Civil WaR Sites
Getting there: Rt. 20 South to U.S. 60 West to Rt. 24 and follow signs (50 miles)
A National Historical Park that recreates the small village where Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia surrendered to Grant "after four years of arduous service." The park and building, including the McLean House where the two generals met, are open daily to the public. Fee.
Battles of Fredericksburg; Chancellorsville; and Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House
Suggestions on how to spend your time visiting the four major battlefields and historic buildings.
Getting there: Take I-95 to Exit 130A. Drive east on Route 3 for approximately 2 miles. Turn left at the traffic light at Lafayette Boulevard (US 1 Business). Proceed approximately 1/2 mile.
Known as one of the greatest Union defeats of the Civil War. See cannon at Lee Hill and take the Sunken Road Walking Tour.
Getting there: Rt. 20 North to Rt. 3 East (near Fredericksburg, 65 miles)
The battle of Chancellorsville, although
among the most important engagements of the Civil War, is
perhaps best remembered as the place where General "Stonewall"
Jackson was fatally wounded by the accidental fire of his
Wilderness and Spotsylvania
Wilderness: I-95 take exit 130 (Route 3) west for approximately eleven miles. Turn left at the traffic light at the intersection with Route 20. Proceed two miles.
Spotsylvania: Visitors are encouraged to start at a park visitor center at Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville to obtain directions. There is no visitor center at Spotsylvania.
When viewed as one campaign, it is the bloodiest in American history.
The Exchange Hotel Civil War Medical Museum
Getting There:400 South Main Street, Gordonsville
The Civil War Medical Museum at the Exchange Hotel contains exhibitions on the history of Gordonsville as a railroad town and the hotel's transformation and remarkable history as Virginia's only standing Civil War receiving hospital, which includes medical and Civil War artifacts.
Getting there: I-64 East to peninsula and follow signs to Exit 268 (165 miles)
The Civil War fort where Confederate President Jefferson Davis was held after the war. The fort and a museum inside are open to the public on the peninsula between Hampton and Norfolk. Free.
Getting there: Rt. 29 North to Rt. 234 (70 miles)
Two great battles of the Civil War were
fought here. The Visitors Center has a museum and slide program.
The Shenandoah Valley
(540) 740-4545 Toll Free: (888) 689-4545
The picturesque Shenandoah Valley exists in stark contrast to the 21,000 acres of battlefields in the area. Visitors can also tour antebellum courthouses, plantations, farmhouses and other historic sites.
Plan Your Visit to the Battlefields
New Market Battlefield State Historical Park
Getting there: I-64 West to I-81 North to Rt. 305 and follow signs (80 miles)
Here, in one of the most unusual Civil War battles, cadets from the Virginia Military Institute were ordered into battle against the Union Army. Each year in May, the Battle of New Market is reenacted. Fee.
Petersburg National Battlefield Park
Getting there: I-64 East to I-95 South, Exit 9B to Rt. 36 West and follow signs (95 miles)
Commemorates the battlefields where 10 months of trench warfare led to the fall of Richmond in the Civil War. The park covers over a thousand acres, so make your first stop the Visitors Center and follow the self-guided auto tour. Fee.
Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Solider
(804) 861-2408 or toll free (877) 726-7546
Getting there: I-64 East to I-95 South to I-85 South, to Exit 63-A (U.S. 1 South). Near Petersburg.
The park is located on the site of the April 2, 1865 "Breakthrough," the battle that ended the Petersburg Campaign and led to the evacuation of the Confederate capital at Richmond. Four hundred and twenty-two acres include four award-winning museums, four antebellum homes, living history venues and shopping facilities. Fee.
Getting there: Rt. 22 east to Boswell's Tavern, continue east until 22 joins Rt. 33 E. Just past the juncture on the right is a plaque commemorating this battle. (20 miles)
Two-day battle June 11-12, 1864 involved Confederate generals Wade Hampton, Fitzhugh Lee and Thomas Rosser against Union generals P.H. Sheridan and George Armstrong Custer. Said to be the largest all-cavalry engagement of the war.
Richmond National Battlefield Park
The park houses over 1900 acres of Civil War resources in 13 units, including the main visitor center at the famous Tredegar Iron Works and the Chimborazo Medical Museum, on the site of Chimborazo Hospital.
(717) 334-1124 ext. 8023
Getting there: Follow US 15 to Gettysburg.
Direction details: www.nps.gov/gett/planyourvisit/directions
The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point in the Civil War. WIth 51,000 casualties, it was the bloodiest battle of the war.
Getting there: Take Route 81 North. Take Exit 1, Rt. 68, six miles east to Rt. 65. Turn RIGHT at light on Rt. 65. Five miles south on the left is the Visitor Center.
The Battle of Antietam ended the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia’s first invasion into the North and led to Abraham Lincoln’s issuance of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. It was also the bloodiest one day battle in American History.
Washington and Lee University's Lee Chapel and Museum
Getting There: www.wlu.edu/lee-chapel-and-museum/directions
Lee is buried beneath the Chapel, a Historic Landmark since 1961. Visit Lee's office, preserved much the way he left it in September, 1870. A state-of-the-art museum is housed in the lower level includingn the office, an exhibition tracing the history and heritage of Washington and Lee University and a small changing exhibtion space and a museum shop.