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Your Guide to Richmond's Civil War Landmarks

Richmond National Battlefield Park, Civil War battlefields, Richmond Virginia

Courtesy of the National Park Service

Walk the fields where North and South clashed at Richmond National Battlefield Park.

As the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War, Richmond was at the heart of all the action—industrially, politically and physically. Although much of the city was destroyed at the end of the war, many historical sites survive and are open to the public. Below are highlights of a few of the Civil War-related attractions, monuments and museums that sightseers can visit and learn from today.

Richmond National Battlefield Park
Civil War Visitor’s Center
470 Tredegar St.
Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

With more than 2200 acres of preserved battlefields and notable Civil War landmarks, Richmond National Battlefield Park is a history buff’s paradise. Thirteen unique historical sites can be found along the 80-mile drive, each one featuring self-guided walking tours and priceless insights into this tumultuous period in American history. Guided tours at many of the sites are available during the summer months.

Begin your tour at the Civil War Visitors Center at Tredegar Iron Works, where a multitude of historical exhibits and audio-visual presentations provide the perfect introduction to Richmond’s complex involvement in the war. Learn the history behind the surrounding battlefields and explore more than 100 years of iron-making at Tredegar—once the Confederate army’s leading producer of artillery, ammunition and war-related materials. Staff members can help customize your tour to your interests and provide helpful driving directions as you set out to explore.

A popular stop on the driving tour is the Cold Harbor Battlefield and Visitors Center, which chronicles the famous two-week clash between the armies of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee in 1864. Visitors here can view the entrenchments built by the Confederate army that successfully blocked General Grant’s advancement on Richmond. Other highlights along the drive include Fort Harrison, one of the best-preserved earthen forts in Virginia, and the Chimborazo Visitors Center, located on the former site of the largest military hospital in Civil War times.

There is no charge to enter or tour the sites of Richmond Battlefield National Park. Battlefields are open daily from sunrise to sunset. With so much to see and do at these historic landmarks, allow a full day for a complete tour of the park.

American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar
500 Tredegar St.
Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

A must-see on any Richmond Civil War tour, the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar was the first museum to interweave stories of the conflict from the Union, Confederate and African-American perspectives. Located next door to the Richmond National Battlefield Park Civil War Visitor’s Center, this private museum focuses on the war from a national rather than local standpoint. It traces the differing stories, timelines, visions and viewpoints of all three groups, demonstrating how each contributed to the eventual outcome of the war. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors age 65 and up, $2 for children ages 6 and up and free for children ages 6 and under.

Monument Avenue
Often considered one of the most scenic boulevards in the country, a stroll down Monument Avenue is an essential Richmond experience, whether or not you are a Civil War aficionado. Beginning in the historic Fan District, Monument Avenue stretches east to west for a scenic five miles and is the only street in the country listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You’ll find stunning architecture, beautiful foliage and famous Confederate memorials, including monuments to Robert E. Lee, “Stonewall” Jackson and Jefferson Davis. Although best enjoyed on foot, a drive down Monument Avenue is just as stunning.

The Museum of the Confederacy
1201 E. Clay St.
M-Sa. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Su. noon-5 p.m.

The Museum of the Confederacy is perhaps Richmond’s most significant Civil War landmark. Visitors can explore the world’s largest collection of Confederate artifacts, manuscripts and images from the Civil War. Also available for touring is the White House, the wartime presidential home of Jefferson Davis and his family. As leading authorities on Confederate studies, these world-class attractions are not to be missed.

Hollywood Cemetery
412 S Cherry St.
Public visiting hours: 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Guided tours depart at 10 a.m.
For tour information, call 804-649-0711 x301.

Visit the burial site of Jefferson Davis and his family as well as the resting places of more than 20 Civil War generals inside beautiful Hollywood Cemetery. An estimated 18,000 confederate soldiers are buried here, as are two American presidents, James Monroe and John Tyler. Ninety-minute guided walking tours are offered Monday through Saturday, April through October. Tours embark from the cemetery entrance at Cherry and Albemarle Streets and cost $10. Contact the Valentine Richmond History Center for tour reservations.

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