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“Learning about our history”

National Civil War Museum
Ranked #2 of 57 things to do in Harrisburg
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed August 28, 2013

We actually visited back in the Spring of 2012. It was very interesting and the kids enjoyed it as well. They watched and listen to the stories of how life was back then. Its well worth a trip if you have the time.

1  Thank Allison C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"both sides"
in 76 reviews
"chronological order"
in 20 reviews
"enjoy history"
in 10 reviews
"events leading up"
in 10 reviews
"two floors"
in 18 reviews
"better understanding"
in 9 reviews
"president lincoln"
in 9 reviews
"history buff"
in 21 reviews
"interesting artifacts"
in 12 reviews
"hill overlooking"
in 9 reviews
"gift shop"
in 31 reviews
"self guided tour"
in 25 reviews
"two hours"
in 21 reviews
"several hours"
in 15 reviews
"take your time"
in 9 reviews
"well worth the trip"
in 10 reviews
"on display"
in 15 reviews

710 - 714 of 865 reviews

Reviewed August 26, 2013

As the description of the museum states this is an unbiased look at the civil war, all of it. We were surprised how large this museum is, beginning upstairs and then descending the stairs to the first floor area. There is a nice gift shop and the price was well worth it to help maintain the exhibits. We had already been to Gettysburg when we arrived in Harrisburg and that was helpful for me. There videos sprinkled throughout the museum with very clear speakers addressing whatever area of the museum you are visiting. The artifacts are amazing in their condition after 150 years. Before you even enter the museum you are struck by the monument known as "moment of mercy", read the plaque, it's a piece of humanity that is also mentioned inside that is found throughout the museum, the decency for the wounded and dying enough to pause fighting long enough to minister to those men. Inside the coverage goes from the 1st abolitionist movements in late 1780s and moves from Antietam to Camp Curtain, on to Shiloh. It exhibits life as a soldier both at war and at rest. There are pictorial layouts of the Gettysburg battles. From there it moves to the effects of war, the surgery, Andersonville Prison, the shattering of cities to the surrender at Appomattox. There were many firsts noted including the playing of Taps at lights out, the use of land mines, the emergence of conscientious objectors, photos of live battles and the start of the draft. Truly a worthy stop.

Thank ruthandvern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2013

We loved our visit to the museum. We entered the museum on a hot August day, and the temp. Inside was about 62! Bring a sweater! There were only 5 other people during the entire 2+ hours we were there, so we were able to linger, think and read in peace, and for as long as we wanted. The museum building itself is beautiful, and the rooms are all a nice mix of interactive, artifacts in cases, and multimedia. There were two costumed docents there as well, one had replicas that we could handle, the other talked to us about the war. Both were super friendly and informative. I imagine visiting in conjunction with a battle or gun demonstration would be amazing because of the large beautiful grounds. We brought a picnic, there is no cafe. After a day at the amusement park it was a welcome change, and if you wanted to continue on to Gettysburg it is not too far.

Thank Kerry712
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2013

Went early (9am) on a Tuesday during the summer (usually open at 10am but they have 9am summer hours). Perfect time to go since you will have absolutely zero crowd and you can explore the museum at your pace with your group. Admission fee is $10 unless you are a AAA Member ($9), Senior/Child/etc. Gift Shop on site has numerous books and memorabilia which is pretty standard for a museum. You will take a self-guided tour, starting from the second floor and working your way downstairs. There are numerous weapons, clothing, video clips, dioramas and more on site so take your time and read! You can easily spend 2-3 hours here as long as you read the displays and watch the videos. Building was built in 2000 so it remains clean and fresh so enjoy!

Thank KingCobra7003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 19, 2013

The National Civil War Museum is up to date and well done. There are lots of plaques to read, videos and artifacts. I appreciated that there were a set of plaques that discussed the experience of African Americans throughout the museum. I visited in the afternoon after a full morning and got tired of reading part of the way through the museum. I would suggest visiting in the morning or whenever you have the most energy.

One complaint I have is that some of the videos and other auditory experiences are so loud, it is difficult to concentrate on what you are reading. Also, I would be cautious in bringing young children. There are a few pictures of starving prisoners of war and a maniquin who is on a surgical table about to get a foot amputated. In short, know what your kids can handle and be prepared to answer questions about war.

Thank Laura S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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