Confederate Leader's Mansion Rises Again





It was three years ago this month that Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, and people are still trying to piece together their lives and homes.

One of those homes is the post-Civil War residence of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Biloxi, Miss.

Two artists are working to restore the Beauvoir mansion, which Davis bought in 1878 and where he lived until his death in 1889. Katrina wreaked major damage to the historic structure, ripping apart its stately white columns overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

The husband-and-wife team of Phillip Ward and Linda Croxson is giving new life to Beauvoir. Copycat artists in the best sense of the word, they're recreating in exact detail murals on the walls and ceilings of the landmark estate.

"It's like forging someone's handwriting, really," Ward says.

They use historic research to determine how Beauvoir looked 150 years ago. By slicing through layers of paint with a scalpel and examining it under a microscope, researchers discovered the original colors and the original artists' technique. For eight hours a day, they look up, using tiny paint brushes to bring the past to life. It's slow work...



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