Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park Perfect for Civil War Buffs|
By Karen Midkiff
If you want once-in-a-lifetime adventures, enjoy learning about U.S. history, and seeing amazing sights, the National Parks will provide experiences you’ll always remember.
And if you’re one of the more than 125,000 people who collect National Park cancellation stamps, like I do, you’ll find the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park in Virginia a joy to discover while zigzagging across the United States on your giant scavenger hunt. More about the stamps in a minute.
No other country has anything that even comes close to the U.S. National Park System. It ranks as one of America’s most magnificent achievements. While other countries have preserved lands, the U.S. National Park System is a core part of America’s identity. The National Parks logged 275 million visitors last year. By comparison, that’s over three times greater than the number of passengers traveling through the world’s busiest airport in Atlanta in 2005.
Have you visited a National Park recently? The Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park located in Virginia provides a wonderful glimpse into the U.S. Civil War period. Authorized in 1933, the park had 535,000 visitors in 2005.
Other fun facts:
- Commemorates four Civil War engagements: the Battle of Fredericksburg, the Chancellorsville Campaign, the Battle of the Wilderness and the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.
- Includes the location where Stonewall Jackson was fired upon by his own men (Chancellorsville visitor center), the burial site of his left arm (Ellwood) and where he died (Jackson Shrine).
- Has three historic buildings used as medical facilities during the Civil War (Old Salem Church, Chatham and Ellwood). The bullet holes are visible from the church pews.
- Displays pontoon bridges used by the Union Army to cross the Rappahannock River.
Just 60 miles south of Washington, DC, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park offers a view of four Civil War battles.
Now, back to those cancellation stamps.
They resemble the post office’s cancellation stamp you see on the mail in your mailbox. Not all parks have cancellation stamps and some parks have several unique cancellation stamps scattered across a variety of park locations, such as visitor centers, entrance gates, and ranger huts.
In most cases, you can apply the stamp yourself, although in some parks the rangers will apply the stamp for you.
You can get in on the fun, too, by visiting the more than 460 national parks, seashores, lakeshores, recreation areas, historic sites, battlefields, memorials, monuments, trails, preserves, reserves, scenic rivers, parkways and heritage areas across the United States.
Karen Midkiff's Got the Stamp? book series provides quick and easy instructions for collecting the most cancellation stamps in the shortest amount of time. The series includes nine National Park U.S. regional guides (Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, National Capital, North Atlantic, Pacific Northwest & Alaska, Southeast, Southwest, Rocky Mountain, and Western) and select individual state guides.
The National Park Mid-Atlantic, National Capital, North Atlantic and Florida guides are available at http://www.gotthestamp.com. Contact Karen at http://www.gotthestamp.com/
©Lemon Tulip, Inc., 2006
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