Civil War Road Trips
The road trip is a classic American rite of passage, and few routes are more memorable than those marked by the Civil War. Stops include major battlefield sites such as Gettysburg and Manassas, but there's more to a Civil War road trip than just hitting the mega sites. Head off the beaten path into lesser-visited, but no less remarkable, regions. The routes offer more than battlefields, too. Museums, exhibits and more tempt Civil War enthusiasts. Get ready for a Civil War road trip along these 5 historic routes.
The Deep South: Louisiana and MississippiCivil War fans have all but made ruts in the roads around the mid-Atlantic region's hotspot battle sites. Head instead to the Chalmette Battlefield, down river from New Orleans. Explore the thousands of military and civilian artifacts at the Civil War Museum. Then head 2 hours north to Port Hudson State Historic Site in Jackson, LA, where the Siege of Port Hudson occurred in 1863. Continue north to Vicksburg National Military Park, in Vicksburg, MS, site of a military campaign which led to the Union's control of the Mississippi River. Finally, journey through Corinth, MS, where you can visit the Civil War Interpretive Center and preserved antebellum houses, such as the Verandah-Curlee House Museum.
The Carolinas Campaign: The End of the WarAfter General William T. Sherman’s march through Savannah, GA, the general was on a bit of a tear. He headed north into the Carolinas, toppling the remaining Confederate strongholds. Focus your road trip on the North Carolina leg of this epic campaign at the Fayetteville Arsenal, an ammunitions and weapons depot later destroyed by Sherman. Next, visit the Market House, a former site of cavalry fighting when Union forces came to town. Head north to the battles sites of Averasboro and Bentonville; both feature informative exhibits, such as a Confederate mass grave (in Bentonville), period newspaper copies and maps of troop movements. Finally, check out the Confederate Line of March, the route soldiers took en route to the Battle of Bentonville.
Valerie Conners is a freelance writer and editor who has worked for media outlets such as the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer and Frommer's Travel Guides. She's happiest when eating spicy massaman curries on the beach in Koh Mook, Thailand, snorkeling with sea turtles in Indonesia and bargaining for bangles in Indian markets.
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