Located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and less than fifteen miles from Hershey, the National Civil War Museum is a nonprofit museum aimed to educate visitors about the American Civil War and preserve artifacts from that war.
The museum does not choose sides in the war, and works to paint a complete picture of the war lasting from 1861-1865 and the period of time directly before and after it.
The National Civil War Museum has a collection of over 24,000 artifacts, manuscripts, documents and photographs from the time. Artifacts from Robert E. Lee and President Abraham Lincoln are included among the vast collection. The museum incorporates permanent and rotating exhibits for guests to visit on self-guided tours. Galleries located throughout the museum focuses on a variety of aspects of the war. Events leading up to the war are highlighted in A House Divided, 1850-1860, recruiting and training of armies is the focus of another gallery, and slavery, medicine and women’s roles each have their own galleries.
The museum, which opened in 2001, cost nearly 32 million to build and is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute. Steve Reed, former Harrisburg Mayor, founded the museum and has a deep interest in the Civil War. A trip to nearby Hershey or Gettysburg is not complete without visiting the National Civil War Museum and understanding more about one of America’s monumental events in history.