Internal Built Environment Description: Rhodes Hall (part four)

The inauguration of Jefferson Davis

The inauguration of Jefferson Davis

Depiction of Stonewall Jackson at the first battle of Manassas

Depiction of Stonewall Jackson at the first battle of Manassas

Robert E. Lee right before surrendering

Robert E. Lee right before surrendering

This is, in my opinion, the most fascinating part of the entire mansion. These three painted-glass window panels were installed to depict the rise and fall of the confederacy. There was a lot of southern nationalism around this time in history as the southern surrender was approaching it’s 40th anniversary and several Confederate generals died right around this time. The first panel depicts the inauguration of Confederate president Jefferson Davis above and the Battle of Fort Sumter below. The second panel shows the Confederate victory at the First Battle of Manassas with “Stonewall” Jackson earning his nickname. Finally, the third panel depicts Confederate General Robert E. Lee saying goodbye to his soldiers right before departing to go sign the terms of surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. The level of detail of these fixtures is absolutely incredible; you can get up close and see the individual soldiers and details of their faces and uniforms. All three windows are divided by portraits of over a dozen important Confederate figures.

Window in a closet below the staircase

Window in a closet below the staircase

Finally, this last window kind of put into perspective the mindset of the architect and of Amos Giles Rhodes when this house was being designed. This window is in a small closet below the staircase and the rest of the windows and was supposed to be symbolic of taking down the Confederate Flag and storing it away in order to let go of the past while still honoring the sense of southern heritage that many southerners then and now associate with the Confederacy.

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