Civil War Home Front
About “Civil War: The Home Front”
While material written about the Civil War could easily fill a library, relatively little of it focuses on the stories of noncombatants and how families, farms, and livelihoods fared during the conflict that ripped America’s social fabric apart between 1861 and 1865.
And yet this “home front” has its own compelling history, replete with human drama and pictorial scenery, that should be added to the broader storyline of the Civil War to make it complete. “Civil War: The Home Front” invites you to visit these historical sites, many of which took place far from the battlefields but remain deeply and inextricably linked to them.
There are 150 destinations throughout Appalachia highlighted in this guide; as many as the years that have passed since the first shots were fired igniting the war. They include heritage farms, railroad and industrial sites, restored homes and historic downtowns, natural parks and memorials, historical museums and gardens.
These sites were selected by the Appalachian Regional Commission, in partnership with American Heritage Publishing, from over 500 nominations for destinations and stories that best embody the Civil War experience in the Appalachian region. They were selected for inclusion as best representative of Appalachia’s compelling, poignant and, in many cases, undiscovered stories.
Visit the sites presented throughout this guide for yourself and gain a deeper understanding of this critical era in American history.
Click here to visit the ARC’s web site at www.arc.gov
From Huntsville’s Constitution Village to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Appalachian Alabama is filled with history and excitement. Explore historic buildings in downtown Decatur, learn how Civil War cannons were made in Cedar Bluff, or reflect on the struggles for emancipation at Greensboro’s Black History Museum.
During the War, factories produced guns, made ammunition and built boats. Cornwall Furnace, built in 1862 of local limestone, was first to supply iron for construction of Confederate cannons. In 1864, it survived two attacks by Union General Sherman’s troops. You can see the 35-foot-high furnace, a National Historic Landmark, at this site in northern Alabama.
Historic Downtown Decatur
Skirmishes occurred often as both sides fought for Decatur, an important railroad junction on the Tennessee River. During the North’s second occupation in 1864, Union soldiers forced most residents to leave and fortified Decatur by tearing down all churches, businesses and homes. The Old State Bank is one of four buildings spared, for use as a hospital and guardhouse. Soldiers recruited Robert Murphy and other slaves – at a dollar a day – to construct over 200 shanties from the rubble.
The Huntsville Depot
The Union army converted this 1860 train station into a makeshift prison for Confederate soldiers, then as a Northern base of operations. On the third floor, graffiti from soldiers of both sides can be seen. Grounds also include steam engines, rail cars.
Estate of General Joseph Wheeler, who served both the Confederate and Union, and later as one of Roosevelt’s Rough Riders.
Fort Harker, a Union fort built in 1862, helped secure railroad lines used to move Union troops and supplies throughout southeast Tennessee and northeast Alabama. Located outside of Stevenson, Alabama, the area is rich with Civil War history.
Alabama Veteran’s Museum
The Alabama Veteran’s Museum preserves memories of Alabama veterans by creating a permanent resting place for artifacts and memorabilia, displaying uniforms, medals, weapons, photos, books, tapes and news clippings. These articles tell the stories US veterans through Alabama locals who have served in times of war and peace.
Pope’s Tavern Museum
One-time stagecoach stop, tavern, and inn used as a hospital by Confederate and Union forces during Civil War. The upstairs museum houses extensive collection of Civil War artifacts.
Blue & Gray Museum of North Alabama
This museum houses primarily Civil War military equipment: including guns, swords, rifles, bayonets, uniforms, etc.
Alabama Constitution Village
Living history museum where costumed guides lead visitors on tour of working village (1805 to 1819). Commemorates place where 1819 Constitutional Convention was held. Alabama became the 22nd state admitted to the Union on December 14, 1819.
City of Decatur Old State Bank
This pre-Greek revival structure is the oldest bank in the state. Used as hospital during Civil War, only one of 4 buildings was left standing when the war ended.
The Rhea-McIntire House is a historic antebellum Greek Revival mansion located along the shoreline of the Tennessee River’s Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Alabama. It was used as headquarters by both Union and Confederate forces, alternately, during the Civil War.
Winston County Dual Destiny Monument
This monument to the pain of civil war is a soldier wearing half a uniform from the Confederacy and half from the Union and holding a broken sword. Winston County did not join the Confederacy and is still known as the “Free State of Winston.”
Brierfield Iron Works Historical State Park
The Confederate government purchased the furnace in 1863, added a second furnace and rolling mill, and turned out high quality iron for the production of cannon and armor plating for ironclads.
Arlington Antebellum Home & Gardens
Decorative arts museum, built c. 1850. Fine collection of 19th-century furniture, textiles, silver, paintings. Site where Union troops planned burning of University of Alabama.
Bessemer Hall of History Museum
Housed in renovated Southern Railway Terminal. Contains artifacts, documents, photographs, 1800s furnishings and farm implements, Civil War collection relating to 1862 28th Alabama Regiment, antique telephone display, and library.
University of Alabama
Various historic attractions and museums are located throughout campus, including the Gogas House, built in 1829 and one of the few campus buildings to survive the Civil War.
Safe House Black History Museum
The Safe House Black History Museum occupies a house used to conceal Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during his organization of peaceful resistance protests during the 1960’s. Rooms displays photos of Dr. Martin Luther King, important news clippings, Civil War-era slave auction documents, and cement imprints of Lewis Black’s hands.
Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site
This National Park is dedicated to educating the public of the importance and accomplishments of Tuskegee Institute. There is a special emphasis on the home of Booker T. Washington (The Oaks) and the George Washington Carver Museum.
Georgia features the battlefield of the Confederate’s last major victory at Chickamauga and the museum that recounts the famous train race led by civilian spy James Andrews. Tour museums and heritage centers throughout the Appalachian region or enjoy an afternoon of fishing with a picnic lunch at Prater’s Mill, used as a campsite for both Union and Confederate soldiers.
Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History
Civilian spy James Andrews planned to destroy the Western and Atlantic Railroad, a vital Confederate supply route. He disguised 21 Union soldiers in Confederate garb, stole the engine “General” and two boxcars, and raced north. Conductor and crew gave chase. Andrews’ train ran out of steam near Tunnel Hill, Georgia, thwarting the plan.
When James Shields died in April 1863, wife Charity received four horses, a mule, 17 hogs, three cotton bales, 70 bushels of corn, and single lots of sheep, cattle, and beans. His two sons got the 800-acre farm. You can visit the heritage farm today and enjoy the outdoor historical museum. Open to public (by appointment) and hosts regular, scheduled seminars and tours that showcase the Farm’s historic grounds.
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Historic Park
This 5,300 acre National Military Park was the scene of the last major Confederate victory of the American Civil War. The site contains numerous monuments, historical tablets, wayside exhibits, and trails for visitors.
John Glen’s grist mill and woolen hat factory helped supply the armies, but also provided shelled corn and meal for Confederate Army soldier’s wives and widows. See artifacts from Glen’s commerce and other farming equipment on display at the center.
Tunnel Hill Heritage Center
Explore the early heritage of Tunnel Hill, a small community whose land is marked by Native Americans, early settlers, and Civil War soldiers. The Heritage Center displays a timeline of the 1850 Western and Atlantic Railroad Tunnel restoration, Civil War artifacts from local family ancestry, and more.
During the Civil War, Prater’s Mill was used as a campsite by soldiers from both sides. While occupied by the Union army, the mill was considered a valuable resource for food and was not destroyed. Built in 1855, the restored grist mill site is now commonly used for fishing and cookouts.
Dahlonega Gold Museum
Between 1838 and 1861, more than $6 million in gold was coined by the U.S. Branch Mint in Dahlonega. The Dahlonega Gold Museum, located in the old Lumpkin County Courthouse, offers visitors a look at the mining history of Georgia.
Cedartown Historical Museum
This museum preserves the heritage of Cedartown; its highlights include depot train memorabilia and memoirs of Sterling Holloway, the voice of Winnie the Pooh.
Crawford W. Long Museum
Dr. Crawford W. Long, surgeon for the Confederacy, was the physician who, on March 30, 1842, first used ether for surgical anesthesia. The Crawford W. Long Museum contains personal artifacts and documents highlighting the life of Dr. Long, as well as early anesthesia equipment.
Pickett’s Mill Battlefield
Visit the battlefield where, On May 27, 1864, some 14,000 Federal troops attempted to outflank the Confederate position. The Federal assault lasted into the night, but at daybreak the Confederates were still in possession of the field. The Confederate victory resulted in a one-week delay of the Federal advance on Atlanta.
Start at Cumberland Gap National Historic Park and work your way through Kentucky’s compelling Civil War attractions. From Berea College, once denied state support due to anti-slavery views, to Mountain Homeplace, a Civil War-era working farm, Appalachian Kentucky offers memorable experiences through historic sites, homes, and battlefields.
Cumberland Gap National Historic Park
American Indians and buffalo inhabited the Gap before trackers, like Daniel Boone, discovered this geological cut as a gateway through the mountains. From 1760-1850, more than 300,000 pioneers, cattle drives and stagecoaches used this mountainous pass. Soldiers displaced settlers during the War, as both sides fought for area occupation and control of the Virginia to Tennessee railroad. The conflict left this important terrain ravaged and desolate for decades.
John Rogers served as principal of a small colony and abolitionist school in Berea, founded in 1855 on values of human dignity, equality, peace and justice. The school provided an education to all students of great promise and limited economic means – whites, blacks, boys and girls. Because of the Bereans’ anti-slavery stance and loyalty to the Union, the group was banished from Kentucky in 1859. They returned three years later and the school became known as Berea College.
H.P. Bottom House at Perryville Battlefield State Historic Park
Henry Bottom owned the land where most of the battle occurred. The house still shows scars of war: bullet holes in the walls; blood stained floors from tending the wounded. After the battle, Bottom and his slaves buried the Confederate dead in two mass graves – now Perryville Battlefield State Park.
Mill Springs National Cemetery
Dorothea Burton, 10, started the Memorial Day tradition here to decorate graves of Confederate soldiers.
Mill Springs Battlefield Visitor’s Center & Museum
The Battle of Mill Springs was the first Union victory in the western theater of the American Civil War. The Battlefield extends from Nancy, KY (historically known as Logan’s Crossroads) to Mill Springs, KY a distance of about 9 miles.
Mountain Homeplace is a Civil war-era working farm located adjacent to Paintsville Lake State Park. The Welcome Center contains a Museum of Appalachian History.
Civil War Fort at Boonesboro
This earthen works fortification was built to defend the ford and ferry at Boonesboro. It was believed to be manned at times by African-American Union Soliders, many of whom enlisted at Camp Nelson.
White Hall State Historic Site
This 44-room Italianate mansion is the home of Cassius Marcellus Clay, the fiery emancipationist, publisher, and U.S. minister to Russia appointed by Abraham Lincoln.
Samuel May House
Built in 1817, the Samuel May House was the childhood home of Colonel Jack May, commander of the 5th Kentucky Infantry, and the leading Confederate officer in the Big Sandy Valley. The 5th Kentucky Infantry was organized at the May Farm and the house was used as a Confederate recruiting post during the Civil War period.
Middle Creek National Battlefield
The Middle Creek National Battlefield (January 10, 1862) is the site of the largest and most significant Civil War battle in Eastern Kentucky. Union forces were led by Col. James A. Garfield and Confederate troops by Brig. Gen. Humphrey Marshall.
Mountain Life Museum
The Mountain Life Museum, consisting of 7 buildings, brings visitors into a pioneer settlement. All buildings are filled with pioneer relics including tools, products of agriculture and household implements.
Henkelmann Life Science Collection, the Williams Cross Collection, Appalachian Crafts, Appalachian Life Style Exhibit, Blairs Christmas Land, and Lincoln Collection are on exhibit at the Cumberland Inn & Museum.
Appalachian Maryland is home to several pivotal Civil War moments. Visit the legendary Antietam battlefield which led to the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation or relax on a tour of Cumberland, a booming transportation hub for the region in the 19th century.
When son Tommy joined the Southern Army, prominent citizen Priscilla McKaig recorded the event in the family journal. From 1850-1866, she documents area activities: capture of her second son; behavior of occupying troops – Confederate and Union; visits to the front lines; and secret postal system. View journal at the museum.
Canal Place Heritage Area
The Canal Place Heritage area commemorates the 19th century commercial and transportation hub of Cumberland. The Western terminus of the C&O Canal opened in 1850 and the historic district offers a glimpse back to this period. Come for boat tours, scenic railroad excursions, outdoor recreation, and more.
September 1862 battle led to Abraham Lincoln’s issuance of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.
Jonathan Hager House and Museum
“Little Heiskell,” Hagerstown’s symbolic weathervane (shaped like a Hessian soldier) atop City Hall, could not escape war’s violence; a Rebel sharpshooter used it for target practice, shooting it through the heart. The weathervane now resides in the Jonathan Hager House and Museum.
The Appalachian Mississippi journey begins in Corinth, where visitors explore a camp that over 1,000 refugee contrabands called home while working for the Union army. Travel down the east coast of the state, which highlights 3 major battlefields, among other important sites. Finish at Mississippi State University, keeper of the bound, multi-volume set of official Ulysses S. Grant papers.
Walter Place Estate
Julia Grant, wife of Ulysses S. Grant, lived here during her husband’s occupation of the area. When Confederate troops invaded Holly Springs, Van Dorn forbade entry to the house while she was inside. To match this Southern courtesy, Grant also restricted Union troops’ access to the estate for the remainder of the war.
Corinth Contraband Camp
Union General Grenville Dodge enlisted escaped slaves seeking protection to serve as laborers in Union-occupied Corinth. He actively recruited 1,000 male refugees, armed them and formed the 1st Alabama Infantry Regiment of African Descent to protect the newly formed town known as “Contraband Camp.” Bronze figures, depicting the lives of these people considered “War’s Contraband,” surround the trail through the camp.
Historic Downtown West Point
William Rooker (Union) and John Young (Confederate) met by chance during battle, decided to shake hands and part in peace. Admiring the land, Rooker returned to West Point after the war. The two soldiers renewed their friendship, families joined in marriage and Rooker’s grandson became Mayor. Descendents of both families still live here.
Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site
This site commemmorates Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s significant, but costly, Confederate victory. Brices Cross Roads is an excellent example of winning the battle, but losing the war.
Display of all things Corinth from the Paleolithic period to the present day. Housed in the Historic Corinth Depot, permanent displays emphasize transportation and the Civil War.
Tupelo National Battlefield
Site of July 1864 battle between the forces of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Union General William T. Sherman. Neither side proved victorious. It is the site of the last major engagement of the Civil War in Mississippi.
Okolona Confederate Cemetery
Soldiers who died in Civil War Battles of Okolona, Baldwyn, Corinth and Shiloh were laid to rest here.
Battle of Ellis Bridge Site
The battle of Ellis Bridge was fought three miles west of West Point, MS along Sakatonchee Creek on Feb. 21, 1864.
Ulysses S. Grant’s Papers at Mississippi State University
Located on the campus of Mississippi State Unviersity, visit the documentary record of Grant’s writings and those of his contemporaries to better understand both the man and the time during which he lived.
From the National Baseball Hall of Fame, through former sites along the Underground Railroad, to a statue commemorating the brave young girl who inspired Lincoln to grow his famous beard, Appalachian New York offers memorable experiences amidst beautiful scenery.
National Baseball Hall of Fame
As reported in period newspapers, Civil War soldiers often played baseball for recreation. Morgan Bulkeley enlisted with the Thirteenth New York Volunteers, and may have shared the Brooklyn version of baseball with fellow soldiers. For his leadership in the early development of professional baseball after the war, this Civil War veteran is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Lincoln & Grace Commemerative Statue
Village of Westfield
Prior to the 1860 Presidential election, 11-year-old Grace Bedell saw an image of a thin-faced Abraham Lincoln on a campaign poster. Grace wrote Lincoln a letter, encouraging him to grow a beard. Lincoln responded to Grace and did indeed grow whiskers. After the election, Lincoln stopped in Westfield to meet his correspondent.
St. James A.M.E. Zion Chuch
Built in 1836, the church served as an Underground Railroad Station. Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas both visited the church.
Woodlawn National Cemetary
When the Elmira Civil War Prison Camp opened in 1864, John W. Jones – a former slave and the local Underground Railroad Station master – served as superintendent of Woodlawn Cemetery. Because of his meticulous records on each of the prisoners, Woodlawn Cemetery was designated a national cemetery.
Corning Museum of Glass
The Corning Museum of Glass features the world’s largest collection of contemporary and historical glass.
Salamanca Rail Museum
This fully restored passenger depot constructed in 1912 by the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway houses railroad memorabilia and reflects an era of simple elegance.
Drive across Appalachian North Carolina on the Blue Ridge Parkway and honor Civil War veteran and Cherokee-advocate William Thomas at breathtaking Thomas’ Divide. Continue your North Carolina journey, visiting historic homes of honored patriots like the Vance brothers and quaint downtown districts in Burnsville and Marshall.
Colonel Allen House
Scarcity of salt, used to preserve meats and foods as well as make gunpowder, led to several local revolts. In January 1863, a gang of 50 Union soldiers and civilians ransacked the house of Col. Lawrence M. Allen, while his two ill sons lay in bed. See the home in downtown Marshall.
Thomas Legion Marker on Blue Ridge Parkway
Advocate for the Cherokees, William Holland Thomas became Chief of the North Carolina tribe in 1839. When he joined the Confederate Army in 1862, Thomas brought Cherokee recruits with him. “Thomas’ Legion” of Cherokees and mountaineers protected local citizens from Union invaders and guerilla warfare by keeping lookouts on top of this ridge. At war’s end, Thomas negotiated for his men to return home with a weapon, to defend against continued insurgency. Visit Thomas’ Divide on the Blue Ridge Parkway for magnificent views.
Brothers Zebulon and Robert Vance devoted their lives to public service. Zebulon served in the U.S. Congress before leading North Carolina’s Confederate Home Guards and being elected as governor in 1862. Robert commanded Confederate forces until his capture in 1864. After the war, Robert served in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Poet Carl Sandburg lived in this estate, built in 1838 by Christopher Gustavus Memminger – the First Treasury Secretary for the Confederate States
Toward the end of the Civil War, Union army deserters captured a log cabin, called Fort Hamby, and used it for shelter while raiding houses in surrounding counties. Now, Fort Hamby Park and its lake offer extensive opportunities for all outdoor recreational activities.
Academy Hill Cemetery
Civil War veterans are among other soldiers buried here with local community leaders. Visit the cemetery while on a historic walking tour of Burnsville, North Carolina.
Divided loyalties boiled over in the mountains of North Carolina, where the deaths of 13 men and boys at the hands of Confederate soldiers in the Shelton Laurel area of Madison County. Their death in January 1863 constitute one of the War’s most tragic events.
Asheville’s oldest house (circa 1840) has been home to many influential North Carolina figures, including Civil War major William Wallace McDowell. Explore opulent period rooms, history exhibits and grounds designed by the renowned Olmsted Brothers.
Western Carolina University-Western Heritage Center
The Western Heritage Museum at Western Carolina University’s permanent exhibition features the 18th century migration of the Scotch-Irish who settled across Western North Carolina. The museum celebrates the rich heritage of the Southern Appalachian region with traveling exhibitions, educational programs and demonstrations. Educational videos include stories from Civil War soldiers.
Appalachian Ohio attracts visitors to its many preserved Underground Railroad stops and to the birthplace of Union general and President Ulysses S. Grant. Stroll through historic downtown districts in Zanesville or Roscoe Village and visit the region’s fascinating museums for an unforgettable glimpse into the Civil War era.
Devoted to the antislavery movement, Presbyterian minister John Rankin wrote a series of letters denouncing slavery and ultimately sheltered 2,000 slaves escaping to freedom. His house, located on the banks of the Ohio River, became an important stop on the Underground Railroad and is now a National Historic Landmark.
Ross County Heritage Center
Brigadier General Sill met with Brigadier General Sheridan one night to discuss military strategy. When leaving, Sill mistakenly took Sheridan’s coat. Sill was killed in battle the next day, but Sheridan – wearing Sill’s coat – never suffered personal injury. See both coats at the center.
General Grant Birthplace
Restored 1817 cottage is birthplace of famous Union general and future U.S. President.
Hubbard House Underground Railroad Museum
The home is an excellent example of life in the Connecticut Western Reserve in the 19th century. There are three distinct features of the Hubbard House: the circa 1841 home of William and Catharine Hubbard on the first floor, the Underground Railroad exhibit area on the second floor; and the Civil War and Americana exhibit area in the basement.
Salem Historical Society
Salem, Ohio was the site of the Western Headquarters for the Anti-Slavery Association, which published THE ANTI-SLAVERY BUGLE. See historical artifacts at the museum.
McCook Civil War Museum
This large brick house, built by Daniel McCook, is a memorial to the “Fighting McCooks,” a nickname given to the family because of their military service during the Civil War.
Historic Roscoe Village
A restored 1830s canal town, Roscoe is located along what once was the Ohio-Erie Canal. The town offers a museuem and visitor’s center, seasonal Civil War reenactments, horse-drawn canal tours, and costumed interpreters.
Old Stone Academy in Putnam Historic District
The Old Stone Academy was an Underground Railroad station as well as location for two Ohio Anti-Slavery Society state conventions. The museum’s most popular exhibit highlights a hidden trap door under the staircase that accesses an underground hiding space for runaway slaves.
Putnam Underground Railroad Education Center
The Putnam Underground Railroad Education Center preserves local and national history. The Center includes a 500 volume library collection about the Underground Railroad and Abolitionist movement and a museum with artifacts from Africa and the Civil War Era.
Ohio River Museum
At the Ohio River Museum visitors can discover the golden age of the steamboat, learn about the Civil War’s influence on steamboat design and manufacturing, and explore the ecology of the Ohio River system throughout the museum’s the three exhibit buildings. Outside the musuem, tours of the W. P. Snyder, Jr. (a steam-powered tow boat) are available.
Our House Museum
The Our House Museum is a three story, federal style brick tavern built in 1819 by Henry Cushing; his family owned and operated the inn until 1865. In addition to its taproom, dining room and other usual facilities, the tavern boasted a large ballroom for social functions. General Lafayette visited Gallipolis and was entertained at the tavern in 1825.
Pennsylvania boasts the first National Historic Landmark of the Underground Railroad, the farm and tannery of abolitionist John Brown, the engineering marvel of Allegheny’s Portage Railroad, and amazing rare artifacts from President Lincoln. These sites and more comprise Appalachian Pennsylvania’s tribute to the Civil War and its heroes.
Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum
Founded by the Pennsylvania Railroad, Altoona quickly became a valuable transportation hub, building locomotives and using the famous Horseshoe Curve to elevate trains for crossing the Allegheny Ridge and accessing points west. The Railroaders Memorial Museum is dedicated to revealing, interpreting, commemorating and celebrating the significant contributions of Railroaders and their families to American life and industry.
Authentically furnished 1860s log cabin, site of historic Civil War shoot out. The one-acre property includes log cabin, period shed containing wagon, sleigh, carriage and thrashing machine.
The Columns Museum offers two floors of exhibits, displaying the famous “bloody Lincoln flag”, personal effects of Charles Sanders Peirce, an extensive collection of 19th century clothing, and much more.
Drake Well Museum
When cotton profits from the South disappeared, the North replaced lost revenues with foreign oil and kerosene. Taxes on crude and refined oil raised over $7 million for the Union. Petroleum greased railroads and steamboats, provided kerosene for heat and lighting, and helped fuel the North’s burgeoning industrial growth.
F. Julius LeMoyne Birthplace
Doctor’s home is Pennsylvania’s first National Historic Landmark of the Underground Railroad.
John Brown Farm, Tannery, & Museum
In Pre-Civil War Pennsylvania, the farm of abolitionist John Brown played a strategic role in the Underground Railroad, aiding in the passing of an estimated 2,500 slaves from 1825-35. Visit his farm, now a museum, and the remnants of his tannery.
Drive through the beautiful Allegheny Mountains to Horseshoe Curve where you can walk to the tracks of the main railroad line connecting east and west, an engineering marvel. Altoona was one of the most important rail facilities in the United States for more than a century.
Old Economy Village
Old Economy Village, built 1824-1830, tells the story of the Harmony Society. Visitors meet with traditional tradesmen and view historic structures, formal gardens, original paintings, books and furnishings. See an authentic portrayal of a Civil War band at one of many living history events.
Heinz History Center and Allegheny Arsenal
The Senator John Heinz History Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and presents some of the most compelling stories from Civil War history. Check out amazing rare original copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment, Lincoln’s writing desk (complete with scribbles), and that iconic top hat. Stroll over to Heinz headquarters and view the plaque in honor of Jane Swisshelm, a radical abolitionist and outspoken Civil War heroine. Located on the current site of Pittsburgh Central Lawrenceville neighborhood, Allegheny Arsenal was as an important supply and manufacturing center for the Union Army and site of a major civilian disaster during the war.
Blairsville Underground Railroad Historic Walking Tour
Blairsville features a museum and walking tour dedicated to the lives of brave men and women who, at the risk of being fined and arrested, willingly aided enslaved people in their quest for safety and freedom.
Allegheny Portage Railroad
The Allegheny Portage Railroad, an engineering marvel, was the first rail crossing of the Allegheny mountains and includes America’s first railroad tunnel. It was a “must-see” for prominent travelers of the mid-1800s.
Old Bedford Village
Cross the Claycomb covered bridge and step back in time to the 18th century at Old Bedford Village. Stroll through the Village of over 36 period workshops and log cabins for a real immersion experience. Experience living history weekends and Civil War reenactments.
Somerset Historical Center
The Somerset Historical Center interprets rural life in southwestern Pennsylvania, from the first Native American farmers and the pioneer struggles of the 18th century through the commercial farming ventures of the mid-20th century.
Visit the burial site of many Civil War veterans as well as Josh Gibson (1911-1947), who was called the Babe Ruth of the Negro Baseball League.
South Carolina’s downtown districts, historic homes, and engaging museums tell the story of the Civil War from a range of perspectives. Relive the experience of many Americans during this pivotal time in history while exploring the natural beauty of Appalachian South Carolina.
Restored Reedy River Industrial Complex
When prominent businessmen went off to war, women often stepped out of traditional roles and into the family business. T. G. Gower’s wife, Elizabeth, and daughter, Cordelia, assumed management of their successful South Carolina carriage factory for a year to produce muchneeded wagons, caissons and ambulances for the Confederate Army.
Cherrydale, Furman University
When war forced closure of men’s colleges, James Clement Furman opened his campus to young women. The Greenville Baptist Female College thrived as students paid for tuition with bacon, sugar and lard. Furman supplemented his income by growing corn and cotton on his 1,200-acre estate. His home is open for tours.
Museum and Library of Confederate History
Free museum sponsored by the 16th South Carolina Volunteers. Located in downtown Greenville’s Pettigru Historic District, the museum houses a collection of Confederate relics and artifacts, both military and personal. It specifically includes a collection of firearms, photographs, flags, edged weapons, currency, clothing, letters, newspapers, and history books, including videos and books on tape. All accessible resources presently fill an entire room for the use of researchers and genealogists.
Cherokee County Veterans Museum
Officially dedicated on July 12, 1992, the Cherokee County Vererans Museum houses over 500 artifacts and pieces of memorabilia depicting the various eras in American military history from the period of the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to present day.
Walnut Grove Plantation
Charles and Mary Moore, Scot-Irish immigrants, established the plantation on a 550-acre land grant. This land, Walnut Grove Plantation, tells the stories of the free and enslaved people who settled the South Carolina Backcountry, fought for independence, and built a new nation.
Appalachian Tennessee features the hometown of President Andrew Johnson, historic Jonesborough – the state’s oldest town and home to internationally renowned storytelling center, and Chattanooga’s Renaissance Park – where former “camp contraband” took refuge during the war. Visit the region’s many attractions while enjoying the scenery of the Volunteer State.
Museum of Appalachia
Lane Cunningham left Middle Tennessee to join the Union Army. He hid his only milk cow in a nearby cave to avoid slaughter, and provide milk and butter for his family. His wife, Catherine, chilled the family’s heirloom buttermilk jar in a nearby stream. Often the contents disappeared, but the jar survived. Made by early potters, the jar is on display at the museum.
The Old Mill
Local unionists set up a secret garment factory on the second floor of this mill. Looms produced cloth for uniforms, while women sewed shoes for both Federal soldiers and the Tennessee Home Guard. The mill is now a restaurant.
Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
LSite tells story of 17th President, who served as military governor of Tennessee during Civil War.
Historic Downtown Jonesborough and Salt House
Unique shops and restaurants are located in a beautifully-preserved main street historic district. Guided walking or buggy tours include sites that were headquarters, hospitals, prisons, cemeteries and homes related to the Civil War.Salt was a scarce commodity during the Civil War. In January 1864, the Jonesborough community purchased $4500 worth of salt for distribution at $15 per bag. Since then the building has also served as a post office, the Masonic Hall and a grocery, but the building is still called The Salt House.
This 1862 building, Morristown’s first co-educational facility, is named after Judge James G. Rose, a Civil War Hero and Chairman of the School Board at the time when plans for construction of the school were initiated. Rose Center is now a community cultural center with a gallery featuring regional artwork and museum with permanent displays, including Civil War artifacts.
Confederate Memorial Hall
Also called Bleak House, the Tuscan style antebellum mansion was built between 1854 – 1858 for its newlywed owners, Robert and Louisa Franklin Armstrong. Occupied by Confederate Generals James Longstreet and Lafayette McLaws during 1863 siege of Knoxville. Two cannon balls are still embedded in the walls.
The McClung Museum is located on the campus of the University of Tennessee and features permanent exhibitions on the Civil War in Knoxville, History, Archaeology, Arts, and Culture.
Spring City Depot Museum
A restored rail depot in the center of town, the Spring City Depot Museum highlights the story of the “Rhea County Spartans”, prominent women from local families who found themselves spying on Union troops in the an effort to help their family members.
“Camp Contraband” was the name given to an encampment that existed on this site during the Civil War. The camp was a haven for a large number of refugees, most of whom were liberated slaves seeking safety within the Union lines. The former slaves were hired to do most of the manual labor for the military in Chattanooga during the war but were not allowed to live on the south side of the river. It was also where the colored troops (and there were many of them) were quartered.
Appalachian Virginia features two universities with strong ties to Civil War heroes – Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute. The region also includes the historic towns of Abingdon and Lexington and respected museums that tell the story of the Civil War through the lives of those who lived through it.
Virginia Military Institute (VMI)
Moses Jacob Ezekiel, 18, purportedly became the first Jewish-American student at VMI in 1862. Two years later, he fought as a cadet in the Battle of New Market. He lost several friends on the battlefield that day. In tribute, master artist Ezekiel sculpted the statue, Virginia Mourning Her Dead, located on VMI’s campus. Six of the 10 cadets killed at New Market are buried beneath the monument, their names inscribed on marble markers a few feet away. At the museum, see Ezekiel’s small bronze of VMI Professor General “Stonewall” Jackson.
The Tavern Restaurant
Built in 1779, the Tavern has had many lives – as a bank, bakery and the town’s first post office. During the Civil War, it was a small hospital for Confederate and Union soldiers. Charcoal numbers drawn to designate patients’ beds are still evident on the plastered walls in the attic.
Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson lived here. Two prominent schools – Washington & Lee University and Virginia Military Institute – bear their legacy.
Washington and Lee University
Founded in 1749, Washington & Lee is the twelfth oldest college in the United States. After the Civil War (1865-70), Robert E. Lee was president of school and established the School of Law and the nation’s first journalism program.
Historic Crab Orchard Museum
Crab Orchard Museum preserves the cultural heritage of the Appalachian Region with exhibits on the 500 year-old Native American Village discovered on site, Pioneer Life, and military conflicts, such as the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.
Haller-Gibbony Rock House Museum
Historic house museum was built in 1823 and was home to Wytheville’s first resident physician. During the Civil War, the house was used as an infirmary and school.
Museum of the Middle Appalachians
At the Museum of the Middle Appalachians, visitors can see evidence of two Civil War battles which occurred at “The Salt Capital of the Confederacy”. Learn about the unique geology of the region and how it has influenced the area for millions of years.
Fields-Penn House Museum
An 1860 house museum, filled with period antiques. Take a guided tour and see how the Fields family lived during the 1860’s.
Civil War Photo Collection at Jeff Matthews Museum
The museum includes two restored Appalachian log cabins furnished with period items. Extensive collections of Civil War photographs/memorabilia are on display, along with Indian artifacts from the area and mounted North American game animals.
Laurel Hill is the birthplace and boyhood home of Confederate Major General James Ewell Brown Stuart. In 1863, J.E.B told his brother “I would give anything to make a pilgrimage to the old place, and when the war is over quietly spend the rest of my days there.”
Explore the site of John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry and tour the home of one of the Civil War’s most notorious spies in scenic West Virginia. The state offers historic districts, heritage farms, compelling museums, and state parks that tell the story of the Civil War and its impact on local citizens.
Belle Boyd House
Using her feminine charm, Isabella (Belle) listened in on Union conversations to obtain information for Confederate Generals Ashby and “Stonewall” Jackson. Belle turned to espionage at 17 and despite several arrests, imprisonment, exile and betrayals, became one of the war’s most notorious spies. Learn about the “Siren of the Shenandoah” at her childhood home.
This former Custom House hosted three major political gatherings leading to West Virginia’s statehood: a pro-Union convention in May 1861 to discuss secession, the second Wheeling Convention in June 1861 to form the Restored Government of Virginia, recognized by Lincoln as the legitimate government for the state; and the Constitutional Convention, held November 1861 to February 1862, which led to the adoption of West Virginia’s statehood on June 20, 1863.
Future U.S. Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley both chose this house as their headquarters. Fearing looting Union troops, Confederate supporter Mrs. McNutt stood on the front porch and pleaded successfully with officers to spare the house from fire.
Learn about John Brown’s attack on slavery and other pivotal Civil War stories
Shepherdstown Historic District
Shepherdstown, now featuring a quaint historic district and a variety of outdoor activities, was once overrun by close to 8,000 wounded soldiers from the Civil War Battle of Antietam. Over 285 Confederate soldiers are buried in Shepherdstown and there is now a walking tour for those interested in the aftermath of the horrible fight at Antietam Creek.
Philippi Covered Bridge and Historic Museum
The city of Philippi was the site of the Civil War’s first amputation and first land battle. During the battle, Union troops took control of the bridge and used it as a barracks. Built in 1852, the Philippi bridge was used by both the North and the South. The Philippi Historic Museum preserves artifacts from the official beginning and end of the Civil War, as well as information on the Philippi Covered Bridge, the B&O Railroad, the Meyers’ Legacy, Ida Reed, and the 1985 Flood of Philippi.
Grafton National Cemetery
This cemetery was established in 1867 to offer a final resting place for the men who died during the Civil War. Of the 1,215 graves, 664 are unknown and some are Confederate soldiers. Notably the grave of Private T. Bailey Brown, the first Union soldier to be killed by a Confederate, is located here.
WVU Jackson’s Mill Historic Area
The Jackson Mill Historic Area features The Jackson Family Mill Museum, boyhood home of Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. The District also includes The Blaker Grist Mill (still fully operational), The McWhorter Cabin, Mountain State Heritage Center and The Mary Conrad Cabin.
Rich Mountain Battlefield
Site of the July 1861 Civil War battle for control of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike. This early Union victory catapulted Gen. George McClellan to leadership of the union army and gave the north control of western Virginia leading it to eventual statehood.
Fort Boreman Civil War Park
The park features a reconstructed Union Civil War fortification, trenches, interpretive signage, picnic shelters, nature trail and spectacular views of Parkersburg and the Ohio and Little Kanawha Rivers.
Burning Springs Park
A self-guided tour presents the captivating stories of the nation’s first oil and gas field. See the world’s oldest producing oil well and learn the role it played in West Virginia statehood and the Civil War.
Jenkins Plantation Museum
Since 1835, a large, brick mansion has stood sentinel on the banks of the Ohio River, home of the Jenkins family, most notable being Confederate General Albert Gallatin Jenkins. His family owned more than 4,000 acres and maintained a successful plantation at Green Bottom, in what was then western Virginia.
Heritage Farm Museum & Village
This village is home to five museums, many historical buildings, and educational exhibits, among other attractions. These destinations chronicle Appalachian heritage from a variety of angles and periods.
WV State Museum and Craik-Patton House Museum
The museum is designed to take visitors on a journey from West Virginia’s pre-history through the modern day, using an innovative show path that starts on a dirt trail in 300 Million B.C. and continues chronically, ending on asphalt in the present. Multiple exhibits display artifacts and tell stories of local heroes from the Civil War era. Craik-Patton House, built in 1834 by James Craik, whose grandfather was George Washington’s friend and personal physician. Civil War Colonel George Patton, grandfather of the famous WWII General, later owned the house. The home is authentically restored and furnished to reflect early 19th century living.
Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park
This is the site of the Sept. 10, 1861 battle in which Confederates failed to regain control of the Kanawha Valley. As a result, West Virginia’s statehood proceeded without serious threat.
Droop Mountain Battlefield & State Park
This park marks the spot where one of West Virginia’s largest and last important battles was fought on November 6, 1863. The decisive victory of Union forces under General William W. Averell over the Confederate army under General John Echols ended serious efforts by the Confederacy to control West Virginia.
Lewisburg Historic District and North House Museum
Downtown Lewisburg offers a selection of over 50 art galleries, award winning restaurants, sidewalk cafes, antique shops and clothing boutiques. Several of the present buildings in town were used as a hospitals and barracks by both sides in this conflict, and bullet marks can still be seen in some today. Visitors to the North House are treated to a special view of 200 years of life in the United States. From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to World War II, the lives of everyday Americans can be seen at the North House.
Organ Cave is a National Landmark where you can visit over 45 miles of mapped passageways where over 1,000 Confederate soldiers hid for 3 years from the Yankees.
Original site of the Battle of Camp Allegheny, also known as the Battle of Allegheny Mountain, which took place in December 1861, in Pocahontas County, Virginia (now West Virginia) as part of the Operations in Western Virginia Campaign during the American Civil War. Parts of the site are preserved and interpreted by the Monogahela National Forest (WV).