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Civil War Trust Encourages Holiday Travelers to Add a Little History to Their Journeys This Month

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Events at historic sites across the nation allow visitors to experience how the holidays were celebrated during the Civil War

Jim Campi, (202) 367-1861 x7205

December 13, 2013

(Washington, D.C.)  -- This holiday season, as the commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War continues, historic sites throughout the country provide an opportunity for visitors to peer into the past and experience Christmas during the Civil War.  From decked halls at antebellum mansions to battlefield illuminations, the Civil War Trust recommends seven sites that add Civil War adventure to your holiday journeys this month.

10th Annual Memorial Illumination Ceremony on December 14, 2013
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield in Republic, Mo.
More than 2,500 luminaries will line the driving tour route through Wilson's Creek National Battlefield in commemoration of the thousands of casualties in the 1861 Battle of Wilson's Creek. Visitors can enjoy caroling and living history programs at the Ray House. For more information, visit the website.

Raid on Fort Pierce: Civil War Reenactment on December 14 - 15, 2013
Savannas Recreation Area in Fort Pierce, Fla.
Visit Savannas Recreation Area on December 14 - 15, to see the interpretation of a fictional Civil War battle, the raid on Fort Pierce. For nearly a decade, this Sunshine State event has featured interpretations of camp life, artillery, Civil War-era cooking and more. This year, the battle reenactments will begin at 2 p.m. each day. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

Battle of Fredericksburg Annual Commemorative Event on December 15
Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park in Fredericksburg, Va.
Commemorate the 151st anniversary of the December 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg this year with a flurry of National Park Service-sponsored events planned for December 15. Highlights include living history programs and a wreath laying ceremony. For more information, visit the website.

A 19th Century Christmas at Ellwood on December 21, 2013
Ellwood Manor in Locust Grove, Va.
Friends of Wilderness Battlefield (FoWB) will host their 5th annual holiday event beginning at 9 a.m. on December 21. This year, FoWB enlisted the creativity and expertise of the Fawn Lake Garden Club to deck the halls of this beautifully preserved 17th century home, Ellwood Manor. Planned activities include seasonal arts and crafts, refreshments, tours and a special visit from Santa. For more information, visit the website.

A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration now through December 22, 2013
Main Street Theater - Chelsea Market in Houston, Texas
Houston's Main Street Theater will present Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Vogel's "A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration," through December 22. The critically acclaimed production transports users to December 1864, to examine the Civil War through a few different perspectives.

Annual Christmas at the Cabin on December 23, 2013
Fort Boreman Park in Parkersburg, W.Va.
Join Carlin's Battery, a group of dedicated Civil War reenactors, for the annual Christmas at the Cabin on December 23, at Fort Boreman Historic Park in Parkersburg, W.Va. Visitors should expect to enjoy a reproduction of a Civil War-era barracks, along with treats like hot chocolate, coffee, caroling and a bonfire. For more information, visit the website.

General Meade's Birthday Celebration on December 31, 2013
Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia
Stay in the historic holiday spirit on New Year's Eve by visiting Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia to celebrate Union General George Meade's 198th birthday. Ring in the New Year by continuing this tradition of honoring the hero of Gettysburg with a champagne toast, 21 gun salute and more. Following the celebration, guests can take a tour of historic Laurel Hill. For more information, visit the website.

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. Plan your next Civil War adventure 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 36,500 acres of battlefield land in 20 states.  Please visit the Trust's website at, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.