Travel by numbers: US Civil War sites

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of a bloody conflict. Laura Holt figures it all out...


The year that abolitionist John Brown made an ill-fated raid on the US arsenal at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Along with 21 other men, Brown attempted to seize federal weaponry in the hope of mounting an insurrection in the Southern slave states. The event is thought to have triggered the Civil War, pushing the abolitionist cause to the forefront. Archers Direct offers a 16-day "Historic Trails & Blue Ridge Mountains" tour which stops at Harpers Ferry. Prices start at £1,639 per person, including flights.


The number of soldiers who perished. One of the most decisive and bloody battlegrounds was Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. Here, Union forces managed to fend off General Robert E Lee and his Confederate army in July 1863, forcing his retreat to Virginia and staving off further progress to the north. President Lincoln later paid tribute to the fallen soldiers with his Gettysburg Address. Bon Voyage offers a 13-night "Civil War Journey" tour which visits the town and other key sites from £1,485 per person, including flights.


The number of men who served in the Civil War, according to the US National Archives. On 12 April, Confederate forces staged a siege of Fort Sumter, represented in the painting above, in South Carolina, forcing Union soldiers to relinquish control of the federal garrison. Today, the sound of musket fire still rings out as actors recreate the battle scene. Located near Charleston Harbor, you can also take in the more genteel side of South Carolina. Antebellum architecture and quaint cafes abound in this city at the gateway to the Deep South. A horse-drawn tour through the old town is the best way to soak up Charleston's charm; $20 (£13).


The number of slaves held across America in 1860, according to the US census. The greatest concentration was in Virginia, a key Dixie state where much of the strife took place 150 years ago. Not only was General Robert E Lee (right) born in the capital Richmond, but he also signed his surrender treaty in the small town of Appomattox in 1865, bringing the Civil War to its denouement. Visit the free commemorative exhibition "An American Turning Point" at the Virginia Historical Society, one of many commemorative events taking place across the state.


The year Abraham Lincoln stayed at the Willard Hotel in Washington, before being inaugurated as America's 16th president. Uncle Abe played a pivotal role in the outcome of the war with his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. This tactical move allowed former slaves to join Union ranks as soldiers, thereby bolstering their ability to secure a final victory. Fittingly, Martin Luther King also wrote his "I have a dream" speech here. Doubles start at $399 (£266).


The number, in millions, of cotton bales produced in 1860, according to the US Department of Agriculture. This prosperous economy, however, was intrinsically linked to upholding the institution of slavery. Nowhere was this more evident than in New Orleans, a key cotton port on the Mississippi River. Today, the setting is rather different. Visit during the annual Jazz Festival to witness a celebration of the city's diverse culture. 29 April–8 May 2011.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
Life and Style
Baroness Lane-Fox warned that large companies such as have become so powerful that governments and regulators are left behind
techTech giants have left governments and regulators behind
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin visits her 1990s work ‘My Bed’ at Tate Britain in London, where it is back on display from today
artsBut how does the iconic work stand up, 16 years on?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor