Earlier this autumn, I had the opportunity to spend a few hours walking around historic downtown Alexandria, Virginia. I definitely did not have enough time to explore and plan to go back to explore Civil War history more specifically. As I’ve been planning my return, I’ve found an abundance of sites and resources!
The town hosts a number of holiday events each year so if you’re thinking of heading there for a seasonal weekend, check out the list of historical museums with Civil War ties or enjoy the free brochures for the historic walking trails around the city. I’m making this list for my own use and am counting down the weekends until I make another exploratory trip to Alexandria. If you beat me to the sites, I’d love to hear about your experiences and what you recommend…
- Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site (Civil War era fort)
- Black History Museum
- The Lyceum Alexandria History Museum
- The Alexandria Archaeology Museum
- Stabler Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
- Carlyle House Historic Park (built in the Colonial Era, but has Civil War episodes too)
- Lee-Fendall House
- Freedom House Museum
Walking Tours Trails
- Historic Walking Tour – covers aspects of the city’s history from the Colonial Era through the 20th Century (This is the one I started with on my first trip to Alexandria!)
- Alexandria’s Civil War Hospitals Walking Tour – looks at historic sites and buildings for their Civil War and medical history. (This is the next walking tour I plan to do and it might get a weekender of its own someday!)
- African American History Driving Tour – several sites on this tour have Civil War significance, including the Contraband and Freedmen’s Memorial Cemetery and the site of an incident which helped inspire Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
And last, but not least, check out this page of resources that I’m reading through as I’m planning new weekend excursions. It’s so nice to find a compiled “starter guide” of primary sources and articles for a city’s Civil War history.
Happy weekend planning…