December 31,1961: Confederate Ball at Reynolda House

Confederate Ball    Confederate Ball-1

Charles Babcock Jr. held a Confederate Ball at Reynolda House on this evening in 1961, to celebrate the centennial of the Civil War.

According to an article in the newspaper by Roy Thompson, more than 1,000 invitations were sent, and the house was full with attendees.

As shown in the photo above, General Robert E. Lee made an appearance, on horseback.  Most of the male attendees were dressed in Confederate uniforms, but a few men sported Union uniforms.  One man came as Abraham Lincoln.  Thompson quipped that he kept looking over his solder, in case someone else came as John Wilkes Booth.  J. T. Greene dressed as a Union officer, with a sign on his back, “Prisnah ‘O War.”

The women were dressed in ball gowns, but the dance of the evening was not a waltz…it was the “twist.”

Reynolda House was decorated with banners, and photographs that celebrated the beauty of Southern women.  Host Babcock invited many beauty queens who had served as Miss Winston-Salem and Miss North Carolina, and they were introduced to the group.

The ball continued into the night and into the New Year, with a late dinner of Southern New Year’s staples served to the guests.

Photos courtesy of Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection.

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