TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama’s Gorgas House Museum will display a new exhibit on the Gorgas family and their experiences during the Civil War beginning on April 3, the day before the 150th anniversary of the burning of UA’s campus by Union forces.
The exhibit, titled “North and South: The Gorgas Family, the University of Alabama and the Divisions of the Civil War,” will feature research by UA students, as well showcase original artifacts, such as General Josiah Gorgas’ coat and ceremonial sword. The exhibit explores the themes of division in the Civil War as Josiah not only becomes estranged from his family because of his choice to serve his wife’s State of Alabama instead of his native Pennsylvania, but also the hardships of being separated from his wife and six young children because of his war time duties. Josiah Gorgas served the Confederacy as the Chief of Ordinance, but because of his position in the Confederacy, the end of the war brought with it the end of his military career.
“This exhibit focuses on a time before the Gorgas’ came to The University of Alabama,” said Lydia Ellington, Gorgas House Museum director. “Visitors will have a chance to see Civil War artifacts that are rarely on display because of their fragile nature. Also, this will be the first time ever the public will be able to see some of the artifacts that were uncovered by The University of Alabama’s Office of Archaeological Research during the construction of the Embassy Suites downtown.”
The exhibit will also feature information and artifacts related to the Civil War in Tuscaloosa, including items recently unearthed by the Office of Archaeological Research staff, as well as artifacts from Jefferson Hall, a dormitory on UA’s original 1831 campus. Jefferson Hall was burned by Union forces in 1865.
The exhibit will be on display in the Gorgas House Museum until Oct. 23. The museum is open 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. General admission is $2.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.