1. Skip to Menu
  2. Skip to Content
  3. Skip to Footer

Welcome to Drum Barracks

Welcome to Drum Barracks

Located in Wilmington, California, Drum Barracks Civil War Museum is housed in the last remaining original wooden building of the 22 structures built as a military post during the Civil War in the Los Angeles area. Drum Barracks, named after Lt. Col. Richard Coulter Drum, Adjutant General of the Department of the Pacific in San Francisco, served as the Union Army headquarters for Southern California and the Arizona Territory from 1861-1871. Please enjoy exploring our past and our present.

Mother's Day Tea

Mother's Day Tea

Saturday, May 12, 2018 11:30am

Celebrate Mother's Day with tea in this historic setting. Enjoy traditional tea with an assortment of tea sandwiches, scones and desserts, play Victorian lawn games, listen to classical music, and mingle with volunteers in period attire.  Regular $50, Member $40.  Space is limited call, 310.548.7509 for information and reservations.



The museum will be closed on Wednesday, April 18th and Saturday, May 12th.






The third largest Civil War library in California!

The McDowell Library is available to researchers, requires an appointment, so researchers may be assisted in utilizing the wide variety of resources that comprise the collections. To inquire about using the library, please call the Museum at 310-548-7509.

The collection includes the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies and Navies, and the Supplement to the Official Records.

  • Welcome to Drum Barracks

    Welcome to Drum Barracks

  • Mother's Day Tea

    Mother's Day Tea

  • Closed


  • Library


Drum Barracks Highlights artifacts, exhibits & historical figures...

Gatling Gun

Dr. Richard Gatling, who designed and patented the gun in 1861...

1864 Steinway square grand piano

Square Piano

The Museum's square or box piano was built in 1869 by Steinway...

Dunbar autograph book

Dunbar Autograph Book

This autograph book, with signatures collected by Gilbert Edwin Dunbar, contains...

34-star flag

34-Star Flag

This 34-star flag was hand made during the Civil War and was found on the...


Did You Know... frequently asked questions

Mother's Day Tea

Saturday, May 12, 2018, 11:30 am

Space is limited - Purchase your tickets now!

Free Event - Civil War Technology Fair 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Find Us:

1052 N. Banning Boulevard, Wilmington, CA 90744
(310) 548-7509
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Public Tour Schedule

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
10:00 am and 11:30 am

Saturday and Sunday
11:30 am and 1:00 pm

The Drum Barracks Civil War Museum is closed to the public Monday and Friday.

There are no self guided tours, the only way to view the museum is on a guided tour.
A $5 donation is requested per person, children under 12 are free.

Reservations are required for groups of six or more.  Appointments are required to use our research library.  Call 310.548.7509 for an appointment.  

Gatling Gun

The Gatling gun was designed and patented in 1861 by Dr. Richard Gatling, who intended to make the war so terrible it would end quickly. But the gun was used very little in the Civil War.

This is a .45 caliber long Gatling gun of 1875. It used a four man crew, has ten barrels and could shoot up to 350 rounds per minute, controlled by the speed of the gunner turning the crank. The clip held approximately 30 rounds. Originally on an 1883 brass naval ship mount, today it sits on a reproduction Army carriage.

The Army gun and Naval mount were originally purchased by the Wilmington Cemetery Association and mounted in the Wilmington Cemetery in 1924. While in the cemetery, someone tried to load and fire the gun; a .32 caliber bullet became lodged the wrong way in one of the barrels. Vandals cut the gun from its cement foundation and it disappeared in 1962…until seven years later, when it was found dismantled, in a San Pedro dump! It was turned over to the police, who contacted the Society for the Preservation of Drum Barracks and the Wilmington Cemetery and it was identified as the missing gun by the .32 bullet still stuck in one of the barrels. It was kept in the basement of the Banning House, restored in the 1970s, and donated to the Society for Preservation of Drum Barracks. It has been on display since the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum opened in 1987.

Previous Next
California and the Civil War
California and the Civil War
Drum Barracks Events
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day
Nov. 17, 2018 | 2 pm
A Civil War Christmas
A Civil War Christmas
Dec. 1-2, 2018 | 11 am - 4 pm
Civil War Book Club
Civil War Book Club
2nd Tuesday of the month

Drum Barracks logo Drum Barracks Civil War Museum
U.S. Army Headquarters for Southern California and Arizona Territory, 1862-1871
City of Los Angeles Historic Monument #21, 1963
State of California Historical Landmark #69, 1935
National Register of Historic Places, 1971