The American Civil War was arguably the darkest chapter in American history. The country was ripped in two, and by the war's end, more people lay dead than all the other American Wars combined. It is important to remember this history and what it means today. The capital of the breakaway south was in Richmond, Virginia and today it is one of the best places to discover the history of the war.

The American Civil War Museum is a multi-site museum in the Great Richmond Region. It is a great way to remember the sacrifices of the past. For another somber Civil War attraction, consider visiting the Gettysburg Battlefield - the deadliest battle of the war.

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About The American Civil War Museum

The original Museum of the Confederacy was formed back in 1894, just 29 years after Lee's surrender.

There are three sites at the museum:

  • The White House Of The Confederacy
  • American Civil War Museum At Historic Tredegar In Richmond
  • The American Civil War Museum at Appomattox

These sites maintain a comprehensive collection of artifacts from the civil war including manuscripts, photographs, and Confederate books and pamphlets.

  • Battle Flags: The Civil War Museum Holds 500 Original Wartime Battle Flags From The Confederacy

Here there are thousands of documents and artifacts from the Civil War - with items that had been owned by Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and others. It is also home to the provisional Confederate Consitution as well as the Great Seal of the Confederacy.

Related: Visiting The Washington Monument: What To Know Before Planning A Trip

White House Of The Confederacy

While the Confederacy existed, it had its own White House. This building is not all that remarkable at first glance. During the war years, it served as the executive mansion and home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1963 and has been restored to its 1861-1865 appearance.

The Confederacy White House was built in 1818 by John Brockenbrough who was the president of the Bank of Virginia. After the end of the Reconstruction period, the building became a school (namely the Richmond Central School). It was nearly demolished to build a more modern school building in 1890 but petitions saved it from demolition.

After the capture of the Confederate White House, Abraham Lincoln toured the residence for around three hours. He only toured the first floor as he thought it would be improper to visit the private second floor of another man's home.

  • Use As Confederate White House: 1861 to 1865

Today one can enjoy guided tours to explore the lives and activities of those who worked and resided there.

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  • Tour Times: 10:15 AM–11:15 AM | 11:45 AM–12:15 PM | 1:30 PM–2:30 PM | 3 PM–4 PM
  • Reservations: It Is Strongly Recommended to Reserve The Tour Due To Limited Capacity
  • Accessibility: This Is A Historic Home And It Is Not Wheelchair Accessible

Cost Of Admission

  • Adult: $14.00
  • Youth: $7.00 (Aged 6-17)

Opening Hours

  • Thursday to Monday: Open 10:00 am to 4 pm
  • Tuesday And Wednesday: Open 11:30 am to 4 pm
  • Address: 1201 East Clay St. Richmond, VA 23219 (Just Two Blocks North Of The Virginia State Capitol)

Interestingly this is was not the only White House of the Confederacy, the first one was in Montgomery in Alabama. This first Confederate White House is also preserved today and is also on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been furnished with period pieces of the 1850s and 1860s.

The American Civil War Museum at Appomattox

This museum is located just over a mile from the Appomattox Court House Historic National Park and the McLean House surrender site. At this museum, one will see a unique insight into the end of the long and bloody Civil War and its subsequent legacies.

The permanent exhibit explores various stories and has over 400 artifacts, photographs, and documents.

Cost of Admission

  • Adults: $12.00
  • Youth: $6.00 (aged 6 to 17)

Opening Hours

  • Open Daily: 10:00 AM–5 PM
  • Address: 159 Horseshoe Rd. Appomattox, VA 24522

Related: Visiting The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, The Site Of Custer's Last Stand

Historic Tredegar

The Historic Tredegar site is located in downtown Richmond and is the site of one of the largest industrial sites in the United States before the war. It was the largest industrial site of the Confederacy and produced around half of the artillery for the Confederate Army. It was founded in 1837.

The museum building contains two galleries for exhibits with over 500 artifacts on display. It is regarded as the gateway to Civil War travel in the region.

Cost Of Admission

  • Adult: $16.00
  • Youth: $8.00 (Aged 7 to 17)

Opening Hours

  • Open Daily: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (Except For Certain Holidays)
  • Address: 480 Tredegar St. Richmond, VA 23219

Virginia is one of America's oldest states (and one of the oldest colonies) and so boasts a long and storied history. While there, check out its Historic Triangle with the battlefields of Yorktown, the first Jamestown colony, and the historic city of Williamsburg.

Next: Trail of Tears National Historic Trail: Remembering The Dark Days of The Past