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National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey
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Contact: 1LT Vincent Solomeno, (732) 974-5966

National Guard Militia Museum Opens Civil War Exhibit

SEA GIRT, N.J. – The National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey has opened an exhibit commemorating the Civil War Sesquicentennial, honoring and explaining the state’s contribution to that conflict.  “Visualizing History: A New Jersey Civil War Camp” opened July 1 and runs through the close of 2012.

“Historians estimate as many as 88,000 New Jersey men served in the Union Army during the Civil War,” said 1st Lt. Vincent Solomeno, Command Historian of the New Jersey National Guard and the museum’s curator.  “The new exhibit marks the 150th anniversary of the war by offering visitors the opportunity to explore the histories of New Jersey’s units and the men and women who supported the Union war effort.”

The exhibit, funded in part by grants from the New Jersey Historical Commission, the New Jersey Civil War Heritage Association, and the New Jersey Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, is a Civil War encampment that features a tent, equipment, supplies, and mannequins dressed in reproduction uniforms worn by “Jerseymen” who fought in the conflict and a New Jersey woman costumed as a nurse.

The exhibit also includes a case of original period firearms of the type used by Jerseymen during the conflict.  Visitors can view and learn about the Model 1842 Springfield .69 caliber musket, the Model 1861 Springfield .58 caliber rifle musket, the P53 British Enfield .577 caliber rifle musket and a Spencer.56-.56 caliber rifle. The Spencer was issued in limited numbers to men from the 1st New Jersey Brigade in late 1864.

Established in 1980, the National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey presents the role of the New Jersey Militia and the National Guard within the context of the larger history of the state.  Collections include original and reproduction uniforms, weapons, photographs, artifacts and art from the period of Dutch, Swedish and British colonization through the War for Independence, Civil War and World Wars I and II to the present day, with particular attention paid to the diversity of the New Jersey citizen soldier and his or her experience. 

With the exception of state holidays, the museum is open seven days a week.  Admission is free and open to the public.  For more information, please visit the museum’s web site at or call (732) 974-5966.


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