Usually when you think about the Civil War, you remember the great land battles like Gettysburg or Bull Run. However, much of the war was fought on the sea and major waterways. As a matter of fact, modern naval warfare can trace many of its roots to the naval battles and innovations of the Civil War.
The National Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus, GA recounts that history in a fun and educational way. Located on the Chattahoochee Intra-Coastal Waterway, the museum has a number of fascinating exhibits from models to items raised from their watery graves. Follow the displays to follow the history of nautical warfare from sailing ships to ironclads to submarines. Port Columbus says they are "the only museum in the world dedicated to telling the complete naval story of the American Civil War."
Originally called the James W. Woodruff, Jr. Confederate Naval Museum when it opened in 1962, the museum has been in its present $8 million facility since 2001 when it was renamed after changing its focus to include the histories of both the Confederate and union navies.
One favorite display at the museum is the hull of the CSS Jackson (also known as the CSS Muscogee) which was scuttled in the Chattahoochee River by the Union troops of Gen. James H. Wilson before it was completed. Two other exhibits are the remains of the unlucky CSS Chattahoochee and an intact rowboat from the USS Hartford. A couple of models on display are the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (formerly known as the USS Merrimack) which were used in the Turner Broadcasting film Ironclads. Also on display are full-scale replicas of entire sections of three other civil war-era warships and many other artifacts.
Together with an historic flag display, a cannon display, a battle experience theater, traveling and changing exhibits and special events, you'll be immersed in the stories and lives of the people who lived and died through the Civil War.
The museum holds a number of special events including summer camps and living history programs and can be rented for special occasions.
National Civil War Naval Museum (http://portcolumbus.org/)
1002 Victory Drive
Columbus, GA 31901
Telephone: (706) 327-9798 or (800) 742-2811