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Thread: Civil War Battlefields

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Civil War Battlefields

    This past week/weekend (Thursday through Sunday) I attended a Civil War residency program which was primarily visits to 4 major battlefields: 1st and 2nd Manassas, Antietam, and Gettysburg. It was a great time!

    Here's a link to the photos I put up on flickr.com: Civil War Battlefields Most of photos have some explanation unless they're self explanatory (like some of the monuments).

    Now, I'm anxious to return on my own to take several days at each one. I also want to visit Fredericksburg, Petersburg, Appomattox, and Harper's Ferry.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    You should come west and see Shiloh and Vicksburg.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    This past week/weekend (Thursday through Sunday) I attended a Civil War residency program which was primarily visits to 4 major battlefields: 1st and 2nd Manassas, Antietam, and Gettysburg. It was a great time!

    Now, I'm anxious to return on my own to take several days at each one. I also want to visit Fredericksburg, Petersburg, Appomattox, and Harper's Ferry.
    I've been to all 3 plus Appomattox and Vicksburg. Appomattox is a little odd because the locals barely even acknowledge the national park. It's just this quite little town in Virginia. Vicksburg, on the other hand is massive and well worth the visit. Further, they present a balanced view of the war. The courthouse, which is not part of the park, is worth the time of a visit. Finally, there is Rowdy's catfish, a semi tacky restuarant with great food.

    Disclaimer-I'm not a civil war buff, my dad was/is and I got a lot through him-including being dragged to the battlefields.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    Civil War

    I've been to Gettysburg and Antietam. Both very impressive. I'd like to see Marie's Heights at Fredricksburg.

  5. #5
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Some people don't get the whole visiting the battlefield years and years after it happened thing (yep, there's some woods and hills and houses - looks nice. Can we go now?), but I'm not one of those. When I visit battlefields I like to visualize how the battles unfolded superimposing that imagination over the real landscape. One can read accounts of Gettysburg about how an outnumbered Colonel Chamberlain and the 20th Maine repulsed multiple waves of attackers that were attacking uphill, but once you've seen the slope of the wooded hills with your own eyes you gain a better appreciation for terrain and just how difficult a climb it was.

    Gettysburg is probably the grandaddy of all Civil War battlefields and most people's favorite. But there are lots of old forts throughout the Border States and South where numerous battles took place that make for fun and educational trips.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    But there are lots of old forts throughout the Border States and South where numerous battles took place that make for fun and educational trips.
    Good example near me (2 hr drive) is Fort Donelson National Battlefield: http://www.nps.gov/fodo/

    With the capture of Fort Donelson and its sister fort, Henry, the North had not only won its first great victory, it had also gained a new hero—"Unconditional Surrender" Grant, who was promoted to major general. Subsequent victories at Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga would lead to his appointment as lieutenant general and commander of all Union Armies.
    Oddball
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    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
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  7. #7
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Some people don't get the whole visiting the battlefield years and years after it happened thing (yep, there's some woods and hills and houses - looks nice. Can we go now?), but I'm not one of those. When I visit battlefields I like to visualize how the battles unfolded superimposing that imagination over the real landscape. One can read accounts of Gettysburg about how an outnumbered Colonel Chamberlain and the 20th Maine repulsed multiple waves of attackers that were attacking uphill, but once you've seen the slope of the wooded hills with your own eyes you gain a better appreciation for terrain and just how difficult a climb it was....
    The stand at Little Round Top is still taught at the PLDC (How to be a seargent) courses for the US Army as of 1990. I hope they still do.

    Terrain helped, but the bayonet charge down that hill after repulsing successive waves of Southern forces to roll up the confederate line of battle was the culmination of a stunning stand.
    Last edited by Duke Of Dystopia; 20 Apr 2010 at 10:26 AM.
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian kalimotxo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    Now, I'm anxious to return on my own to take several days at each one. I also want to visit Fredericksburg, Petersburg, Appomattox, and Harper's Ferry.
    Having lived in or very close to a number of these historic sites, I can say that many locals generally have an apathetic attitude to having such amazing historic resources close by. Fortunately, my grandfather instilled in me a lot of respect for history; it helped that he always found a way to tie in interesting (if embellished) stories about my Confederate ancestors.

    Of the four, though, Fredericksburg and Harper's Ferry are IMHO the most emotionally resonant. I ain't ashamed to say that a good telling of the charges at the Sunken Road in Fburg or John Brown's Raid brings tears to my eyes. If you make it to Fredericksburg, it's worth checking out Chancellorsville and Wilderness, before you have to drive through a Wal-Mart parking lot to get there.
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    You should come west and see Shiloh and Vicksburg.
    Those are also on my list because the Union generals involved in both, Grant and Sherman, are my favorites.

    Quote Originally posted by kalimotxo View post
    Having lived in or very close to a number of these historic sites, I can say that many locals generally have an apathetic attitude to having such amazing historic resources close by. Fortunately, my grandfather instilled in me a lot of respect for history; it helped that he always found a way to tie in interesting (if embellished) stories about my Confederate ancestors.
    That's true everywhere, though. People come from all over the world to see Niagara Falls, and we WNYers (and I suspect most Canadians who live on the NP) simply take it for granted. I bet most WNYers have only visited the Falls when they were on school trips or maybe if a relative came to town and insisted on visiting.
    Last edited by Maister; 20 Apr 2010 at 11:43 AM. Reason: sequential posts

  10. #10
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    That's true everywhere, though. People come from all over the world to see Niagara Falls, and we WNYers (and I suspect most Canadians who live on the NP) simply take it for granted. .
    I'd have to agree too.

    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=39564

  11. #11
    I've toured Appomattox, Antietam, Blue Ridge, Harper's Ferry, and made many trips to Gettysburg. Now that I've had a chance to read more about the latter, I'm really jonesing for a trip there, especially to view the July 1 battlefield, so I was particularly happy to see those shots in your album. I am also very pleased that NPS is trying to restore the battlefield's landscape to approximate that of the battle. (I'm not even going to get into the building intrusions on the field itself...)

    [Gettysburg Geek] The fighting July 1 was probably the most significant of the entire battle, for it resulted in the superior defensive lines the Union occupied on 2 and 3 July, and the stubborn fighting by the I Corps (and in particular the Iron Brigade of the West), delayed the Confederate onslaught long enough for the rest of the Army of the Potomac to come up to occupy those positions. Still, with the exception of only a few modern historians, most consider the fighting 1 July a Confederate victory. [/GG]

  12. #12
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    I've toured Appomattox, Antietam, Blue Ridge, Harper's Ferry, and made many trips to Gettysburg. Now that I've had a chance to read more about the latter, I'm really jonesing for a trip there, especially to view the July 1 battlefield, so I was particularly happy to see those shots in your album. I am also very pleased that NPS is trying to restore the battlefield's landscape to approximate that of the battle. (I'm not even going to get into the building intrusions on the field itself...)

    [Gettysburg Geek] The fighting July 1 was probably the most significant of the entire battle, for it resulted in the superior defensive lines the Union occupied on 2 and 3 July, and the stubborn fighting by the I Corps (and in particular the Iron Brigade of the West), delayed the Confederate onslaught long enough for the rest of the Army of the Potomac to come up to occupy those positions. Still, with the exception of only a few modern historians, most consider the fighting 1 July a Confederate victory. [/GG]
    My favorite time to visit is the first week in July. The weather almost always seems to be sunny and hot...just like it was back in 1863.

    Depends how one defines 'victory'. Southern forces ended up carrying the positions they set out to take that day - were left in command of the field. But certainly in terms of strategic position the Confederacy failed to appreciate the significance the high ground would play the following days (in fairness, Lee can't be entirely faulted for not realizing on July 1 that a major engagement would follow, his screening cavalry was not there and he had no clear idea of the disposition of forces opposing him).

  13. #13
    Lee's orders to Heth were specifically NOT to bring about a general engagement. Precisely the opposite happened, as history shows us. I still wonder why Heth felt the need to do a reconnaissance in force to Gettysburg -- surely he knew there were no "shoes there" ...

  14. #14
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yup

    I've visited several Civil War battlefields:

    1st and 2nd Manassas
    Antietam
    Gettysburg- helicopter tour (first and last time on a helicopter- 1979)
    Wilderness Campaign
    Battle of Chancellorsville
    Harpers Ferry- My favorite Civil War site- Miles was a 38-year veteran of the U.S. Army and the Mexican-American War, but who had been disgraced after the First Battle of Bull Run when a court of inquiry held that he had been drunk during the battle.
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  15. #15
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Civil War battlefields and sites (and I know I'm leaving some out):

    Fort Sumter
    Manassas
    Fredericksburg
    Port Gibson
    Vicksburg
    Kennesaw Mountain, Allatoona Pass, and a whole bunch of other Atlanta Campaign sites
    Fort Pulaski
    Jefferson Davis capture site
    Way too many sites along the March to the Sea
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  16. #16
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Oh yeah....

    I forgot the Dry Tortugas National Park, site of Fort Jefferson and Dr. Samuel Mudd's prison site.
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  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    I forgot the Dry Tortugas National Park, site of Fort Jefferson and Dr. Samuel Mudd's prison site.
    Go out by floatplane or boat ?
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  18. #18
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Well.....

    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Go out by floatplane or boat ?
    Funny you should ask....I went out by Seaplane in 1990, when it was a National Monument, prior to it becomming a National Park. Now I think the only option might be by boat.

    http://www.yankeefreedom.com/nationa...-itinerary.htm

    Too bad the seaplane is no longer operating....it was a better deal:
    http://www.keywesttravelguide.com/se...-tortugas.html
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