Pre-American Civil War Providence Horse Guards militia helmet. They sure had style back then. Some of these men formed the nucleus of the First Rhode Island Cavalry who served with great distinction during the U.S. Civil War. Rhode Island’s citizen militias helped make our state regiments some of the most effective units for the Union […]
Our Rhode Island United Train of Artillery leather cap (purportedly worn during the Revolution by Benajah Carpenter) has safely returned to the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia,PA. Carpenter was killed in action at the Battle of Long Island presumably while wearing it. One of the rarest and […]
At the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum, we have a U.S. Civil War field desk used by Colonel John Talbot Pittman of the 9th and 11th Rhode Island Volunteers while manning the defenses of Washington DC.
Here’s another small (but fascinating) piece of history tucked away in the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum. This is a piece of the famed US Frigate “Constitution”, known as “Old Ironsides” for its defeat of five British warships during the War of 1812. The piece was owned by Rear Admiral John R. Bartlett of Lonsdale, RI, […]
At the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum, we have a Model 1885 Cavalry Officer’s great coat with cape. It’s in remarkable condition. It was loaned to us in 1939 by General Glines. It was used by the Rhode Island State Cavalry Guard.
Here are some before and after images of Varnum Continental’s founding member H.V. Allen’s Kentish Guard uniform jacket from 1900. This job required painters tape, a special vacuum, gentle handwashing in Woolite, and about 5 hours of time. Now the jacket is clean and brighter. Despite the moth damage, it should display nicely at the […]
The Varnum Memorial Armory Museum has become a place where Rhode Island military history is saved from the dust bin of time. This often includes saving the records detailing the more mundane and low-key types of service to our country. Not everyone was in combat. Not everyone was heroic. Not everyone made decisions and actions […]
At the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum, we have a Rhode Island First Light Infantry (Company D) glass from 1903. This Rhode Island Militia (RIM) group supplied a lot of men to fight in State regiments and the RIM. It was the predecessor of the Rhode Island National Guard.
This Smith & Wesson Victory Model 10 revolver was recently donated to the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum. The Varnum Memorial Armory’s revolver is a .38 Smith & Wesson. More research is forthcoming. The Smith and Wesson Model 10, produced during World War II, had a “V” for Victory prefix in the serial number. Smith and […]
Our Varnum Memorial Armory Curator, Patrick Donovan, was reading a first-hand account of the 4th Rhode Island Volunteers at the Battle of New Bern in the U.S. Civil War, and came across the names of the ship captains who made up the naval force accompanying the expeditionary force. He faintly recognized one of the names: […]