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 - The Fiery Trial
  • Civil War Museum - "Seeing the Elephant"
  • Civil War Museum - Veterans Memorial Gallery
  • Civil War Museum - an event
  • Civil War Museum - The Fiery Trial
  • Civil War Museum - The Fiery Trial
  • Civil War Museum - an event
  • Civil War Museum - at the Kenosha harbor
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Civil War Museum

(262) 653-4141


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


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 Program: A Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1849

May 25, 2016

Join the Civil War Museum for a very special guest appearance, book signing and presentation by American journalist, activist, writer and political advisor, Sidney Blumenthal. Free and open to the public. Mr. Blumenthal's book will be for sale courtesy of Abraham Lincoln Book Shop.

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 Surgeon Archibald S. Maxwell

June 2, 2016

George C. Maxwell, Esq., great-great-great grandson of Dr. Archibald S. Maxwell discusses the part that Dr. Maxwell played in two volunteer medical missions sent by the citizens of Davenport, Iowa to provide medical aid and assistance to wounded and sick soldiers following the Battles of Fort Donelson and Shiloh.

Civil War Museum Program: Second Friday Lunchbox Lecture Series

June 10, 2016

This day features: The 19th Indiana Color Guard at Gettysburg. Presented by Phil Spaugy. The 19th Indiana fought alongside the other four regiments of the Iron Brigade at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, losing 72% of those engaged.

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."

Museum Crawl

July 8, 2016

The 6th Annual Museum Crawl is a progressive party at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, Civil War Museum and Kenosha Public Museum.

Friends of the Museums Art Fair

July 17, 2016

This is the 52nd annual art fair presented by the Friends of the Kenosha Public Museums. This popular fine art fair includes indoor and outdoor booths, food, music and a kids art tent.

Great Lakes Civil War Forum

September 10, 2016

The Iron Brigade is the theme. This event – the 9th annual – typically features noted historians.

Kenosha Public Museums Family Event: Boofest

October 29, 2016

Wear your costume to trick or treat and enjoy more free fun family activities at the Kenosha Public Museum (5500 First Ave.), Civil War Museum (5400 First Ave.), and Dinosaur Discovery Museum (5608 Tenth Ave.).

Civil War Museum Event: Victorian Christmas

December 3, 2016

A day of music, crafts, and activities exploring how soldiers and civilians celebrated Christmas during the Civil War.