Tennessee State Museum

The Tennessee State Museum highlights the history of Nashville and the state of Tennessee from the time of the settling of the state to the twentieth century. This history museum in Nashville covers three floors, but its Civil War exhibit is particularly impressive for the number of uniforms, weapons, and other artifacts it holds—it’s the largest collection of such Civil War artifacts in the country. Many of the items in the museum belong to the Tennessee Historical Society, a nonprofit institution that is dedicated to preserving the history of Tennessee. The Tennessee Historical Society is a partner of the Tennessee State Museum.

Some of the exhibits you will see at this history museum in Nashville include the First Tennesseans exhibit, about prehistoric settlers in the area, as well as exhibits about the settling of the frontier, the age of Andrew Jackson, the antebellum era, and more modern times. The Civil War exhibit has a large collection of original items, such as flags, hand drawn maps, clothing and weapons.

You may also want to visit the Military Branch Museum, a branch of the Tennessee State Museum located just across the street, which features exhibits from all of America's armed conflicts overseas. It has weapons, a deck gun from the U.S.S. Nashville, and more. You can also take a trip to nearby Franklin Tennessee to learn about the Civil War history in that town, which was the site of the appallingly bloody Battle of Franklin.

Admission to the Tennessee State Museum's permanent collection is free, though some of the temporary exhibits may sometimes charge an extra fee. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays, and visiting is one of the best things to do during any trip to Nashville.

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