Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum: Step Into History in Downtown Indianapolis

The Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum is housed inside the famous Soldiers and Sailors Monument in the heart of Indianapolis. This unique Indianapolis museum is a testament not only to the courage of those who fought for their patriotic beliefs, but also to the imaginations of the museum’s creators. Stepping into the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum is like stepping 150 years back in history to a time when the United States was divided into North and South and cannon fire could be heard throughout the country.

Marking the center point of Monument Circle, located near Indiana University – Purdue University (IUPUI), Lucas Oil Stadium, and Circle Center Mall, the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum is a great place to experience Indiana‘s involvement in the Civil War. Taking place over a series of concise, beautifully rendered displays and exhibits, the Museum escorts its visitors through important time periods in the Civil War.

The museum, named after one of the most famous Indianapolis people, Colonel Eli Lilly, is a great place to bring Indianapolis children to give them an educational boost after a day of exciting fun at Climb Time or Fastimes Indoor Karting. It’s not quite an Indianapolis school, but this slice of Indianapolis history is sure to entertain them so much that they’ll forget they’re learning valuable lessons about honor, courage, and downtown Indianapolis.

Comprised of “vignettes” that take the viewer on a trip through time back to the Civil War days, the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum offers such a powerful experience that no visitor leaves unchanged. It’s right at the top of the list of Indianapolis attractions.

A sense of great involvement in history is conveyed to the visitor of the museum through sculpture, video, and interactive maps. You can experience the anticipation and dread of an upcoming battle, and the tension felt by family members left at home. You will even be able to read authentic letters from soldiers to their families.

Video tour of the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum at the base of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in downtown Indianapolis


One of the highlights of the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum is the connecting corridor between the two main galleries. It truly gives visitors the sense of being a marching soldier, with great details like a rutted dirt path and a covered bridge. In addition to taking in the sights and sounds of battle, visitors will also encounter the rigors of hospital and prison life, probably making them thankful that they live in a modern era.

If you haven’t had your fill of history after leaving the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum, why not head over to the Indiana State Capitol Building just a few blocks away? The Museum isn’t far from many other Indianapolis attractions, and it’s a great compliment to any day about town.

For more information on the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum and the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, including a virtual tour and in-depth looks at the beautiful sculpture decorating the Monument, visit the Indiana War Memorial’s Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum homepage.

Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum
Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Monument
Monument Circle
Indianapolis, IN 46204

View Larger Map

Indianapolis Things to Do

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis | Indiana State Fairgrounds | Indiana State Museum | Indianapolis Museum of Art | Central Indiana Theatres and Performing Arts Venues | Indianapolis Zoo | More Indianapolis Things to Do

Indianapolis Things to Do by Geographical Locale

Indianapolis Downtown Things to Do | Indianapolis North Things to Do | Indianapolis West Things to Do | Indianapolis East Things to Do | More Indianapolis Things to Do

Indiana Things to Do by City

Anderson Things to Do | Avon Things to Do | Bargersville Things to Do | Brownsburg Things to Do | Camby Things to Do | Carmel Things to Do | Cicero Things to Do | Crawfordsville Things to Do | Danville Things to Do | Fishers Things to Do | Fortville Things to Do | Greencastle Things to Do | Greenfield Things to Do | Greenwood Things to Do | Indianapolis Things to Do | Lawrence Things to Do | Lebanon Things to Do | Martinsville Things to Do | Mooresville things to Do | Noblesville Things to Do | Plainfield Things to Do | Shelbyville Things to Do | Westfield Things to Do | Zionsville Things to Do