Friday, May 25, 2012

Field Trip Friday: The Civil War Museum


Mary Todd Lincoln made this velvet tapestry.

Over the winter months, the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has one Saturday where entrance is free.  We were able to take advantage of that free day and I was so glad we did.  This museum is beautifully built, and full of original artifacts from the Civil War as well as striking dioramas, and dramatic videos.  You never know what you are going to find when you turn the corner.  

The Big Dog, who loves the Civil War and reads everything he can get his hands on, was filled with awe as we gazed on original items from key players in the war that killed the most Americans ever.  One of my favorite artifacts was a brass mold of President Lincoln's face.  It had been taken a few months before his death.  Truthfully, it was almost eerie to gaze on his likeness in this way.  But it was cool.
Robert E. Lee's Bible.
We saw the entire museum and took in a lecture in under 3 hours.  Of course, our guys did not stop to read every description or watch every video.  Being typical boys, they barreled through quite a bit of the museum.  But we were all able to absorb quite a bit of what we read, saw, and listened to.

Big Mac has been working on a research paper on baseball in the Civil War.  During this free day at the museum, a man gave a talk on...you guessed it...baseball in the Civil War.  So we were able to listen to that talk.  There were re-enactors and musical groups in addition to lots of presenters.  You could have filled a day with all the activities planned for the day.

Kind of dim, but this is a large display of a war-torn city.
So, why would I tell you this when the free day has passed?  Well, there's another one coming up!  If you are in the Central PA area, or you have travel plans to be near here, The National Civil War Museum is planning another free admission day on Saturday, June 15, 2012.  When we listened to the baseball speech in January, he said that they play a baseball game with Civil War rules during the June free-day.  So we have that to look forward to!

If you will not be able to take advantage of viewing the museum for free, consider visiting it at any other time of the year.  It is worth the price of admission for all that you will see and learn.  And if it's just to far for you to travel, check out their virtual tour on their website.

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