Lincoln Dolls
Plush Dolls Handmade in Pennsylania ©Author Adventures

National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg

The National Civil War Museum, which opened in Harrisburg in 2001, offers “…collections of artifacts, manuscripts, documents, photographs, and other printed matter that exceed 24,000 items.” It is one of several Civil War museums in this region of the United States.

This museum’s mission includes providing a balanced view of the War that tore the United States in two during the 19th century, when Abraham Lincoln was president. Its website offers this social justice statement: “The National Civil War Museum’s mission is to ‘serve as a national center to inspire lifelong learning of the American Civil War through the preservation and balanced presentation of the American peoples struggles for survival and healing.’ As we witness the ongoing divisiveness in our country, more work needs to be done to achieve the founding principles of this country and the vision of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. To this end, we will continue to provide balanced programming as we have since the Museum’s inception. We intend to evolve our programmatic offerings and encourage open discussion to bring greater awareness of the relevancy of the events of the Civil War and its immediate aftermath to today’s citizenry. It is our hope these efforts will promote healing and equality for all citizens.”

Part of the Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program, it is open daily until 5pm with a low-price admission rate and student discount. The Museum has a 2018 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

Check the Museum’s calendar for special events, including lectures, family activities, and living history dates.

Individual, group, and school tours are available. (Bus parking is free.) Plan on staying two to four hours and remember to stop at the gift shop. Tickets and gift shop items, including gift certificates, are available for purchase online at

Civil War inheritance items are welcome to be donated.

This stop can be added between the Philadelphia and outside-Philadelphia parts of our Pennsylvania Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart