Texas Civil War Museum
Where did the Civil War end? I'll bet you said Appomattox, where Robert E. Lee surrendered to U.S. Grant. Nope. That ended the war with the largest Confederate army, but fighting continued elsewhere in the south and Jefferson Davis was still president of the Confederacy. Fighting continued on after Lee's surrender, even after Jefferson Davis was captured by Federal forces.
No, the last battle of the Civil War took place in . . . Texas. The Battle of Palmito Ranch was fought on May 12 May 13, 1865 on the banks of the Rio Grande about twelve miles east of Brownsville, Texas.
Everyone thinks of Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, even Maryland and Pennsylvania when they think of the Civil War. But Texas played a role in America's great battle between the states as well. The history of Texas and its involvement with the Civil War is remembered at the Texas Civil War Museum in Fort Worth.
The museum is located right here in Fort Worth. We have driven past it literally hundreds of times - it is within 10 miles of our house. Every time we see it, one of us will say to the other, "We need to check that place out - is it open?" Well, we finally broke down and went for a visit on February 27, 2010. Yes, it is open. We were pleasantly surprised at how nice it was inside too!
The entrance leads you to a large gift shop with a variety of Civil War and Texas souvenirs. From there you go into the exhibits. A series of four large rooms house the large assortment of display cases. For a relatively small, out-of-the-way museum they have an excellent assortment of artifacts. You'll see a variety of uniforms, sabres and other types of equipment laid out in the display cases.
I liked the display of military musical instruments, in particular. Other cool displays included cut-away examples of different types of cannon projectiles and original battle flags. Confederate general Jeb Stuart's spurs and other personal effects, a presentation sword of General U.S. Grant and an1860 Colt Revolvers given to Major General Nathaniel Banks by Samuel Colt. Also on display is a large collection of early American dresses, part of the Judy Richey Victorian Dress Collection. My wife really enjoyed looking at all the dresses they had. In addition, the movie Our Homes-Our Rights--Texas in the Civil War is shown in the museum's theater.
Overall, I was impressed with how nice the displays were, how well organized and well presented the artifacts were. The museum is very family friendly as well. If you are close to Fort Worth and are looking for something to do here, visit the Texas Civil War Museum. It isn't comparable to Gettysburg's Visitor Center, but it is far superior to the exhibits at Antietam - definitely worth checking out!
The Texas Civil War Museum is locatated at 760 Jim Wright Freeway North, Fort Worth Texas 76108. Locals will better recognize this address as being at exit 5B on the northbound access road of 820. For more information call them at 817/246-2323.
*Students 7-12: $3.00
*Children 6 and under: Free with adult
Dallas Texas / Fort Worth Texas Travel Photographs
Medieval Times in Dallas Texas - On August 29, 2009 we took our two teenagers to Medieval Times Dinner Theater in Dallas, Texas. Our seats' view was obstructed by a safety net for part of the show, but I was able to get some neat shots anyway.
Alliance Airshow in Fort Worth Texas - In October, 2009 we took the boys to the Alliance Airshow in Fort Worth, Texas. Pretty much like any other airshow you've gone to, with the Blue Angels as the headliners. We saw demonstrations by the A-10 tank buster and the F16 fighter as well as various stunt pilots. The Blue Angels' C-130 did a demonstration before the jets wowed the crowd. The weather was mostly cloudy, unfortunately, but we still got some good shots.
Civil War Reenactment - Battle for Myers Landing in McKinney Texas - On November 9, 2009 we went to the Civil War Reenactment of the Battle for Myers Landing in McKinney, Texas. The Battle for Myers Landing is a fictional battle; how exactly do you reenact a battle that never took place? I can't figure that one out, but that's what they call it so I'll play along. We had a great time and the reenactors were terrific.
Civil War Reenactment - Liendo Plantation Civil War Weekend in Hempstead Texas near Houston Texas - One of the reenactors at Myers Landng told us about an even bigger event at the Liendo Plantation in Hempstead, Texas, so on November 20-21, 2009 we headed off with our two teenagers to the plantation just north of Houston for this two-day event. Like Myers Landing, the Liendo battle never happened, so the reenactors can make the battle include whatever they'd like, and no one in the audience knows how it will end until it happens. The weather was overcast and drizzly on Saturday but bright and sunny on Sunday . . . which actually caused some unpleasant shadows in many photos, even with fill flash. In spite of all that, it was a terrific time and we shot a TON of great in-action photographs of the greatest Civil War battle in Texas that never happened.
Civil War Reenactment - Jefferson Texas - In May 2010 we drove to Jefferson, Texas to watch the Civil War reenactment battle. Comparable in size to the Myers Landing reenactment, we had a lot of fun in Jefferson. We were closer to the action here than at the other reenactments, which made for fun photographs.
Civil War Reenactment - Fort Richardson Texas - In September 2010 we drove to Fort Richardson, Texas to watch the Civil War reenactment battle. We were close to the action here - almost too close at some points! Got some fun photographs.
Texas Civil War Museum - Fort Worth Texas - We have driven past this facility literally hundreds of times - it is within 10 miles of our house. Every time we see it, one of us will say to the other, "We need to check that place out - is it open?" Well, we finally broke down and went for a visit on February 27, 2010. Yes, it is open. We were pleasantly surprised at how nice it was inside too! Check out the photos from the Texas Civil War Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.
Scarborough Renaissance Festival - Waxahachie Texas - One of the biggest festivals in the Dallas / Fort Worth area is Scarborough, a renaissance festival in the town of Waxahachie, Texas. Ryan and I went to check out the knights, royal courts, jesters - even a troll and a lute-playing fairy - on May 23, 2010. You'll enjoy the shots of the knights jousting and sword fighting in particular - those turned out well.
Rattlesnake Roundup - Sweetwater Texas - This event has been going strong since 1958, so it deserves coverage in our Texas day trip section. We went to the 52nd annual Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater, Texas in March, 2010 and shot plenty of pictures, which you can view here.
Civil War Reenactment - Longview, Texas - They held a Civil War reenactment in Longview, Texas in October, 2010 and - surprise, surprise - we went to it. Beautiful weather for being outside and we had fun taking pcitures of the battle.
Civil War Reenactment - Madisonville, Texas - They held a Civil War reenactment in Madisonville, Texas in March, 2011, called the Battle for El Camino Real. Primarily a cavalry battle, the two day event showcased some remarkable horse riding and combat.
Civil War Reenactment - Jefferson, Texas - We returned to Jefferson for the Battle of Port Jefferson in May 2011. Last year I was a spectator. This year I was a reenactor for one day and sat on the sidelines the next. We stayed at the Jefferson Hotel - didn't see any ghosts, unfortunately - and had a great time. Jefferson is a lovely town.
Caddo Lake, Uncertain Texas - As we left the 2011 Civil War reenactment at Jefferson, Texas we decided to make a detour to Uncertain and visit Caddo Lake. Check out this link to see the neat scenes we witnessed on a tour boat ride around the lake.
Josh Groban Concert at the American Airlines Center in Dallas Texas, May 16, 2011 - We attended Josh Groban's concert at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. What a terrific show! Check out these pictures from the concert.
Palo Duro Canyon in Amarillo Texas, December 28, 2012 - We decided to slip away from DFW for a couple days and visit the Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo. This is the second largest canyon in the US and it was terrific, even if it was pretty old. Check out these pictures.
Medieval Times in Dallas, Texas, January 5, 2013 - Several friends wanted to check out Medieval Times and so I returned there with them, Q and my brother. I used the lessons learned from the last time - that is, don't sit in a section behind a net - and a camera with a higher ISO and the results were vastly improved photos. This is a tricky photo setting; I literally used daylight, tungsten, florescent, shady and cloudy light settings when editing to get the colors right - and the photos were all taken from the same spot!