g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Cooking for Kids
Women's Fashion
Small Office/Home Office

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Adventure Living Site

BellaOnline's Adventure Living Editor


Virginia’s Civil War Sites: Pamplin

Guest Author - Candyce H. Stapen

Pamplin Historical Park & National Museum of the Civil War Soldier surprised us. The privately owned facility, located on 422 acres in Petersburg, about 30 miles south of Richmond, proved to be one of the most engaging Civil War sites we’ve ever experienced.

First, we admit that a tour of battlefields with markers and detailed explanations of military strategy tends to get us yawning after about 30-minutes, despite our respect for the warriors. Instead of skirmish diagrams we prefer insights into the soldiers and daily war-time life. This is what Pamplin delivers so well.

Through a combination of high-tech gadgetry, recreated earthworks and good old-fashioned storytelling, Pamplin kept our interest. This park is an especially good first stop for families wanting to inform their school-age children about the Civil War.

An important part in General Grant’s nearly 10-month siege of Petersburg, Pamplin is where Union troops commanded by General Ulysses S. Grant broke through the defenses of General Robert E. Lee. The “breakthrough battle” that took place at Pamplin on April 2, 1865, led to Petersburg’s and Richmond’s fall from Confederate control. A week later, Lee surrendered to Grant and the Civil War ended.

Pamplin Historical Park consists of several sites. Begin at the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier. Before entering the exhibits, select one of 13 soldiers as a ”comrade,” a real man who fought in the war, some for the Confederates and some for the Union. On the MP3 player you receive, along with information about camp life and battles, you hear the words of your comrade taken from his diaries and letters.

We chose William C. H. Reeder, a 24-year-old cabinetmaker from Peru, Indiana who enlisted in July 1861 in the 20th Indiana Regiment of the Army of the Potomac. It was his words that made the museum experience most meaningful to us. That and the 3-D battlefield experience. The general exhibits—dioramas of camp life, cases of playing cards and weapons—were more of the same old stuff; interesting if you have never seen items like this before.

Following Reeder was what pulled us through the museum. At the end, you find out what happened to your comrade. Reeder, hit in the right hip and left-knee was taken from Petersburg to Washington, D.C., to recuperate. He wrote home “I am in good spirits and my wound is not painful…grieve not for me.” In 1864, when released from the army, he declined to reenlist, saying “the service is very hard on men and beasts.”

The other museum exhibit not-to-miss is the 3-D battlefield immersion. While watching a battle, you feel the ground tremble from cannon fire and hear the whistle of bullets whizzing by your head. You can’t help wondering how you would react in such circumstances.

When you go outside, take the headset with you. At certain points you can hear more about Pamplin and its history as a tobacco plantation. Tudor Hall, a modest wooden building by plantation standards, is restored to its 19th century use as the military headquarters for South Carolina General Samuel McGowan.

Seeing the recreated earthworks on the site, we finally understood why these Civil War-era formations were so important. The site’s Battlefield Center museum has an interesting exhibit of Civil War photos as well as films about the war. Afterwards, head to Richmond for more Civil War sites and southern hospitality.

Related links
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add Virginia%92s+Civil+War+Sites%3A+Pamplin to Twitter Add Virginia%92s+Civil+War+Sites%3A+Pamplin to Facebook Add Virginia%92s+Civil+War+Sites%3A+Pamplin to MySpace Add Virginia%92s+Civil+War+Sites%3A+Pamplin to Del.icio.us Digg Virginia%92s+Civil+War+Sites%3A+Pamplin Add Virginia%92s+Civil+War+Sites%3A+Pamplin to Yahoo My Web Add Virginia%92s+Civil+War+Sites%3A+Pamplin to Google Bookmarks Add Virginia%92s+Civil+War+Sites%3A+Pamplin to Stumbleupon Add Virginia%92s+Civil+War+Sites%3A+Pamplin to Reddit

Ski Virginia Wintergreen Resort
Virginia's Parks Hike and Paddle
Virginia's Wineries: Blue Ridge Foothills
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Adventure Living Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2015 by Candyce H. Stapen. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Candyce H. Stapen. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


g features
Airline Ticket Cautionary Tale

Washington, D.C, Cool Fun in Summer

The Best of Aruba

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Less than Monthly

BellaOnline on Facebook

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2016 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor