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The African American Civil War Memorial on U Street commemorates the more than 200,000 black soldiers who fought during the Civil War.
The African American Civil War Memorial on U Street commemorates the more than 200,000 black soldiers who fought during the Civil War.
 

Civil War to Civil Rights: Off-the-Beaten-Path Attractions

Explore these lesser-known Civil War attractions and historical locations.

  • PRINT

If you're a Civil War history buff, you won't want to miss these 10 attractions.

1. National Museum of Health & Medicine: This quirky museum is home to Civil War-era implements, plus oddities like General Daniel Sickles’ leg and the bullet that killed Lincoln.

2. Washington Navy Yard: The famous ironclad Monitor was repaired at the Navy Yard after her historic battle with CSS Virginia. The Lincoln assassination conspirators were brought to the yard following their capture. The body of John Wilkes Booth was examined and identified on the monitor Saugus, moored at the yard.

3. African American Civil War Memorial: Using photographs, documents and state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, the museum helps visitors understand the African American's heroic and largely unknown struggle for freedom.

4. Ft. Stevens: You don't have to go to Virginia to tour a battlefield. Ft. Stevens is home to the only battle fought in DC. Lincoln himself was fired upon here.

5. International Spy Museum: At this interactive museum, explore how espionage played a role in the Civil War.

6. Church of the Epiphany: This historic church boasts an interesting Civil War history as the home church of Secretary of State Stanton and a Southern-sympathizing pastor.

7. C & O Canal: In their downtime, Union soldiers used to go here to bathe and carouse. Today it's a popular path for DC's joggers and bikers.

8. Segway Tours: Several segway tour companies offer history tours, including ones that trace the events that transpired on the night of Lincoln’s assassination.

9. Emancipation Statue: The original “Lincoln Memorial” is located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and was dedicated in 1876 and paid for by freed slaves. The statue depicts Lincoln holding the Emancipation Proclamation while freeing a male slave.

10. Surratt Boarding House: Located in Chinatown, this is the house where Lincoln assassination conspirators met to craft their plan. Today, it is home to the “Wok & Roll” Chinese restaurant, but a plaque marks the spot.

A detail of the Spirit of Freedom sculpture, part of the African American Civil War Museum in Shaw honoring the 209,000 soldiers and sailors who fought for the Union between 1861-1865.
A detail of the Spirit of Freedom sculpture, part of the African American Civil War Museum in Shaw honoring the 209,000 soldiers and sailors who fought for the Union between 1861-1865.
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