View single post by TimHoffman01
 Posted: Fri Apr 21st, 2006 12:56 am
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Joined: Wed Nov 9th, 2005
Location: Mechanicsville, Virginia USA
Posts: 74

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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.

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