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Civil War Battlefields

Melbourne, Australia
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Civil War Battlefields

Hi folks

I’m posting this in the Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia State forums.

We plan to pick up a car in Washington (probably Ronald Reagan) and spend a week or so touring some of the Civil War battlefields, in particular Gettysburg, Antietam and Manassas, before dropping it off at Dulles.

We’ll probably stay a few days in Gettysburg itself, but then we are not sure of whether to actually stay in Sharpesburg or somewhere a little bigger with maybe more choice for restaurants etc. Similarly we are not sure whether we should stay in Manassas or whether there are better places within easy driving distance of the battlefields.

Any thoughts on where to stay, or other places we shouldn't miss?

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1. Re: Civil War Battlefields

All of your choices are within easy driving distance of one another. No more than 3 hours in any case and that would be true of many battlefields in Va.

Of course this being the 150th anniversary of the War of Northern Aggression (Civil War) there are many re-enactments and living history displays.

If you give your travel dates I can be much more specific.

Edited: 14 April 2011, 11:32
Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Civil War Battlefields

Thanks for that- we are not in a particular hurry, so would be happy to have a few days at different places rather than a long drive from and to a central hub each day.

We are still working out what time of year would be best...we have to allow for a trip of 8 weeks in total which takes in Hawaii, Boston, NYC, Washington, battlefields and Dallas/FW. At present we were thinking of doing the battlefields late October/early November (as the second last stop on the way home before Dallas). Does that sound like a good idea?

Virginia
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3. Re: Civil War Battlefields

Yes, as bucchuslimo mentions, somehow the term Civil War became the popular term. However, if you go deeper into the American south it is not thought of as anything like civil. It is the War Between the States or War of Secession, War of Southern Freedom or what I've heard mostly, as bacchuslimo says, Wah of Nawhun Aggression. Some docents in the deep south will even stop and correct anyone speaking of the 'civil war', saying we don't think of it that way.

Any interest in Appomattox, Va? Signaling the end of the war.

http://www.nps.gov/apco/index.htm

You have probably already seen this great map where you can click on individual states for their offerings:

civilwardiscoverytrail.org/select_state.php

And a bit more in Va:

www.virginia.org/site/features.asp…

Lee's Retreat Trail from Petersburg to Appomattox:

http://varetreat.com/lee.asp

And one of my favorites, The Journey Through Hollowed Ground, which takes you along one route (15 or actually you could also take the Appalachian Trail) from Gettysburg south through sites in Pa, Maryland, West Va., and Va. exploring the Civil War aspects, the African American Heritage aspect, as well as presidential sites, historic, etc. It seems compulsively arranged...lots to click on, good maps for zooming in on, sites by state when you click on "Explore By Region". And by topic (slave, war, etc) when you click on "Explore By Interest":

http://www.hallowedground.org/

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Civil War Battlefields

Thanks for those links, Explorer, the Hallowed Ground route looks pretty close to what we were thinking, although hadn't thought of Monticello. We have been to Lee's House at Arlington on a previous visit to the US and loved it.

As for "Civil War", well have been in Spain for over a month now and am well practised at avoiding that term!

Arlington, Virginia
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5. Re: Civil War Battlefields

You might enjoy a visit to the Fredericksburg National Battlefield in Fredericksburg, VA. The Visitor's Center has some interesting exhibits and they can give you a map for walking and/lor driving tours. The Visitors Center is within walking distance of the Fredericksburg town center which has many nice shops and restaurants.

If you have additional time, you can visit more of the battlefield sites near Fredericksburg. I recommend you take a look at the National Park Service brochurefor more info on these places. (You can rent or buy a driving tour CD for these battlefields at the Visitors Center).

http://www.nps.gov/frsp/index.htm

Virginia
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6. Re: Civil War Battlefields

FYI, thought I'd mention since you speak of Lee's house in Arlington...don't confuse it with the site of the end of the .... well, that war, Appomattox.

Winchester, Virginia
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7. Re: Civil War Battlefields

Hi,

Have you considered Winchester? We are about 45 minutes from Dulles and also Manassas. There are two battlefields in the area, Cedar Creek Battlefield National Historic Park (www.nps.gov/cebe/index.htm) and Kernstown Battlefield. (www.kernstownbattle.org) We also have Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters (www.winchesterhistory.org/society_museums.htm) and the Old Courthouse Civil War Museum. If you are visiting in May, we have a huge civil war living history event, The Great Train Raid. www.greattrainraid.com

Edited: 14 April 2011, 21:20
Richmond VA USA
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8. Re: Civil War Battlefields

I did a trip a few years ago very similar to yours, and I based myself in Frederick MD. Frederick has a lovely downtown, with plenty of restaurants to walk to. We did day trips from there to Gettysburg (too commercialized to stay there IMHO), Antietam, and Harper's Ferry.

If you want to move on to VA battlefields, maybe stay in Fredericksburg; there are 4 major battlefields there, stopping in Manassas on the way. Then if you still have time, head through Richmond, stopping at Cold Harbor on the way to Petersburg.

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Civil War Battlefields

Thanks for all those contributions everyone, its a great help.

If we wanted to get from Virginia to Dallas for the return flight to Australia, is there a city in the area that has direct flights?

Richmond VA USA
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10. Re: Civil War Battlefields

American Airlines has non-stop flights to Dallas from Dulles Airport, outside Washington DC.