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National Battlefield Park
In southeastern Virginia, in Richmond
Between 1861 and 1865, Union armies repeatedly tried to capture Richmond, capital of the Confederacy, to end the Civil War. Three of those campaigns came within a few miles of the city. The 763-acre park commemorates 11 different sites associated with those campaigns, including the battlefields at Gaines' Mill, Malvern Hill, and Cold Harbor. The park was authorized on March 2, 1936.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
Picnicking at Fort Harrison, touring battlefield sites. Facilities: Visitor center with audiovisual programs and film (5th and Tredegar Sts.); 4 contact stations: Chimborazo Medical Museum, Cold Harbor, Glen-dale Cemetery, and Fort Harrison; interpretive walking trails at Gaines Mill, Cold Harbor, Malvern Hill, Fort Harrison, and Drewry's Bluff; tour roads at Cold Harbor and Fort Harrison; audio stations. Bookstores. Programs & Events: Self-guided driving tours (audio cassette available). Ranger-led walking tours, talks, living history (June-Aug.). Battle anniversary commemorations: Drewry's Bluff (May 15), Memorial Day, Cold Harbor (June 3), Seven Days' Battle (June 26-July 1), and Fort Harrison (Sept. 29). Tips & Hints: Plan to spend at least a day visiting all 11 sites. Busiest June and July, least crowded Jan. and Feb.
FEES & HOURS
Free. Parking fee at Tredegar St. visitor center $4 per day. Battlefield sites open daily dawn-dusk. Visitor center, Chimborazo Park, Glendale and Fort Harrison contact stations open June-Aug., daily 9-5; Sept-May, hours vary. Cold Harbor open June-Aug., daily 9-6; Sept.-May, hours vary.
HOW TO GET THERE
The visitor center (5th and Tredegar Sts.) is accessed via I-95. Southbound use Exit 75, northbound use Exit 74C west and then follow signs. From I-64 westbound, Exit 5th St. Closest airport: Richmond (7 mi).
Park Headquarters, Richmond National Battlefield Park (3215 E. Broad St., Richmond, VA 23223, tel. 804/226-1981, fax 804/771-8522).