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National Civil War Museum

Learn about one of the bloodiest conflicts in America’s history in an elegant and informative museum that documents every aspect of the era.

The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg is purpose-built to tell the story of the battles that tore the country apart in the 19th century. The expansive site charts the progress of the war through hundreds of artifacts from the era and by examining different elements that played a role in the conflict.

The American Civil War, which took place from 1861 to 1865, changed the shape of America as several states attempted to secede from the Union. The museum opened in 2001 to display the collections of ex-Harrisburg Mayor Stephen R. Reed, dedicated solely to chronicling the events and ideas behind this monumental conflict.

Take your time to explore one of the biggest museums about this topic in the world. About 850 different artifacts are on display, building a comprehensive picture of the Civil War. Follow the self-guided tour route around the museum, which features videos and dioramas tracing the narrative of the conflict.

See authentic guns, uniforms and manuscripts that date back to the Civil War era. The museum’s aim is to present a balanced view of the war, with a particular interest in the human side of its battles and politics. Browse displays dedicated to the role of African-Americans, as well as exhibits showing the medical items that were used in response to the fighting.

Alongside the permanent collections, the museum often hosts temporary exhibits bringing attention to particular aspects of the war. Previous topics have included rarely displayed artifacts from the early years of the conflicts and spotlights on key political figures from the era.

Check the museum’s calendar in advance to visit during one of their events. Lectures by academics and film screenings offer different ways of understanding the thorny issues of the day. Watch costumed re-enactments of particular battles that help bring history to life.

The National Civil War Museum is located in Harrisburg’s Reservoir Park, about 10 minutes away by car from the city’s Regional Visitors' Bureau and about an hour away from historic Gettysburg. Find parking on-site.


Best Lodging Options Near National Civil War Museum

See all 251 Properties near National Civil War Museum
Hampton Inn Harrisburg-East/Hershey $93
Hampton Inn Harrisburg-East/Hershey

Hampton Inn Harrisburg-East/Hershey

4230 Union Deposit Road, Harrisburg, PA
     
    2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated near the airport, this hotel is 4 mi (6.5 km) from Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and within 12 mi (20 km) of Pennsylvania State Capitol and Hershey's Chocolate World. Hershey Gardens and Hersheypark are also within 12 mi (20 km).

    Hilton Harrisburg $135
    Hilton Harrisburg

    Hilton Harrisburg

    One North Second Street, Harrisburg, PA
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown Harrisburg, this hotel is steps from Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts and Strawberry Square. Pennsylvania State Capitol and City Island are also within 15 minutes. Harrisburg Transportation Center is only a 5-minute walk.

      Holiday Inn Express - Harrisburg East $52
      Holiday Inn Express - Harrisburg East

      Holiday Inn Express - Harrisburg East

      4021 Union Deposit Road, Harrisburg, PA
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in the business district, this hotel is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Allyson Miller CRNP and within 3 mi (5 km) of Kohl Memorial Park and National Civil War Museum. Appalachian Brewing Company and Shoppes at Susquehanna Marketplace are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Harrisburg at Union Deposit Road, PA $75
        Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Harrisburg at Union Deposit Road, PA

        Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Harrisburg at Union Deposit Road, PA

        1025 Peiffers Lane, Harrisburg, PA
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex, Pennsylvania State Capitol, and Penn State Harrisburg. Giant Center is 10.3 mi (16.6 km) away.

          Close to Downtown Harrisburg and Farm Show - Super Convenient to Shopping
          Close to Downtown Harrisburg and Farm Show - Super Convenient to Shopping

          Close to Downtown Harrisburg and Farm Show - Super Convenient to Shopping

          Harrisburg, PA
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Harrisburg, this historic apartment building is 1.3 mi (2.2 km) from National Civil War Museum and 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex. Allyson Miller CRNP and Shoppes at Susquehanna Marketplace are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            Crowne Plaza Harrisburg-Hershey $99
            Crowne Plaza Harrisburg-Hershey

            Crowne Plaza Harrisburg-Hershey

            23 S 2nd St, Harrisburg, PA
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Downtown Harrisburg, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts and 2.2 mi (3.5 km) from Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex. Strawberry Square and UPMC Pinnnacle Harrisburg are also within 5 minutes. Harrisburg Transportation Center is 6 minutes by foot.

              Homewood Suites by Hilton Harrisburg East-Hershey Area PA $122
              Homewood Suites by Hilton Harrisburg East-Hershey Area PA

              Homewood Suites by Hilton Harrisburg East-Hershey Area PA

              3990 Tecport Dr, Harrisburg, PA
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Allyson Miller CRNP, Kohl Memorial Park, and National Civil War Museum. Appalachian Brewing Company and Popcorn Hat Players Children’s Theatre are also within 6 mi (10 km).

                Best Western Premier The Central Hotel & Conference Center $100
                Best Western Premier The Central Hotel & Conference Center

                Best Western Premier The Central Hotel & Conference Center

                800 E Park Drive, Harrisburg, PA
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated near the airport, this hotel is 1 mi (1.7 km) from Kohl Memorial Park and within 3 mi (5 km) of Allyson Miller CRNP and National Civil War Museum. Shoppes at Susquehanna Marketplace and Appalachian Brewing Company are also within 6 mi (10 km).