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Best Civil War Sites

Richmond, VA

Richmond’s rich and accessible Civil War history surpasses that of any other city. While the southern white history of the Civil War has always been well preserved in the heroic statues along Monument Avenue and in institutions like the Museum and White House of the Confederacy (moc.org), the city has recently taken pains to better document the African American experience, most significantly with the Slave Trail. The walking tour includes the sites of slave markets, the notorious Lumpkin’s Slave Jail (called the Devil’s Half-Acre for its brutal treatment of inmates), the still-active farmers’ market at Shockoe Bottom, and streets where a visiting Lincoln was met by hundreds of cheering freed slaves. Stop at the American Civil War Center in the former Tredegar Iron Works, which clad Confederate ships and forged artillery. A nearby pedestrian bridge crosses the James River to eerie Belle Isle, site of a prison where captured Union soldiers were held.

Don’t Miss: Hollywood Cemetery is the final resting place of American presidents (James Monroe and John Tyler) and Civil War luminaries like Jefferson Davis, George Pickett, and J.E.B. Stuart. A rough-hewn pyramid marks the graves of unknown Confederate soldiers.

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