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 Posted: Sun Jan 25th, 2009 06:40 pm
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fedreb
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My wife and I are planning a trip to the States for 3 weeks throughout May. The first week we will be with a friend in CT and the last week in NYC and between those we will be taking a road trip. I will be driving down to Gettysburg, on to Antietam and Harpers Ferry, Front Royal and the Skyline Drive to Waynesboro, ( so far so good, done them all before ) and then across to the Richmond /Peninsula area before turning north up the Delaware/New Jersey coast  to New York. My question is, I have about two/two and a half days in the Richmond/Peninsular area and (apart from one wet Sunday afternoon in Richmond and a day at Pamplin ) have never been in these parts so would value your suggestions on where to go, what to do and see, where to stay etc. I am told that the Maritime Museum at Newport News is a must, anyone been? Thanks

fedreb



 Posted: Sun Jan 25th, 2009 08:16 pm
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susansweet3
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That museum is absolutely a must.  You will get a chill when you look down at the cannons , carriages and the outline of the Monitor turret in their baths.  Then to actually walk on the deck of the fullsize mock up is amzing.  You realize how little space they really had .  How close the water line is to the deck.  How it must have sounded in the turret when those two Dalgrens fired. 

They have a mock up of the C.S.S.  Virginia too .  It is in a huge room with all the sounds playing.   Many relics that have been found are also on display. 

There is more to the museum than just that but I spent all my time on that side of the museum as that is why I went there.

I also got a map of the defenses around Richmond and did a driving tour to each one.  There are many earthworks still in existance around the outskirts of Richmond .  Cold Harbor is chilling , Malvern Hill not to be missed . Standing at the top of the hill looking down at field that the Confederates marched up.  I downloaded a tour on my ipod and listened to the description of the battle from the point the cannons are set on the hill.

Don't forget to see the Confederate Museum if you have not .  Also not Civil War but if you are a Poe fan go to the Poe Shrine in Richmond.  Among other things they have his trunk and the items inside that was found after his death.  Many manuscripts and other items are on display.  They ladies that run it are wonderful and give a great tour.

At Tredegar Iron works there is a new Civil War Museum I think you will really like.  It is done in a different way than most museums but done in a good way. I enjoyed roaming around it . 

That is just off the top of my head.  If you need more information about these sites pm me and I will give them to you or post them on here if you like.

Susan

Can you tell I love Richmond.
ops forgot Hollywood Cemetery and the monument to Gettysburg soldiers, Picketts grave, Jefferson Davis and family two presidents of the US , Jeb Stuart and many more.

Last edited on Sun Jan 25th, 2009 08:17 pm by susansweet3



 Posted: Mon Jan 26th, 2009 12:04 am
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Captain Crow
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hey Susan is that Fort Moultrie in you avatar?



 Posted: Mon Jan 26th, 2009 12:11 am
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Captain Crow
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never mind...I answered my own question:D




 Posted: Mon Jan 26th, 2009 12:29 am
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PvtClewell
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Durn that SusanSweet, she beat me to it.

I heartily endorse everything she said.

Other points of interest in Richmond might include Chimborazo Heights, which was the site of one of the largest hospitals of the Civil War, mostly a park now (although they might still have a small medical museum there); and Monument Avenue (impressive statues of Lee, Jackson, Davis and Stuart), which borders the Fan District and will only take a few minutes of your time. Your wife might enjoy shopping the boutiques on nearby Cary Street if you need a trade-off from all the CW stuff you're doing. Tons of good eating at Shockoe Slip and Shockoe Bottom.

My wife and I usually stay at the Catlin-Abbott House (a B&B) when we visit Richmond. It's a block from St. John's Church, where Patrick Henry chose between liberty and death (although that might be a sore spot for you, huh?).

Depending on how much time you have, Fredericksburg (and thus Chancellorsville and Spotsylvania) are about 50-60 miles to the north of Richmond, and Petersburg is about a half-hour to the south.

But to echo Susan, the Mariners' Museum (http://www.mariner.org/) is essential. Plan for at least a half-day visit there just for the Monitor Center.

If you want to come down to NC and pick me up, I can be your guide. I like how the English speak English. :)

Last edited on Mon Jan 26th, 2009 12:32 am by PvtClewell



 Posted: Mon Jan 26th, 2009 01:16 pm
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susansweet3
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Do stop in at Chimborazo .  It does have a small museum and a good film on what it was like there during the war.  Say hello to the Park service people.  The woman ranger whose name I cannot remember at the moment has some great stories.  Also say hello to Bobby Krick , son of Robert Krick and an author also. 

St. John's Church is right near Chimborazo although I guess as the Prvt says that may be a sore spot .  I also agree Monument  Avenue is a must .  Always fun though to try and get pictures as no place nearby to park and lots of traffic.  Oh and Arthur Ashe is way down at the end all by himself.   Maury is there too somewhere in the line I think near Jefferson Davis. 

Captain that is indeed Fort Moultrie as you proved with a picture taken of the same spot .  Fedreb that is too far south to come on your trip to visit there .  It is in Charleston Harbor area.

I want to come be your guide but long way acros USA to get to Richmond.

Have a great trip.

 



 Posted: Mon Jan 26th, 2009 01:23 pm
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fedreb
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Susan,

            Thank you for all that info, I will now spend the next couple of months before we leave to read up on all you have mentioned and work out the best way to use our limited time in the area so as to take in as much as we can.

PvtClewell

            Thank you sir for that input. I have been to Fredericksburg and the Wilderness area a few years ago so will give that a miss this time. We are, as I said , limited to the time we can spend so unfortunately, as much as I'd like to, we will be unable to take up your kind offer to pick you up in NC to be our guide. Besides I'm not sure that we would understand each other, was it not you who said in a post on another thread, that we British speak English with a funny spelling ( or something like that anyway)

As for Patrick Henry, well I've been to Boston a few times and heard all about how " this is where we kicked the British ass." Maybe it wasn't so bad for us, our forebears were a bit arrogant in those days and probably deserved all they got.

Appreciate the help folks.



 Posted: Mon Jan 26th, 2009 01:27 pm
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susansweet3
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Glad to be of service , I hope you have a great time there.  I know I sure did. 

Susan



 Posted: Mon Jan 26th, 2009 01:27 pm
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fedreb
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Forgot to ask, have only ever been in Virginia in September or October, what is the weather like in May?



 Posted: Mon Jan 26th, 2009 01:29 pm
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susansweet3
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Could be warm, could be raining .  Likely to be raining .  I was in Virginia the first time in May.  Poured down rain the day I arrived in Petersburg.  Rest of the time it was warm but not hot .

Susan



 Posted: Mon Jan 26th, 2009 02:12 pm
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Doc C
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I'm just across Chesapeake Bay from Richmond/DC. Susan's right, May can be very nice or cold/wet. Sept/Oct are perhaps the best months of the seasons.

Doc C



 Posted: Mon Jan 26th, 2009 02:23 pm
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Marie
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The plantations along the James River are not to be missed either, IMHO. 

My favorite is Shirley Plantaion, home of the Cater family.   Robert E. Lee's parents were married in the parlor.   The collection of ancestral silver has to be seen to believe it.   Seem at the beginning of the war the family neglected to send it to the bank in Richmond for safekeeping, and ended up burying it instead, thus saving it from being melted down when Richmond caught fire.

Other interesting stops are Harrison's Landing (ancestral home of 2 US presidents, and the site where "Taps" was compsed after the Seven Days Battles, as well as the site where the first Thanksgiving dinner was held in the New World.)

Sherwood Forest-home of the Tyler family( Pres. John Tyler), Berkley Hundred, built by William Byrd, and Colonial williamsburg, if you are so  inclined.

Can you tell I love Tidewater VA?

 

Regards, Jana



 Posted: Mon Jan 26th, 2009 02:49 pm
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Doc C
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If you're heading down to Norfolk you'll pass through Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown. I'm especially partial to Jamestown. Great views across the James River. Marie is correct. Rather than taking the interstate down from Petersburg, the 2 lane river road to Williamsburg is very nice. My wife and i go to Williamsburg several times a year, her for shopping, me for battlefield/geneology stomping. My ancestors built one of the first plantations in Virginia, Bennett Plantation, near Smithfield, Va (currently one of the country's largest pork plants), guess thats why my family enjoys dining on swine so much.

Doc C



 Posted: Mon Jan 26th, 2009 03:06 pm
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64thNYDrummer
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Gaines's Mill and Malvern Hill battlefields are both worth a visit. I think Gaines's Mill is the best battlefield restoration not done by NPS I have ever visited.
Dennis



 Posted: Mon Jan 26th, 2009 03:08 pm
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fedreb
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I'm beginning to think that I'll need 2 months instead of the 2 days I've actually got.

Great stuff folks.

Thank you, keep it coming.

Doc,
Do you use the CBBT? Looking forward to driving that bit.



 Posted: Mon Jan 26th, 2009 04:52 pm
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Kernow-Ox
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Much of what I was going to suggest has already been said, so to be different...have you been to Grant's Tomb in NYC?

There are some really good preserved earthworks at Cold Harbor.

In Richmond, Jefferson's Capitol, the Museum of the Confederacy, and the Confederate White House, but then you probably knew that. :)



 Posted: Mon Jan 26th, 2009 05:58 pm
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fedreb
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Kernow,
Will be doing Grants Tomb when we get to New York but looking at the website it seems to be badly run down and neglected.
This will be our 5th stay in NYC but have never done Grants Tomb before in deference to my good lady who has always put up with battlefields with stoical good humour and is usually "Civilwarred out" by time we hit the city. Her time then!



 Posted: Tue Jan 27th, 2009 02:14 am
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Lincoln Fan
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I can echo all the suggestions you've received so far.
One place you should see if you have a chance in the Richmond area is Fort Darling (or Drewry's Bluff). You didn't mention if you had been to Petersburg, which, if I remember, is about 30 minutes south of Richmond. They have made a lot of improvements since I was there and I hear the civil war museum is worth the trip.

Lincoln Fan



 Posted: Tue Jan 27th, 2009 02:42 am
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Doc C
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Cold Harbor and the 7 Days battlefields are virtually diserted. Down load the podcasts for those battlefileds when available. I did Malvern Hill and Cold Harbor by myself in the cold of December and was the only one there for miles, rather erry. Cold Harbor was nice. One has to use ones imagination to traverse the walking trails at CH but will be rewarded. At M. H. one wonders why the confederates had the courage to march up the hill towards the federal batteries.

Doc C



 Posted: Tue Jan 27th, 2009 04:48 am
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susansweet3
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Doc I have those podcasts . They are good .  The Malvern Hill gave me chills standing there looking down that hill thinking the same thing you did .  How could they just march up here like that.  I was standing right next to the cannons at the top of the hill.  We were the only ones in the area .  This was in September a year ago .  Nobody but my two friends and me.  Only place I ran into anyone was a walking tour was going though Cold Harbor.  I wanted to join them. 

Susan



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