Residential Life at R. E. Lee Camp, No.1

Residential Life at R. E. Lee Camp, No.1 (HMS0Z)

Location: Richmond, VA 23221
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 33.388', W 77° 28.553'

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Inscription

R. E. Lee Camp, No.1

— Confederate Soldiers' Home —

Between 1885 and 1941 the present-day location of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was the site of a large residential complex for poor and infirm Confederate veterans of the Civil War. Established by R. E. Lee Camp, No. 1, Confederate Veterans, the camp was built with private funds, including donations from former Confederate and Union soldiers alike. At peak occupancy, residents numbered just over three hundred; altogether a total of nearly three thousand veterans from thirty-three states called the camp home. From the camp's earliest years, the Commonwealth of Virginia helped fund the institution. When the last resident died in 1941, the Commonwealth gained ownership of the site and designated it as the Confederate Memorial Park.

"We have a home in the true sense of the word for the old boys."

Near this area was once the central commons of the Confederate soldiers' home. Around the oak-filled park stood the administration building, barracks, dining hall, hospital, recreation hall, steam plant, and assorted outbuildings. The superintendent's house, nine residential cottages, and a chapel formed an arc to the west. With the exception of Robinson House and the Confederate Memorial Chapel, the structures were demolished or moved in the early 1940s.

For residents, life revolved around a semi-military routine of drills, chores, and inspection. Leisure activities included storytelling and card playing, as well as occasional lectures, musicales, and visits from schoolchildren. In 1904 resident Benjamin J. Rogers described the camp as a "home in the true sense," noting:

Our rooms are furnished with two single iron bedsteads ? good mattress, bureau, washstand, pitcher and bowl, and two chambers. We are required to sweep them out every morning and carry out our slops?. They give us a hat, over coat, full suit of uniform, four pair shoes a year, soap, tobacco, chewing or smoking ? undershirts and drawers, top shirts ? socks, towels and color handkerchiefs.

Home for Needy Confederate Women

The monumental limestone building to the west was built in 1932 as a residence for destitute female relatives of Confederate veterans. After relocating the home's final inhabitants to a nursing facility in 1989, the Commonwealth set aside the property for use by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Today the renovated and renamed Pauley Center houses museum offices and meeting rooms.
Details
HM NumberHMS0Z
Tags
Year Placed2011
Placed ByVirginia Museum of Fine Arts
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 6:08am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 281303 N 4159487
Decimal Degrees37.55646667, -77.47588333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 33.388', W 77° 28.553'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 33' 23.28" N, 77° 28' 33.18" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 215 N Sheppard St, Richmond VA 23221, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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