Open Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 12-5 p.m. Closed holidays.
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 the experiences of disabled Civil War veterans who served as a symbol of the fractured nation and a stark reminder of the costs of conflict. This exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
Visit the museums for these free family activities:
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.
This free lecture, by Robert Girardi and Paula Walker, is part of the Second Friday Lunchbox Lecture Series.
A day of lectures and discussions exploring the civilian experience during the Civil War era.
Carve a traditional beaver tail paddle out of light weight soft wood. The cost is $35 ($30 for Friends of the Museums). Advance registration required.
Enjoy one or both programs related to the 150th Anniversary of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Author Joe Walker tells the story of one of the largest and most vicious battles in Arkansas Civil War history. Free and open to the public.
Popular folksinger and historian Judy Cook's songs, images and readings give a peek inside life during the war. This family friendly program was inspired by letters between her great-great grandfather, a soldier away at camp, and his wife left to manage the farm.
734,408 men from the Upper Midwest fought. 104,145 never made it home. Honor the souls that paid the price to preserve the Union.