Lost Civil War: The Disappearing Legacy of America's Greatest Conflict. The recently published book (Pavilion Books, 176 pages) is lavishly illustrated with period photos of battlefields and historic places. In our nearly 28-minute visit, we discussed a Gettysburg site few know about, Antietam's Dunker Church, and a fort in Louisiana that had ties to (gasp!) a cult. Heck, we even discussed the Cleveland Browns, who (sadly) may dominate the AFC North this season. That's a tough sentence for this longtime Steelers fan to write.
Below, Laura offers a list of sites she wishes had been preserved and/or properly memorialized. Plus, an outside-the-box bonus.
|The 8th Vermont monument on the Cedar Creek battlefield.|
SHENANDOAH VALLEY BATTLEFIELDS: Some of the most important battlefields of the Civil War in Virginia are buried under asphalt and concrete. A drive down Interstate Highway 81 provides a tour of Shenandoah Valley Civil War battlefield sites — planned or not. The interstate travels through the valley for 150 miles, cutting through seven battlefields as it winds through the picturesque countryside, including: Second and Third Winchester, First and Second Kernstown, Cedar Creek, Fisher’s Hill, Tom’s Brook. and the New Market battlefields.
|An August 1863 image of Camp Letterman. |
(Library of Congress)
|Hard-to-get-to Fort St. Phillip in Louisiana. This is an 1898 addition to the fort. (NPS photo)|
FORT ST. PHILLIP (LA.): Founded by the Spanish in 1792, Fort St. Philip has the most fascinating history of any American fort. It was ruled by the Spanish, French, and United States, and was the location of a Civil War siege, a Civil Rights threat, and a cult. The remaining structures were severely damaged by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Today, portions of the original masonry fort and rusty artillery remain abandoned and covered in overgrowth. The land is shrunk more and more by erosion each year. Fort St. Philip, which played such a vital role protecting New Orleans, is only accessible by boat or helicopter.
|A stereoview of Marshall House in Alexandria, Va. (Library of Congress)|
MARSHALL HOUSE (ALEXANDRIA, VA.): One of the most significant deaths in the early days of the Civil War took place not on the battlefield, but in an inn. The Marshall House at 480 King Street in Alexandria, Va., was the site of the May 24, 1861, assassination of Col. Elmer E. Ellsworth, founder of the 11th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment and close friend of President Abraham Lincoln. It was a day that would live in infamy in the Civil War, energizing both Union and Rebel troops. The Marshall House was badly damaged in an 1873 arson, though it was rebuilt. The infamous location was demolished in 1950. But the controversy didn’t end with its removal. The Sons and Daughters of the Confederate Veterans hung a historic plaque on a new hotel on the site, The Monaco, that only mentioned Jackson, “the first martyr to the cause of Southern Independence” — not Ellsworth. The controversial sign was finally taken down in 2017 when Marriott purchased the property and renamed it The Alexandrian.