National Geographic Guide to Civil War Battlefield Parks. National Geographic Society, 1992, 160 p.
Civil War Sites: The Official Guide to Battlefields, Monuments, and More. The Globe Pequot Press, 2003, 306 p.

These two guides function best if used as companions. The National Geographic Guide gives very brief synopses of each battle, arranged by state. If you're looking for Spotsylvania, for example, you look up Virginia, then find the battlefield. You get some facts about the battle then the brief narrative of the battle's highpoints.

The other quide, prepared by the Civil War Preservation Trust, is more of travel guide to the battlefields. Each battlefield has an entry that gives a description, hours, admission fees, and directions. The arrangement is not strictly by state. Rather it is by region, then by state within the region. Thus Virginia is near the front of the book in the "Middle Atlantic" section and Illinois is near the end in the "Midwest" section.

The two books complement each other very nicely. For the Civil War buff, having a guide that outlines the generals at Fredricksburg and the battle's outcome may not be necessary but for the casual vacationer such information may be essential to getting the most out of any visit to the battlefield. And the guide from CWPT gives all the relevant information about how to get there and when the park is open.

Learn more about US history. Visit a Civil War battlefield today.


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