A Southern Project – A Museum for Confederates, The Battle Abbey, The Beginning.

[b]Chap. [/b][b]82.—An ACT to provide, with certain conditions, a site for the erection of a Confederate memorial institute on a portion of the land in the western section of the city of Richmond, now the property of the State, and known as the Soldiers’ Home property.[/b]

[b]Approved – March 2, 1910.[/b]

[b]Whereas[/b], the Confederate Memorial association has in hand a sum. to be expended in the erection of a building to be known as the Confederate memorial institute, in which there are to be preserved the now priceless relics of Virginia and of those other States that formed the late Confederacy; and

[b]Whereas[/b], it is the desire of all the States which have contributed to the said fund that the said building should be located in Richmond, the capital of that Confederacy, and resolutions authorizing and empowering the Confederate memorial association to erect such building in this city have been adopted by the properly constituted authorities, which resolutions and desire on the part of the other States confer on Virginia great honor, and deserve recognition and support at her hands; and

[b]Whereas,[/b] the Commonwealth of Virginia is seised and possessed of about twenty-five acres of land in the western portion of the city of Richmond, under and [b]by virtue of her contract with R. E. Lee camp[/b], number one, Confederate veterans, as embodied in the act approved March three, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, being chapter six hundred and twenty-five of the acts of the assembly, eighteen hundred and ninety-one, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, and of a deed from said R- E. Lee camp, dated March twenty-fourth, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, and duly recorded in the clerk’s office of Henrico county, but subject to the occupancy and control of the said R. E. Lee camp, number one, Confederate veterans, until the third day of March, nineteen hundred and fourteen; and

[b]Whereas[/b], the said twenty-five acres has long been the site of the home for Confederate soldiers and sailors, and so identified and associated with Confederate memories, and by reason of its location and environments will constitute an especially suitable and desirable site for the said Confederate memorial institute; therefore,

1. Be it enacted by the general assembly of Virginia, That the governor of this Commonwealth shall, so soon as may be practicable after the passage of this act, tender to the said Confederate memorial association such portion of the said twenty-five acres of land in the city of Richmond, known as the Soldiers’ Home property, as is hereinafter more specifically set out, as and for a site for the said Confederate memorial institute, to be by them so used and occupied under the condition hereinafter specified: provided, however, that no action shall be taken hereunder by the governor until R. E. Lee camp, number one, Confederate veterans, shall have first signified to him, by resolutions, the acquiescence of that body in the purposes of this act, and their consent to its provisions.

[i]2. [/i]When the said R. E. Lee camp, number one, Confederate veterans, shall have so signified their acquiescence and consent, if the said Confederate memorial association shall accept of the site for said Confederate memorial institute, which it is the purpose and intent of this act to offer them, under the terms and conditions hereinafter specified, then

3. The governor be, and he is hereby, authorized, for and on behalf of the Commonwealth, to become party to a deed, providing the said R. E. Lee camp, number one, Confederate veterans, shall join therein, and the form of which shall be approved by the attorney-general, and attested by the secretary of the Commonwealth, with the said Confederate memorial association, which shall effect the following purposes:

(a) Grant and convey to the said Confederate memorial association, and their successors, for the purpose of erecting said Confederate memorial institute, and providing suitable grounds therefor, that portion of said twenty-five acres of land which lies between Stuart avenue and Kensington street, and between the boulevard and Sheppard street, or so much thereof as the said association may specify, such portion to be accurately described by its metes and bounds, and to be shown in a plat so to be attached to said deed as a part thereof.

(b) Such deed shall provide that the right and title in and to the said property shall remain in the said grantees and their successors, in consideration of the erection by them of the said building thereon, free from the use or control of the Commonwealth, or R. E. Lee camp, number one, Confederate veterans, so long as they, the said grantees and their successors, shall maintain the said Confederate memorial institute thereon for the objects and purposes as now set forth in their charter of incorporation.

(c) The said deed shall provide that upon the failure of the grantees, or their successors, to maintain said building for the purposes and objects for which the said Confederate memorial association was incorporated, then the said property shall revert to the Commonwealth in fee simple, together with all improvements thereon, with the right to the said Commonwealth to re-enter and take possession.

(d) That in the event the fee simple title to the said property should revert to the State under the provisions of clause (c) of this act, the contents of said building, other than usual house fixtures, shall not become the property of the State, but the title and right of possession thereto shall remain in those who may properly establish their claims; but the Commonwealth shall not in any event be responsible for any injury or damage thereto or loss thereof.

Source of Content:

[b]Acts and joint resolutions, amending the Constitution, of the General Assembly of the State of Virginia. [/b]

[b]1910 ( Pages 109-113)[/b]

[b]Note: In addition to a Deed of 25 Acres Made available for the “Battle Abbey”, the Lee Camp lobbied to have the Confederate Memorial Institute brought to Virginia, as New Orleans, Charleston, and Memphis were all competing for the honor of the Museum. The R. E. Lee Camp Memorial Gallery “Art Collection” – The Largest Collection of Confederate Art in the World in the 1913 inventory by Adjutant, J. Taylor Stratton. In addition to the Confederate Memorial Institute, the Officers of the R. E. Lee Camp were also instrumental and involved in the Monument Projects for the Lee – Jackson – Davis – A.P. Hill – and Soldiers’ & Sailors Monument. In addition their Soldiers’ Home Project for Confederate Veterans was the First Permanent Soldiers’ Home in the South. The Southern Historical Society Papers, a collection of one of the Greatest Confederate Papers, and Writings in the World, according to Virginia Tech Professor, Robertson – Of Special Note are the Secretarys of the SHSP that were Commanders of the R. E. Lee Camp or Officers.[/b]

[b]For the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Contributions of the R. E. Lee Camp are still being reaped with the Monuments, Southern Writings of SHSP, Battle Abbey Museum, and the Soldiers’ Home – Still being Interpreted by the “Confederate War Memorial – Pelham Chapel”.[/b]

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