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 […]
There are a few things in the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum truly makes us emotional. This is one of those items: gloves soaked in the blood of Lt Henry Prescott of the 1st Rhode Island Detached Militia, who was shot and killed at the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861. He was […]
Here’s an interesting new addition to the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum‘s World War II collection: a 1941 Soviet-made Model TT-33 “Tokarev” pistol. Known for its rugged and reliable design, this pistol (chambered in 7.62 x 25mm) was developed in the 1930s by Fedor Tokarev to replace the aging Model 1895 Nagant revolver. The pistol saw […]
This is the original charter of the Rhode Island United Train of Artillery (UTA) written April 22nd, 1775, just 3 days after “the shot heard round the world” at Concord, MA, that began the U.S. fight for independence. After raising 80% of the funds through a grant, the document has gone through an extensive conservation […]
In direct relation to our 1st Rhode Island Cavalry Company L guidon flag, the Varnum Memorial Armory also has on exhibit the uniform belonging to North Kingstown’s Lyman Aylesworth, one the few cavalrymen to escape the Battle of Middleburg on June 18, 1863. Click here to book a tour!
June 18, 2016 was the 153rd anniversary of the First Rhode Island Cavalry‘s demise at the Battle of Middleburg during the U.S. Civil War. Nearly surrounded by overwhelming numbers from Jeb Stuart‘s Confederate cavalry, Col. Duffie ordered every man to try to get away. Out of roughly 280 soldiers, only 27 made it out. In […]