Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum

Take a Virtual Tour (Click Here)

Historic Plaza

The Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum is located in the lower level of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. The museum portrays Indiana's contributions to the American Civil War from home front to battlefield. Museum exhibits and audio-visual displays cover various aspects of soldiers' lives during the war, including the mustering of troops, long marches, camp life, the battlefield, hospitals and medicine, prisoner of war camps, and the soldiers' final return home. The museum features several artifacts relating to famous Hoosier Civil War veteran Colonel Eli Lilly, including his frock coat and boots, Colt revolver, and saber, as well as a 3-inch cannon and guidon from the 18th Indiana Light Artillery Battery, which Lilly commanded. Weapons on display include an 1863 Springfield musket, a Sharps rifle, a Henry repeating rifle, and a Spencer carbine used by the 17th Indiana Infantry Regiment. Other highlights include a scale model of the sloop-of-war USS Kearsarge, various military medals and equipment, medical supplies, personal items, and other artifacts. The main entrance to the museum is on the southwest side of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Admission is free.

Gift Shop, Tower and Observation Deck

In the monument's upper level, accessible by a door on the south side, is the Gift Shop, where visitors can purchase gifts and tickets to ride the elevator to the Observation Level. The observation deck, 231 feet above the balcony level, is enclosed in glass and can be reached via elevator or 330 iron stairs. The view from the top provides a dramatic panorama of the city in all four directions. The stairs and elevator are accessible from the Gift Shop on the balcony level.


  • locate

    1 Monument Circle,
    Indianapolis, IN 46204

  • hours

    Friday - Sunday
    10:30am - 5:30pm















    Closed Friday 11/8-9/2013 -

          Circle of Lights Install

    Open Monday 11/11/2013 -

          Veterans Day

           10:30am - 5:30pm

    Closed Thursday 11/28/2013 -


    Closed Friday 11/29/2013 -

          Lincoln's Birthday


  • cost

    Free Admission
    Open to Public