Civil War Tails

Civil War Tails

IMG_0575.jpg

Civil War Tails at the Historic Homestead is an attraction in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Located in the National Soldiers’ Orphans’ Homestead—used as an orphanage for soldiers’ children after the war—Civil War Tails is a museum featuring dioramas populated with hand-made miniature soldiers, trees, horses, cannon and ships. The “tails” part of the name is not a mistake—the miniature soldiers are actually cats, individually sculpted out of clay and painted to resemble Union or Confederate soldiers.

IMG_0583.jpg
IMG_0538.jpg
IMG_0542.jpg
IMG_0543.jpg
IMG_0546.jpg
IMG_0582.jpg

I shouldn’t have to explain why I wanted to visit a museum with dioramas filled with miniature cats, but unique, passion projects like Civil War Tails are my very favorite thing to see on road trips. The museum was started by identical twin sisters, Rebecca and Ruth. They both shared a love of cats, and an interest in the Civil War was sparked when they were young and read the biographies of Civil War generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. Cats were easier to sculpt than humans, and thus Civil War Tails was born.

IMG_0536.jpg
IMG_0557.jpg
IMG_0561.jpg
IMG_0565.jpg

Every diorama is made on a one-to-one ratio with to-scale figures—each cat represents one soldier. The detail is incredible, and they continue to create new dioramas and improve upon their techniques. Current scenes include Fort Sumter, Pickett’s Charge, Little Round Top, Andersonville Prison and even photography pioneer Matthew Brady setting up his camera on the battlefield.

IMG_0570.jpg
IMG_0577.jpg
IMG_0579.jpg
IMG_0581.jpg

We were the only visitors the the Homestead, so we got a private tour led by one of the twins. She was clearly passionate about each scene and described them in great detail. There is a exhibit showing the evolution of the sisters’ craft, and you can take home a tiny clay cat souvenir if you wish. My favorite part about Civil War Tails was the ticket itself—an optimistic punch card that awards visitors with free admission on their tenth visit.


Civil War Tails
785 Baltimore Street
Gettysburg, PA
Hours vary by season-check here before you go

The Great Sphinx of Giza

The Great Sphinx of Giza

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!

0