Provincetown and the Civil War, an exhibit of Provincetown related Civil War items, is on view now through November 30th at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum on High Pole Hill in Provincetown. Paradoxically, Provincetown citizens held a rally in support of President Lincoln and Captain Stephen A. Ryder and others raised the national flag on High Pole Hill where the Pilgrim Monument stands today, just 10 days after Lincoln’s call for volunteers. This year on the 150th Anniversary of the beginning of the war, visitors can see items connected to Provincetown’s response to the war.
Provincetown was the first town on the Cape to reach its quota of volunteers, largely the result of the efforts of Captain Godfrey Ryder, Jr. One-hundred and fifty years later Ryder’s never-before exhibited sword and red sash are on display in an exhibit of Civil War related items from the collection of the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. Also included in the display are parlor memorials, confederate and fractional currency, and the record books of the Provincetown Women’s Relief Society.
One section of the exhibit focuses on items related to the Grand Army of the Republic, the veterans’ organization that formed after the Civil War to advocate for veteran’s rights and to foster memorials to fallen comrades. The portraits of more than 30 veterans displayed in an ornate frame that once hung in the GAR headquarters in Provincetown and a brief history of their service during the war are included along with GAR badges, photographs and hats.
There will be a talk and book signing in conjunction with the exhibit by Stauffer Miller, author of Cape Cod and the Civil War. on May 29 at 1:00 p.m.
The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum is open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. from April 1 through November with extended hours from June 1 to September 15 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission Adults $7.00; Seniors (age 62+) and Students (15+ with ID) $5.00; Children (4 – 14) $3.50; Children 3 and under are admitted free.
The Pilgrim Monument commemorates the Pilgrims’ first landing in America and the signing of the Mayflower Compact in Provincetown Harbor. Visitors can easily walk to the top using a unique series of steps and ramps around the interior of the building. The views from the top are breathtaking, and on clear days you can see both Plymouth and Boston. The Provincetown Museum features the history of Provincetown and the Outer Cape. Here you will see exhibits on the Pilgrims and the Mayflower, Provincetown’s theater history including Eugene O’Neill and the Provincetown Players, artifact collections brought from distant lands by sea captains, and much more.