Getting Here

The Electric Streetcar links the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, Kenosha Public Museum, and Civil War Museum.

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  • Civil War Museum
  • Civil War Museum - "Seeing the Elephant"
  • Civil War Museum
  • Civil War Museum - at the Kenosha harbor
  • Civil War Museum
  • Civil War Museum
  • Civil War Museum - Veterans Memorial Gallery
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Civil War Museum

(262) 653-4141

Hours:

Open Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 12-5 p.m. Closed holidays.

Pricing:

Fiery Trial (main exhibit) Admission: $9. Kenosha City and Town of Somers residents – $5. Friends of the Museums members – Free. Youth ages 15 and under, accompanied by an adult – Free.

The Civil War Museum opened in 2008 and focuses on the contributions of the Upper Middle West – Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, and Michigan – to the Civil War. These states played a vital role by providing troops and supplies to the cause, even though no battles were fought in this region. The exhibits concentrate on personal stories of people from all walks of life and circumstance. Men, women and children from various ethnic backgrounds experienced life during and after the war in different ways. It is through these unique stories that the museum visitor learns about the causes and effects of the Civil War and its impact on the region.

The Veterans Memorial Gallery honors all U.S. veterans and soldiers from the Revolutionary War to present day conflicts.

Enjoy the gift shop and free programs for adults and families. Classes and workshops offered, including genealogy workshops.

Adult and school group tours welcomed. Facility rentals available. Plenty of free parking.

Nominal admission to the main exhibit which is The Fiery Trial  – Friends members free. 

*****NEW: Civil War Museum Movie: Seeing the Elephant in The Fiery Trial exhibit.*****

“Seeing the Elephant” is the term Civil War soldiers used to say they saw battle. The new high-tech digital movie experience will allow visitors a glimpse at “the Elephant.” One of just a handful of venues nationwide using 360 degree movie technology, the Civil War Museum movie focuses on the personal experiences and accounts of citizen soldiers. Using letters, journals and diaries, the script follows several soldiers as they leave home and hearth, train with their troops, face battle together and ultimately deal with the consequences of war. “This poignant 10-minute film tells a story about the Civil War but it is also a tribute to all soldiers and veterans, as it tells the story of the ultimate life-changing experience of war, for the soldier and for the country,” comments Dan Joyce, Kenosha Public Museums Director.

Over 200 people, including actors, reenactors, film crew, technical and historical advisers and Museum staff, gathered at Old World Wisconsin (Eagle, WI) for five days in June 2013 to film Seeing the Elephant. The centerpiece of the Fiery Trial exhibit, the film gives visitors an historically authentic and accurate portrayal of Civil War battle, although not a specific, actual battle. Historical photos and special visual and sound effects augment the reenactment of battle. The Civil War Museum is grateful to nationally recognized broadcast journalist Bill Kurtis for lending his voice as narrator of the film.

The high tech film encircles viewers and thrusts them into the middle of a Civil War battle. An 11-foot 360° screen, visual and sound effects, and ground motion enhance the experience. The film typically plays once every hour, on the hour.

Note: The Civil War Museum, Kenosha Public Museum, and Dinosaur Discovery Museum make up the Kenosha Public Museums.

 

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Civil War Museum Exhibit: Faces of the Iron Brigade – A Social Network of Soldiers

January 16, 2016 - November 1, 2016

One of the most famous brigades of the Civil War recounted in their own words and images. Includes artifacts from museum collections, private collections, and artifacts that have never before been displayed in Wisconsin.

Civil War Museum Program: Civil War Medical Weekend

February 20, 2016 - February 21, 2016

This free annual event is a weekend full of living history, programs and exhibits commemorating the role of physicians, nurses, and caregivers during the Civil War.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Civil War Museum

March 8, 2016

The cost for this workshop is $25. Register by March 1.

Civil War Museum Program: Chicago Backs the Boys in the Civil War

March 11, 2016

Kurt Carlson's discussion is part of the Second Friday Lunchbox Lecture Series. Free and open to the public.

Civil War Museum Event: Civil War Expo

March 12, 2016

Living history, heritage groups and Civil War Round Tables provide information and present samples of their programs.

Civil War Museum Imagination Studio

March 12, 2016

Draw, paint, sculpt and create in the free open studio. This month's theme is Civil War.

Civil War Museum Program: A Night at the Museum

March 18, 2016

Discover what happens after the museum closes during a night of special lantern tours, creative projects, historical activities and behind-the-scenes fun.

Kenosha Public Museums Present: Free Spring Break Family Fun Days

March 29, 2016 – March 31, 2016

Enjoy free family programs at three museums!

Train Extravaganza Weekend

May 21, 2016 – May 22, 2016

All makes of model trains on display throughout the Kenosha Public Museum (5500 First Ave.) and Civil War Museum (5400 First Ave.). Free.

Salute to Freedom

June 11, 2016 – June 12, 2016

Celebrate some of the finest Civil War soldiers of the Midwest - the famous Iron Brigade. March, cook and drill with these men and find out what made them truly "giants in battle."