Groundbreaking lays path for Confederate Museum

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The 17,000 square-foot museum will look modern and contemporary on the outside, but with a subdued architecture utilizing period-appropriate construction techniques to attain a level of authenticity.

Preserving the history of the Southern states took a huge step Saturday with the groundbreaking of a new National Confederate Museum to be located at historic Elm Springs in Columbia.

The museum is an effort to keep alive the histories of the Southern soldiers who fought in the Civil War as museums across the U.S. change their collections and interpretations of the cultural history known as the War of Southern Independence, according to the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

“Time and time again, we have seen where our monuments and museums throughout the South have been dictated by the state and federal governments on what they can and cannot do. That is coming to an end,” Paul Gramling, Lt. Commander-in-Chief of the SCV, said. “At the completion of this museum, it will be out of the reach of the long arm of political correctness. This will be ours, as SCV members, [United Daughters of the Confederacy] members, Southerners to tell the truth between 1861-1865.”

The General Executive Council of the SCV began its efforts to establish a museum dedicated to the Confederacy in October of 2008 with the intent of serving two purposes. One was to open new office and administrative space for Elm Springs employees and SCV members. The other purpose is to serve as the museum, which will take up approximately 65 percent of the building, project architect George Nuber said.

About $5 million was raised for the effort. Nuber said the 17,000 square-foot museum will look modern and contemporary on the outside, but with a subdued architecture utilizing period-appropriate construction techniques to attain a level of authenticity.

“I’m very honored to be a part of this, and this is a great privilege to learn about the history of our land. Most importantly, I’m glad that this building will be a tool in which we can house many memories and things that will help us to cherish and honor those who served in this great effort,” Nuber said. “It’s my dream to see enactments on this campus as well, and to see this building be used as a tool that can be part of that process.”

Saturday’s ceremony heard comments from local politicians, leaders and prominent members of the SCV. Sen. Joey Hensley, who is also an SCV member, said this will be a chance to “tell the truth of what happened and about those who fought valiantly.”

“It’s an honor to be a part of this ceremony today, to build this museum so that we can remember the heritage of our ancestors that fought so bravely and valiantly for their homelands, for what they believed in,” Hensley said. “History has been skewed and many times in society today many people try to make those soldiers out to be something they are not. Most of the Confederate soldiers never owned slaves and didn’t fight the battle because of slavery. They fought the battle defending their homelands against an invading army.”

Columbia Mayor Dean Dickey said this years-in-the-making project will likely draw people not just from Tennessee, but from around the globe, including historians and those with ancestors tied to the Confederacy.

“We’re excited and it’ll probably attract a lot of folks, because they have members from all over the world,” Dickey said. “Today, the fruits and the hard efforts of the work is what we’re involved in.”

Source: Groundbreaking lays path for Confederate Museum