THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE START OF THE CIVIL WAR
IS A WORLDWIDE EVENT: BATTLE REENACTMENTS ARE
BEING HELD AS FAR AWAY AS ITALY AND AUSTRALIA.
conservation work on the Hunley,
immersed in a tank of refrigerated
freshwater (877-448-6539; etix.com).
WHAT’S NEARBY If you’ve never before seen an albino alligator, you can
visit one at the South Carolina Aquarium (800-722-6455; scaquarium.org).
battlefield is the home of President
Dwight D. Eisenhower. Besides Ike’s
house, visit his Black Angus cattle
farm (717-338-9114; nps.gov/eise).
Most Deadly Encounter
Robert E. Lee’s 75,000-man Confederate army was pushing into the
North when it ran into the Army of
the Potomac, 90,000 strong, on July 1,
1863. The resulting three-day blood-bath ranks—even today—as the biggest battle ever fought in the Western
Hemisphere, with 51,000 men killed,
wounded, or missing.
WHAT TO SEE With 1. 7 million tourists a year, Gettysburg is America’s
most visited battleground. See the
monuments and clamber around
Devil’s Den, but don’t miss the quiet
cemetery, dedicated by Abraham
Lincoln with his stirring address
WHAT’S NEARBY Adjacent to the
The Gettysburg station appears much as
it did the day Abraham Lincoln arrived to
give his immortal address in 1863.
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP: ILLUSTRATION BY MATTHEW HOLLISTER; JASON VARNEY; MICHAEL RUNKEL/SUPERSTOCK
CIVIL WAR SITES
Couples rode with picnic
baskets from Washington,
D.C., to watch the first major
battle of the Civil War at
Bull Run on July 21, 1861.
Be sure to seek out a quiet
moment at the Stone Bridge.
PALMITO RANCH, TEXAS
Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses
S. Grant in April 1865, but in Texas,
Rebel forces fought on. On May 13
nearly 200 Confederates skirmished
with some 500 Union soldiers near
Brownsville. The Union lost 115 men;
the Confederates, none. A month
after Appomattox, the Confederates
won the final battle of the Civil War.
WHAT TO SEE While most Civil War
sites are threatened by encroaching
development, this remote spot at
Texas’s southern tip looks much as it
did in 1865, aside from a small histori-
cal marker on Route 4. No buildings
remain from the era—just the ruins
of a former rail line and the bullets,
buttons, and cannonballs that keep
turning up across the battlefield.
WHAT’S NEARBY The Gladys Porter
Zoo in Brownsville, about 12 miles
west, specializes in breeding endan-
gered wildlife species from around
the world, like the Galápagos tortoise
(956-546-7187; www.gpz.org). ;
here at the confluence of the
rivers. If you
can, take the
trip hike to the dramatic
the horror that camped
here: 12,000 Union POWs
died. Fittingly, Andersonville is home to the National
Prisoner of War Museum,
telling about POWs
throughout U. S. history.
Appomattox Court House
National Historic Park/
After four years and more
than 630,000 casualties, on
April 9, 1865, the generals of
the North’s and South’s larg-
est armies ended America’s
bloodiest war here in this
brick house. In season,
actors on the grounds re-
enact everyday life in 1865.
Historic Site/Anderson-ville, Georgia ( nps.gov/ande)
Lush green spaces mask
Ford’s Theater National
D.C. ( nps.gov/foth)
As Abraham Lincoln sat
in a box above stage left,
John Wilkes Booth added
a tragic exclamation point
to the end of the Civil War.
In the museum under the
theater, Booth’s tiny
derringer—how could it
have done so much
damage?—is the centerpiece of a somber exhibit.
CIVIL WAR I.Q.
What illness did President Lincoln have when he gave the
Gettysburg Address? Take our quiz at aarp.org/civilwarquiz.