June 23, 2005

Civil War Battlefields

Looking for some good summertime expedition ideas? Marvin Olasky lists his top 5 Civil War battlefields to visit.

To this list, I'd append one more: First Bull Run, just outside Manassas, VA. I've always thought this was an excellent field, particularly for people new to the experience (e.g. kids), because it is relatively small and the battle is easily visualized today. The vast majority of the fighting occurred on a flat-top hill and all of the positions can be seen easily from almost any point on it. Also, unlike, say, Fredericksburg, the area has not been built up.

By the time the battles mentioned by Olasky were fought, the shear scope of conflict had got so much larger that it is virtually impossible to stand in any one spot at one of these sites and take in the entire field of action. (The Second Battle of Bull Run, fought a year later in the same area as the first, is another example of this - one must drive several miles to visit all of the key points of the conflict.)

Which isn't to say I'm not looking forward to dragging the Llama-ettes to all of the battlefields on Olasky's list, because I am. Heh.

Posted by Robert at June 23, 2005 09:03 AM

Bull Run?? We here in the South prefer to call it by it's proper name: "The Battle of Manassas"

Seriously, though, I agree with you that Bull Run should be on the list and usually isn't as crowded as some of the other sites.

Posted by: JFH at June 23, 2005 12:25 PM

Don't come to Fredericksburg until they finish fixing up Sunken Road. They are taking out paving and doing some landscaping to make it look more like it was.

Of course, the long open field across which the Confederates fired is gone. Houses are now only about 70 yards from the wall.

The more I think about it, the more I'd be willing to say that Fredericksburg probably ought not be on the list.

Bull Run would be a suitable replacement.

Posted by: The Maximum Leader at June 23, 2005 02:40 PM
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