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Located in Columbus, Georgia, the National Civil War Naval Museum overlooks the Chattahoochee River. We house the largest surviving Confederate warship, the CSS Jackson, as well as the wreckage of the CSS Chattahoochee. Other exhibits include a replica of the USS Hartford with its berth deck, ward room and captain’s cabin, an actual cutter or "ship's boat" from the USS Hartford, a full scale replica of the USS Monitor’s famous turret, and an immersive panoramic dockside exhibit recreating Plymouth, North Carolina, complete with an exterior and interior view of the CSS Albemarle.


Among our many artifacts, we have the largest collection of Civil War Naval-related flags on display in the country. The collection includes various flags from ships and coastal forts, signal flags and Admirals’ pennants.


Our timeline exhibit takes you month by month through the war showing naval events and features many of the museum’s most rare artifacts, such as the uniform coat of Captain Catesby Jones and Admiral Farragut’s two-star hat insignia.


We host a range of events throughout the year with an emphasis on museum theatre and historic character interpretation. Additionally, there are living history events, tours, cannon firings, weapons demonstrations, local history projects and more.

Educator, National Civil War Naval Museum
Executive Director, Holly Wait

Holly B. Wait, Executive Director

Holly Beasley Wait, a native of Waycross, Georgia, has spent over 34 years working in museums and historic preservation. After graduating from Florida State University with a master’s degree in American History to 1865 and Public History, she began her career as museum registrar at the Jekyll Island Museum. She later returned to Tallahassee, working for many years at the Museum of Florida History as museum educator, then as grants manager for the statewide Historical Museums Grants-in-Aid Program.  Wait left the Bureau of Historic Preservation, where she helped run this nation’s largest (at the time) Historic Preservation Grants Program to become director of the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida.  Upon returning home to direct the Okefenokee Heritage Center in Waycross, Holly raised the funds to complete the exterior restoration of five historic structures on the property.  In 2003, she accepted a position as executive director of the Beaches Area Historical Society in Jacksonville Beach, FL where she helped complete a capital campaign to construct the brand new, state-of-the-art, Beaches Museum and History Center.  Holly, and her husband John, moved to Texas in 2008 to be near his family.  As director of the Pearce Museum, a Civil War and Western Art museum at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, she created a national western art show and sale, edited and published four volumes of original Civil War letters, and led the museum through its pivotal four year Sesquicentennial commemoration.  Notably at every museum she has dramatically improved both visitation and revenue as well as upgrading their collections and facilities.

“I am thrilled to be back home in Georgia,” Says Wait.

Board of Directors

Cameron Saunders-President

Mack Jenkins-Vice President

Eric Tydings-Treasurer

Alfredo Gonzalez

Walt Gumby

Rick Johnson

Otis Pickett

Andrew Rothschild

Sam Ruffner

Jack Schley


Frank Bickerstaff

Janice Biggers

Ken Coolik

Robert K. David

Tom Gates

Clason Kyle

Virginia Peebles

Claude Scarbrough


Elizabeth Walden

Peter Bowden


"We enjoy going to Naval History Museums and this one is among the best!" guest, Tripadvisor

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