Dumped and Forgotten Below the Milam Street Bridge will be on display from May 16 – August 4, 2018 in the Museum Gallery. One of the highlights of the exhibit is an amazing, never-before exhibited Civil War era archeology collection that has received new life with modern conservation treatments and has been researched by experts in munitions. In the summer of 1968, a local archeologist organized an excavation of Buffalo Bayou near the Milam Street Bridge in the hopes of recovering long forgotten Civil War artifacts. After the war ended in 1865, munitions, once housed at the Kennedy building located at Travis and Congress, were dumped into the bayou. The disposal of the weaponry was part of a broader effort to deprive the approaching Union forces of the equipment and supplies of the Confederacy. Barges loaded with rifles and cannon balls were driven up stream to the low water bridge at Milam Street and sunk. The purpose of this exhibit is to educate visitors about Houston’s role as a port city in the Civil War and to discover what happened to these artifacts once abandoned in the bayou. Other stories that will be addressed include urban slavery in Houston and Juneteenth, tales of a local Union prison camp and “Fort Humbug,” the Wharton/Baylor murder in downtown Houston, blockade running and more.
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