On July 30, 1864 Confederate General Robert E. Lee was at his headquarters at Violet Bank Farm on the north shore of the Appomattox River overlooking Petersburg. There, he received word that Union troops had detonated over 8,000 pounds of gunpowder beneath Confederate defensive lines in what became known as the Battle of the Crater.
Today the home is a superb example of Federal design and American interior decorative arts. The museum interprets the period from 1815 to 1873 and displays a wide array of Civil War era artifacts: guns, furniture, glass, ceramics, textiles, accouterments, books, swords and others. It boasts some of the most sophisticated and beautiful Adam-style ceiling moldings in the country. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Virginia Historic Landmark.