Special Events

Secessionists, Soldiers and Slaves: The Middleton & Alston Family's Civil War
Ongoing Exhibit Through December 31, 2015
Location: Middleton Place & Edmondston-Alston House

The Middleton Place House Museum and the Edmondston-Alston House will mount special changing exhibits commemorating American Civil War sesquicentennial anniversaries on a year-by-year basis and follow the lives of the Middleton family, Alston family, friends and slaves. Using personal letters, first-hand accounts and collections of the Middleton Place Foundation, the war will be viewed through the lens of the Middleton and Alston families as Secession and early war optimism turns slowly into defeat. The exhibit will explore rice culture during the war, the building of Charleston's defenses, investing in experimental "seegar boats", the use of slaves for war projects and runaway slaves fleeing the plantations for Union bases in Beaufort and Port Royal.

A House in Mourning
Bereavement in 19th-Century Charleston
Ongoing Exhibit Through December 1, 2014

Lieutenant John Julius Pringle Alston’s service to the Confederacy included duty at Fort Sumter and a role in the heroic defense of Charleston during the Union assault on Morris Island. After serving in the 1st South Carolina Artillery for two-and-a-half years, Alston contracted typhoid at Battery Wagner and died of the disease on Sept. 20, 1863.

The Middleton Place Foundation presents a special exhibit -- A House in Mourning -- remembering the death of Lt. Alston, and illustrating grief traditions of the 1860s. Visitors will be introduced to the visible signs of mourning practiced by the Alstons. Nineteenth-century etiquette for the wealthy and socially prominent required that their houses were draped in black bunting, black mourning wreaths placed on doors and gates, door knockers covered and muted, and mirrors and portraits of the deceased draped with black cloth. A House in Mourning will present these traditions along with contemporary portraits and letters from the Alston family, and illustrations of the war in Charleston.


Christmas 1860 at the Edmondston-Alston House
December 5 & 12, 2014 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | tours given continuously

Celebrate a Victorian holiday season by candlelight at the Edmondston-Alston House – decorated for the holidays as it would have been in 1860. Costumed interpreters will present dramatic scenes exploring Charleston’s last opulent Christmas before the start of the Civil War.



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