Our story begins at the entrance to the museum, in a sense, traveling through time, in reverse chronological order, to the days before the Indiana Soldiers & Sailors Monument existed.

Hints of impending secession of Southern states, fueled by disagreement among various political factions in the North, created an atmosphere of tension and anxiety in Indiana and throughout the nation. Hoosiers had a stake in what was happening in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere. Everyone, from prominent politicians to rural Hoosiers, had opinions and emotional responses. The common denominator: War was on the way!