We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great things in small packages!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of National Civil War Naval Museum

National Civil War Naval Museum
1002 Victory Drive, Columbus, GA 31901
+1 706-327-9798
Website
Improve this listing
Ranked #4 of 43 things to do in Columbus
Certificate of Excellence 2014
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The National Civil War Naval Museum tells the story of the Sailors, Soldiers, and Civilians, both Free and Enslaved as affected by the Navies of the American Civil War and provides a repository for relevant archives and artifacts on the subject, for all generations of the public. The Museum uses all available media systems/distribution platforms and live interpretation in furtherance of this mission. Located in Columbus, Georgia, the National Civil War Naval Museum overlooks the Chattahoochee River. We house the largest surviving Confederate warship, the CSS Jackson, as well as the the wreckage of the CSS Chattahoochee. Other exhibits include a full scale ship replica of the USS Water Witch, a replica of the USS Hartford with its berth deck, ward room and captain's cabin, an actual cutter or "ship's boat" from the USS Hartford, a full scale replica of the USS Monitor's famous turret, and an immersive panoramic dockside exhibit recreating Plymouth, North Carolina, complete with an exterior and interior view of the CSS Albemarle. Among our many artifacts, we have the largest collection of Civil War Naval-related flags on display in the country. The collection includes various flags from ships and coastal forts, signal flags and Admirals' pennants. Our timeline exhibit takes you month by month through the war showing naval events and features many of the museum's most rare artifacts, such as the uniform coat of Captain Catesby Jones and Admiral Farragut's two-star hat insignia. Exquisitely detailed Models of many famous Civil War ships are on the timeline including the CSS David, CSS Albemarle and the CSS Atlanta, which is located just opposite the huge 25-foot wide flag that was flying over the ship the day it was captured. We host a range of events throughout the year with an emphasis on museum theatre and historic character interpretation. Additionally, there are living history events, tours, cannon firings, weapons demonstrations, local history projects and more.
Auburn, Alabama
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great things in small packages!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014

We had a small group that had prearranged a tour with guide. Our tour guide was in a Civil War Naval Uniform, was very knowledgeable, and gave demonstrations of weapons, musical instruments, as well as the life of a sailor. We were guided through the Galleries. The tour also included a re-enactment of the autopsy of John Wilkes Booth from a historical standpoint, with no blood or gore. I am not a history buff, but this tour was VERY ENTERTAINING and INTERESTING. I learned quite a bit about not only the part that Columbus, GA played in the Civil War as a port and manufacturing location for confederate ships, but also about the Union Navy's and Confederate States Navy's involvement in the war between the states.The museum footprint is small, but packed with great exhibits. I had previously toured the museum without a guide and enjoyed it, however, I would highly recommend the guided tour option.

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

185 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    105
    64
    13
    2
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Ocala, Florida
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Civil War Naval Museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

My wife and I visited the National Civil War Naval Museum and I for one being a retired navy man thought I knew a lot about the Navy's in the Civil War. I was wrong. I learned so much at this museum along with seeing all kinds of artifacts and reproductions of ironclads used by both the Union and Confederacy. I must admit I was impressed. I could go on and on about this museum but the best advice I could give is if you are visiting Columbus, Ga or Fort Benning make sure you put this museum on your list of sightseeing.

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“NOT worth the trip or your time!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

Very disappointing, even for a 10 year old history buff. The first thing you notice when you walk in the door is the smell, it reminds you of a moldy basement. Sure there is old wood in there but they could do something for the odor. Their claim to fame, the "Water Witch", outside the building is now closed to the public and they don't know if it will be reopened any time soon. The souvenir shop is severely over priced and very limited. There was only one person working in the museum. The only redeeming part of our visit was the clean restrooms. So if you care to spend $7.50 for a clean restroom, then this trip is for you. A real "cash cow" for the city of Columbus, GA.

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NCWNM, Owner at National Civil War Naval Museum, responded to this review, July 28, 2014
M. H.,

It is regrettable that you were disappointed with your visit to the National Civil War Naval Museum. It is the museum’s policy to let reviews, positive or negative, stand without comment; the stridency of this review, however, was felt to warrant a response. To address some of your specific feedback:

• The smell that a guest encounters entering the museum is from the hull of the CSS Jackson, burned after its capture in 1865 – its strength varies with small changes in the relative humidity/temperature of the climate controlled gallery and is generated by the carbon of the charred wood.

• The Water Witch is not our “claim to fame” – we do not make any declarations of fame or ignominy. Access to the deck of the Water Witch is suspended (though the dock remains open) while the exhibit is undergoing maintenance/renovations. It is a common practice for museums to close a specific exhibit or gallery for this purpose. The staff member you spoke with could not give you an exact timetable for reopening as work varies with this summer’s amount of heavy rainfall.

• As to our Museum Shop being overpriced and limited: price is what the market will bear and we make a very specific effort to balance our wholesale purchasing price with the retail price our guests pay; our inventory of merchandise receives regular laudatory comments from both in person and internet shoppers, and our shop is the only one where you can buy a complete Civil War Naval uniform (USN or CSN) on the spot.

• The comments that there was only one person working the museum and that the museum is “a real ‘cash cow’” for Columbus should be addressed together. The museum is owned by the City of Columbus and is administered by a private 501c3 corporation. The revenue generated by daily operations covers yearly operating expenses (maintenance, education, outreach, preservation, programs, utilities, etc.) and nothing more. The fact that one staff member was on duty during your visit is due to city-wide budget cuts with the Columbus Consolidated Government.

Though individual perceptions may vary and your point of view is, of course, valid, we would refer readers of TripAdvisor to the review by Robert W. of Ocala, FL from the same day as your visit for comparison/contrast purposes.

Sincerely,

The Staff of the National Civil War Naval Museum
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Unique, educational, and family-friendly”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

There are more authentic Civil War boats here than anywhere else on earth. Artifacts and flag displays are excellent. Mock-ups of an ironclad, a Monitor, and a wooden sailing vessel give the full range of the naval aspect of The War. Make a trip to experience this museum. It is probably the most underrated attraction in Georgia.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boardman, Ohio
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Amazing step back in time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

This museum was just the right size. My children loved the ship they were able to walk in outside. It gave them a feeling how amazing ships are. It was awesome to see a real ship that was left from the civil war inside. The gift store was reasonably priced and nicely organized.

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed National Civil War Naval Museum also viewed

 

Been to National Civil War Naval Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage National Civil War Naval Museum, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.