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“the best non partisan viewpoint of the Great Missunderstanding”

National Civil War Museum
Ranked #2 of 55 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 3 weeks ago

front the first time I experienced this venue I was awed by the location, on a hilltop overlooking the area, to the exhibitions, to the history without promoting one side or the other. I have been thru this now four times and have not seen it all. Brought my reunion group here and they all had positive comments. A MUST SEE

Thank lspenterp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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10 - 14 of 831 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We have many of the Civil War sites, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Gettysburg etc but this museum really captured it all in such an interesting way. We stayed in Harrisburg as we had read the reviews on this site and were pleased we did.

Thank Swannie1950
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We first visited 16 years ago and returned this past weekend while traveling. Ample free parking. Admission was $12.00. Pretty well laid out in a timeline fashion with a lot of original artifacts on display. Several videos are dispersed throughout the museum and it's interesting to note that if you watch from the entrance many are the "personal viewpoint" of several people. The theme is continued throughout with the same characters reflecting on events during the war. A lot of written placard information. It's a great overview to the war and for anyone who hasn't studied it or visited the battlefields it's a good starting place. Gettysburg is only an hour drive away from here. The gift store was very low on merchandise however when we visited.

Thank Siobhan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2017

The museum presents a good overview of the Civil War, organized in both date order and in major sections. If a visitor has had rather limited CW immersion, spending a couple hours here will prove a quick lesson (call it Civil War in a nutshell). Those with more extensive CW knowledge may not acquire more, but may appreciate the coordination of the arrangements and the over-4000 artifacts, nearly all originals.

Besides the expected weaponry, uniforms, maps, flags, and personal mementos, there are good displays of drums and fifes and medical / surgical supplies (including an original "ambulance"), lifesize camp mockup, a history of slavery, info on the atrocities of the prison camps, Lincoln's death, the restoration. Also of particular note are the many videos available, with seating (particularly nice if one tires of the immense amount of reading), and the boards depicting the "Firsts" brought about by the War.

Recommendations for improvement: While many have concluded that this museum presents both sides of the War, we still found a Union bias, though not severe. There is some incorrect verbage and typos on a few of the displays. Information regarding the lead-up to the War, in the section called A House Divided, is rushed. Not enough is presented to help visitors understand the MANY reasons for the War, nor Lincoln's reluctance to end slavery, nor states' rights to secede. Finally, an exhibit regarding women's roles and sacrifices during and after the CW is pointedly and disturbingly absent. It is for these reasons to downgrade the museum from a "4" to a "3".

Cost is twelve dollars per adult, one dollar off for seniors. Parking is free. Our visit lasted 3.5 hours on a Sunday, often with sections to ourselves. One could zip through in an hour, or linger all day. Restrooms on both floors are spotless. Elevator available. Check the website for special events, such as weapon demos.

Thank goseedo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2017 via mobile

We took a detour to Gettysburg on our way to Cleveland and am I glad we did. Very informative and lots to see, and best of all it was free. A must visit for anyone visiting Pennsylvania

Thank Liam K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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