|Entrance to the exhibition, with Mosby front and center|
|Portion of the exhibition dealing with the impact of emancipation. The enlarged photograph of a slave family at Volusia is visible at the center of the display.|
The exhibition also looks at the civilian side of the war in Fairfax. Most of the interpretation focuses on locals who were rounded up by the Union authorities on suspicion of disloyalty and sent to Old Capitol Prison. For the romantics out there, another wall is dedicated to the relationship between Antonia Ford, a Confederate spy, and Union Maj. Joseph C. Willard, a co-owner of Washington's famed Willard Hotel. Among the artifacts are Ford's love letters to Willard, as well as the couple's DC marriage certificate.
|The ledger book for Thomas Harrison's store, which was located to the west of Fairfax Court House. Notes in the ledger refer to the arrest of Harrison and several of his neighbors by the Union Army following Mosby's Fairfax Raid in March 1863.|
If you live in the area, or are just visiting during the holidays, be sure to check out Civil War Fairfax 1863. I spent a long time studying the artifacts and reading the interpretive panels. Although covering the usual suspects (i.e., Mosby), the exhibition doesn't neglect other important topics like contrabands and civilian-military relations. Kudos to Susan Gray and the museum staff for organizing such an informative and interesting exhibition. I left learning a thing or two, and I am sure you will too.
Civil War Fairfax 1863 runs now through January 12, 2014. For more information about visiting, see the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center homepage. While at the museum, be sure to check out the permanent collection, which features other Civil War-related items.