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Driftless Wisconsin

Photo Credit: Soldiers Memorial Military Museum (St. Louis, MO)

Wars, Battles, and Forts on the Great River Road

Major battles, historic forts, and full scale Civil War reenactments should be on your schedule when driving the Great River Road. From quick roadside stops and tours to major war attractions and museums, plan your historic drive now.

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  ~Minnesota~

Historic Fort Snelling (St. Paul, MN) 

Visitors will hear stories of the soldiers, enslaved populations, immigrants, and the changing landscape of the Native peoples who have a history of 10,000 years at this location, known to them as Bdote.

Camp Savage Historical Marker (Savage, MN) 

Used as a language school where Japanese American soldiers worked to translate intercepted documents, later moving to Fort Snelling, the work done in this location was credited with shortening the war.

 ~Wisconsin~

War of 1812 Re-enactment (Prairie du Chien, WI)

Happening yearly, you may hear cannons, see a historic encampment, witness battle reenactments, all taking place at the Villa Louis estate while learning about military life in 1814.

Fort Crawford Museum (Prairie du Chien, WI) 

Active from 1816 until 1856, the Fort Crawford Museum displays the life and history of the area with visitors being able take self-guide tours from May-October.

 

~Iowa~

The Fort Madison (Fort Madison, IA) 

Active  from 1808 to 1813,  Fort Madison was established in response to acquiring the Louisiana Territory. Originally Fort Bellevue, it was renamed to honor the President of the United States.

Soldier’s Monument (Davenport, IA) 

Located on Main Street and standing 50 feet high, this monument made of English Granite is topped by a statue of a Union soldier, which faces south towards the Mississippi River.

~Illinois~

Photo Credit: Enjoy Illinois

Ulysses S. Grant Home (Galena, Illinois) 

Constructed in 1861, The Italianate style house was gifted to Grant on his return from the Civil War.  After much fanfare including a “jubilant procession”, speeches, and parade, he has presented the house.

All Wars Museum (Quincy, Illinois) 

The All Wars Museum features 300 square feet of displays and has 5,000 artifacts from United States military engagements dating since the Revolutionary War until the present.

 ~Missouri~

Soldiers Memorial Military Museum (St. Louis, MO)

Start planning your trip by visiting the digitized items from the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum. View collections honoring military currently serving, veterans, and families.

Missouri Civil War Museum (St. Louis, MO)

This Civil War museum was dedicated to honor the thousands of men and women and is located in The Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery which is the resting place for 16,000 Civil War soldiers.

~Kentucky~

Columbus-Belmont State Park (Columbus, KY)  

Located on the National Scenic Byway, Civil War Heritage Trail, and a designated Trail of Tears Site. Columbus-Belmont State Park also includes birding, boating, hiking, and more to make a day of it.

Lloyd Tilghman House & Civil War Museum (Paducah, KY) 

Home of Gen. Lloyd Tilghman, highlights included western Kentucky’s role in the Civil War. The home, built in 1852, is currently owned by the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

~Tennessee~

Photo Credit: Tennessee Vacation

Fort Pillow State Historic Park (Henning, TN) 

Sitting on 1,642 acres, Fort Pillow’s Museum offers Civil War artifacts, displays, historical information, and a canon. They also screen a film about the 1864 Battle and offer tours of the fort.

Tipton County Museum, Veterans Memorial & Nature Center

(Covington, TN) 

Featuring artifacts from the area while providing a “fascinating account of the cultural and patriotic history…”  and will be of interest to those who enjoy ecology, botany, zoology, and geology.

 

~ARKANSAS~

 WWII Japanese American Internment Museum

(McGehee, AR) 

From 1942 to 1945, 8,000+ Japanese Americans were interned at this 500-acre camp. Although most physical remains, including the barbed wire and armed guards, are gone, the stories remain at the Relocation Center.

Civil War Helena (Helena, AR)

This community shares the story of the Union occupation, stories of freed slaves, the Battle of Helena, the African American experience and the stories of the Town’s Confederate generals.

~Mississippi~

Vicksburg National Military Park (Vicksburg, MS) 

Vicksburg National Military Park holds 1,300 monuments and markers including information on the soldiers, civilians, and how the war affected African Americans and women of the war effort.

Rev’s Country Tours (Natchez, MS)

See some civil war battlefields and the beautiful antebellum homes that managed to survive the fighting in Natchez, Mississippi.  The tour stretches through 3 counties and can be customized to your interests.

~Louisiana~

Port Hudson State Historic Site (East Feliciana Parish, LA) 

Port Hudson State Historic Site hosts the Battle of Port Hudson reenactment where visitors can watch interpreters demonstrate Civil War weapons and equipment, in the traditional garb.

Veteran’s Memorial Park (Baton Rouge, LA)

This park specifically recognizes Louisianans who have served in the United States Military. This location is dedicated as “a place for veterans and their families to gather and reconnect…”