We are doing civil war sites as we go (John is a big civil war buff). Unfortunately, many were closed due to government shutdown but we saw most of what we wanted to see. We cross into Tennessee tomorrow to hit sites over there. I found this website which has been quite helpful www.civilwartraveler.com
- note that a lot of "sites" listed are "interpretive signs". We walked for blocks in Winchester and after considerable searching, found a little sign on the side of a building that told us no more than what we read at the visitor center or in the brochures - basically "things happened in this area but you can't see anything anymore because the town was built on it". We didn't bother searching for additional signs. I do recommend you go to the visitor center in Lexington VA. You can park all day (though probably couldn't fit an RV) and they give you a map for a walking tour that takes you to Jackson's house, General Lee's tomb (and Traveler's gravesite), VMI where they have several museums (and where the cadets lead a very good, free tour at noon - not Civil War but good), on to Jackson's grave and back to the visitor center. I doubt you'll be in Maryland in December but the Antietam Illumination is awesome. It takes place the first Saturday in December. A luminary is placed for every casualty (missing, wounded, dead). They are placed on the lawns and fields in a 5x5' grid and lit near sunset. There is a little speech at the Maryland monument then they play echo taps. At dark, cars drive slowly through the battlefield to view the luminaries - VERY sobering. Note that the cars line up hours in advance. The volunteers that set and lit the luminaries go first then the public (our Scout Troop managed one of the corn fields for years.) If you are up there, I highly recommend it. If not, you can see some pics online but you only see bits and pieces, not miles of little lights.