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  #1  
Old 13 Aug 17, 18:19
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Tour Advice for Northern Virginia

I'm planning a trip to Northern Virginia and I'm wondering how long it would take to tour Fredericksburg, Chancelorsville, Wilderness, and Spottslyvania battlefields. Also how long it would take to tour the Manassas battlefields.

Does anyone have advice on how long it takes to tour these sites? I greatly appreciate feedback.
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  #2  
Old 14 Aug 17, 03:05
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I did a tour of Antietam many Summers ago. I was really impressed with the wild apple trees. There were re-enactors there that really impressed me.

Be aware that most of the ground between Washington and Alexandria is now a vast suburb and business is always trying to buy battlefield parks. The one thing DC needs is more Malls.. You can check online to see what is there and what they have to offer.

I went to Appomatox Court House and Harper's Ferry on the way to my Aunt's house. The highlight of my trip was riding the subway to the Pentagon. They had a beautiful Bookstore in the basement. If you get the time, the museums on the Mall and the Zoo are fabulous. Riding the Subway to the Zoo is not for the mobility impaired.

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Old 14 Aug 17, 05:31
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Fredericksburg i visited many years ago. The hightlights of the sunken lane behind the stone wall and the heights above are all close together and the main approach routes of the Union attacks on the wall. I didn't have the time to do a longer tour, sadly, but what I saw was impressive as most of our Civil War sites are. to the NPS.

Doing long intense tours and take hours even cheating using a car. On foot days. Pick one and take a good deep look and the fly buys on the others. If your a Sr you can get a discount.
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Old 14 Aug 17, 08:29
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You can do each one in a day or less. Wilderness and Spotsylvania, as well as Chancellorsville are all in the same area, so that cuts time down considerably.

Petersburg and the Seven Days Battlefields are close also.

I would highly recommend Antietam in Maryland if you can get there. It's a day trip from the Washington DC area and is a pristine battlefield.
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Old 14 Aug 17, 08:41
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Antietam is that. No major urban build up in the area.
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Old 14 Aug 17, 10:56
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I was disappointed at Marye's Heights in Fredricksburg. Development in the area is the culprit.

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Dennis
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Old 14 Aug 17, 11:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D1J1 View Post
I was disappointed at Marye's Heights in Fredricksburg. Development in the area is the culprit.

Regards,
Dennis
I haven't been there since the late 90s. That would be a shame.
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Old 14 Aug 17, 19:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
I did a tour of Antietam many Summers ago. I was really impressed with the wild apple trees. There were re-enactors there that really impressed me.

Be aware that most of the ground between Washington and Alexandria is now a vast suburb and business is always trying to buy battlefield parks. The one thing DC needs is more Malls.. You can check online to see what is there and what they have to offer.

I went to Appomatox Court House and Harper's Ferry on the way to my Aunt's house. The highlight of my trip was riding the subway to the Pentagon. They had a beautiful Bookstore in the basement. If you get the time, the museums on the Mall and the Zoo are fabulous. Riding the Subway to the Zoo is not for the mobility impaired.

Pruitt
Thanks Pruitt. I plan on doing Alexandria, but not D.C. I'm going to do Manassas, Mount Vernon, and Arlington National Cemetery. I was just thinking, the North converted Lee's home into a cemeterary in order to insult him, but today it's one of the national shrines. Kind of ironic, huh?
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Old 14 Aug 17, 19:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Pint John View Post
Fredericksburg i visited many years ago. The hightlights of the sunken lane behind the stone wall and the heights above are all close together and the main approach routes of the Union attacks on the wall. I didn't have the time to do a longer tour, sadly, but what I saw was impressive as most of our Civil War sites are. to the NPS.

Doing long intense tours and take hours even cheating using a car. On foot days. Pick one and take a good deep look and the fly buys on the others. If your a Sr you can get a discount.
Thanks Half Pint John. I'll be sure to check out the Sunken Lane and the heights in the area. I believe they preserved "Lee's Hill," where Lee oberserved the battle. I don't know about Stafford Heights, although that would be interesting too.
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Old 14 Aug 17, 19:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Massena View Post
You can do each one in a day or less. Wilderness and Spotsylvania, as well as Chancellorsville are all in the same area, so that cuts time down considerably.

Petersburg and the Seven Days Battlefields are close also.

I would highly recommend Antietam in Maryland if you can get there. It's a day trip from the Washington DC area and is a pristine battlefield.
Thanks Massena. Those were the sites I was worried about. They are close, but it's a lot to see and take in. I won't be heading south of Spottsylvania this trip, but I am shooting for Antietam and Gettysburg. If I visit Antietam I'll be sure to post pictures.
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Old 14 Aug 17, 19:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D1J1 View Post
I was disappointed at Marye's Heights in Fredricksburg. Development in the area is the culprit.

Regards,
Dennis
Thanks D1J1, I hope the development isn't too intrusive. After visiting Revolutionary sites in the Northeast I'm all too familiar with battlefield development. Although now that it's water under the bridge, I wouldn't mind owning one of those colonial style mansions on several acres of Brandywine battlefield. Must be nice...
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Old 17 Aug 17, 10:47
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I'm a bit late, I know, but I grew up in Falmouth VA....right across the river from Fredericksburg. I lived in Boscobel farms and Sickle's III corps had camped in what was my back yard.

The Fredericksburg battlefield is- as mentioned- disappointing. But if in the area, it's worth a visit. Pay attention to the hills as your driving from the river to the heights through Fredericksburg and you can see why this was a slaughter.

But your right near route 3 at the Fred battlefield so just head west on 3 for 30 minutes and your at Chancellorsville. That site is well laid out and maintained with markers where Jackson was shot and where the 11th corps was, etc. lots of land around with Cannons and such for atmosphere. Of course, wilderness was there as well. Now, from Fredericksburg, 20 minutes in another direction gets you to Spotslyvania. I've never been to the battlefield.

If you establish Fredericksburg as "home base", you have Mannassas, Chancellorsville, wilderness and Spotslyvania all within about 30 minutes. Of your willing to drive a few hours, you could hit Antietam. From Fredericksburg burg you head northwest to Warrenton VA and then north to Frederick. You can even visit Harpers Ferry on the way.
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Old 18 Aug 17, 21:27
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Please let us know how your trip goes. I visited Manassas and Antietam both but very briefly 25 years ago. Antietam is impressive from what I remember.
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Old 20 Aug 17, 11:49
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Idea seconded. I'd like to hear about it also.

We were in Northern Virginia last year, but it has been almost thirty years since I've been to Antietam. Great place.
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Old 20 Aug 17, 11:56
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It depends on what you plan on seeing, a day for each is a rushed tourist visit. You really should schedule the tours longer based on interest and the NPS programs that are being offered at each location. I highly recommend the Ranger talks, it will make your trip worth it rather than an auto tour as most of the amateurs will suggest.
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