On the first Saturday of each month between 1:00 pm & 4:00 pm the National Civil War Naval Museum presents History First, an afternoon program of rotating activities such as museum theatre, living history programs, film screenings, or lectures. There’s something to do every month at Port Columbus!

Event dates and times are subject to change.

  • CSS Jackson.jpg
    Civil War Ironclads
    August 2, 2014 1pm & 3pm
    Join us for a screening of the documentary  Civil War Ironclads  at 1pm & 3pm.
    In celebration of August as National Inventors Month the National Civil War Naval Museum is screening Civil War Ironclads , co-produced by Port Columbus and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and originally airing on PBS in March of 2014. Technological innovation and design in the development of ironclads of the United States Navy and Confederate States Navy are seen through the eyes of a young girl visiting museums with her father - and meeting people of the past along the way!

    Learn more about ironclad development in general, as well as the specific story of the navy in Columbus GA and the recovery of the ironclad built there - the CSS Jackson.

  • Museum Theatre
    September 6, 2014 1pm & 3pm
    Watch history come to life during our museum theatre piece  The Life and Times of Congressman Robert Smalls  at 1pm & 3pm.
    Smalls was hired in 1861 as a deckhand on the Planter , a transport steamer serving Confederate Army. Smalls later became its pilot. In the early morning hours of May 13, 1862, while the white crew was ashore, Smalls, then 23, commandeered the Planter , loaded with armaments for the rebel forts. With his wife, children and 12 other slaves aboard he gave the correct whistle signal as he passed each rebel fort. He then sailed toward the USS Onward, the nearest Union blockading ship. As the Onward prepared to fire on the approaching rebel ship, it raised the white flag of surrender. As the Planter came alongside the Union ship, Smalls, elegantly dressed in a white shirt and dress jacket, raised his hat high in the air and shouted, “Good morning, sir! I have brought you some of the old United States’ guns, sir!

  • hartford-2.jpg
    Life aboard the USS Hartford
    October 4, 2014 1pm & 3pm
    Discover what the daily life of a sailor aboard the famous USS Hartford was like! See for yourself inside our replica of the USS Hartford complete with the Berth Deck, Ward Room and Captain's Quarters.