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The Western Reserve Historical Society is home to a very large collection perhaps 4,000 items, of artifacts related to American military history.

About the Collection

These artifacts range from personal gear, uniforms, knapsacks, mess kits, buttons and insignia to musical instruments to arms and ordinance, horse tack, and numerous relics. Some of the collection is comprised of para-military items associated with Troop A, Cleveland’s independent militia formed in response to the labor unrest of the 1870s. Highlights of the collection include a Civil war torpedo recovered from the Tennessee River, personal artifacts belonging to Col. Orlando Risdon, who lead a colored regiment, and a trencher apparently used at Andersonville Prison.

Published/Unpublished Military Collection


Western Reserve Historical Society is the oldest cultural institution in Northeast Ohio, the region's largest American history research center, and one of the leading genealogical research centers in the nation.

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Cleveland History Center
10825 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106 ↗

(216) 721-5722

Thursday: 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm