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Civil War and Underground Railroad Museum of Philadelphia
Established 1888
Location 1805 Pine Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Civil War and Underground Railroad Museum of Philadelphia (formerly the Civil War Library and Museum) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, claims to be the oldest chartered American Civil War institution in the United States. The museum was founded in 1888 by veteran officers of the Union Army, Navy and Marine Corps.

On August 7, 2007, the museum announced that it would relocate to the former First Bank of the United States building, near Independence Hall. It was previously located at 1805 Pine Street near Rittenhouse Square. Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street presented the museum with a check for $1.2 million to assist in its relocation.[1] On August 2, 2008, the Pine Street location permanently closed and the museum planned to reopen in its new location in 2011.[2][3]

In 2009, Governor Ed Rendell canceled the state's portion of the funding needed to relocate the museum, prompting the National Park Service to withdraw its offer to use the First Bank building. The museum's collection remains in storage pending the designation of a new permanent home.[4]


The museum's collection includes the mounted head of "Old Baldy", the horse that was ridden by Union Major General George G. Meade during most of the Civil War. Old Baldy's head was mounted in 1882 and restored in 1991.

In addition to a large portrait and artifacts associated with General Meade, the museum's collection includes personal items from other Union generals including Ulysses S. Grant, John F. Reynolds, and George B. McClellan.

The museum has on display a large collection of military escutcheons, which were made in the United States from the end of the Civil War until about 1907. They resemble a coat of arms and depict the military record of a veteran. Usually commissioned by the veteran or his family to memorialize his service, they were produced by an artist using chromolithography.

The museum's collection also includes items pertaining to Abraham Lincoln, including a cast of his hands, a lock of hair, and a death mask.


[[Image:Template:Portal/Images/Default |x28px]] Philadelphia portal
  1. "Oldest Civil War museum gets a new home",, August 7, 2007
  2. "Phila. Civil War museum holds open house before closing", The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 1, 2008
  4. "Editorial: History without a home", The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 24, 2009

External links[]

Coordinates: 39°56′48″N 75°10′18″W / 39.946537°N 75.171799°W / 39.946537; -75.171799


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