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Civil War Battles, Portrayed by Cats



Our national need for a Civil War museum consisting of battle reproduction scenes with cat figurine soldiers has finally been fulfilled.

In September, in the shadow of the historic battlefield here, twins Rebecca and Ruth Brown opened Civil War Tails, possibly America’s most whimsical war museum.

Their collection of scale-model battle dioramas includes Fort Sumter, the Battle of the Ironclads and their masterpiece, four years in the making, Pickett’s Charge, 1,900 cat soldiers in all.

Yes, cats, an inch or smaller, each one lovingly sculpted in clay by the 32-year-old sisters, then baked in a 225-degree oven. The choice of figurine was born of necessity more than devotion, although the sisters like cats plenty. “We just don’t make clay people as well as cats,” Rebecca says.

Personally, I look forward to the cat figurine scene of Sherman’s march to the sea.

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  • Crusty

    If there’s a Holocaust museum, it is only fitting that the Civil War be memorialized in cat form.

    • Dilan Esper

      Isn’t the better analogy Art Spiegelman’s wonderful “Maus”?

  • witlesschum

    Wow, those people sure are some people.

    On the main subject of the article, there’s some bullshit in noting that William Henry Harrison has two museums devoted to him despite being president for a month. He’d be a very significant figure in Indiana and Midwest history if he’d never run for president, due to his military leadership against the native population. The guy who led the armies that conquered the land which now forms your state is probably worth a museum most places.

    The claim that the U.S. has more museums than other places is interesting, too. I wonder if it’s at all true? I remember the most recent season of the Amazing Race claimed Mexico had more museums than any other country. I don’t know whether to believe that Phil guy or the Bezos Post, particularly.

    • I’m skeptical about that Mexico claim. Almost every small town in America has some kind of museum. That is very much not the case in Mexico.

      • The Dark God of Time

        Yeah, we have one here that was started some 50 years ago.

  • N__B

    Sherman’s march to the sea.

    Typical cat behavior.

    • Bill Murray

      well there was catnip there, what do you expect

  • Just_Dropping_By

    I’m presuming that, per U.S. Grant, the Union cat figurines have longer tails. (Seriously, how did the article manage to omit a reference to that quote?)

  • elm

    It’s interesting that the author of the linked article call it the “War Between the States” when the museum itself is called “Civil War Tails.” Is that house style at the WaPo?

    • The war of Treason in Defense of Slavery hasn’t caught on with the major news organizations or with the Washington Post for some reason.

      • advocatethis

        Glad you distinguished between major news organizations and the WaPo

  • pianomover

    Always wanted to do the French Revolution w/chickens

  • ChrisTS

    Why is the Jeff Davis cat wearing a skirt?

    • rea

      That’s kind of personal, isn’t it?

      • ChrisTS

        True. Apologies (to the cat).

    • Joe_JP

      is that per the rumor he was disguised as a woman when he was captured?

      • ChrisTS

        I was not aware of that! It just looks like a skirt in the drawing.

      • delazeur

        I’m half-remembering something about how he put on a woman’s coat because it was cold and rainy and he didn’t have a coat of his own handy, and then the Union claimed he was dressed as a woman to humiliate him. It’s possible I’m making that up though.

        • Even if true, given that Davis should have been shot, his sympathizers have no room to complain.

  • Hells Littlest Angel

    I hates Confedereeses to pieces.

    • Joe_JP


  • Is there a better way to catalog the battles of this catastrophic conflict? It was a cataclysm that cleft the country in twain.

  • Buggy Ding Dong

    It’s hard for me to root against either side this way. Can we make the Union cats and the South Sleestacks?

  • bender

    That museum is gloriously eccentric.

    I think the white horse is a better sculpture than the cats, but I suppose if you dressed the horse in a uniform it would look less like a horse.

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