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Civil War History in Petersburg

Comments Off on Civil War History in Petersburg 01 November 2011

Petersburg Virginia is a veritable treasure chest of Civil War history, and its large and varied selection of museums and historical sites put it on the map as a historian’s paradise. Throughout the city, Civil War-era art, architecture, memorabilia and monuments can be found. Perhaps you want to take your children on an educational sight-seeing trip, you are working on a project of your own, or you just can’t get enough of Civil War history, you’ll want to spend some time exploring Petersburg’s historical places.

At the Petersburg National Battlefield on Hickory Hill Rd. you will learn about one of the most famous and most deadly battles of the Civil War. There you can visit the Eastern Front Unit, General U.S. Grant’s Headquarters, Five Forks, and more. If you like, you may take any of the parks daily guided tours to learn more the stories behind the battlefields and forts that still stand on the grounds.

The Pamplin Historical Park brings to life the history of the Civil war by giving visitors a glimpse into the lives of those who lived during this period. Those who visit the park will gain an understanding of the mindset of both civilians and soldiers through guided tours and interactive displays. At the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier, guests can experience a day in the life of a typical soldier during the war. The tours of this park follow three different routes and tell three different stories, including that of Lee’s defeat at Petersburg on Breakthrough Trail.

The Siege Museum on bank St. will further edify visitors’ understanding of the lives of people living up to, during, and in the aftermath of the Civil War. Exhibits here include well-preserved documents and photographs, artifacts from this period, and educational films. The museum is named for its heavy focus on the story of the Siege of Petersburg began in 1864 and lasted nearly a year.

The Blandford Church and Cemetery stands in the National Register of Historical Places as a Confederate Memorial Chapel. The church was originally built in 1735, and was restored at the beginning of the twentieth century. The Blandford church boasts breath-taking Tiffany stained glass windows which depict scenes from the Bible. The Cemetery is the resting place for over 35,000 Confederate soldiers, visitors will be in awe of the tombs, monuments, and statuary that mark so many of the burial sites. Visitors should take guided tours of the cemetery for information on the many historical figures buried here, and for illuminating lectures on the different styles and significance of the funerary art.

South Side Station is a great place to take a scenic drive. This trail follows the rout of General Lee’s retreat to Appomattox. The historic railroad station was built in 1854 and is the oldest standing railroad station in Virginia. Injured Confederate soldiers were brought here before being moved to neighboring hospitals and the station was hit with a barrage of fire during the Siege of Petersburg.

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