What to do at a Civil War Battlefield

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 12.38.40 PMMost people (read: tourists) tend to stay on the marked paths, follow the pre-programmed audio tours, or drive by, stop, read the signage, and move on. Want to have some fun? Seek out someone who knows the field (the NPS can most certainly arrange something for you) and ask to go off the beaten path. Seek out the rarely seen, the unusual, the forgotten. Visit the field during off hours or during the non-tourist seasons. I’ve done this all of these things myself and I have had quite the time. I have had the Shiloh and Perryville battlefields to myself, I have been to places at Gettysburg that only experts on the battle could ever hope to find. Do it. It will be worth the extra effort. And if all else fails, you can just stand by a cannon and point. This has been a battlefield tradition for over a century.

With compliments,


5 thoughts on “What to do at a Civil War Battlefield”

  1. Ah, Gettysburg at night ! Back when there was a working farm with bulls that would snort at you out of the dark ! A monstrous sprinkle of fireflies by the 13 PA Reserve monument. Whose been to the 18th PA Cavalry monument a short walk to the west of Confederate Ave. Very few people had ever been to the wooded area where the 125th NY (Willard’s Brigade) monument is before the woods were removed. How about the 5 snakeskins found in the field southeast of the Trostle’s Barn while looking for the stone marked with a dead officers initials where his body had been buried during the battle. If I don’t get back there in the next 6 months……. 😉

  2. Couldn’t agree more especially about getting an expert through the NPS and the off-season recommendation. I did a quick Perryville visit and the on-duty gift shop/museum staffer was just happy to have another face to look at.

  3. I lived close to New Market for several years and used to go all the time. There was hardly ever anyone there. I had the place to myself frequently.

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