Discovering Our Past – Remembering the Civil War
May 23, 2012|
By O. James Lighthizer
As America marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, a pivotal turning point in history that has captivated the imagination of generations with its dramatic narrative, thousands of people are seeking out ways to participate in the commemoration. While outstanding books or documentaries can convey a tremendous amount of information, some experiences simply cannot be recreated without a visit to a historic site.
Although some major battlefields are virtually synonymous with Civil War history, there are many more sites that can give visitors a taste of the past. By linking more than 600 sites in 31 states, the District of Columbia and three international destinations, the Civil War Discovery Trail teaches the story of the Civil War and its enduring impact on the America we know today. Among the locations included are battlefields, historic homes, Underground Railroad stations, cemeteries and parks. The trail aims to bring history to life by exposing visitors not only to military history, but also to the political, social and human components of the war.
While individual sites are independently owned and operated, the discovery trail is overseen and administered by The Civil War Trust, a nonprofit battlefield preservation organization that has permanently protected more than 32,000 acres at 110 sites in 20 states.
Born out of the conflict itself, perhaps no state has a deeper connection to the Civil War than West Virginia. For the next three years, as we remember the bravery and sacrifice exhibited by those who lived through the Civil War era, consider visiting the 15 Mountain State sites on the Civil War Discovery Trail. Visit www.civilwardiscoverytrail.org for more information and to plan your journey.
Photography by The Civil War Trust