Historic Civil War Sites

Historic Civil War Sites in Southeastern Virginia

Southeastern Virginia is home to some of the Civil War's most famous sites and battlefields. Below are some key sites of interest. Click on the pictures to be redirected.

The USS Monitor Center at The Mariners' Museum & Park

The Mariners Museum & Park
100 Museum Drive
Newport News, VA 23606

The Mariners' Museum was named the official repository for the Monitor Collection by NOAA in 1987. The collection consists of over 200 tons of priceless artifacts recovered from the iconic Civil War ironclad located within the boundaries of NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.

Lee Hall Mansion

163 Yorktown Road
Newport News, VA 23603

Built between 1851 and 1859, Lee Hall Mansion was home to affluent planter Richard Decauter Lee, his wife Martha and their children. One of the last remaining antebellum homes on the Virginia Peninsula, Lee Hall offers visitors a step back to the mid-Victorian period with its authentically furnished rooms, including an elegant ladies parlor. During April and May of 1862, the home was used as a headquarters by Confederate generals Joseph E. Johnston and John B. Magruder. Hundreds of artifacts, including a tablecloth from the USS Monitor, are on display in the museum's 1862 Peninsula Campaign Gallery. Special events and evening programs are held year-round. Parking is free and there is a gift shop. Lee Hall is partially wheelchair accessible.

Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier

6125 Boydton Plank Road
Petersburg, VA 23803

National Historic Landmark and one of "Virginia's Best Places to Visit" according to the Travel Channel, Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier is a 424-acre campus offering high-tech museums and hands-on experiences. Called "the new crown jewel of Civil War History destinations in America" by Pulitzer Prize historian James McPherson, the Park has four world-class museums, four antebellum homes and is the site of the Breakthrough Battlefield of April 2, 1865, where Union forces broke through Petersburg's defense lines. Pamplin Historical Park is the vision of Robert B. Pamplin and his son, Dr. Robert B. Pamplin, Jr., and is recognized as one of America's finest Civil War attractions.

Fort Huger

Route 10 at 15080 Talcott Terrace
Isle of Wight County, Va.

Fort Huger is a strategic Civil War fort located on a bluff overlooking the James River. This fort, along with Fort Boykin, was established to block the approach by land and river to the Confederate capital in Richmond. Self-guided tours of the fort provide a view of the James River Reserve Fleet.

Fort Monroe Casemate Museum

20 Bernard Road
Fort Monroe, VA 23651

Completed in 1834, Fort Monroe was originally designed to protect the Hampton Roads waterway from an enemy attack and is the largest stone fort in America. Within the fort is the Casemate Museum, which chronicles the military history of Fort Monroe from the construction of Fort Algernourne, the first defensive fortification at the site in 1609, through the last major command to be headquartered at Fort Monroe, the Army's Training and Doctrine Command. The museum features the room where Jefferson Davis was held briefly as prisoner following the American Civil War, highlights the 1861 "Contraband of War" decision that granted three enslaved men, and thousands who followed, sanctuary at Fort Monroe, earning it the nickname "Freedom's Fortress."

The American Civil War Museum at Tredegar

500 Tredegar Street                                                 Richmond, VA 23219

The Museum's flagship exhibit is housed in the 1861 Tredegar Gun Foundry. Upon entering the modern pavilion building, visitors begin their tour with "What Caused the Civil War?" an interactive film which orients your visit. As you continue through the exhibit, enjoy rotating artifacts, detailed timelines, unique hands-on activities, additional films, and more. Continue to move into the War years (1861-1865) and finish with the post-war "Legacies" section which helps to put our world today into perspective.

Cold Harbor Battlefield & National Cemetery

5515 Anderson-Wright Dr.
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

In the overland campaign of 1864, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant with the Army of the Potomac battled General Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia for six weeks across central Virginia. At the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna and Totopotomoy Creek, Lee repeatedly stalled, but failed to stop, Grant's southward progress toward Richmond. The next logical military objective for Grant was the crossroads styled by locals Old Cold Harbor. The battle claimed 7,000 casualties in the first twenty minutes!

The small cemetery contains the remains of more than 2,000 Union soldiers, over 1,300 of them unknown. Four other National Cemeteries near Richmond - Seven Pines, Glendale, Fort Harrison and Richmond - were created by an act of Congress to honor those Union soldiers who died while in service to their country. Approximately 30,000 Confederate war dead are buried at Oakwood and Hollywood Cemeteries in Richmond.