Last year was the 150th Anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. If you want your understanding broadened, your senses dazzled, and your collector gene completely awed, The Civil War Museum in Bardstown, Kentucky is a must see. It has one of the largest collections of rare and authentic artifacts of any Civil War Museum in the country. Prominent Civil War magazine, The North and South, named it the 4th best in the U.S. out of 500. This is quite a surprise for this great small Central Kentucky town.
The layout is chronological in its description of the Western War and its battles. It is well organized and easy to understand. The wide variety of rare uniforms from both sides, guns, swords, personal camp items, medical equipment, and cannons gives you a real feel for the people who used them. Collectively the story is powerfully told through the words of soldiers and their authentic artifacts.
During our 2-hour visit several items underscored this Museum’s broad collection of items you won’t soon forget. Included were tools and kitchen utensils designed for soldiers with amputated limbs; soldier’s caps and hats of all ranks, shapes and sizes; pipes hand carved by soldiers as they waited for battle; a detailed diorama of the Battle of Perryville, dug artifacts from the Washington Artillery’s position at the Battle of Perryville; a battle flag from John Hunt Morgan’s 1st Kentucky Calvary; the personal side arms of Basil Duke; a rifle used by John Brown in his raid on Harper’s Ferry; and the story and the battle flag from the Orphan’s Brigade.
The Museum is part of Old Bardstown Village, a reproduction of a 1790 frontier community. It is close to a thriving town square with a beautiful Court House in its center. A visit to the museum offers many other nearby opportunities to go “on patrol” including antique shops, great golf, Distillery Tours, The Abbey of Gethsemani, and Museum Row including, The Women’s Civil War Museum, The War Memorial of Mid America, Wildlife/Natural History Museum, and The Native American Museum. The War Memorial of Mid-America reminds us of the huge sacrifice Bardstown made during the Vietnam War. A dedicated group of volunteers keep it going. The museum also plays host to Civil War Living History Weekends and Revolutionary War Reenactments. Hours daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm E.T. March through mid-December. Civil War Museum $5.00 Group rates available for adults, seniors, and children. AAA approved. Old Bardstown Village 310 E. Broadway Bardstown, Kentucky 40004 502-349-0291.
A special thanks to those collectors who have saved, preserved, and displayed these special objects form our past so we can learn first hand the important story they have to tell. Tell us what you collect. What are your favorite places to go “on patrol” for treasures? Where is your favorite Civil War site? Why?
Website: Civil War Museum
May 6, 2013