America's Civil War waged no battles in Harrisburg. No, the bloodshed reached its peak just to our south in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. But much like the famed copula at Seminary Ridge where Union General John Buford spotted an advancing Confederate Army, so too does Harrisburg have its own piece of Civil War history sitting high on a hill.  Many pieces, really. Most scholars believe The National Civil War Museum is the nation's most complete collection of Civil War artifacts that tell the story of the war from both sides.

It's not about one army or one regiment. It's not about one general, one battle or one family. It's a museum that pieces together the intricate and complex stories of North versus South. Brother versus brother. Age against youth and yes, white versus black. And the world in between black and white where the grays and the blues clashed over freedom versus slavery.

Soldier statue at National Civil War Museum

Reenactors are shown on digital screens throughout the exhibit space as they tell "their" stories. The exhibits range from the confirmed weapons of high-ranking officers to the makeshift knives and scalpels used by field medics. On your way out, talk to Lincoln himself through an interactive display.  

We're not suggesting that our guests visit the National Civil War Museum instead of Gettysburg. We're encouraging them to visit both. Gettysburg is hallowed ground dedicated to the more than 51,000 brave soldiers who gave their lives for the cause they believed in, and the National Civil War Museum helps us to understand what led to that accidental-turned-iconic meeting of muskets.

National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg Collage