Letters to the Skirmisher
Vol. 2 - Geography

Do we have record of and know the location of every civil war battle fought?

J.E.B. Stuart
Major General J.E.B. Stuart led Confederate cavalry in the Civil War. (Library of Congress)

We know where all of the major battles were fought, but we don't know where some of the very tiny fights occurred. We can't possibly know the exact location of where a few of J.E.B. Stuart's cavalrymen raided a Union camp, or where small numbers of Confederate and Union soldiers stumbled across one another in the Western theater of war.

Some battles are difficult to locate today because of the growth of cities, houses, and shopping centers. Battlefields such as Chantilly and Salem Church in Virginia, are all but destroyed.

This is why we do what we do at The Civil War Trust. Our mission is to preserve America’s significant Civil War battlefields by protecting the land and educating the public about how battlefields changed our nation’s history.

How do you decide the boundaries of a battlefield?

The Civil War Sites Advisory Commission (CWSAC) studied state of Civil War battlefields in the late 1980s-1990s. The Commission defined the areas where significant military actions occurred as well as important surrounding areas.

The Civil War Trust relies on this report.

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