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“Well done!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of National Civil War Museum

National Civil War Museum
1 Lincoln Circle at Reservoir Park, Harrisburg, PA
866-258-4729, 717-260-1861
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Ranked #2 of 19 Attractions in Harrisburg
Type: History Museums, Museums
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Attraction details
Owner description: The only museum in the United States to present a balanced, unbiased look at the Civil War.
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Well done!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

Excellent exhibition of the Civil War with great dioramas and more artifacts than one could hope to see in one location. Visit during the week to avoid the larger weekend crowd. A must see if you are in the Harrisburg area.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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275 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Middletown, Pennsylvania
19 reviews 19 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Nice trip back into history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

Ever since this museum has been opened, I have been impressed with the quality of the exhibits and the interactive displays available for all ages. It is definitely worth the drive if you are in the area. Especially iin the summer when the reenactors are there.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrenton, Virginia
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Expert historic presentation with interest for all ages”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2013

The quality of exhibits was balanced perfectly with the use of video productions highlighting the civili war in a manner that was both age neutral and visually enticing. Collection of artifacts is what you would expect at a Smithsonian but much easier to navigate and appreciate than some of its larger brothers in DC. Categorization into both timeline and category of interest allowed each visitor to focus on their particular interest. Planned for 2 hours...stayed just over 4....definetly a destination of value in Harrisburg.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Great collection, but an assault on the senses.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013 via mobile

I am a hardcore Civil War geek and was thrilled to finally get a chance to visit the National Civil War Museum. We went on a quiet Sunday, and had the place almost entirely to ourselves. The staff members were very friendly and the Museum hands out gallery maps with admission to help keep you on track.

The museum has a lot of extremely interesting artifacts, including a pair or Robert E. Lee's riding gauntlets and one of George McClellan's saddles. The museum is large and airy, and has a lot of fascinating displays regarding the background and causes of the war, as well as breakdowns of the major battles and campaigns.

My two criticisms of the museum: first, the NOISE. As I was trying to read the wall panels, I was impossibly distracted by the background noise that is piped into all of the rooms. In the room regarding slavery as a cause of war, there was a recording of a slave auction that featured no fewer than eight different characters shouting and bidding. It made, for me at least, reading the display materials completely impossible. By the time I got to the first displays regarding the actual battles, I had to completely give up reading any of the wall panels and simply focus on enjoying the artifacts (which, given that I'm a seasoned Civil War enthusiast, wasn't a huge loss - but the average layperson trying to read the displays may find this distracting.) Secondly, my husband and I noticed that on several occasions, the artifacts in the display cases did not match up with the numbered descriptions provided. For instance, the panel might read: "#7: Cannon ball recovered from Culp's Hill, Gettysburg." But scouring the corresponding case would reveal that there was no artifact labeled #7. This was a little frustrating as well.

Overall, I loved the museum. My favorite artifact was probably the ambulance wagon, the last of its kind believed to exist. I just wish I had been able to get the full experience, and read all of the provided material, without being overwhelmed by the canned noise being pumped in by dozens of speakers - all apparently set to full volume.

Visited December 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“A great overview of the entire Civil War”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

Most Civil War discussions center on Gettysburg, PA. The National Civil War Museum focuses on the years before, during and the aftermath of the war. Very interactive. A great place for receptions. Great place to bring the kids for an educational trip that they will enjoy. If you have out of town guest, finding something to do in Harrisburg can be a struggle. I recommend this museum and you will be surprised at the big city quality.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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