Tour Pennsylvania's Civil War trails with Google Earth
A project spearheaded by the Pennsylvania Tourism Office aims to deliver the state's Civil War Trails right to your desktop, combining Google Earth technology, historical information, and high-def GigaPan panoramic photos. The images are so detailed that you can zoom in on gravestone inscriptions, and explore the battlefields and centuries-old houses and towns. The project aims both to educate the public and to promote Pennsylvania's many historical tourist destinations. It's part of the state's Civil War Trails site, which lists everything Civil War-related in Pennsylvania.
Touring the American Civil War battlegrounds and historical trails
As a kid, I was on the side of the Confederates - I simply preferred their grey uniforms. The American Civil War continues to fascinate me, so I decided on a pilgrimage to the battlegrounds of Pennsylvania and Virginia. Timing couldn't have been worse: tourists flocking to see the fabulous fall, thousands escaping for the 4-day Columbus holiday, and TV crews all over the place for the Apple Fest. Not to mention the masses heading for the main attraction: the National Military Park with its new museum. Welcome to my very own Battle of Gettysburg. The battle that would decide America's destiny was fought at Gettysburg in July 1863.
Re-enactors in full uniform enliven Civil War walking tour
It seemed to be a ghost, awakened after 150 years -- wearing the dark blue uniform of a Union officer from the American Civil War, a pistol strapped to one hip, a sword hanging from the other, a clay pipe between his teeth. He was not a ghost, of course, but Ernest Dollar, the executive director of the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill, and a Civil War historian and re-enactor. Soon he'll be in in his Union blues again to lead "O' Cruel War," a walking tour of Civil War sites in Chapel Hill. The historical tour will stop at several sites along the way, and characters portraying famous figures will tell their tales.
Civil War trail brings in tens of millions to a local economy
The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, which runs from Virginia to Pennsylvania, includes two focus points in Frederick County: Monocacy National Battlefield and Catoctin Mountain Park. And in 2007 the Civil War trail brought $35 million to the local economy. "Attracting 7 million visitors, the 10 national parks within the National Heritage Area served as a sturdy tax base, job provider and income generator for their communities," reveals to a report by Michigan State University. Overall, the Journey brought $247 million to 10 national parks and surrounding areas on the 175-trail from Monticello, in Virginia, to Gettysburg National Battlefield.
International history buffs tour historical Civil War sites (Article no longer available from the original source)
John Holland's fascination with the American Civil War began at 8 years old, when the Australia-native was impressed by a scene in the "Gone With The Wind." "The camera starts in on an injured fellow laying a stretcher, and then slowly backs off to show the injured and dead everywhere," he recalled during a visit to the Vicksburg National Military Park. "It triggered a need to know. Fathers fighting sons. Brothers fighting brothers. 630,000 dead... How could this happen?" Still mystified and searching for answers later, Holland was among international tourists on a 12-day Civil War tour "War on the Mississippi River."
Great battlefield tours from Gettysburg to Waterloo
The mother of all battlefields is Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. With 2.9 million visitors per year, it is the most visited battlefield in the U.S., if not the entire world. The most critical battle of the American Civil War happened there in the summer of 1863, and Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address there 4 months later, redefining the war between North and South as "a new birth of freedom" for all Americans. "Historians call it the high watermark of the Confederacy. The tide ebbed after this and the South never recovered the momentum it had had before," explained John Fitzpatrick.
Virginia: Fields of the Civil War - Petersburg National Battlefield
Railroads of Petersburg helped decide the end of the American Civil War. Between June 1864 and April 1865, Union forces led by Ulysses S. Grant encircled Confederate forces led by Robert E. Lee in Petersburg for over 9 months. During the siege, 5 rail lines gave Lee's army and residents a lifeline. Grant's troops cut off each of the links as the siege continued, until just one remained: the east-west South Side Railroad. In the summer of 1864, Union forces tried to break the Confederate line by digging under it and packing the tunnel with explosives, creating a huge crater. Union troops stormed into the hole - just to became easy targets for Confederate riflemen.
Gettysburg prepares to limit walking tours - Trouble for tour companies
In time for the approaching tourist season, Gettysburg officials are about to approve an regulation that sets a 26-person limit for guided walking tours in the borough. Controversy was sparked last summer, when the public safety committee suggested a 15-person cap. Protests from the ghost-tour companies prompted the committee to raise that number to 26. If the ordinance passes in March, the regulations would be law by April 1. At least one owner of a ghost-tour company is not bothered by the timing. "We knew it was going to happen," said Mark Nesbitt, of the Ghosts of Gettysburg tour company, which averaged 25 people per tour, so they are not likely to lose money.
Two Civil War guides: Civil War Sites and Civil War Battlefields
The Civil War Preservation Trust's second edition of James M. McPherson's "Civil War Sites: The Official Guide to the Civil War Discovery Trail" is a concise introduction to over 600 venues across the country, like battlefields, forts, museums, archives, historic homes and cemeteries. "Civil War Battlefields: Discovering America's Hallowed Ground" by Jeff Shaara takes a different approach, presenting 10 battlefields, each with its own story, and hints on what visitors should see.
Fort Sumter Tours investing in improvements
Fort Sumter Tours Inc. plans to add a roof, a ramp, hurricane moorings and an 80-foot extension to its dock on Patriots Point. The company, which has ferried tourists to Fort Sumter, a Civil War-era island citadel in Charleston Harbor, since 1961, filed for state permits on the project. The improvements are part of a slew of promises that the tour company made to win 10-year contract from Uncle Sam. The birthplace of the Civil War comes with a bounty: In the decade ending in 2005, Fort Sumter Tours collected $26.1 million in ticket sales and concessions.
Hired guides can customize Civil War battlefield tours
Would you like your Civil War history spritzed up with a winery tour? Do you want to dissect the Battle of Antietam with a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian? Hire a guide. As the 150th anniversary of the war between the states approaches, starting with John Brown's 1859 prewar raid at Harpers Ferry, customized tours are multiplying. As little as $50 buys a 2-hour, private guided tour of Antietam or Gettysburg National Military Park. Those thirsting for more knowledge can join multistate bus tours of up to 6 days led by scholars like James McPherson, whose book, "Battle Cry of Freedom" won a Pulitzer and helped rekindle interest in the conflict.
Civil War history through iPod tour - The second largest historic area (Article no longer available from the original source)
29 Kansas counties are in line to receive up to $10M to help people relive history with an iPod. It's all about freedom. From its inception, Kansas was about struggles for freedom and survival: those of American Indians, black Americans, women and states. To recognize that, Congress has designated 29 counties in eastern Kansas and 12 in Missouri a National Heritage Area, creating the second largest historic area in the nation. Rather than constructing a multimillion-dollar museum building - the kind that is attracting fewer visitors these days - organizers are planning to allow visitors to download stories on their iPods and computers for selfguided tours.