The Loss of a Friend

by Lori Eggleston. 0 Comments

Everyone here at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine was saddened last week to learn of the passing of Elizabeth “Bettie” Delaplaine.  She was one of our museum’s benefactors and artifact donors, but more importantly, she was an avid supporter of our museum and staff members.


Bettie is near the center in this photo, next to her husband George, who is cutting the ribbon for our museum’s new store opening in 2013. It’s just not a true museum event unless the Delaplaines are here!


In memory of Bettie, I would like to feature a few of the artifacts she donated to the NMCWM over the years.


A small tin oil lamp with a metal cap is currently on display in our Everyday Life exhibit as an example of an item which a Civil War soldier may have had with him in camp. It measures just 2 inches tall and is 4 1/4″ in diameter, so it would have been easy to pack and transport.


This is a hand-drawn, color ink drawing of three Confederate flags, the Stars and Bars, the National Flag of the Confederacy, and the Confederate Battle Flag. The handwritten caption gives an explanation of each flag. It is initialed “W. J. L.”


A black and white photographic copy of a Civil War soldier’s original pen and ink drawing is currently on display in our final gallery. It is titled, “United States General Hospital, Frederick, MD, from 1862 to 1865.” It depicts six pavilion wards and six tent hospitals. In the distance are soldiers marching up Market Street, and the clustered church spires of downtown Frederick.


My favorite of Bettie’s artifact donations is this maple four-poster slat bed from the Civil War period. It is currently on display at the Pry House Field Hospital Museum, in the Richardson Room.


You can see that Bettie Delaplaine’s donations have certainly benefited our museum, and they continue to help us tell the story of Civil War medicine to our visitors.  We would not be here without her, and we will miss her greatly.

You can read more about Bettie Delaplaine here:


Photos courtesy of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.

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