Thinking of making a trip in the autumn season to see the fall colors in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley? Consider add a stop at the Virginia Museum of the Civil War in New Market. Located on a key portion of New Market battlefield, this museum offers an overview of the conflict in the state of Virginia and displays specific to the war in the Valley.
Located just off Interstate Route 81, you’ll take exit Old Cross Road (exit 264) and follow the brown signs to the museum on George R. Collins Memorial Parkway. Be sure to drive all the way to the end of the road to find the Virginia Museum of the Civil War, which is a large, drum-shaped building. (If you’re approaching via Route 211 or Route 11, simply follow the brown museum signs as you enter the town of New Market.)
The Virginia Museum of the Civil War at New Market Battlefield State Historic Park offers wonderful displays and a historic documentary relating to the local battle and the state’s role in the 1860s conflict. Cadet uniforms, pieces of the Virginia Military Institute’s battle flag, weapons, original art, a Bushong family quilt, and other impressive artifacts are on display. The Kaminsky Galley offers an impressive display of Civil War firearms while the Robert Raeburn Civil War Art Collection preserves original art from the 19th Century.
The museum offers a documentary film about the Battle of New Market which is an excellent introduction or refresher course before heading out to the battlefield.
You’ll be able to tour the state historical park portion of the battlefield, following trails from the museum if you wish. The museum offers a battlefield tour pamphlet with admission (or you can use the notes in ECW’s book Call Out The Cadets).
There is a minimal admission fee for adults and youth, but tickets include the museum exhibits, documentary film, and access to the 300 acre battlefield area. For detailed information about admission and visiting the museum, please visit: https://www.vmi.edu/museums-and-archives/virginia-museum-of-the-civil-war/visit/
Virginia Museum of the Civil War
Open daily year-round 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and day.
8895 George Collins Parkway
New Market, VA 22844
The Museum will offer two special programs in the coming months:
October 26, 2019: Spirits of New Market
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., tickets required
Lantern tour of the battlefield with interactions with living historians portraying soldiers, townsfolk, and Bushong family.
December 7, 2019: Christmas on the Farm
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., more details coming
For event information, please visit: https://www.vmi.edu/museums-and-archives/virginia-museum-of-the-civil-war/events/
Note: Parts of this blog post were copied from tour notes in Sarah Kay Bierle’s Call Out The Cadets (Emerging Civil War, Savas Beatie, 2019); used with permission.