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.
Travel Green Wisconsin Certified. Read about here.
Explore how cool science innovations and inventions changed the Civil War – and history. Learn to fly hot air balloons, study submarines and see how to fire a cannon. Free family fun.
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.
Show off your costume as you boogie through the Trick or Treat stops at three museums during this Rockin’ BooFest event.
Civil War Museum Exhibit: Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963
The exhibit reception will take place November 19, 1 – 3 p.m. Admission to this traveling exhibit is free.
Explore the traditions, music, games and dances that soldiers and civilians used to celebrate the Christmas season during and after the Civil War.
- Visit a Civil War soldier's winter camp
- Victorian arts, crafts and games
- Dramatic readings of The Night Before Christmas
- Appearance by Civil War Santa
Performance lineup (in Freedom Hall):
This annual event is a weekend full of living history, programs and exhibits commemorating the role of physicians, nurses, and caregivers during the Civil War.
Typically at this event, living history, heritage groups and Civil War Round Tables provide information and present samples of their programs. Watch for more details as the date approaches.
Enjoy free family programs at three museums: Kenosha Public Museum (5500 First Ave.) on the 18th, the Civil War Museum (5400 First Ave.) on the 19th, and the Dinosaur Discovery Museum (5608 Tenth Ave.) on the 20th.
Learn more about the Civil War time period and what happened at the home front while the soldiers were away at war.
Join historical interpreters at this event. Advance registration is required.