6080< AP-SC--Confederate Collection,130SC museum buys Confederate weapons smuggled in from Britain

This undated photo, made available by the Library of Congress, shows and unidentified Confederate soldier with British supplied gear. The Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum in Columbia, S.C., has purchased a large collection of British-imported Confederate weapons and other related items.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s military history museum has bought the bulk of what’s believed to be the largest collection of British-imported Confederate weapons that were smuggled through the Union blockade.

The Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum paid $620,800 last month for artifacts collected over four decades by the late Cleveland Adger Huey of Columbia.

Museum director Allen Roberson calls it a “groundbreaking collection of one of the last unexplored areas of Civil War history.”

Roberson says the museum bought four-fifths of Huey’s collection.

An exhibit set to open in 2019 will tell how the Confederacy armed its soldiers.

It’s a tale of international financing, privateers and profiteers. Charleston was both a major receiving port and home to financiers who may have inspired the fictional Rhett Butler in “Gone With The Wind.”