Civil War

3663 Crab Orchard Road Tazewell

Historic Crab Orchard Museum & Pioneer Park
Written By Historic Crab Orchard Museum & Pioneer Park

The Historic Crab Orchard Museum is an educational institution whose mission is to identify, collect, preserve, interpret, and promote the diverse Appalachian cultural heritage of Southwest Virginia and the surrounding region.

During the American Civil War, the majority of the people in Southwestern Virginia sided with the Confederacy with a firm belief in strong local and state governments and opposition to powerful central government. As a bordering state, however, many soldiers found themselves fighting against members of their own families.

Tazewell County had several encampments of both Confederate and Union soldiers during the war. The door on the wall was taken from a home in Cedar Bluff and still bears the indentations made by Burbridge’s Union soldiers when they knocked it open to take food. In 1864, Burbridge and his 5,000 men marched through the county on their way to take the town of Saltville. They failed in this attempt.

Captain William E. Peery and his family who lived at “Ben Bolt” in Tazewell owned this day bed. During the Civil War, Confederate troops were encamped on Captain Peery’s farm. Union troops invaded the area and planned to take the Confederates as prisoners. A Confederate soldier was laying on the day bed pretending to be “very ill” with smallpox. When his friend who was pretending to “care” for him told this to the Union troops, they left quickly to avoid catching the deadly disease. The Confederate soldier pretending to be ill recovered miraculously upon their departure and resumed his duties.

This battle flag was made during the Civil War out of a silk wedding dress. Mrs. Arthur Campbell Cummings made the flag from her dress for her husband’s Confederate unit from neighboring Smyth County.

This pen features a pen point tied to a twig with coarse thread. It was found behind a loose block of wood in the wall next to the fireplace in a brick kitchen in the Town House in Chilhowie, Virginia. The pen was in a hand sewn bag that had almost entirely rotted away. Because it was hidden, it may have been a slave artifact, as reading and writing were illegal for slaves before the Civil War.

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Crab Orchard Museum Permanent Gallery Exhibits, Pt. 2

Civil War

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