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“Did not meet expectation.....”

Missouri Civil War Museum
Ranked #12 of 258 things to do in Saint Louis
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Missouri Civil War Museum is housed in the old 1905 Jefferson Barracks Post Exchange (PX) and Gymnasium building, formerly part of the Jefferson Barracks military post, which is still an active military installation to this day. Renovations began in 2003, and were completed 10 years later in 2013, with an opening date of June 29, 2013. During the Civil War, the property which this museum is located upon, contained various hospital ward buildings, where suffering and death occurred, thus making this sacred ground, and a most appropriate location for a Missouri Civil War Museum, honoring our soldiers of the past and present.
Useful Information: Stairs / elevator, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Did not meet expectation.....”
Reviewed July 8, 2014

My wife and I are local history buffs (her great grandfather was a St. Louis architect of note) and we had high expectations for our visit to the museum on the 4th of July 2014. It was quite obvious from the start that a considerable investment went into restoration of the building and this was the highlight of the visit. After watching the film in the lobby where it was stressed "that no tax dollars" were used in the museum's development we payed the entry fee. (Most, museums of note in St. Louis have no fees and ask for donations due to the local commitment to fund through taxes and our belief that our heritage is a gift for all.) The curators would be well served if they could have followed the excellent example of the the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park that presented an exhibit: "The Civil War in Missouri" where real life historical events were brought to light. Most of the exhibits (swords, pistols and rifles) in this museum are labelled "unknown" although the origin of the manufacturer was listed on some. The state of Missouri has a very unique place in our Civil War due the status of the freemen and slaves living adjacent to the free border states but you will not grasp much of this in the current state of the museum....The directors would do well to review the material presented in "Civil War St. Louis" and breath some life into a Civil War experience away from the over-documented, battles and skirmishes....or at least provide more details of the the major battles.

Visited July 2014
7 Thank honeybb53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Glaring Omissions Require Attention”
Reviewed July 7, 2014

I should preface my comments by saying that I appreciate the dedication, time, and effort it took volunteers to put this museum together. The museum is relatively new so I hope it's just beginning to build its exhibits. The weakness of this museum is that there are at least two glaring omissions: it fails to cover the conflict between Claiborne Jackson and General Lyon (that resulted in a state "government-in-exile" in Neosho MO during the Civil War) and it fails to cover the demographics of slavery in Missouri and the lives of those that were enslaved. Jackson's conflict with Union officials and the disruption that ensued in state governance are central to the story of Missouri in the Civil War, to omit it is to omit a huge part of Missouri's Civil War history. The lack of information about slavery in Missouri is equally glaring. How pervasive was slavery? What areas of Missouri had the highest incidence of slavery? Were there free African-Americans during this time period? This is an incredibly important part of the story that needs to be told. Furthermore, the museum's focus on the blood and gore of the jayhawker/bushwacker conflict seemed to be milked for shock value, particularly in the film showing in the lower level. The guerilla warfare so common in Missouri is indeed the central feature of the Civil War in our state, but it was covered in an almost sensationalistic way. I have high hopes that as the museum matures as an institution it will be more responsible and inclusive in the way it presents Missouri in the Civil War. I'm an 8th grade American history teacher, not an expert, but I think the museum would benefit from consulting local Civil War scholars at UMSL (Gerteis), SLU, Wash. U., and Webster to ensure the historical accuracy of its exhibits.

Visited July 2014
6 Thank lisakO3063HC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Missouri Civil War Museum/Jefferson Barracks”
Reviewed July 5, 2014

My husband and I both love history, and this is a must see for history/Civil War buffs. The Jefferson Barracks has a long history, and the videos and artifacts share Civil War history in interesting detail. My husband who has read numerous books on the War learned a few new, interesting facts. The Medal of Honor board was especially informative. The staff is very friendly, and they are still adding to the exhibits.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank Patty H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Love The Buggy!”
Reviewed July 3, 2014 via mobile

My family and I visited the Missouri Civil War Museum, June 29, 2014, for the First Anniversary Celebration. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The employees were very hospitable and knowledgeable. The custom woodwork is gorgeous. When asked who did the millwork, we were told Wahle's Woodworks out of Union Missouri, had milled it (It is so nice to know the museum is supporting the local economy.) The displays were very informative and interesting to look at. My younger children enjoyed going up and down the stairs a little too much, but my teenager was totally engrossed with the Civil War Era surgical tools. My middle daughter loved the period dresses worn about that day. My youngest daughter was able to burn a little energy by dancing to the banjo music. All three kids wanted to take various cars home from the Model A car show. As a family outing, this is definitely one we will put on the do often list.

2 Thank Katie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rogers, Arkansas
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Nice exhibits and some video, great gift shop”
Reviewed July 2, 2014

The fee is nominal, and the entertainment is great, Most of the exhibits are on the main floor, and you view them at your own pace. Whether it be a cannon, muskets, uniforms, or other civil war artifacts they are well lit and normally well described. The intro video near the entrance is good, but at times the audio can be drown out by people getting their tickets or talking to the employees. The other videos are on the lower floor and didn't have that problem. The gift shop has a tremendous selection of civil war history books and other items, some items like caps and bags for the various military services.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank seeker1866
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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