Confederate Soldiers' Home
"We have a home in the true sense of the word for the old boys"
Between 1885 and 1941, this property was the site of a large residential complex for poor and infirm Confederate veterans of the Civil War. Established by R.E. Lee Camp, No. 1, Confederate Veterans, the facility was built with private funds, which included donations from former Confederate and Union soldiers alike. At it's peak occupancy, residents numbered approximately three hundred.
Life for camp residents revolved around a semimilitary routine of chores, inspections, meals, and leisure activities. In 1904 resident Benjamin J. Rogers described the facility as a "home in the true sense." Altogether a total of nearly three thousand veterans from thirty-three states resided here. Following the death of the last resident, ownership of the soldiers' home buildings and grounds transferred to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
R.E. Lee Camp Confederate Soldiers' Home
The open area behind you once served as the central grounds of the soldiers' home. Around the oak-filled park stood the administration building, barracks, dining hall, hospital, recreation hall, steam plant, and assorted outbuildings. Ten residential cottages, including the commandant's house, and a chapel lined up in a slight arc to the west. With the exception of Robinson House, the Confederate Memorial Chapel, and a utility shed, the structures were demolished or moved between 1935 and 1941.
"Our rooms are furnished with two single iron bedsteads... a good mattress, bureau, washstand, pitcher and bowl, and two chambers. We are required to sweep them out every morning and carry out our slops....They give us a hat, overcoat, full suit of uniform, four pair shoes a year, soap, tobacco, chewing or smoking...undershirts and drawers, top shirts...socks, towels and color handkerchiefs."
-— Resident Benjamin J. Rogers, 1904
Home for Confederate Women
In 1932, this monumental building opened as a privately run residence for destitute female relatives of Confederate veterans. After its board voted to close the facility in 1989, the Commonwealth of Virginia became the building's owner and transferred its care to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Today the renovated and renamed Stan and Dorothy Pauley Center houses museum offices and meeting rooms.
Funded through private donations and state support, the Home for Confederate Women was designed by architect Merrill Lee, who was inspired by the neoclassical motifs of the White House. Its soaring ionic portico fronts Sheppard Street.