Civil War Sites

Old Jan 15th, 2003, 02:45 AM
Graham Broadbent
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Civil War Sites

I am planning a visit to the South and East of USA for July/August, staying about four/five weeks. I am interested in visiting some of the Civil War battlefields or related sites. Any suggestions ref. itinerary or good research links. I would also appreciate any "must not be missed" suggetions generally. Particularly around Virginia, Georgia, n & S Carolina.
Thanks Graham
Old Jan 15th, 2003, 05:00 AM
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I highly recommend Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier in Petersburg VA( This new museum -- a set of buildings and outdoor displays and demonstrations, actually -- was a highlight of our trip to Virginia.
Old Jan 15th, 2003, 05:53 AM
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In Virginia:

Fredericksburg/Chancellorsville (only a few miles apart)
Spotsylvania (near Fredericksburg)
Manassas (2 battles fought here)
Appomattox (Lee surrendered to Grant here)
Pamplin Park

Not to be missed:
Antietam (in Maryland)
Gettysburg (in S. Pennsylvania, about 75 miles from DC)
Old Jan 15th, 2003, 06:23 AM
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Although it is in Mississippi, I found Vicksburg to be very interesting and topographically interesting.

It also provides a nice complement to Gettysburg since the happened at the same time.

Old Jan 15th, 2003, 03:58 PM
dan woodlief
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I have visited the major ones east of Tennessee and north of Georgia, except for Manassas (Bull Run). Of the ones I haven't visited, I would suggest Shiloh, Bull Run, Vicksburg, and Chickamauga as good options, particularly Vicksburg. These are quite spread out compared to the VA to PA area.

Antietam and Gettysburg blow everything else away in the east. Antietam is so well-preserved and non-commercial. Gettysburg has enough to see and do to last several days, and most of the field is preserved fairly well (even if the landscape has changed a bit).

My next favorite sites are the Museum of the Confederacy and White House of the Confederacy, which are right next door to one another in Richmond. These are both very fascinating.

Appomattox has a lot to see and of course is a very important spot.

I concur with visiting Pamplin Park at Petersburg. It has demonstrations, a great museum, and about the best preserved trenches you will see anywhere (the site of the final Union breakthrough at Petersburg). The Petersburg battlefield is very nice too, even though it is very wooded now (attractive though), and the main park requires less than half a day.

The Fredericksburg area has four major battle sites - Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Chancellorsville, and the Wilderness. If you are interested in the Civil War, you will probably go see Gods and Generals, the new movie that comes out soon. If so, a visit to Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville will be very rewarding (Bull Run and Antietam are also in the movie). The best sites are perhaps Marye's Heights and the visitor center at Chancellorsville.

If you want to see photos of most of these places, take a look at my Web site at
Old Jan 15th, 2003, 04:25 PM
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If you go to the Vicksburg site two things in particular you need to see. The Illinois monument, which has an amazing inscription of hope and remembrance, and the Confederate cemetery just off park grounds.
Old Jan 16th, 2003, 08:08 AM
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Gentlemen, thank you all for your kind suggestions. One final thought; where can I purchase a good map showing roads and the principal battlefields, but not cluttered up with too much other detail. I have the Rand Mcnally Atlas, but it is not too good at planning an itinerary from state to state. Other maps seem either too full of detail, or organised purely by state.
Thanks again, GRAHAM
Old Jan 16th, 2003, 08:17 AM
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No specific site recommendations, but I do have a book recommendation for you. Read Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz. It is an account of his travels through the south, including several civil war sites.

He visited several battle fields and gives his impressions of the sites. One suggestion to take from the book is to read about the sites before you go so you will have some sense of what happened where.
Old Jan 16th, 2003, 08:19 AM
Bill I
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Although not a battlefield, this is still a Civil War site. In Georgia, stop & see Andersonville, which is the Civil War prison camp. It had an effect on me when I first saw it, & whenever I recall my visit there it is still very poignant.
Old Jan 16th, 2003, 02:15 PM
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Dear Graham:

Almost all of the Civil War sites mentioned by the other posters (plus many more) are part of the US national park system. Check out the National Park Service's website ( for a lot of specific information (facilities, opening times, driving directions). The website also maps of the battlefields which you can download.
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 04:58 PM
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Not that I'd wish Mississippi in July/August on anyone, but Vicksburg is certainly outstanding as civil war sites go. Gettysburgh in Pa is also a must and a nice little town too. Both these places are good because there are other things to see apart from the battlefields. Vicksburg has an outstanding B&B called "Cedar Grove" which I thought was a bargain beyond compare to stay there, though I was there in October when it was only 83 degrees The Virginia sites alone could be a weeks trip! I love Virginia so I'd consider that a good choice, though July will be hot there too.
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 10:08 PM
Joy in Virginia
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Go to for info about self-driving tours in Virginia. There are maps you can get that have the civil war areas highlighted, you can either download or order a free map. is where you can find info on the National Park Service Petersburg Battlefield unit which is very large and also includes the City Point area in Hopewell, well worth a trip. Don't miss the Blandford Church and cemetary in Petersburg, and I second the visit to the Confederate Museum in Richmond and the visitor centers at Tredegar Iron Works and the old Chimborazo Hospital. Confederates in the Attic is a terrific book! Check it out. Have fun!
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