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Civil War Tour Ideas


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I am reading a little Civil War history and it seems to me you could make a nice mc tour around some of the famous sites. It also seems to me that plenty of people have probably already done that. I could see doing it myself, but then I would miss out on the education part of it, which I am particularly interested in. Any ideas on a bike trip with some education thrown in? Do the more famous sites have guided tours? All comments welcome. Thanks.

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Gettysburg is a must stop.

 

They have bus tours and also tours that you guide yourself. You "rent" a tape or cd, drive to a location on a map, then turn the disk on and it gives a description of what happened at that location. It takes you around the whole battlefield. It's nice because you can go at your own pace, not distracted by others, and you can play it over if you like...Be sure and go to the Eisenhower house while there.

 

 

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It might be best plot a list of major and minor battle sites and connect them with some scenic roads. I personally don't like following a specific plan...especially one made up for regular tourists... in cars. Then tend to send you on freeways and miss the best roads and scenery. You might actually enjor the smaller battlefields that are less known. Some of these are the "real heart" of the civil war where one local community and neighbor vs. neighbor without much of the heavy equipment and organization of the larger armies and battles that are better known.

 

You could start down the Mississippi down to Vicksburg, then work your way East following Sherman's March ot the Sea across to Atlanta and the South Carolina Coast, then circle back through Pennsylvania and to other battlegrounds North and west of there.

 

In my town at least, there is Iowa's only national Cemetery. Wounded soldiers were transported by riverboat to Keokuk. Nearby is the Battle of Athens State Park in NE Missouri...if you don't mind riding a few miles of gravel roads to reach this secluded little historic site on the Des Moines River.

 

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I know you could spend a day at Gettysburg.

 

If you interested in the Revolution as well, Valley Forge has a lot of area to cover.(not a battlefield)

 

I think you'll prolly need to do some research on the web to figure out which battlefields haven't turned into housing developments or are so surrounded by buildings that they have lost their "feel"....(like the Alamo)

 

Must of the battlefields I've been to don't live up to their history. It's hard to look at a beautiful quiet field of daisies and be reminded of the bloodshed and carnage that took place on those hallowed grounds. Gettysburg was the exception, because of the movie and my interest and knowledge of the battle before I arrived.

 

Here at the Alamo they have wonderful orators that tell the story and bring everyone to tears. I've listened many times and they still get to me.

 

Good Luck on your quest and don't forget your camera.

 

Whip

 

 

 

 

 

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As there are so many, I would pick a series of campaigns if you can and then try to visit a few battlefields in sequence to tie the subtleties of those battles together.

 

Gettysburg has a very good guided tour, and I found it particularly interesting to do the bus tour, and then afterwards, get on my bike and ride to all those places and explore them more.

 

Fredricksburg is pretty well marked, and the cemetery there is very cool.

 

Andersonville military prison has a very well done walking tour on the site and then there is also the International POW museum on the site as well.

 

I'm hoping TyTass will chime in, he's seen more of these than I have.

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i highly reccomend shelby footes' history of the civil war....i got it on audio on my ipod. listenened to it while at the gym.walking the dogs, etc...lots of anecdotes....well worthwhile picking it up...just moved to n.j. in the spring and summer i will be taking trips to gettysburg etc...

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I am reading a little Civil War history and it seems to me you could make a nice mc tour around some of the famous sites. It also seems to me that plenty of people have probably already done that. I could see doing it myself, but then I would miss out on the education part of it, which I am particularly interested in. Any ideas on a bike trip with some education thrown in? Do the more famous sites have guided tours? All comments welcome. Thanks.

 

dON'T tAKE your loaded musket with you -- DAMHIK :^)

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You should also read Confederates in the Attic (Tony Horwitz) for an interesting modern look at the war and how it still plays such a significant part in our everyday lives. I just finished it and really want to do a Civil War tour now....

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I find most of the Civil War battlefields to be obscure and confusing as far as following the action. Two exceptions to this are Gettysburg and Antietam (Sharpsburg). Many have commented on Gettysburg but Antietam is also worth a trip. Very easy to imagine the conflict at the Dunker Church, Bloody Lane and especially Burnside Bridge. There is also a fun little road down to the river at Harpers Ferry.

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Last year did a History America Tour (bus) with James McPherson as the guide (author of Battle Cry of Freedom). It was the Gettysburg, Antietam tour. Along the way we visited the National Civil War Medical Museum in Frederick Maryland. If you're in the area, this is not to be missed! An extraordinary museum with some great folks to guide you through the place.

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I would be SOOOOOO remiss if I didn't chime in. Most of the sites you all have suggested are part of the National Park System (NPS. So, you may find real value in checking out the NPS Civil War website

 

Poke around for a bit and write to the individual parks for information. There are LOTs of ways to incorporate education into a MC trip. While you're at it, add in all those Rev War sites and earn a Iron Butt National Parks Tour certificate.

 

Some say that the National Parks are the best idea America ever had, but that's only if you don't count things like a functioning democratic government :)

 

Cheers!

 

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A few years ago my riding buddy and I went to gettysburg for the weekend. When we got up the next morning we found a Harley group at the same hotel (my riding buddy rides an HD road king). They mentioned that they had a motorcycle tour guide. We asked if we could join in. We were allowed to join if we paid our share - done deal. It was a great way to tour the battlefield and was geared towards the requests of some of the riders. I was on my RT (the only one not on an HD)............whos the rebel now!

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