- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A new museum that will marry the collections of two Civil War museums has a name: The American Civil War Museum.

The museum will be built along the James River at the site of the Tredegar Iron Works, where much of the South’s cannons were forged during the Civil War. The name was revealed Wednesday by The Museum of the Confederacy and The American Civil War Center, which announced plans to merge in November.

The name choice was based on market research and discussions among museum leaders.

Waite Rawls, president of the Confederacy museum and co-CEO of the new museum, said the market research was clear on the museum’s simple, direct name.

“Time and again the participants told us, ‘Tell people what it is. Don’t mince words or be cute,’ ” he said in a statement. “I think we have accomplished just that.”

Christy Coleman, president of the American Civil War Center, said the market research also underscored “an overwhelming desire that the stories and exhibitions be comprehensive and provide new insights into the conflict.” Coleman will share the CEO title with Rawls at the new museum.

When completed in 2016, the museum will combine the best aspects of both museums within a $30 million showcase. The Confederacy museum has a vast collection of Southern artifacts from swords to uniforms, while the Civil War Center uses interactive exhibits to tell the story of the Civil War. The latter has also strived to tell the story of the Civil War from different perspectives - North and South, black and white, civilian and military.

The new museum will continue that narrative and “strengthen the preservation of an unparalleled collection of Civil War artifacts” from the Confederacy museum, according to a news release.

The James River location for the new attraction, a little more than 1 mile from Museum of the Confederacy, offers a more expansive and accessible site. It’s also home to the National Park Service’s Richmond Visitor Center, already is a popular destination for Civil War buffs.

The museums said they have $20 million in commitments toward to construction of the museum.

___

Online:

The Museum of the Confederacy: http://www.moc.org/

The American Civil War Center: http://www.tredegar.org/

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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