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The Center

Civil War Day at the American Civil War CenterThe American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar (formerly the Tredegar National Civil War Center Foundation), a 501(c) (3) corporation, was incorporated on July 7, 2000, and granted tax exemption by the Internal Revenue Service on November 27, 2000. Since that date the Center has raised $13.6 million in capital funding for adaptive reuse of the historic Tredegar Gun Foundry, itself an extraordinary Civil War artifact built in 1861, and the fabrication of a teaching exhibit called In the Cause of Liberty inside that building. The exhibit presents, for the first time ever in the country, the story of the Civil War from three perspectives—Union, Confederate, and African American—fulfilling the Center’s mission. The exhibit, acclaimed as a breakthrough in Civil War interpretation and presentation nationally in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and on National Public Radio, and locally in The Times-Dispatch, Style Weekly, and Richmond Magazine, has been very positively received by the public in written feedback and surveys.

The Center is a place to learn about the Civil War—its causes, its course, and its legacies. It is a place where the people who decided America’s future tell their stories. Here, all of the main stories—Union, Confederate, and African American— get significant space together for the first time. By understanding these three perspectives on a subject that is still divisive almost a century and a half later, we can begin to see the war differently—as a shared national heritage.

The Center opened on Saturday, October 7, 2006 and has gained rave reviews ever since. While on site, be sure to visit the award-winning Richmond National Battlefield Park Visitor Center and see the remnants of Tredegar’s industrial and transportation past. Stroll along the Canal Walk and take the pedestrian bridge over the James River to Belle Isle, once a prisoner of war camp and today a park of great natural beauty.