Civil War Trust
For Immediate Release: 12/05/12

Historic Sites Across U.S. Mesh Holidays with History

Visitors to historic sites of the American Civil War can experience holidays as Civil War troops

xmas in camp(Washington, D.C.) - For a change of pace this holiday season, visit historic homes, museums and hallowed ground dating back to the American Civil War. Events scheduled at various historic sites across the country commemorate the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, while celebrating the holidays. From decked halls in antebellum mansions to reenactments and living history events showcasing how troops spent the holidays, join experts as they present plays, programs and more exploring this integral part of American history. Forgo the bloated lines of big box retailers; instead, opting to walk the lines of battle.

150th Anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia – December 7 – 9, 2012
On December 11, 1862, the Union army crossed the Rappahannock River under heavy fire, initiating the Battle of Fredericksburg and the first instance of urban combat in the Civil War. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the event, the Battle of Fredericksburg Commemoration Committee hosts “Fire on the Rappahannock” on December 7 – 9, 2012. Events include educational, living history and reenactment programs in and around the town. Sesquicentennial events continue December 10 – 15, 2012. For more information, visit

Christmas Traditions at Historic Fort Wayne – A Civil War Christmas, Michigan – December 8, 2012
xmas eveChristmas Traditions: A Civil War Christmas, a living history event highlighting traditions and celebration of Christmas by soldiers stationed at Fort Wayne during the Civil War, is scheduled for December 8, 2012 in Detroit. Experts will interpret life for Union soldiers stationed at Fort Wayne, Confederate soldiers and those who stayed in Michigan during the war. In observance of the sesquicentennial, this year’s program will tell the story of life for Michigan troops at the Battle of Fredericksburg, too. For more information, visit

Frederick County Museums by Candlelight, Maryland – December 8, 2012
This holiday season, various museums in Frederick County, Md. will offer refreshments, period demonstrations, living history programs, crafts and holiday tours by candlelight. Although many area museums plan Christmas programs, South Mountain Heritage Society, The Visitation Academy, National Museum of Civil War Medicine and Hessian Barracks plan to specifically incorporate Civil War sesquicentennial programming into their events. For more information, visit

Civil War Christmas at Fort Morgan, Alabama – December 8, 2012
Fort Morgan served as the “Guardian of the Mobile Bay” on August 5, 1864, when Rear Adm. David Farragut attacked a Confederate fleet and three forts in one of the Civil War’s iconic naval battles. This year, living history interpreters will tell the story of Christmas at Fort Morgan during the Civil War, along with its history and significance. Civil War Christmas also includes a special candlelight tour of Fort Morgan. For more information, visit

The Legend of Civil War Santa, Maryland – December 15, 2012
Visit the home of Mary Surratt – the first woman executed by the U.S. government due to her ties to the conspiracy to assassinate President Lincoln. The halls of this Confederate “underground” hideout will be decked for the holidays. Children are encouraged to visit and listen to Civil War Santa’s tales from the past. The event begins December 15 at noon. For more information, visit

A Civil War Christmas, New York City – Through December 31, 2012
The production, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning Paula Vogel, explores Christmas during the Civil War in 1864. Personal anecdotes from various historical and fictional characters provide insight into a divided and war-weary nation on Christmas Eve. Traditional Christmas carols and period music are weaved into the core of the play. For more information, visit

Smallin Cave Civil War Christmas Tours, Missouri – Through December 31, 2012
The Missouri cave evidenced to have been a site of much Union activity during the Civil War, now serves as a link to the Show Me State’s past. Holiday tours began Nov. 30, 2012 and continue Friday and Saturday evenings until December 31. Guests will hear stories around a campfire while enjoying hot chocolate and other treats. Following the stories, the event features a lantern light tour of the cave which is adorned in Christmas lights for the holiday season. For more information, visit

The Civil War Discovery Trail, a network of more than 600 sites in 32 states, the District of Columbia and three international destinations, is an excellent resource in planning visits this holiday season and beyond. From the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes, heritage tourism offers holiday cheer and an affordable and unique way to celebrate the season. Find events commemorating the holiday season and the Civil War sesquicentennial online at

The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States.  Its goal is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War sites and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds through education and heritage tourism.  To date, the Trust has preserved more than 34,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states.  Please visit the Trust’s website at, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.


  • Jim Campi, (202) 367-1861, ext 7205
  • Mary Koik, (202) 367-1861, ext 7231

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