Did you know there are only four ironclad from the Civil War left? And one of right here in Georgia! Designed around the artifacts, this building houses the CSS Jackson, the largest surviving Confederate warship.   At more than 200 feet long, it’s remains are especially impressive when you step back to see the frame built to show its original size. Also present is other salvaged ship wreckage and replicas as well as weapons and equipment from the time. Leave time to explore the wall of detailed timeline of the Civil War; it’s enough in its own. 

C.S.S. Jackson - The Giant iron and wood frame of the Ironside Remains of the Original Shape inside the Civil War Naval Museum
C.S.S. Jackson – The Ironside Remains and Rebuilt Frame for Original Shape


Columbus, Georgia; 1.5 hours south of Atlanta


Monday to Saturday 10 AM -4:30 PM; Sunday 10:30 AM -4:30 PM

⏳How much time do I need?

Mon to Sat 10-4:30; Sun 10:30-4:30


Adults $8, Seniors and Military $7; Kids $6; under 6 free


There is a big connected lot.

Upclose Partial wooden remains of an Ironside from the civil war in the naval museum in Columbus, Georgia
Reproduction of an Ironside


This museum gives full reciprocity for your home NARM museum. Joining here is a great way to support a small museum!


Picnic tables are right at the side of the entrance. Leave your food in the car and picnic afterward. 


Inside the museum. 


  • Check out all their field trip offerings online for a cheap rate for your group.
  • Special events are happening year-round which are listed through their website. 
Large portion of a large wooden ship labeled U.S.S. Hartford and it's rescue boat for walking through in the Civil War Naval Museum
Reproduction of the U.S.S. Harford to Walk Through and See the Inside Rooms


  • There are only a few, slightly interactive exhibit areas for the littler kids. Other than walking through reconstructed ships (which are cool in their own right), there aren’t specific “play areas”.
  • With all the history and reading to absorb, this is definitely a museum for older kids and grown-ups if you want to stay long enough to read it all. 


Covering all of the Civil War, this is a great place to review so much history of the time period and not just related to naval battles. Learn about the different types of ships, ironclads, and early submarines that were used during the Civil War. Learn about artifact recovery and electrolysis to remove rust. Study the flags. Read the real-life stories of the brave sailors and soldiers. Imagine life inside the ships. See guns and cannons and swords. Discuss how advanced the engines were for the time and think about all the hours and men (slave labor) required for the amazing construction. 


It’s only a five minute drive to the Columbus Museum and downtown. The Naval Museum is located right on the Chattahoochee RiverWalk so allow time to go down to see it or bring your bikes and scooters to hop on the paved trail. 

Looking at the Wooden Top of an Ironside as it would have appeared docked
Looking at the Wooden Top of an Ironside

📚 Books: 

Big Bad Ironclads! (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales #2): A Civil War Tale
By Nathan Hale
This is book 2 of the 11 hazardous tales stories. These graphic novels are great history reading material for elementary level kids, especially if you’re trying to get your hesitant-to-read-boy willing to read for fun. This book got my son interested in learning more about the Civil War ironclads.

Duel of the Ironclads: The Monitor vs. The Virginia
By Patrick O’Brien
This upper level picture book speaks to the development of the first iron clads by both the Union and Confederate during the Civil war leading up to the 1862 confrontation. Pre-reading this book before your trip to the Naval Museum will make the exhibits so much more meaningful.

Iron Thunder: The Battle Between the Monitor & the Merrimac – A Civil War Novel
By Avi
When a boy takes a job during the Civil War working on the construction of an iron clad, he ends up helping the inventor finalize the Monitor for its battle with the Confederate Merrimac. This shorter novel, along with so many by this same author, throws you into history and is a great read for boys and girls alike.

🔗Link. https://www.portcolumbus.org

Two kids snacking at some Picnic Tables with nearby Cannons at the Civil War Naval Museum
Picnic Tables and Cannons at the Civil War Naval Museum

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