Macculloch Hall Historical Museum in partnership with the New Jersey Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee (NJCW150) presents a major exhibit, “Gone for a Soldier:” Jerseymen in the Civil War, which is on view at the museum until July 1, 2012. This exhibit commemorates the participation and heroism of Jerseymen in a major turning point in U.S. history.
Until now, many of the stories of the major contributions of Jerseymen to the Civil War effort have remained untold. “Gone for a Soldier:” Jerseymen in the Civil War makes a major contribution toward telling these stories. The exhibit brings together for the first time nearly two hundred objects from the Civil War from over thirty museums, historical societies, and private collections. Among the many objects in the exhibit illustrating the significance of Jerseymen’s actions in the Civil War is an 1862 bullet struck canteen, on loan from the Cape May County Museum. Lower Township resident Swain Reeves was a corporal in Company A, 7th N.J. Volunteer Infantry and was wounded at Gettysburg in July, 1863 and again at Petersburg in June, 1864. The last wound confined him to Lincoln Hospital in Washington, D.C. and he was discharged from the service in October, 1864. Reeves credited his canteen for deflecting the bullet that struck him at Petersburg and preventing an even more severe injury.
Also on exhibit is an 1863 wool Hussar jacket from the 3rd N.J. Cavalry on loan from a private collection. Christened "The 1st U. S. Hussars" the 3rd NJ Volunteer Cavalry’s eye-catching and distinctly European uniform was based on those worn by the troopers of Austria. Due to its extra trimmings and decorations, the uniform cost $3 more than the standard cavalry garb. Understandably, the horsemen from New Jersey were nicknamed "the butterflies" by their comrades. However, the regiment proved to be adept fighters and saw hard service with the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac in the Shenandoah Valley and through to the war's end at Appomattox.
Macculloch Hall Historical Museum has its own connections to Civil War history. Lindley Hoffman Miller, son of U.S. Senator Jacob Miller and grandson of George and Louisa Macculloch, led the First Regiment of Arkansas Volunteers of African Descent. Commissioned as a captain in 1863, Miller shared his war experience through letters to his family, which are on special display at the museum this February. The museum also holds the largest single collection of Thomas Nast original works in the United States. Among this collection are many of Nast’s drawings of Civil War subjects such as A Gallant Color-Bearer (Harper’s Weekly, September 20, 1862) and The Drummer Boy of Our Regiment in Action (Harper’s Weekly, December 19, 1863), which were generally thought to influence the course of the war.
A Civil War Lecture Series in conjunction with the exhibit will be held monthly. Full details about the lectures, book signings, and family-friendly events can be viewed on the museum’s website and Facebook events page.
The New Jersey Sesquicentennial Committee, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, a volunteer organization working for increased awareness and recognition of New Jersey’s important role in the Civil war, has been recognized by the New Jersey Governor and both houses of the New Jersey legislature.
Macculloch Hall Historical Museum preserves the history of the Macculloch-Miller families, the Morris area community, and the legacy of its founder W. Parsons Todd through its historic site, collections, exhibits, and educational and cultural programs. The Museum is open to tour the house and view exhibits on Wednesdays, Thursdays & Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. General Admission: Adults $8; Seniors & Students $6; Children 6 – 12 $4. Members and children under 5 are free. The last tickets for admission are sold at 3 p.m. School tours, adult/senior tours and rentals may be scheduled by appointment. For information, call the Museum weekdays at (973) 538-2404 ext. 10, visit our website www.maccullochhall.org or find us on Facebook. Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, 45 Macculloch Ave., Morristown, NJ 07960. Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is a nonprofit educational affiliate of the W. Parsons Todd Foundation.