See Civil War Uniforms in the Conservation Process

[This blog post is cross-posted from Department of Cultural Resources blog Adventures in North Carolina Culture]

The frock coat of Lt. Col. Thomas Ruffin will be one of the items shown in the webcast

The frock coat of Lt. Col. Thomas Ruffin will be one of the items shown in the webcast

The bloodied coat of Lt. Col. Thomas Ruffin of Johnston County, worn when he was mortally wounded in battle in Virginia Oct. 15, 1863, is a challenge for N.C. Museum of History Conservator Paige Myers. As a conservator she seeks to prevent further damage to textiles in her care even as the ravages of war are still evident.

During a live webcast September 10 from the N.C. Museum of History, you can get a behind-the-scenes look at a working textile conservation lab and see some of techniques Myers uses to conserve Civil War uniforms.

Some of the highlights of the program will include:

  • A demonstration of treatment for the blood-stained frock coat worn by Lt. Col. Thomas H. Ruffin, of Franklin County
  • A look at the moth eaten frock coat of Col. Dennis D. Ferebee of Camden County
  • Discussion on the various treatments that conservators use to preserve Civil War-era fabrics and uniforms
  • The chance to ask Myers questions about her work and textiles in the museum’s collection via email and live chat

The webcast will be held on Tuesday, September 10 from 6 to 7 p.m., and an Internet connection is all that is required to participate. To register, simply fill out the form at

This program is the first in a series organized by the Connecting to Collections Project (C2C) of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, in cooperation with the N.C. Museum of History. Future programs will examine the conservation of flags and garments from civilian life during the Civil War. The entire series is made possible thanks to a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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