Neubauer receives statewide award

From left to right: John F. Marszalek, Duffy Neubauer, and W.Brother Rogers. Neubauer received an award of merit from the Mississippi Historical Society for his Starkville Civil War Arsenal, a collection of Civil War artillery and rolling stock open to the public by appointment. (submitted photo)
By: 
CHARLIE BENTON
Staff Writer

A local Civil War historian and living history enthusiast has been honored with an award of merit from the Mississippi Historical Society.

Duffy Neubauer, curator of the Starkville Civil War Arsenal, received the award at the society’s meeting in Jackson. Neubauer was unable to attend, so Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library Executive Director and Managing Editor John F. Marszalek received the award on his behalf. Mississippi Department of Archives and History Director of Programs and Communication W. Brother Rogers presented the award to Neubauer on Tuesday, April 17, at the Grant Library on the Mississippi State University campus.

In addition to the arsenal, which includes rolling stock, projectiles and other artifacts from both the Union and Confederate sides of the Civil War, Neubauer is founder and president of the Turner’s Battery living history unit, and is also a member and past president of the Golden Triangle Civil War Round Table. In addition, he has served in various leadership positions in both the Civil War living history and artillery shooting communities. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse.

“It means a lot to me for the simple reason that the Mississippi Historical Society thought enough of what I was doing to recognize what I was doing, and I thought that gives me credibility, so to speak,” Neubauer said.

Rogers, who also serves as the historical society’s secretary-treasurer lauded Neubauer’s contributions to Civil War history in Mississippi.

“Duffy is indeed one of the state’s leading Civil War historians,” Rogers said. “His museum is a hidden treasure in our state, and we hope this award will alert Mississippians to its significance.”

Neubauer said his collection had begun as a childhood interest, and grew with him into adulthood. In 2009, he opened his collection to the public. He said seeing articles and features on the centennial of the Civil War in the 1960s had piqued his interest, and helped him become more serious about collecting.

“I’m proud to tell you it’s the only collection in the United States, and I’m sure it’s the only collection in the worl that you can see all of the rolling stock, the carriages and field artillery from the Civil War,” Neubauer said. “You can go to Vicksburg and Shiloh and see 300 cannon, but you won’t see the forges and the battery wagons and the ambulances and the supply wagons. “

Neubauer said representatives from the National Archives, Smithsonian Institute,National Park Service and U.S. Army Museum visit his collection.

“None of those institutions can put that many carriages together and show all of the carriages at one time,” Neubauer said.

He said his interest in collecting had also led to a side interest in building replica Civil War wagons.

Visitors to the arsenal should plan an appointment by calling 662-323-2606. There is no admissions fee, but donations are welcomed.

“People from all over the nation visit, and I am always ready to welcome anyone, no matter how near or how far, to my museum,” Neubauer said. “I am always particularly happy to welcome Boy Scouts and school classes. I consider myself, above all else, a teacher.”

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