Richmond Civil War Trail, Richmond

One of the most fascinating aspects of Richmond is its glorious past as the Confederacy's capital. If you are a history buff you’ll love taking this unique tour, which includes all the main sites in the city associated with the American Civil War.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Richmond Civil War Trail Map

Guide Name: Richmond Civil War Trail
Guide Location: USA » Richmond (See other walking tours in Richmond)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Author: damon
1
White House of the Confederacy

1) White House of the Confederacy (must see)

The White House of the Confederacy is a gray stuccoed neoclassical mansion built in 1818 by John Brockenbrough, who was president of the Bank of Virginia. Designed by Robert Mills, Brockenbrough’s private residence was built in Richmond's affluent Shockoe Hill neighborhood, and was two blocks north of the Virginia State Capitol. Among his neighbors were U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall, Aaron Burr, defense attorney John Wickham, and future U.S. Senator Benjamin Watkins Leigh.

Sold by the Brockenbrough family in 1844, the house passed through a succession of wealthy families throughout the antebellum period, including U.S. Congressman and future Confederate Secretary of War James Seddon. Just prior to the American Civil War, Lewis Dabney Crenshaw purchased the house and added a third floor. He sold the home to the City of Richmond, which in turn rented it to the Confederate government as its Executive Mansion.

The house was abandoned during the evacuation of Richmond on April 2, 1865. Within twelve hours, soldiers from Major General Godfrey Weitzel’s XVIII Corps seized the former Confederate White House, intact. President Abraham Lincoln, who was in nearby City Point, traveled up the James River to tour the captured city, and visited Davis' former residence for about three hours. They held a number of meetings with local officials in the White House. During Reconstruction, the White House of the Confederacy served as the headquarters for Military District Number One. The City of Richmond retook possession of the house, and subsequently used it as Richmond Central School, one of the first public schools in postwar Richmond.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Governor's Mansion

2) Governor's Mansion

The Virginia Governor's Mansion, better known as the Executive Mansion, is the official residence of the most important leader in the state. Designed by Alexander Parris, it is the oldest occupied governor's mansion in the United States. The house on Capitol Square has served as the home of Virginia governors and their families since 1813. During the Civil War, it was a center of leadership because Richmond was the second capital of the Confederate States of America and Virginia's statehouse held offices for the Confederacy. Renovated a number of times in the last century, it is now a listed historic monument.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Virginia State Capitol Building

3) Virginia State Capitol Building (must see)

When it first convened in Richmond in 1780, the Virginia State legislature met in a makeshift building near Shockoe Bottom. Plans for a new building centered on Shockoe Hill, a major hilltop overlooking the falls of the James River. Thomas Jefferson is credited with leading the design of the project, which was modeled after the Maison Carrée at Nîmes in southern France. Jefferson had the architect, Charles-Louis Clérisseau, put the columns in Roman Ionic Order over the more ornate Corinthian columns in France. The General Assembly first meet there in 1792.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Capitol Square

4) Capitol Square (must see)

The Capitol Square was the center of the action in Richmond during the Civil War. The city’s population witnessed soldiers marching on their way to the battlefield here. Nowadays, the square remains the center of political life in Richmond. There are a number of important monuments dotted around the square and, inside the State Capitol building, you can find the final resting place of some of the South's fallen heroes.
5
Brown's Island Park

5) Brown's Island Park

Brown's Island holds an important place in US civil war history. Created in 1789, it was part of the canal system through Richmond that was used for delivering supplies, munitions and arms for the confederate army. Nowadays Brown's Island is a prominent music venue that attracts both locals and visitors with its entertaining shows.
6
Tredegar Iron Works

6) Tredegar Iron Works (must see)

The Tredegar Iron Works was a historic iron foundry in Richmond, opened in 1837. During the American Civil War, the works served as the primary iron and artillery production facility of the Confederate States of America. The iron works survived destruction during the Evacuation Fire of 1865, and continued production through the middle of the 20th century.

Today a National Historic Landmark District, the site and remaining structures serve as the main visitor center for the Richmond National Battlefield Park of the National Park Service, as well as the location of a private museum, The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. The foundry was named in honor of the town of Tredegar, Wales, United Kingdom, where iron works of the same name were constructed in the early 19th century, and which was also the hometown of Rhys Davies, the man originally in charge of constructing the facility. In 1833, a group of Richmond businessmen and industrialists hired Davies, then a young engineer, along with a number of fellow iron workers from the Welsh valley town, to construct the furnaces and rolling mills that later became the Tredegar Iron Works and Belle Isle Iron Works.

In the 1990s, the Tredegar Ironworks was host to the short-lived "Valentine on the James" extension of the Valentine Richmond History Center. Later, the main visitor center for Richmond National Battlefield Park opened at the Tredegar Iron Works site in June, 2000.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Hollywood Cemetery

7) Hollywood Cemetery (must see)

Hollywood Cemetery is a large, sprawling cemetery located at 412 South Cherry Street in Richmond. Characterized by rolling hills and winding paths overlooking the James River, it is the resting place of two United States Presidents, James Monroe and John Tyler, as well as the only Confederate States President, Jefferson Davis. It is also the resting place of 25 Confederate generals, more than any other cemetery in the country. Included are George Pickett and J.E.B. Stuart.

Hollywood Cemetery was opened in 1849, constructed on land known as "Harvie's Woods" that was once owned by William Byrd II. It was designed in the rural garden style, with its name, "Hollywood," coming from the holly trees dotting the hills of the property. In 1869, a 90-foot high granite pyramid was built as a memorial to the more than 18,000 enlisted men of the Confederate Army buried in the cemetery.

Hollywood Cemetery is one of Richmond's major tourist attractions. There are many local legends surrounding certain tombs and grave sites in the cemetery, including one about a little girl and the black iron statue of a dog standing watch over her grave. Other notable legends rely on ghosts haunting the many mausoleums. One of the most well-known of these is the legend of the Richmond Vampire. A place rich in history, legend, and gothic landscape, Hollywood Cemetery is also frequented by many of the local students attending Virginia Commonwealth University.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Richmond, Virginia

Create Your Own Walk in Richmond

Create Your Own Walk in Richmond

Creating your own self-guided walk in Richmond is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Richmond Art Galleries Tour Part 1

Richmond Art Galleries Tour Part 1

Richmond is one of best cities in this part of the United States for art, with a large number of quality galleries in the city. You can see fascinating artworks by nationally and internationally famous artists here, as well as browse paintings for purchase at commercial galleries. Take our two-part tour to see the best art galleries in the city.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.6 km
Richmond Places of Worship Tour Part 1

Richmond Places of Worship Tour Part 1

Due to its past as an English colony, Richmond has a number of notable Anglican and Episcopal churches dotted around the city. Take our two-part tour to discover these beautiful buildings as well as many other places of worship in the city of Richmond.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 km
Richmond Cultural Tour

Richmond Cultural Tour

Richmond is famous for its many architectural and historical landmarks, but it is also a vibrant center for the arts. Take our Cultural Tour to discover the wide variety of theaters, opera houses and other cultural venues that make up the Richmond arts landscape.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Richmond Museums Tour

Richmond Museums Tour

Richmond is one of the best places in the state of Virginia to find fascinating museums. The Science Museum of Virginia is based here, as well as the Virginia Historical Society, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of the Confederacy. Take this tour to learn all about the history of the city and see some excellent exhibitions.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.2 km
Richmond Specialty Shopping Tour

Richmond Specialty Shopping Tour

The historic district of Carytown is Richmond’s premier shopping area. Here you can find many different high-quality specialty shops as well as top restaurants. Take our Carytown Shopping Tour to find the best shopping spots in this part of town.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 km
Richmond City Orientation Tour

Richmond City Orientation Tour

As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Richmond boasts a great cultural and historical heritage. In fact, it helped to shape American history. Take our City Orientation Tour to get a sense of the main institutions of Richmond and see some of its top sights.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Richmond for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Richmond has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Richmond, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.