Richmond, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
R. E. Lee Camp, No.1
—Confederate Soldiers’ Home —
Between 1885 and 1941 the present-day location of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts 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 camp was built with private funds, including donations from former Confederate and Union soldiers alike. At peak occupancy, residents numbered just over three hundred; altogether a total of nearly three thousand veterans from thirty-three states called the camp home. From the camp’s earliest years, the Commonwealth of Virginia helped fund the institution. When the last resident died in 1941, the Commonwealth gained ownership of the site and designated it as the Confederate Memorial Park.
By Bernard Fisher, April 16, 2011
1. Robinson House Marker
Throughout the early 20th century, camp administrators and the Commonwealth granted parcels of land to erect the Confederate Memorial Institute (“Battle Abbey,” which later merged with the Virginia Historical Society); Home for Needy Confederate Women; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; and headquarters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
This imposing building was originally a two-story farmhouse built by Anthony Robinson Jr. in the mid-1850s. In April 1865 during the final weeks of the Civil War, Union troops occupied the house and grounds at the invitation of his widow,
Rebecca Robinson, in exchange for protection from looting. In 1883 the couple’s son Channing sold the residence and thirty-six acres to establish the Confederate soldiers’ home. The house, renamed Fleming Hall, gained a third floor and cupola. For the next half century, it served as the compound’s administration building and war museum. After the camp’s closing, the Commonwealth granted use of the building to the Virginia Institute for Scientific Research in the 1950s and to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts from 1964 to the present.
2. Confederate Soldiers' Home
A favorite attraction in the camp’s museum was Stonewall Jackson’s war horse, Little Sorrel, who died at the soldiers’ home in 1886. The horse’s preserved and mounted hide was on display—as seen in this 1932 photograph alongside veteran J. C. Smith—until its move to the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington in 1948. It remains on view at the school today. Photo: Dementi-Foster Studios; courtesy Richmond Valentine History Center
Erected 2011 by Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Marker series. This marker is included in the United Daughters of the Confederacy marker series.
Location. 37° 33.417′ N, 77° 28.469′ W. Marker is in Richmond, Virginia. Marker can be reached from North Boulevard south of Stuart Avenue. Touch for map. Located north of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 North Boulevard, Richmond VA 23221, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Residential Life at R. E. Lee Camp, No.1 (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Home For Needy Confederate Women (about 500 feet away); Confederate Memorial Chapel
(about 600 feet away); Virginia Historical Society (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Confederate Memorial Chapel (about 700 feet away); Arnold’s Picket Driven In (approx. 0.2 miles away); Memorial Bell Tower (approx. 0.3 miles away); Stonewall Jackson (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
3. Confederate Soldiers' Home
This postcard view of Robinson House pictures the camp’s hospital (far right) and Pegram Hall (center right) during the heyday of the soldiers’ home.
Also see . . . Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. (Submitted on April 19, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. • Charity & Public Work • War, US Civil •
4. Robinson House
Members of the Robinson family assemble in front of their Italianate-style residence in this 1880 photograph. Their estate, with its extensive stand of oak trees, was called “The Grove.” Photo: Valentine Richmond History Center
By Bernard Fisher, April 16, 2011
5. Fleming Hall (Robinson House)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 19, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 828 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 19, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.