The Civil War is the most famous war ever to be fought on U.S. soil. Lasting a total of four years, there are lots of different battles, figures, and locations for history lovers to document and study. If you are completing an MMH program, you may want to actually take a trip and see how and where the Civil War took place. Instead of just reading a history book or walking through a museum, why not view a live Civil War re-enactment? See what it was like for the soldiers, medics, and historians who were around in the Civil War era by going to these four interesting places where real-life re-enactments still take place.
1. Fairfax, Virginia
A good number of battles during the Civil War took place in the state of Virginia, where the famous Battle of Fairfax was fought. Oddly, this battle was not waged between opposing armies made up of thousands of men nor did it last a considerable amount of time. However, the Battle of Fairfax set the tone early in the Civil War and it is remembered today by hundreds of dedicated re-enactment actors.
2. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
There isn’t an online military history degree recipient who isn’t familiar with the Battle of Gettysburg. In fact, when the Civil War is mentioned in popular culture today, the Battle of Gettysburg is very often mentioned as well. Tens of thousands of soldiers lost their lives during the battle of Gettysburg over the course of three very bloody days. If you travel out to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on July 1st of every year, you will get to see a Civil War re-enactment that is detailed, historically accurate, and absolutely harrowing.
3. Lake City, Florida
In Lake City, Florida, the Battle of Olustee is re-enacted in February of every year. This Civil War battle came about rather unexpectedly. Thinking that he had the upper hand, a general from the North marched deep into Confederate militia territory. In the end, approximately 2,000 lost their lives during the battle, and many of those who ended up captured met the same fate soon afterward. There’s not only a re-enactment that takes place in Lake City every year but townsfolk also hold an entire parade dedicated to commemorating the event.
4. Mumford, New York
There were no battles that took place during the Civil War in Mumford, New York, or any part of New York state for that matter. However, that hasn’t stopped the town of Mumford from hosting very detailed Civil War re-enactments and other events that visitors can attend. There’s also a Civil War-themed museum in the town that holds historical artifacts and materials taken straight from that time period.
You can see footage of World War I and World War II, but Civil War era photographs are pretty much all that exists today. That’s why history buffs love viewing re-enactments so that they can get a better idea of how each battle was fought. There are several other places that you can go around the U.S. to see accurate Civil War re-enactments, but these four locations are some of the best-known.