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What battlefields will you be visiting this spring & summer? - General Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Fri Mar 17th, 2006 02:27 pm
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David White
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Ball's Bluff is very nice, Blue and Gray has a good tour in it from a few years ago.  I used it on my visit but to visit all the sites in the article would probably take all day and I just had half a day.

If I can talk the wife into it, I might visit Ft. Morgan or Ft. Gaines as we head to Disney World this summer.



 Posted: Sat Mar 18th, 2006 05:38 pm
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calcav
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Susan,

Go to http://www.laalmanac.com/history/hi06b.htm

The site has a small paragraph about the union barracks on Catalina Island.

Tom



 Posted: Sun Mar 19th, 2006 01:51 am
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susansweet2
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Tom thanks, the picture on that website of the Camel in front of Bannings Warehouse is the one The Drum Barracks recently purchased on Ebay.  We are putting together a whole display based on the picture about the Camels at the Drum.  

Tom let me know when you come to Southern California .  If you are here on the 3rd Tuesday of the month I would love to invite you to our Civil War Round Table and have you say a few words to the group about Shiloh.  We could maybe raise some funds that night from our book drawing.   

Susan



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 Posted: Sun Mar 26th, 2006 01:51 pm
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calcav
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I can assure you the existence of high grass at Stone’s River is not an indication of neglect of the historic resource. Like many of the historic parks within the NPS, Stone’s River is working hard to eradicate invasive species of exotic plants and return the landscape to its 19th century appearance. This measure includes reducing the number of times the grass is mowed during the growing season. Not only does this give the visitor a viewshed reminiscent of its former appearance, it restores the natural habitat of several species of wildlife, something that is at a premium in the fast crowing city of Murfreesboro.

Most visitors have come to expect the well manicured appearance of our battlefields. Close cropped lawns, tidy flower beds, trimmed hedges and trees. I’m not saying that those conditions are completely inappropriate. At Shiloh we keep the area around the visitor center, the National Cemetery, Pittsburg Landing, the burial trenches and some of the fields kept in an idyllic park setting. But many of the other fields like Cavalry, Seay, Rhea, Jones, etc. are kept high and only cut a few times to harvest the hay. Barnes field as well as Cloud and the Widow Davis fields are planted in crops and maintained by tenant farmers. This condition allows the visitor to see the acreage similar to the way the veterans saw it.

At Shiloh we have been working on other projects to restore the site to its condition at the time of the battle. Larkin Bell’s field in the southeast corner of the park had nearly disappeared. Though work continues we have re-established the original dimensions of the field and planted an apple orchard on the north side. In other areas of the park underbrush has been removed to restore the open forest appearance that existed during the battle. To accomplish this we cut down a lot of trees, something that drew the ire of many visitors and neighbors, many of whom carry a visual image of the park from their childhood.

Murfreesboro has seen too much of the battlefield go under the bulldozer and I agree, paving over hallowed ground to erect yet another tract of houses or a Radio Shack is nothing short of criminal. Luckily Shiloh is so far off the beaten path we have been spared that scenario. So far. Over the last 5 years we have seen the land along the river get sold off and vacation plots for RV’s and trailers are marching steadily upstream toward the park. The Snake Creek bottom to the north of the park is seeing development and there have been similar proposals for the Hamburg Landing site to our south (where the Army of the Mississippi camped prior to the Corinth campaign). The fight continues.

I hope you are not disappointed in your visit to Stone’s River; it really is a fantastic site. Don’t forget to visit Fortress Rosecrans, the earthworks there are incredible.

Tom



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 Posted: Mon Mar 27th, 2006 02:57 pm
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TimHoffman01
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With Warm weather promised this weekend (April 1 ironically), I am planning to take my son either to Petersburg or Yorktown for a walk/picnic/subtle history lesson.  He's only 6 1/2 right now, but my dad and I were talking this past weekend and that is about when I first got interested in the subject of the CW and all that went with it.  My parents and I used to go to Manassas, more of a hop from where I'm living now, so I really can't do it in a single day (do it well any how).  I lived close enough then that I could go back several times in a week and look at something different in depth each time.  I really want to do that with my kids now that they're getting old enough to begin to understand that something important happened here once.  Living in Mechanicsville, I really have a LOT to choose from.  My theory on Yorktown is, I can exposet them to two important events at once.  The revolutionary victory and the Civil War Holding action.

I have to admit, I have rather come to like "Prince John" MaGurder's style here.

Gaine's Mill and Malvern hill have, over the past two years, become  a standard stopping place for myself and the kids if we just want to get away from the current bustle going on around us.  My wife couldn't care less, unfortunately, but the kids love getting out and seeing something different.  Even Abby (4 1/2) is starting to figure out that the markers, cannon, and all that mean something unusual happened once.  I'll let the significance dawn on them as they get older.  It'll come.  Right now, just the exposure is worth something.   My son really loves the reconstructed stone wall at Fredericksburg.  Especially since he snuck in on us while we were watching Gods & Generals during that scene.  He was floored when he discovered he'd walked the place where that happened in real life.

Last edited on Tue Mar 28th, 2006 04:48 pm by TimHoffman01



 Posted: Mon Mar 27th, 2006 03:01 pm
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TimHoffman01
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Allroy wrote: The Overland Campaign is a favorite of mine. However after 2 trips I still have not made it  to North Anna. I spend way to much time hiking around Spotsylvania. I also recommend the Penisula/Seven Days tour. These areas are a true treasure around Richmond, Gaines Mill being my personal favorite site.  If you utilize the Civil War Trails map you get a great perspective on the entire campaign.

As for me I plan on my ususal 3 trips to Gettysburg, one just to bike the battlefield and another a work day for the FNPG. Also in fall I plan to do Antietam/Harper's Ferry. Never been to Harper's Ferry but it looks like there are plenty of hiking trails in the area. (I don't care for auto touring. I try to hike or bike as much of the battlefieds as I can)

Someday before I die I wll make it to the Western Theater.

If you all drop in on the Peninsula Campaign, be sure to get to Drewry's Bluff.  The signage could be a little better on the main road (actually it could be a LOT better;  If you reach the US Military Supply Depot, M60 & A/F18 in the front) then you've gone too far.)  The main part of the fort is still there, the main artifact attraction being (besides the walls) a reconstructed 8-In Columbiad enplacement.  It features a great view of the James River (the fort's reason for being).  This is where a fleet of four ships including Monitor and Galena tried to steam up river to Richmond.  This is as close as the ever got.  The Monitor's guns were useless (fort was too high up) and the Galena got mauled pretty badly. 

This was where the first ever US Marine Corps Congressional Medal of Honor was earned.



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 Posted: Tue Mar 28th, 2006 07:11 am
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Kent Nielsen
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I remember seeing the stone wall on a trip to Fredericksburg with my brother and sister-in-lay in 1987. Being confined to a wheelchair it was a little hard to see over the wall. But my brother did crane his neck a little to look over and said "They were nuts to try this." I always have considered that battle to be one of the most futile of the war.:XI'm not sure what my travel plans are this year. But if they're relevent, I'll be posting.:)



 Posted: Tue Mar 28th, 2006 01:40 pm
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Hamy3
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I'm planning a fall trip to the Fredricksburg area. So much happened in that general area, I thinks its a good base for operations. My cousin lives there, and has offered us a room with private bath!! (If it's free, it's for me!!!) I took my wife to Gettysburg last year, and now she's all fired up to see more!!!

Anyone want to offer some suggestions about what the best sites are?

Doug



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 Posted: Tue Mar 28th, 2006 05:00 pm
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TimHoffman01
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Hamy3 wrote:
Anyone want to offer some suggestions about what the best sites are?


Indy19th mentioned most of the good sites (Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Wilderness, and the SJ Shrine).  The important thing is to keep your eyes open and not let the route 3 traffic spoil the whole trip.  That corridor is horrendous, but there are several markers and sites along the way until you finally break free of the commercial center's grasp.  Salem Church is just a little past the Mall on the left side of the road, there is a monument to a NJ regiment almost ON the road now (Wasn't that way when I lived there in the early '90's).  This church played a very important role in the final stages of the Chancellorsville battle.  Be sure to stop by the Fredericksburg Battlefield visitor's center for a map of the whole park and the driving tours, they are quite extensive.  The town visitor center is on the main historical streets and the town itself is virtually drenched in history.

If you ride bicycles, you might consider leaving your car and the Chancellorsville visitor center and riding along the Jackson Flank March trail.  I did a 14 mile ride with a friend of mine a few years back and we both really enjoyed it on several fronts.  It is paved only by pea gravel and looks very much like it did back in 1863 along most of its path.  Just watch out for the stream crossing.  You can really build up some speed going down the hill into it.  It has NOT been altered by man since '63 and is rather bumpy if you hit it fast on a cycle. :D

For a little drop by stop, you can go up Rt 17 a bit and find Hartwood Presbyterian church, which was used as a hospital by Union troops during the battle of Fredericksburg and 1863/4 battles.  Near by is Hartwood Winery too, a little place that produces some nice wines if you're in the mood for such.



 Posted: Thu Apr 20th, 2006 07:18 pm
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MAubrecht
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Hello all. I live here in Fredericksburg and am surrounded by 4-major battlefields, so I have to head out of town to get to something new. I have already been up to the Shenandoah and New Market this spring - and will be up in Gettysburg in 3 weeks. I'm hoping to take a short jaunt to Antietam (which I have never been to) as well as Appomattox in the summer.

I invite all of you to PLEASE come on down to the Fred/Spotsy area and spend lots and lots of "tourist" dollars - so my taxes don't go up so high next year. :)

indy and Tim have already been nice enough to give us a plug - so come on down! I live off Massaponax Church road - so if your visiting the church, honk - and I'll wave at ya.

ADDED: Here is a link for info: http://www.nps.gov/frsp/

Last edited on Thu Apr 20th, 2006 07:22 pm by MAubrecht



 Posted: Thu Apr 20th, 2006 11:56 pm
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TimHoffman01
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Hi MAubrecht,

   While you are travelling around, although you will like Sharpsburg (I was there many many moons ago, when I was only a little older than my son is now, but still remember it), have you (or anyone else reading this for that matter) been through the Richmond area much?  Being the Capital City of the Confederacy, it has plenty to offer, some much less well known than others.

   The main battle fields of Cold Harbor, Gaines Mill, and Malvern hill are the best preserved of the group, but there is an expanding area around Beaverdam Creek (Mechanicsville) which is in...well, Mechanicsville obviously.  Also there are Seven Pines, Frasier's Farm, and White Oak Swamp of Seven Days fame.  They are little more than roadside markers, but in some cases they haven't changed much since guys in blue and grey chased each other through the area.  The Richmond Park headquarters is in what's left of the Tredegar Iron Works, I believe the Chimborazo medical museum is still operating (old Park HQ).  Just across from Tredegar (which is still expanding with all new museum attractions by the way) is Belle Isle.  This was a POW camp and held a foundry and other industrial facilities, whose ruins are still there.  Most people go there now to use the bike trails, but it is still interesting.  In Henrico county (and possibly to be included in a soon to be new campus for J Sargeant Reynolds Community College) is New Market Heights.  Little known but massively important site for the USCT (United States Colored Troops).  It was here that 14 of the 16 Medals of Honor earned by black soldiers during the Civil War were, in fact, earned.

  Farther South in the Petersburg area are the National Battlefield Park and the Privately owned Pamplin Historical park for the seige of Petersburg.  Pamplin is a little expensive ($14/person I think) but it is a wow, especially if they have a full compliment of both military and civilian living history folks there.  They have everything from soldiers to the Plantation owners to the field slaves represented.  They also have reconstructions of the trenches as well as multiple extensive trails exploring the original trenches.  Just for anyone's interest, I've included a shot of my own of one of the reconstructions.

If you need still more civil war history, go down the peninsula toward Williamsburg.  There you can encounter numerous sites from the 1862 campaign, some sites from 1861 or the later war years, and tons  of history from the colonial period all the way back to 1607.  Speaking of which for those of you out of state, we're really putting a lot of effort into the quadcentennial of a permanant English presense in the new world, unveiling is set for next year.

OK.  I'm getting long. End of commercial.

Attachment: DSCN0439.jpg (Downloaded 5 times)



 Posted: Fri Apr 21st, 2006 01:47 am
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dlcowger
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We are planning a first time trip to Gettysburg in September.

Dale



 Posted: Fri Apr 21st, 2006 05:14 am
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susansweet2
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Tim having live all my life in Southern California I had to laugh at the 14 dollars admission price being expensive.  Disneyland is around 50 dollars plus parking , Knotts and everything else around about the same.  I would love to find a place that was 14 dollars that offers what Pamlin does.  Wish I had stopped there whe I was in the area two years ago. 

You forgot Five Forks and City Point in your list of places to visit. I loved all the places around Richmond Petersburg area.  Only problem is trying to drive and read a map at the same time.  Then to get to some of the places.    For a change of pace in Richmond also there is the Poe Shrine. I know it isn't Civil War , but I would bet many of you have read the poems and short stories of Poe. 

I could go back to Viriginia year after year if I could afford the gas to drive .  Don't like to fly. 



 Posted: Fri Apr 21st, 2006 12:28 pm
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TimHoffman01
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Hi SusanSweet2!

How Right you are on the admission prices...that "somewhat expensive" was meant to be in relation to the other civil war sites, normally run by the governement, that are either free admission or something really nominal like the $5 per CAR.  (Paramount's Kings Dominion is getting pretty close to Disney's price nowadays too).

You also helped make my point on Richmond's offerings.  City Point and Five Forks are just part of the iceberg.  I also left out Drewry's Bluff (Ft. Darling) and several union forts nearby.  The list goes on.

The Poe museum was good, I thought, mostly if you were familiar with his works.  At least when I was last there, admittedly it has been a while, they didn't seem to have much general information about him and really dwelt on "the Raven."  If Kids are involved the Children's musem of Richmond (for little ones mainly) or the Virginia Science museum are great for hands-on learning.  The Science Museum is in what once was Broad Street Station (Trains) and still has a lot of that represented.  Neat building from an earlier time.

One MAJOR Civil War related item I forgot to mention are the Freeman Markers.  Back in the 1920's a local historian founded an association to mark out all the important sites they could for the civil war.  They erected markers of stone and iron, all but one still exist, that formed the basis for the National Battlefield Park when it was established in the late 1930's.  Their efforts to preserve history have since become history in their own right.  These have great potential as a sort of Historical Scavenger hunt.  Here is a url to go to:  http://home.comcast.net/~freemanmarkers/index.html

I hope I was successful in making that a link.  Not my site, but pretty neat.



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