Civil War Sites To Visit In Virginia This Summer

May 29, 2015 6:00 AM

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster


Carlo DeVito owns the highly acclaimed Hudson-Chatham Winery in Ghent, NY. He is a publisher, editor, winemaker, and author of over a dozen books, including A Mark Twain Christmas and Inventing Scrooge. His newest book is Mrs. Lee’s Rose Garden, out now from Cider Mill Press and available wherever books are sold.

In the days before the Civil War, Arlington House was the American Acropolis, a symbol of America’s revolution and a tribute to George Washington. Memorial Day has came and went and as our thoughts remain with those who gave their last full measure for this country, summer is the perfect time to visit the Civil War sites that honor the memories of our nation’s history.

Related: 7 Must-See U.S. Architectural Structures

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier
Memorial Drive
Arlington County, VA 22211
877-907-8585
www.arlingtoncemetery.mil

Built to honor the Civil War dead, this monument was erected by U.S. Quartermaster Montgomery C. Meigs, who established a place to honor 2,000 unknown dead, as well as the final move in keeping the Lee family from returning to their beloved estate. Also, the unique final resting place of controversial war hero John Rogers Meigs, whose gravesite is one of the most visited in the cemetery.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Robert E. Lee Chapel And Museum
204 W Washington Street
Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 458-8768
www.wlu.edu

The Robert E. Lee Chapel and Museum is a National Historic Landmark in Lexington, Virginia, on the campus of Washington and Lee University. It was constructed during 1867–68 and is the final resting place of famed Confederate General Robert E. Lee, who was President of the University (then known as Washington College).

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images


Manassas National Battlefield Park
6511 Sudley Road
Manassas, VA 20109
(703) 361-1339
www.nps.gov

Manassas National Battlefield Park is located near a little stream named Bull Run. This battlefield is just north of I-66 and near Washington, D.C. Manassas National Battlefield Park highlights two battles fought nearby. The first battle was fought in the summer of 1861 and it was the first major battle of the Civil War (and a decisive Confederate victory). Little more than a year later, the second battle was fought on the same ground and resulted in another Confederate victory (positioning Robert E. Lee for an invasion of Maryland in 1862).

Photo Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images


Fredericksburg And Spotsylvania National Military Park
120 Chatham Drive
Fredericksburg, VA 22405
(540) 654-5121
www.nps.gov

Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park is within a few miles of the Colonial town of Fredericksburg, where more than 100,000 men died. The Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park was the site for three major battles in the Civil War: the Battle of Fredericksburg (December 1862), the Battle of Chancellorsville (May 1863), and the Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania (Spring 1864).

Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images


Appomattox Court House And National Historical Park
113 National Park Drive
Appomattox, VA 24522
(434) 352-8987
www.nps.gov

The Appomattox Court House and National Historical Park was the site of one of the most dramatic events of the war: Lee’s surrender of his formidable but now ragtag Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865. Visit the house of Wilbur McLean (who had moved from Manassas to escape the war after living through the first Bull Run) where the final surrender was negotiated. You can also visit the restored and recreated village where the war in Virginia was ended.

Other highlights in Virginia include Richmond National Battlefield Park (the Seven Days Battle in 1862, and Cold Harbor in 1864); Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historic Park (Battle of Cedar Creek, 1864); Petersburg National Battlefield (the site of a ten-month siege in 1864 and 1865).

Related: 5 Must-See U.S. Natural History Museums

Carlo DeVito owns the highly acclaimed Hudson-Chatham Winery in Ghent, NY. He is a publisher, editor, winemaker, and author of over a dozen books, including A Mark Twain Christmas and Inventing Scrooge. His newest book is Mrs. Lee’s Rose Garden, out now from Cider Mill Press and available wherever books are sold.