National Civil War Naval Museum Columbus, GA
A curator might be offended if we compared the detail and completeness of some of the dioramas here to that of Madame Trousseau’s Wax Museum, but we say that as a compliment. The realism here is incredible. The depiction of the port of Plymouth, North Carolina will take you back in time until, with no effort on your part, you’re dockside with the CSS Albemarle. Add to that the docents in period uniforms and you have living history done ever so well.
The main attraction here is the USS Monitor and how it changed the way of warships were built. The Battle of Hampton Roads pitted the ironclad Monitor against the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia in the first naval battle between two iron ships. The outcome was a draw – neither could sink the other – but it was the turning point in the warship design. From this day forward all Navy ships would have iron hulls and a main gun rotating inside what is called a barbette (barbettes are easily visible on battleships).
This handsome museum is solely focused on the navies and the naval battles of the Civil War. Plan to spend some time here. In addition to exceptionally well done visual displays and panoramas, on display here is the CSS Jackson, the only surviving confederate gunship of the Civil War, plus the wreckage of the CSS Chattahoochee, a replica of the USS Hartford, and of course the replica of the Monitor and the Albemarle (with exterior and interior views). Be sure to see the incredible collection of civil war flags and the complete timeline of war events, all with this very unique focus on the battling civil war navies.
Hours: Mon. – Sat.: 10am – 4:30pm
Sun: 12:30pm – 4:30pmVisit museum website