Base outside D.C. for Civil War Battlefields

Old Nov 3rd, 2018, 09:19 PM
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Base outside D.C. for Civil War Battlefields

Planning a trip for my son
have 2 night in Gettysburg at the front end, and 2 nights in D.C. (been previously) at the back end
3 nights in the middle
Frederick? Charles Town, W.V? Hagerstown?
we do not know this part of the country-want to see Manassas, Antietam, and a few other sites
Would love some help! thanks
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Old Nov 4th, 2018, 03:13 AM
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You might consider Leesburg, VA, which is more or less half way between the two; for a more scenic location: Harpers Ferry.
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Old Nov 4th, 2018, 07:33 AM
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A lovely place to stay would be the Inn at Meander Plantation -
https://www.innatmeander.com/
Other than that, I would choose a town in Virginia that appeals to you. It will be easy to drive from there. You could do Richmond or Charlottesville if you want bigger towns, I loved visiting downtown Charltottesville recently. I actually stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Charlottesville-Ruckersville because I wanted to be near the airport and also visit a nearby friend (and a former Fodorite) The hotel was nice and the area is lovely. I visited Spotsylvania and Fredricksburg. The Visitor Center at Fredricksburg is very small but very well done -
https://www.nps.gov/frsp/planyourvisit/maps.htm
I only had a short amount of time (piggybacking on a business trip) but want to return to spend more time.

Be sure to go to Appamattox Courthouse. One of my favorite days was wandering VA back roads as I drove between NC and DC. I want to return to do more "wandering".
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Old Nov 4th, 2018, 11:05 AM
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If you want to visit Manassas and Antietam, Richmond and Charlottesville are not convenient at all, they are very far away. I agree that Leesburg is a good idea since it's in-between. I don't know about hotels around there. Otherwise, staying around Harpers Ferry/Shepherdstown is pleasant. I haven't spent any time in Charlestown so not sure, but I would not stay all the way up in Hagerstown.
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Old Nov 4th, 2018, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Christina View Post
If you want to visit Manassas and Antietam, Richmond and Charlottesville are not convenient at all, they are very far away.
The OP listed those two sites and then added "a few other sites".

I think it's pretty clear in my post that I was not referencing M or A, but sharing some ideas for those "few other sites" and described three in Virginia that I have visited. My suggestions for places to stay was in reference to those suggestions.

I'll go back and re-read my post, but I thought I was pretty clear in that. If she's moving from Gettysburg to A and then M and on to "a few other sites", doesn't it make it at least a possibility that those "few other sites" could be in Virginia?

Leesburg is obviously between M and A. No doubt about that. But that's not the part of the post I was responding to.
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Old Nov 4th, 2018, 02:11 PM
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Another vote for Harper's Ferry.
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Old Nov 5th, 2018, 07:02 AM
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I agree that if the focus of the trip is the battlefields then a visit to Appomattox would be appropriate even if there was no battle. Despite the fact that some of the buildings have been partially, if not completely, reconstructed/restored the place is iconic in so many ways. The "problem" is that the place is about 200 miles south of Sharpsburg/Antietam and I-81 offers a fast route but US 15 might provide nicer scenery.
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Old Nov 5th, 2018, 08:08 AM
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I've spent many hours visiting Civil War Battle sites to please DH who is really into the history. I would suggest a couple of routes that I enjoyed also:

1: Gettysburg to Antietam to Harper's Ferry. Spend the night in either, a very long time ago we stayed at a B&B in the battlefield at Antietam in the house that Longstreet used as his headquarters. Might be a fun place to stay if it is still in operation, otherwise look in Harper's Ferry. Then loop over to route 11 south, it parallels I-81, but goes through several sites ( New Market, Piedmont, Kernstown, Fisher's hill Cedar Creek), is much more pleasant and not much slower(look for the white/red/blue signs for the Civil War History trails) to about Staunton then head to Appomatox CH. and back up to DC with a stop at Manassas.


2: Head from Gettysburg to Antietam to Harpers Ferry as above then Manassas to I-95 and stop at Fredricksburg, Richmond, Drewry's Buuff, Seven Pines, Petersburg or any of the other million sites along that route. Or do Manassas as a half day trip from DC as the folks did when the battle took place

If you do 1 you could loop east and hit Richmond and Fredricksburg on the way back to DC, they have good VCs, and Richmond has lots of other places to vilsit. My great, great uncle was in Libby prison in Richmond, and the site is noted but the prison is gone although there is a nearby ironworks/gun manufacturer and prison yard as I recall.

We've used two books: "The Civil War Battlefield Guide" edited by Frances H Kennedy and "The Civil War Sourcebook -A Traveler's Guide" by Chuck Lawless. The battlefield guide has directions as well as topo maps of the battlefields.
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Old Nov 5th, 2018, 08:34 AM
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since you are interested in the Civil War you might be interested in seeing some of the sites in Old Town Alexandria during the DC portion of your trip.
https://www.alexandriava.gov/CivilWar

I have not driven on all of Route 15 south of Gettysburg, but we have taken the portion between Gettysburg and I-70, and that stretch is very scenic. There are many vineyards and orchards plus Catoctin Mountain Park/Camp David. I know there are also some inns in this area but it would make sense for you to go farther to Harper's Ferry or one of the other places suggested.
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