara Barton, “the Angel of the Battlefield”, was a leading nurse during the Civil War and later helped organize the American Red Cross. She began her service in the first year of the war by helping soldiers on the battlefield at First Bull Run (Manassas). Her actions at Antietam helped save countless lives, and she was also at the front lines during the Siege of Petersburg. At the end of the war, she worked to identify the missing and dead at the Andersonville Prison Camp in southern Georgia.
This tableaux depicts the United States Colored Troops. Free or freed black men serving under white officers, these soldiers were a significant factor in adding manpower to the Federal armies.
Some of the exhibits feature leading generals from the opposing armies. Western Theater cavalry general Nathan Bedford Forrest appears in this scene at the door.
If you go:
Gettysburg Wax Museum is part of a complex known as the American Civil War Museum Complex, located at 297 Steinwehr Avenue. The well stocked gift shop offers a large selection of Gettysburg and Civil War-related books, T-shirts, pewter statuettes, and a myriad of other collectibles and souvenirs. Plan on an hour to see the Wax Museum and do a little shopping. Plan some extra time to wander around the living history encampments and mingle with the reenactors (often some good photo ops!).
Website: click here.