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
  • Civil War Museum
  • Civil War Museum - Veterans Memorial Gallery
  • Located on the Lake Michigan shore

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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Remembrance Field: A Civil War Memorial Project

May 1, 2015 – June 15, 2015

Remembrance Field is a visual representation of the loss of life the Upper Midwestern states suffered during the Civil War.

Civil War Museum Program: Blackhat Discussion Group

May 6, 2015 and May 20, 2015

These are free public discussions on topics from the Civil War Museum's collection of The Blackhat. First published in 1983 by members of the 6th Wisconsin Volunteers, the bulletins pertain to the Iron Brigade.

Civil War Museum Program: CSS Shenandoah

May 8, 2015

Tony Majewski details the storied history of the Confederate ship, CSS Shenandoah. Free and open to the public as part of the Second Friday Lunchbox Lecture Series. 

Civil War Museum Program: Tea with Mrs. Lincoln

May 9, 2015

Spend Mother's Day weekend with some of the favorite women in your life as you join “Mrs. Lincoln” for tea, finger sandwiches, salads and sweets as she reminisces about her childhood, her days in Springfield and her children.

Civil War Museum Program: The Rise of George Armstrong Custer, 1861-1865

May 21, 2015

Long before Little Bighorn, Custer went from last in the U.S. Military Academy's class to the youngest general in the Union Army. Hear the story of the Boy General’s spectacular Civil War career.

Train Extravaganza Weekend

May 30, 2015 – May 31, 2015

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

Civil War Museum Program: The Kenosha Companies

June 12, 2015

This free lecture on The Kenosha Companies: Companies H & I of the Thirty-third Wisconsin Infantry, by Bob Braun, is part of the Second Friday Lunchbox Lecture Series.

Salute to Freedom

June 13, 2015

1865, Homeward Bound. A day of encampments, living history, demos, games, food, music and fun to celebrate soldiers’ return home from war.

Museum Crawl

July 10, 2015

The 5th Annual Museum Crawl is a progressive party at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, Civil War Museum and Kenosha Public Museum.

Friends of the Museum Art Fair

July 19, 2015

This is the 51st annual art fair presented by the Friends of the Kenosha Public Museums. The event is held outside the Kenosha Public Museum and the Civil War Museum next door! Admission is free.