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


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 Exhibit: On the Way to War

November 1, 2014 – March 1, 2015

Explore the universal experience of the citizen soldier, featuring the watercolors of Cpl. John Gaddis.

Civil War Museum Workshop: Lincoln in the Kitchen

November 2, 2014

Take a culinary journey through Rae Katherine Eighmy's book, Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen. Learn and sample recipes Lincoln would have cooked, eaten and possibly served.

Civil War Museum Workshop: Long Abe & Little Mac: How Lincoln Almost Lost America

November 5, 2014 and November 12, 2014

Take an in-depth look at the election of 1864 which pitted old foes Abraham Lincoln and George McClellan against one another. The cost is $25 and advance registration is required.

Civil War Museum Workshop: The Known and the Unknowns: Civil War Uniforms & Clothing

November 8, 2014

Tom Arliskas discusses the whys, hows, different types and who wore what and when of Civil War uniforms, while revealing never before viewed photographs of Civil War soldiers.

Veterans Heritage Day

November 8, 2014

Visit with veterans as they display memorabilia from all branches of service. A soldiers and veterans brick dedication will begin at 11 a.m. 

Civil War Museum Program: Slavery and the Constitution in Antebellum America

November 11, 2014

Carthage College History Department and the Jack Miller Center host Dr. Dan Monroe, author and associate professor of history at Millikin University. This free program is open to the public.

Civil War Museum Program: Ozaukee County Civil War Draft Riot of 1862

November 14, 2014

Allen Bucholz presents the cause, the riot, the aftermath and a few significant contributions made by Ozaukee soldiers during the war. This free program is part of the Second Friday Lunchbox Lecture Series. 

Civil War Museum Program: Freemasonry and the Civil War: Fraternal Brothers Across the Lines

November 16, 2014

Members of Armistead-Bingham Lodge 1862 Civil War Masonic Lodge of Research under the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin discuss how Freemasons on both sides united to help each other. Free and open to the public.

Kenosha Public Museums Gift Shop Sale

November 21, 2014 – November 22, 2014

Get your holiday shopping done early, with 15% off purchases in the Kenosha Public Museum (5500 First Ave.), Civil War Museum (5400 First Ave.), and Dinosaur Discovery Museum (5608 Tenth Ave.) gift shops.

Civil War Museum Event: Victorian Christmas

December 13, 2014

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