Manual Civil War Battlefields You Can Visit

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The American Civil War was one of the bloodiest wars fought on American soil. Many of the war sites found throughout the eastern half of the.
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2. Fort Sumter National Monument

Grant beat off a surprise attack from Albert Sydney Johnson and P. Although much of the battlefield is wooded, making it hard to trace the progress of the combat, there are several highlights. You can see Pittsburg Landing on the Tennesse River, where the Federal troops landed, Shiloh Church, around which the fighting raged, the Sunken Road, the subject of many Confederate assaults and the site near which Johnson was killed, and where Grant made his last stand.

The harbor of Charleston, South Carolina saw several seminal events.

The Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter signaled the start of the war, and later in the war the United States troops fought several battles to capture the city. The town of Charleston itself is one of the prettiest historic towns in the south, and home to the H. Hunley, the Confederate vessel that was the first submarine in history to sink an enemy ship.

Civil War Battlefields Lose Ground as Tourist Draws

Petersburg It was during the Siege of Petersburg, from to , that the rebel army under Robert E. Lee began to crumble before Ulysses S. The positions of the troops are easy to see, since they built elaborate earthworks, many of which are preserved. The battlefield is inside two parks — Petersburg National Battlefield, which has a large crater and several important forts, and Pamplin Park, the site of the Union breakthrough.

Make sure to visit the reconstructed earthworks at both parks, and the excellent National Musem of the Civil War Soldier at Pamplin Park.

D.C. as a base for tour of Civil War battlefields? - Washington DC Forum - TripAdvisor

Although only portions of the Chattanooga battlefield are preserved, and some of the monuments are literally in the front yards of houses, it is, without a doubt, the most dramatic of Civil War battlefields. Chattanooga was an important city during the war, and when Braxton Bragg laid siege to the troops inside after his victory at Chickamauga, Grant and Sherman went to the city and led the successful breakout attacks. Vicksburg The fortifications around Vicksburg were impressive in the Civil War era — Jefferson Davis called it the Gibralter of the West — and they remain so today.

Some portions of the battlefield, however, are not quite so well preserved. Gettysburg Gettysburg may be the classic Civil War battlefield, and it is easy to see why. It was the spot where George Meade was able to defeat Robert E. Much of the landscape has been preserved as it was in the 19th century, and the fields are dotted with cannon and monuments. The stories of the battle really come alive at Gettysburg.

Tools for Visiting Battlefields

It is right next door to the Confederate White House, from which Jefferson Davis ran the Confederate government throughout the war. The climate is different at different battlefields, so different places may be different.

But I would recommend spring or fall. You then have more mild temperatures, and avoid the larger crowds of summer. Richmond is also home to Belle Isle, a war prison used by the Confederacy, a great place to visit for those interested in sites that maintain a creepy feel. In fact, the prison camp was filled with almost 50, soldiers over the course of the little more than a year that the prison camp was operational. This was the site that saw the inevitable defeat of the Confederacy and the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia.

A refurbished McLean House represents exactly where the surrender happened, although the original structure no longer stands, unfortunately. Souvenir looters actually tore the place apart in search of historic gems to take home.


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Other buildings make up a village mimicking the way it would have looked at the time of the surrender. Believe it or not, there actually was one lone battle which took place on the western half of the United States, and why exactly it happened is something that still annoys historians to this day. Basically, the Confederates wanted to take the West for themselves, ranging from New Mexico and Texas, up to Colorado and then further out to California, where they would gain both wealth and more land to extend slavery.

Some say they even wanted to invade Mexico. It was an ambitious undertaking, to say the least. The Union was alerted to the fact that Confederates were on the move out west, and skirmishes ensued, after which the Confederates, of course, evacuated New Mexico.

Top American Civil War Sites To Visit Today

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A Huge Civil War Battle Raged Here

Gettysburg, Pa.