Explore the History of Naval Warfare at the National Civil War Naval Museum

Hello and welcome to a fascinating journey through the history of naval warfare at the National Civil War Naval Museum. This museum is a must-visit for everyone, whether you are a history buff, a naval enthusiast, or simply looking for a memorable experience. Located in Columbus, Georgia, the museum showcases the role played by Union and Confederate navies during the American Civil War. With interactive exhibits, hands-on displays, and engaging artifacts, you will learn about the tactics, strategies, and equipment used during this pivotal era in American history. So, grab your sea legs and prepare to embark on an exciting adventure!

The National Civil War Naval Museum

Overview of the Museum

The National Civil War Naval Museum is a fascinating attraction located in Columbus, Georgia, that offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore and learn about the naval warfare during the American Civil War. The museum is dedicated to preserving and exhibiting the rich history of naval battles during that dark and tumultuous time in American history.

Visitors to the museum can expect to be immersed in incredible exhibits, interactive displays, and engaging reenactments that allow them to experience what life was like for sailors and officers during the Civil War. The museum is a must-visit for history buffs and anyone with an interest in naval warfare.

A Brief History of the Naval Warfare during the Civil War

The Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865, was a pivotal moment in the advancement of naval technology and strategy. The era of wooden-sailed ships was coming to an end, and a new age of ironclads and steam-powered ships was about to take over. Both the Union and Confederate navies engaged in more than 50 battles at sea and along rivers during the Civil War.

The Union navy was initially superior, boasting greater numbers of ships and more significant experience, but the Confederacy was quick to catch up, developing innovative tactics and technology to try and level the playing field. Iconic naval battles, such as the Battle of Hampton Roads, proved decisive, and the war eventually led to the development of the modern navy we know today.

Exhibits and Collections

The National Civil War Naval Museum has over 20,000 square feet of exhibit space that houses an extensive collection of artifacts and memorabilia from the Civil War era. Visitors can expect to see a wide variety of items, including weapons, uniforms, flags, and other fascinating artifacts that offer a glimpse into life on the high seas during the war.

One of the standout exhibits is the wreckage of the CSS Jackson, a Confederate ironclad gunboat sunk during the Battle of Columbus in 1865. Another highlight is the USS Hartford, the flagship of Admiral David Farragut, which played a vital role in the Union victory at the Battle of Mobile Bay.

In addition to the impressive collection of exhibits, the museum offers engaging and informative experiences for visitors. Interactive displays allow visitors to experience what it was like to serve on a ship during the Civil War, while reenactments bring the battles to life in a way that is both captivating and educational.

Overall, the National Civil War Naval Museum is an exceptional attraction that offers visitors a unique perspective on an essential aspect of Civil War history. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a fun and engaging way to spend a day, this museum is not to be missed.

The Museum’s Interactive Experience

The National Civil War Naval Museum offers more than just a collection of historical artifacts and exhibits. Visitors can step back in time and immerse themselves in the naval battles of the Civil War era through the museum’s interactive experiences.

The Ironclad Simulator

The Ironclad Simulator is a highlight of the museum’s interactive experience, giving visitors the chance to take on the role of a crew member on an ironclad vessel during a naval battle. The simulator provides an immersive experience, allowing visitors to take control of the ironclad’s cannons, aim, and fire at enemy vessels while navigating through the simulated battle.

Visitors can feel what it was like to be in the middle of the action, and gain insights into the challenges and dangers that naval crews faced during the Civil War. The simulator is appropriate for all ages, and it’s an excellent way for families to experience history together. Whether visitors are naval enthusiasts or simply curious about the Civil War era, the Ironclad Simulator is a must-see attraction.

The Naval War Virtual Reality Exhibit

The museum’s interactive virtual reality exhibit brings history to life by immersing visitors in a naval battle between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia. By wearing virtual reality headsets, visitors can experience the intensity of a Civil War battle, and gain a deeper understanding of the technology and tactics used on both sides during the war.

The exhibit is an excellent educational tool for school groups, as it allows students to engage with history in a unique and exciting way. Visitors can walk around the reconstructed USS Monitor, explore its battle stations, and see the famous rotating gun turret in action as they are transported back in time.

The Battle Walk

The Battle Walk is a self-guided tour of the museum’s outdoor living history exhibits. Visitors can explore the different replica vessels and equipment, and gain a deeper understanding of what life was like aboard a naval vessel during the Civil War era.

One of the most popular exhibits on the Battle Walk is a replica of the USS Water Witch, a Union gunboat that patrolled the waterways around Columbus during the Civil War. Visitors can climb aboard the gunboat and see what life was like for sailors aboard the vessel, including the cramped quarters, cannons, and other equipment.

The shipwreck exhibit is another popular stop on the Battle Walk. The exhibit features artifacts from a Union gunboat that sank in the Chattahoochee River during the Civil War and was discovered during a dredging project in the 1960s. Visitors can learn about the circumstances of the shipwreck and see some of the recovered artifacts on display.

Finally, visitors can view the USS Hartford anchor, a historical artifact from one of the most significant naval battles of the Civil War – the Battle of Mobile Bay. The anchor, which weighs over 7,500 pounds, remains a testament to the bravery and skill of the Union sailors who secured victory in the battle.

In conclusion, the National Civil War Naval Museum’s interactive experiences give visitors a unique opportunity to learn about and experience history in an engaging and exciting way. The museum’s Ironclad Simulator, Naval War Virtual Reality Exhibit, and Battle Walk are a must-see for history buffs and curious visitors alike.

Events and Programs

The National Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus, Georgia offers a variety of events and programs throughout the year to visitors of all ages. These programs are designed to provide an engaging and educational experience that explores one of the most pivotal events in American history. Here are some examples of the programs available at the museum:

Civil War Naval Reenactments

The Civil War Naval Reenactments at the National Civil War Naval Museum are an exciting and immersive way to experience history. Visitors can witness authentic naval battles between Union and Confederate ships, complete with period weapons and tactics. The battles are staged with historically accurate conditions, providing a unique and thrilling glimpse into the past. Visitors can learn about naval tactics, the role of the navy in the Civil War, and the individual stories of the people who fought in these battles. These reenactments are a must-see for anyone interested in Civil War history or naval warfare.

School and Group Programs

The National Civil War Naval Museum offers a range of educational programs tailored specifically for schools and groups. These programs are designed to make learning about the Civil War engaging and entertaining, with guided tours and interactive experiences. Students can explore the museum’s exhibits and collections, learn about the role of the navy in the Civil War, and discover the stories of the people who fought in these battles. The programs are tailored for different age groups and can be customized to fit specific learning goals. Whether you’re a teacher planning a field trip or a group looking for a unique educational experience, the National Civil War Naval Museum has something to offer.

The Junior Civil War Naval Officers Program

The Junior Civil War Naval Officers Program is a unique and immersive experience designed for kids between the ages of 7-14. This program teaches kids about the history and technology of naval warfare during the Civil War. Participants learn about the various types of naval vessels used during the Civil War, the weapons and tactics used in battle, and the daily life of sailors on these ships. They also have the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities and demonstrations. At the end of the program, participants receive a certificate and a rank, and are invited back to the museum for exclusive events. This program is a fun and engaging way for kids to learn about history and develop an appreciation for the sacrifices made by those who fought in the Civil War.

These events and programs are just a few examples of the many opportunities available at the National Civil War Naval Museum. Whether you’re a history buff, a student, or just looking for a fun and educational experience, the museum has something to offer. With interactive exhibits, knowledgeable staff, and engaging programs, the National Civil War Naval Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Civil War history.

Visitor Information


The National Civil War Naval Museum offers a unique experience for visitors of all ages. Admission fees to the museum vary depending on age and group size. For adults, the cost is $10, while seniors, military personnel, and students can enjoy discounted rates of $9. Children under the age of six get free admission. Schools and organized groups can also take advantage of group rates starting from $7 per person. Membership plans are available for regular visitors, offering exclusive benefits that include year-round access to the museum, discounts on purchases, and free admission to special events.

Hours of Operation

The National Civil War Naval Museum operates seven days a week, welcoming visitors from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Guests are advised to review the museum’s schedule on their website as they may adjust their hours for major holidays. Guided tours are available for groups of 15 or more people with prior reservation. Private tours are also available upon request.


The National Civil War Naval Museum is located in Columbus, Georgia, at 1002 Victory Drive, 31901. If you’re visiting from Atlanta, take the I-85 S and I-185 S to Veterans Parkway in Columbus. Follow the signs towards the Chattahoochee Riverwalk. Visitors can park their cars for free at the museum’s parking lot. If you’re traveling by public transportation, catch a local bus that stops near the museum.

The museum is situated near the Chattahoochee Riverwalk, a 15-mile pedestrian and bike path that follows the Chattahoochee River’s scenic banks. The Riverwalk is a popular destination for the locals and tourists alike. The path leads visitors to various attractions, including the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, CSU theater productions, and an opera house.

The National Civil War Naval Museum’s goal is to educate visitors and provide an immersive experience. They showcase exhibits that highlight technology and innovations during the Civil War. The museum features warships replicas such as the USS Monitor, The CSS Jackson, and the CSS Chattahoochee. Visitors can enjoy seeing artifacts, uniforms, examples of weapons and other related items on display. The museum also has a theater and an observation deck where guests can view the Chattahoochee River from a higher vantage point.

The museum’s collection primarily focuses on the naval engagements during the Civil War that took place between 1861 and 1865. The exhibits showcase the tactics used during these battles of the war and how people lived and worked onboard these ships. They also give a glimpse of how different life was for sailors during the nineteenth century compared to today.

The museum is an excellent place for history buffs and people who value education and learning. They also encourage families with children to visit. The interactive exhibits and displays will make learning history more enjoyable and engaging for younger guests. The National Civil War Naval Museum is a must-visit for anyone who wants to learn more about America’s history, particularly about the role of naval combat during the Civil War.

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