An iconic weapon from World War II is now on display at the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum: the M3A1 “grease gun”. Costing only $20 to produce, the M3A1 was created to replace the much more expensive and reportedly less reliable Thompson submachine gun. Looking a little too much like an auto mechanic’s tool, many soldiers […]
A key aspect of the Varnum Continental’s mission is to preserve Rhode Island military history. To that end we are working with the Benefit Street Arsenal to professionally conserve and mount a priceless Rhode Island Civil War treasure: a Confederate artillery battery guidon flag captured by the 4th Rhode Island Volunteers after making a desperate […]
At the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum, we have a piece of a U.S. Civil War secession flag taken at Hagerstown by one of the members of the 1st Rhode Island Infantry (originally the 1st Rhode Island Detached Militia) and presented to “Geo M Ladd by Chas E Douglas USA July 6th 1861”. This has to […]
Here we have a unique item on display at the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum: a 152+yr old piece of U.S. Civil War hardtack, the staple food ration for Union soldiers throughout the war. This simple and sturdy cracker made of flour, water, and salt could be easily carried and last seemingly forever. Issued 9 to […]
Also shown is a 1943 MP-40 submachine gun.
This Rhode Island Civil War Artillery officer’s frock coat and pants belonged to a member of the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery, Capt. James E. Chace. His unit was a storied regiment with a lot of combat experience in many of the biggest battles of the Eastern theater. At Gettysburg, Chace was a member of […]
The First New England Cavalry was the brain child of Rhode Island Governor William Sprague IV, who wanted all New England states to contribute to a new cavalry regiment in the Fall of 1861. The unit ended up being comprised of only two states: two Rhode Island battalions and one battalion from New Hampshire. After […]
On the night of July 9, 1777, Barton’s Raiders captured the British Commander-in-Chief, General Prescott, in Middletown, RI. At the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum, we have a sword that is purported to be the one taken from Prescott on that night. View the images for more details!
New technology met “the way we’ve always done things” in a big way on March 8, 1862, off the coast of Virginia. The old war sloop, the USS Cumberland, and four other wooden Navy sailing ships faced off against the CSS Virginia (formerly the Merrimack), the world’s first steam-powered and iron-clad warship. This ship instantly […]
Here’s another great exhibit at the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum: a large 1839 lithograph of General George Washington (the frame looks very old as well). You’ll be able to see it in our main display room. Here’s the description: Originally painted by Parisian artist Leon Cogniet, engraved by Jean Nicolas Laugier, and sold by James […]