16 November 2012

Civil War Sites, part 1

We live in the middle of a huge number of Civil War sites.  Many major battlefields are less than two hours ago in several different directions and there are smaller sites all over the place (like on the hill where the grocery store is).  So we're working on seeing as many of them as we can while we're here.

We're using some books from the library, but the most practical source of information and maps has been at Civil War Traveler.  They have maps of several different sections of Virginia and the sites are generally marked with a Civil War Trails sign (sometimes they could be marked better, but generally we've been successful in finding what's marked on the maps).

This is a project we can do on a tight budget because, even though there are museums and such at some sites, it seems there's nearly always some sort of historical marker you can see without paying, and if you get books from the library, you should have more information at your fingertips.

I also love driving around Virginia. 

Anyway, we went to the central Shenandoah Valley earlier this week.  We saw the Port Republic, Cross Keys, and New Market battlefields, plus other various things. We did very little at New Market though, in comparison to what was there, since VMI owns a lot of the battlefield.  There's a museum and self-guided walking tours included in the admission.

I've been having trouble planning how we'll see all these sites.  It would be nice to do them in somewhat chronological order, but that really isn't practical.  Appomattox would make a lovely day trip, but I don't want to go there before going to at least a few other places.  And Manassas/Bull Run is a hassle to get to (although relatively close to a Lego store as my children like to point out).

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