The Varnum Memorial Armory Museum exhibit that features the battle-scarred Bible and other artifacts belonging to Rhode Island Civil War soldier Private Alfred G. Gardner (Battery B First Rhode Island Light Artillery) tells a story of sacrifice and devotion to a higher cause. The Bible served as Gardner’s private journal, in which he made observations […]
In August 2015, we shared the story of the first North Kingstowner to fall in combat in the American Civil War during the March 14, 1862 Battle of New Bern (also spelled as New Berne) in North Carolina. With the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum’s recent acquisition of artifacts relating to that battle, it seems like […]
Until the 19th century was well along, handguns were limited to single-shot weapons. In 1836, a 22-year old Hartford, Connecticut man, Samuel Colt, came up with a concept for controlled rotation of a firearm that would allow multiple rounds to be fired without reloading. Colt, the son of a textile manufacturer, developed a fascination for […]
Recently, the Naval War College temporarily made available to another facility its handsome model of a highly significant war craft, the USS Stiletto. The loan prompted this writer to share the story of its influence on modern naval warfare. The Herreshoff brothers had already earned a reputation for small boat design and construction as well as integrating […]
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, […]
Three years ago, we shared this story about Albert Martin at the Alamo with you in Varnum News. Now, there is a new piece of information that may have come about as a result of Rhode Island calling the attention of our friends in Texas to an error in their memorial to the fallen heroes […]
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.
At our April Members’ Dinner Meeting, Varnum Memorial Armory Museum Curator Patrick Donovan will tell the story of the Civil War Battle of New Bern that took place early in the U.S. Civil War on March 14, 1862. Patrick will discuss the 4th Rhode Island Volunteers‘ important and heroic role in the attack to capture […]
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: […]