Civil War

Civil War Battlefield Parks In Richmond Backdrop To Civil War Trust's Annual Conference

The Civil War battlefield parks that surrounding Richmond, Virginia, will be a fitting backdrop to the Civil War Trust's annual conference set for June.

Civil War Trust Reaches Goal To Save Part Of Wilderness Battlefield Near Fredericksburg And Spotsylvania National Military Park

Another vital piece of the Wilderness Battlefield -- the site of the daytime field headquarters of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant -- has been preserved near Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park thanks to the efforts of the Civil War Trust.

Vestiges Of The Civil War: Cold Harbor Battlefield

Picturesque stands of trees, rolling fields, and quiet hide the violence that swept across the Cold Harbor battlefield in early June 1864 as Union troops commanded by General Ulysses S. Grant met a staggering defeat in one of the bloodiest encounters of the war.

Civil War Preservation Trust Working To Save 49 Acres Surrounded by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park

Reading about the Civil War is one thing, walking across the battlefields is something entirely different. As you follow the rise and fall of the landscape, see the forests, the cannons, the earthworks, it's not hard to imagine the terrible fighting that took place 150 years ago.

Pilgrim Places: Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation, and America’s First National Military Parks, 1863-1900, Part VII

After Vicksburg’s establishment as a military park in 1899, it was not until 1917 that Congress authorized the next Civil War battlefield park at Kennesaw Mountain, northwest of Atlanta, where the Confederates stalled, if only for a while, the Union army’s southward march through Georgia. In the mid-1920s, other famous Civil War battlefields became military parks, including Petersburg and Fredericksburg, in Virginia.

Pilgrim Places: Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation, and America’s First National Military Parks, 1863-1900, Part VI

With the exception of Grover Cleveland, every United States president from Ulysses S. Grant through William McKinley was a veteran of the Union army, as were many congressmen. Following reconstruction, the sectional reconciliation paved the way for ex-Confederates and their political spokesmen in Washington to join Northern leaders in supporting battlefield commemoration.

Pilgrim Places: Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation, and America’s First National Military Parks, 1863-1900, Part V

In marked contrast to the involvement of Confederate veterans, African American participation in Civil War battlefield commemoration was minimal in virtually all cases. Prior to President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, effective January 1, 1863, some blacks served as soldiers (and sailors) for the North.

Pilgrim Places: Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation, and America’s First National Military Parks, 1863-1900, Part IV

Once the national cemeteries were established, they were effectively the only areas of the battlefields in a condition adequate to receive the public in any numbers, and they became the focal points for official ceremonies and other formal acts of remembrance. Most widely observed was Decoration Day, begun at about the end of the war in response to the massive loss of life suffered during the four-year conflict.

Pilgrim Places: Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation, and America’s First National Military Parks, 1863-1900, Part III

As with the southern Pennsylvania countryside surrounding the town of Gettysburg, the struggles between the United States and Confederate armies from 1861 to 1865 often brought war to beautiful places, with many battles fought in the pastoral landscapes of eastern, southern, and middle America— in rolling fields and woods, along rivers and streams, among farmsteads, and often in or near villages, towns, or cities.

Pilgrim Places: Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation, and America’s First National Military Parks, 1863-1900, Part II

The event in American history prior to the Civil War that had the most potential to inspire the preservation of historic places was the American Revolution. Yet, between the Revolution and the Civil War, historic site preservation in America was limited and sporadic.

Saturday: Pilgrim Places: Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation, and America’s First National Military Parks, Part II

Where, and when, did Americans first think of preserving places for history's sake? In part two of his look at the history and preservation of America's Civil War battlefields, historian Richard West Sellars takes a look at efforts in the United States to preserve places of history prior to the Civil War.

Pilgrim Places: Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation, and America’s First National Military Parks, 1863-1900, Part I

Today, well over a century after the Civil War ended in 1865, it is difficult to imagine the battlefields of Antietam, Vicksburg, Shiloh, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and Chattanooga had they been neglected, instead of preserved as military parks. As compelling historic landscapes of great natural beauty and public interest, these early military parks have been familiar to generations of Americans.

Coming Saturday: Pilgrim Places, Our Civil War Battlefields and Their Preservation

During his National Park Service career, historian Richard West Sellars examined in-depth many facets of the National Park System and National Park Service. One of those projects focused on Civil War battlefields and how they've been preserved over the years. The Traveler presents this work, Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation, and America’s First National Military Parks, 1863-1900, in a seven-part series starting Saturday.

Plan to Expand Civil War Museum Could Bring Artifacts to Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP

There's an effort being launched to create a network of Civil War museums across the state of Virginia, and one might be located in Fredericksburg, home to Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
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