15 November 2006 by Published in: General musings 4 comments

It’s been a while since we last checked on the results of the unscientific poll on favorite Civil War battlefields on the CWDG web site. Tonight, with 132 votes registered to date, here are the current results:

Antietam 15.91% (21)
Chancellorsville 2.27% (3)
Chickamauga 6.82% (9)
Fredericksburg 3.03% (4)
Gettysburg 46.97% (62)
Petersburg 0.76% (1)
Richmond 0.00% (0)
Shiloh 6.82% (9)
Vicksburg 3.79% (5)
Other–tell us what! 13.64% (18)

Total Votes: 132

Not surprisingly, Gettysburg continues to hold an enormous lead. No news there. I was one of the three votes for Chancellorsville. I wonder who the other two were….

Scridb filter


  1. Charles Bowery
    Thu 16th Nov 2006 at 7:28 am

    I’ll be the lone voter for Richmond area battlefields, just because I was born and raised amongst them, and have fond memories of riding the bus to school each morning over the route of Jackson’s movement toward Malvern Hill. I’ve always wished someone could point me to the general area where he supposedly napped under a tree while his division tried to cross Chickahominy Swamp. Lots to see in the area, both from ’62 and ’64, as I’m sure you are aware. Cheers!

  2. Randy Sauls
    Thu 16th Nov 2006 at 11:32 am


    I put Gettysburg and Antietam at the top of my list also. I’ve always susupected that one of the reasons for their popularity with most folks was what I call the “icon” factor. Gettysburg has the Devil’s Den, the copse of trees, the Round Tops etc. Antietam has the stone bridge, Bloody Lane etc. These are visually interesting even to the casual observer and are so well known world wide. My first sighting of the Devil’s Den blew me away, simply because I’d always read about it and because it was a physical feature you could touch and feel. I think it’s harder to get the average battlefield visitor interested in flat, featureless sites, whether they are open or wooded (The Wilderness comes to mind). One qualifier to the “icon” factor is the “my side won” factor. I took a group of southerners (mostly) on a tour of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville last weekend. I took the same group to Gettysburg last May. Many of the group later told me they preferred Fredericksburg/Chancellorsville because “we won”. So much for my “icon” theory!


  3. Michael Aubrecht
    Thu 16th Nov 2006 at 3:36 pm

    Great points Randy. I always throw in the “kid” factor when it comes to the popularity of Gettysburg as many of us “big kids” discovered the Civil War there… I mean how cool is the Wax Museum and the Lincoln Train Museum, and the Hall of Presidents, Cyclorama, Electric Map etc. To a young boy, wax figures, lighted maps, movies, and dioramas go a long way and often have more appeal than walking on the battlefields. Plus the monument factor also plays big into fond memories and experiences that we had in our youth. So as adults, I think we look at battlefields very differently – but as Civil War buffs, we reflect on the good old days. Being a Fredericksburg resident – of course I have favoritism for our 4 fields here, but frankly Gettysburg is the “Disneyworld” of hallowed grounds and has more “rides and attractions” that ultimately appeal to a broader generational gap. My oldest daughter (who is 9) and I have been out on weekends for the last month or so shooting photos of the battlefields and graveyards (during the leaf change). She loved F’burg, Chancellorsville, and even Spotsy (a little), but was bored to tears at The Wilderness. I have to admit that I was too.

  4. Art Bergeron
    Sat 18th Nov 2006 at 10:27 am

    My vote went for “other,” and that other is Port Hudson. Just call me biased because I was the first historian at the state historic site there, but I enjoy the essential pristine nature of much of the battlefield and the almost second-to-none state of preservation of its earthworks. Sharpsburg is my second favorite, with Chickamauga close behind.

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