Civil War Sites commemorate an extremely pivotal period in American history which many citizens find important to remember. Over 3 million men fought in the war, and over 600,000 died. Civil war sites are excellent places to teach, commemorate and learn about the Civil War. Some sites are of more interest than others, where key battles took place and have notable importance to American history. I’ve compiled a list of 7 Interesting US Civil War Sites:
1. Fort Sumter National Monument, South Carolina
The place where it all began. Fort Sumter has walls which you can walk along, and you can examine the large amount of old artillery pieces in its museum. You can also see the same sights the fort’s defenders saw in 1861 from the harbour of Charleston. Visit the famous Confederate submarine, the H.L. Hunley, at the old Charleston Naval Shipyard something sure to please any naval history enthusiast.
2. Manassas National Battlefield Park, Virginia
A civil war site that was a key battleground. Any hopes of a quick victory for the North were destroyed at Manassas. In July 1861, at The Battle of First Manassas, the Yankee troops were forced to flee from the Confederate army, and disappoint their spectators who expected a victory. There was a second battle, in August 1862, which saw another victory for the Confederates. This one paved the way for General Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of the Northern States.
3. Richmond, Virginia
This is the capital of the Confederacy, and was the North’s main target during the war. It was targeted by sea and land, and so the Confederates had to defend themselves with several positions and battlefields, with campaigns such as the Seven Days Campaign and Drewry’s Bluff. Richmond is the heart of the South’s civil war sites, and hosts the Richmond National Battlefield Park.
4. Shiloh National Military Park, Tennessee
Shiloh saw the largest battle of the Mississippi Valley Campaign – the results were a harsh blow for both sides. 109,784 men were pushed into the fight on April 6 and 7 1862. There were 23,746 casualties who were either killed, injured, or missing. There is a large event on the anniversary of this battle held every year – commemorating a huge engagement with many losses that only secured a small Union victory.
5. Antietam National Battlefield, Maryland
On September 17 1862 the bloodiest one-day battle in the history of the US ended with 23,000 casualties from both sides. The Battle of Antietam did not end with a tangible victory for either party, but remains one of the most significant battles to remember as it affected the lives of millions of people. At this important civil war site, visitors can explore notable landmark, such as the Burnside’s Bridge, the Dunker church and the Cornfield.
6. Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
In Gettysburg’s civil war sites visitors can walk on the most sacred soil of America. The battlefield here is well-preserved – you can see famous combat sites, such as the Devil’s Den and Little Round Top, in a similar state to how they were in July 1863. Any visitor should see the Pickett’s Charge, a route that displays the war’s most famous battering. The battle lasted 3 days with 51,000 casualties.
7. Vicksburg National Military Park, Mississippi
Vicksburg is a city that saw a siege between May 18 and July 5 1863, a 47 day standoff for control over the Mississippi River. This fight divided the Confederacy as the Union gained control of the river. It is believed that the fight for the river is what was needed to bring the war to an end. The Vicksburg National Military Park surrounds the city, giving visitors a key glimpse into naval history.
There are many interesting civil war sites to see and visit. Each one has their own fascinating piece of history and are well-preserved to give its visitors the most educational and poignant understanding of a war which has stayed with contemporary Americans to this day. The US Civil War was a bloody affair, but a source of important historical change. Have you been to any of these 7 Interesting US Civil War Sites?
Top Photo Credit: thedailybeast.com