The Wray Collection
By Rick Saunders
The Atlanta History Center is the home of three outstanding Civil War collections; Beverly DuBose, Thomas Dickey and George Wray Jr. The AHC has brought these together in their award winning exhibition Turning Point: The American Civil War. Uniting these remarkable collections together gives the AHC one of the nations largest and most comprehensive exhibits about the Civil War.
In 1948, 12 year old George W. Wray Jr started collecting rare Confederate enlisted mens uniforms, previously unknown flags and many of the few surviving examples of Southern-made firearms, bayonets and artillery pieces. In addition to collecting these items, he also meticulously researched the original owners and makers. By the time of his death in 2004, the collection contained 1,300 objects and is one of the nations finest collections of extraordinarily rare Confederate firearms, uniforms, flags and accouterments.
On Monday, February 17th, Gordon Jones, Senior Military Historian for AHC will present a PowerPoint program on the Wray collection. Unfortunately insurance regulations prohibit him from bringing any of the items. Some items of this rare collection are: one of only three surviving examples of the Model 1841 converted to George Morses breech loading system, Confederate sniper rifles including two Confederate-used Whitworths, a one of a kind prototype carbine developed at the Richmond Armory, eight flags, including three documented battle flags, and six enlisted uniforms, including the blood-stained coat of seventeen-year-old Benjamin Schumpert of the 3rd South Carolina Infantry, who was killed at the Battle of Chickamauga.