The American Civil War was one of the most important wars in the history of the country, ultimately leading to them unifying under one flag, and creating the single nation that remains the world’s number one superpower today.
The Civil War was a long and brutal conflict that saw huge losses on both sides, and many of the most important sites from the war can still be visited and appreciated.
1. Andersonville National Historic Site
Situated in the southern state of Georgia, this was the site of the South’s main prisoner of war camp. Almost all Northern soldiers captured by the South’s army were sent to this site, which had around 50000 soldiers at its maximum.
Covering almost 30 acres, visitors are able to walk he entire place and see the conditions that the soldiers were subject to during their imprisonment.
2. Manassas National Battlefield Park
Two major Civil War battles took place at Manassas, both of which saw the Confederate army victorious thanks to Stonewall Jackson.
The battlefield has remained well preserved, and is open to all visitors throughout the year, with plenty of space to sit and enjoy the peace, or play at Bingo Cafe on your smartphone while waiting for a tour guide. Along with being free to explore, there are guided tours where staff explain what happened during the battles.
Antietam, located in Maryland, is considered by many historians as one of the most violent battles of the entire war, a site where thousands upon thousands of soldiers died during the course of conflict.
Today, visiting the site means coming face to face with historians that wear the garb of the time and provide fascinating information on the events that took place. The battlefield sits adjacent to the Antietam National Cemetery, which had been converted into the modern cemetery which replaced the temporary graves.
Richmond in Virginia is still considered the pinnacle of the South within the United States, and was the site of a bloody battle that took place during the Civil War.
Not only does the area give insight into what happened locally, it also provides a fascinating view of what African Americans experienced, which was ultimately what the American Civil War was all about. It’s also in close proximity to Belle Isle, which was a war prison used by the Confederate side.
Perhaps the most famous battle of all time, Gettysburg is the site that most people think of when they picture the Civil War, and for good reason. Gettysburg was a the turning point of the war, and the place where Abraham Lincoln performed his Gettysburg Address.
It was such a pivotal battle, it proved to both sides that the Confederacy would not be able to sustain the war any longer.
Today, the site is a favourite among historians, and many believe that it’s possible to encounter some of the many thousands of Confederate soldiers that died during the battle, and is a popular destination for ghost hunters.