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What Civil War battlefield would you most like to visit, and why?

Originally published on HistoryNet.com. Published Online: May 02, 2011 
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What Civil War battlefield would you most like to visit, and why?


26 Responses to “What Civil War battlefield would you most like to visit, and why?”


  1. 1
    Chuck in Montana says:

    I have visited many Civil War battlefields and I would still like to visit the battlefield at Antitum where so many lost their lives in such a short time.

    • 1.1
      Anthony Trahan says:

      Gettysburg, I have visited it twice already and still have not seen the entire battlefield.

  2. 2
    Elijah says:

    I would really love to visit Fredricksburg and Chanslorsville.

  3. 3
    Dennis Gleason says:

    Gettysburg. My cousin lives there and I would have a place to stay, not to mention it was the pivotal battle of the Civil War.

  4. 4
    Harrison says:

    I would like to visit the battlegrounds of Vicksburg or Shiloh. Maybe the Chattanooga heights and where the Confederate forces laid siege to Union troops in the city itself. Each one of those places tells a fascinating story of how our nation was shaped and about those who shaped it, no matter which side they fought on they fought for a purpose. I believe that purpose was what each thought was for the betterment of the nation as a whole and the situation of what was blown out of proportion. When President Lincoln called the Gettysburg battlefield hallowed ground, he was right in that those men did die for the advancement of the nation, on either side of course, each believing it was making the right choice. Lincoln's statement in his Gettysburg Address could ring true for the battlegrounds of Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, and every single other battlefield of the Civil War. Each and every one of those fields where men gave themselves up for their own beliefs, despite if they were true or perverse, deserve to be honored fully even if those soldiers fought for the "wrong side" as some would believe. When LIncoln said that these are hallowed grounds, he meant every place that American blood had been shed. That is why I want to visit those battle grounds.

    • 4.1
      Jennifer from Down-Under says:

      Well said harrison. Although as an Australian I still cannot understand the ferocious passion of the Confederate soldiers.What were their beliefs and why did they 'hate' the north so ?

      • 4.1.1
        Steve says:

        Jennifer, for a good understanding for what these men and women were fighting for, and why they fought so hard, read James McPherson's book "What They Fought For". A great short read using lots of primary sources.

  5. 5
    HueChi Chang says:

    If I could visit any battlefield in the civil war I'd visit Gettysburg because it was the biggest battle ever fought on american grounds.

  6. 6
    Don says:

    Mill Springs/Fishing Creek/Somerset – all the same battle just different names depending on who you ask. Many of my ancestors fought there including Col Silas Adams. My family has lived on Fishing Creek in Ky. for about 225 years.

  7. 7
    Kirk says:

    Gettysburg – I was there for the centennial in 1963 as a teen and would love to see the changes and a new perspective after having read at least a dozen books on it since

  8. 8
    Mike says:

    Gettysburg

  9. 9
    Brenda says:

    I would like to visit Fort Sumter, where it all started , and also Bull Run. I love visiting Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain as well as Shiloh where Ilearn something new each visit.

  10. 10
    hunter says:

    Getuesburg battle ground

  11. 11
    Jennifer from Down-Under says:

    Mine would be Gettysburg also as I would be better able to co-ordinate in my mind all the different battle grounds. I still remember the first time I heard about Pickett's Charge. Initially I thought it was so stupid (probably still do) but it got met curious about the entire battle and from thence (is there such a word lol?) grew my obssession. Even viewing recent pictures of different sites around Gettysburg I find kinda chilling or resonant of the great soul suffering of those few days.A truly sacred ground where the people involved believed in their respective causes so deeply they were willing to die for them. Makes me wonder if this is an example of the nobility oof man or the stupidity of man.The events at Gettysburg make me pause, wonder and reflect about life and death. Gee gettin' too deep now. Cheers!

  12. 12
    Matthew In Wisconsin says:

    I am proud to say that I have been to many Civil War battlefields. The one I still need to see is Shiloh / Pittsburg Landing.

    The key I have learned.. is immediately turn off the Interstate when you see the sign and ignore the groans from the backseat, and the protestations from the passenger side. And keep repeating in a slightly maniacal tone… "We're going to Brice's Crossroads!, We're going to Brice's Crossroads! We're going to Brice's Crossroads!" or Stone's River, or Chickamauga, or wherever. And say things like "I had no idea that Kennesaw Mt. was just north of Atlanta! What great luck"

    I traded Hersey, Pennsylvania for Gettysburg, Antietam, AND Manassas. The kids said that wasn't a fair trade. I told them "No one said life is fair. Eat you chocolate before it melts."

    • 12.1
      Serethiel says:

      Haha! So funny! As a homeschooling family, mine was always a very different response. All road trips were (and still are) planned ONLY to hit major Civil War landmarks. Funny thing? All the kids are the ones chanting! It's truly amazing to stand on a battlefield with the wind blowing softly through the trees overhead, and just let the whole family fall silent, envisioning the battlefield swarming with Yanks and Rebs. More amazing still? When your five-year-old little brother (at a completely spontaneous time) breaks the silence by singing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" in his solemn little voice. Haunting.

  13. 13
    william hart says:

    Antietam, to get a better grasp of Lee's masterful control of the battle

  14. 14
    Mark in Richmond says:

    By God's grace, I live in the Capital of the Confederacy. I live less than 10 miles from Gaines Mill and Cold Harbor, and run the trails of the battlefields several times a year. I've visited all of the major Virgina campaign battlefields – Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania, Wilderness, Seven Days and Petersburg. Just today, I ran the trails of Chinn Ridge at Second Manassas. My job in the 90's allowed me to visit Gettysburg approx 30 times. However, I've never visited the battle my Kentucky ancestors fought in – Perryville, KY. I would love to visit. FYI – I live in Richmond, but my ancestors fought for the Union.

    • 14.1
      MatthewInWisconsin says:

      The battlefield at Perryville is not the biggest, but quite good. Beautiful countryside. Read up on the Illinois 123rd; thrown into combat just 19 days after mustering. Virtually no training. Fired one shot and ran like the dickens. Funny, except for the men who were killed. Later became part of a crack unit; Wilder's Lighting Brigade.

  15. 15
    Serethiel says:

    As a Civil War Living Historian, I have had the amazing privilege of visiting many of the Hallowed Grounds. The one that I have yet to see (Seein's how it's up in Yankee territory) is probably the one I wish to see most. Gettysburg. To have the honor of reenacting that battle. To stand where they stood, to see and hear the cannons firing, to witness Col. Chamberlain's valiant final charge, to hear the shots in the peach orchard, to see Pickett's Charge once more go forth. THAT would be my dream. Not only to see it, but to remember what our country was founded upon. To remember what stirred so many noble hearts to stand for justice and freedom. I am Confederate, but I am anti-slavery. I believe that both the North and the South were right in some ways, and both were very wrong in other ways. I believe that the Lord allowed the North to win ONLY because slavery was the greater evil and therefore had to be stamped out first. So please, no angry comments about my reasons or views. I believe what I said, and no arguing will ever make me want to change my opinions.

  16. 16
    Jennifer from Down-Under says:

    Thanks Steve 4.1.1.

    I will track that book down.

    Ive read McPherson's "Battle Cry of Freedom" and enjoyed every page! Also his short piece on Lincoln which was OK ,except that it made no mention of Lincoln's son who died whilst he was in Office. I thought this was a strange omission as it was an important event in his life, – as shown in Spielberg's 'Lincoln',- which I've seen and thoroughly enjoyed.

    Will anwer the question about which Battlefield I would visit later. Cheers !

  17. 17
    Montserrat says:

    TheBattle Of Galveston

  18. 18
    MikeinCalifornia says:

    I have been to several battlefields already, all on the eastern part of the US. Now I would like to visit Perryville. My Great Great Grandfather led the 86th Illinois in that battle. I would love to someday stand on the same ground that he so gallently fought for.

  19. 19
    Emily says:

    I no. I have been to Gettysburg two time also, and its still to big to go see the whole thing in only a couple of days.

  20. 20
    David says:

    If you want to find out the real resons for the conflict, and not what is presently being taught in classrooms today, then I would suggest you read, "The South was Right," by James Ronald Kennedy and Walter Donald Kennedy. It will really open your eyes.

  21. 21
    Jim says:

    I have visited most of the major sites, but if I HAD to revisit only one in my remaining lifetime, it would definitely be Gettysburg. Not only for its military significance, but for the sheer beauty of the whole area.



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