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Historic Sites in Virginia: Battlefields

Virginia was the site of major battles in the Civil War and the American Revolution, and many of these sites today are well-preserved, allowing visitors to experience and learn more about these pivotal events in American history.

Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park marks the spot of a large Civil War battle, and there is also a small national cemetery here to honor the fallen. There are hiking trails through the woods and the park is the site of a major re-enactment held each year.

The Battle of Tom’s Brook took place south of Strasburg in 1864 when federal troops attacked a Confederate regiment. The Hottel-Keller homestead was in the midst of the action and today the property is also preserved.

Hanover County has many Civil War sites and there are driving trails which lead to several of the spots. The Beaverdam Creek Battle took place on June 26, 1862; today a walking trail takes you past where both the Union and Confederate troops were positioned.

Large re-enactments take place each year at the Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park, which interprets the Battle of Kettle Run and the Battle of Bristoe Station. Self-guided trails tour the area.

Manassas National Battlefield Park

The site of the second battle of the Civil War, Manassas National Battlefield Park signifies the victory that elevated the Confederate army to military power over the North. Manassas National Battlefield Park is located in Central Virginia in Manassas.

The Battle of Manassas was known as such by the Confederates who named their battles after railroad junctions and by the North as the battle of Bull Run, named after a nearby stream. The Park sits on over 5,000 acres of land that served as the battlefield during the Civil War.

Visitors to Manassas and the battle of Bull Run can experience the history and stories of the battle at three different locations on the property. The Henry Hill Visitor Center holds a wealth of information and tours for guests to experience the battlefield.

Brawner Farm Interpretive Center provides a unique but separate opportunity to discover the battle through interpretive audio-visual programs and lastly, guests can visit the historic Stone House on the property.

Petersburg National Battlefield

The site where the longest battle of the civil war took place, Petersburg National Battlefield is located in Petersburg, Virginia, just outside of Hopewell. The Petersburg Battlefield is located in Central Virginia, not far from Richmond, with easy access from several directions. There are many ways that visitors can learn about this historic battle in addition to viewing the battlefield for themselves.

The Park located at the Battlefield offers a junior ranger program to engage children and expose them to the history and excitement of Petersburg. In addition to the ranger program, Battlefield staff works directly with teachers to create customized educational programs for students in the classroom as well as during visits to Petersburg. For general visitors and families there are thirty-three miles of route laid out in order to visit the entirety of the park. The thirty-three mile journey includes three visitor centers that offer a wealth of information covering the history of the war in addition to the battle of Petersburg. Apart from the visitor’s centers, travelers are invited to stop at historic sites along the route, which include General Grant’s Headquarters and the Appomattox Plantation.

Richmond National Battlefield Park

The Capital City of Richmond offers plenty to do and see. History buffs ready to learn about the events of the American Civil War, have plenty of sites to visit at the Richmond National Battlefield Park. This National Park Service administered area encompasses eighty miles throughout thirteen sites.

Schedule plenty of time to tour the four visitor centers and battlefields, to learn about the rich history of the area. Start your historical journey at the main Richmond visitor center, Tredegar Iron Works, to view the displays and exhibits. The Chimborazo Visitor Center, located on the east side of the city, features the Confederate medical story of the war.

Partake in one of the many tours and demonstrations or tour the Chimborazo Medical Museum, Chickahominy Bluff, Beaver Dam Creek or Gaines' Mill to learn about the events that transpired.

Fredricksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park

Known as America’s Battlefield, Fredricksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park rests at the site where the height of the Civil War was fought. The Military Park is a significant historical site as it is home to four battlefields as well as four historic buildings. Battlefields at Fredricksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park include Fredricksburg, Spotsylvania, Wilderness and Chancellorsville. Historic landmarks include the Shrine of Stonewall Jackson, Old Salem Church, and Union Headquarters during the Battle of Wilderness, among many others.

Visitors to the park have ample opportunities to learn about the many historic events that took place there through tours and Visitor’s Centers as well as visiting historic buildings on the property. Self-guided tours are always welcome and maps are available to navigate the sights. Walking tours are also available in addition to educational programs for students and educators. Access to Fredricksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park can be obtained by multiple routes as the Park is located between Richmond and Washington D.C. in the city of Fredricksburg.

Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park

Celebrating and preserving a number of historically significant sites in western Virginia, the Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park is a must-see. Head for the Shenandoah Valley in northwest VA and explore this expansive park, where you'll see the Bell Grove manor house, and a host of other top attractions.

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park is spread across 3,700 acres, half of which is privately owned. Civil War buffs take note: you can check out the actual battle site of the Battle of Cedar Creek. Don't miss out on a tour of Hupp's Hill Civil War Park, a short drive from nearby Winchester.