Two major wars saw their battlegrounds in the US and even now, centuries later, these lands have been preserved and maintained in order to protect the history that transpired there. Each one has a story to tell and with it, a gruesome scene of war, every one of them a major turning point in the battles fought there by brave men.
The history of the Revolutionary War has been kept alive in many states, much of which has been designated a national park, complete with the history of the battles that took place in them. The Civil War was another war that took place all along the east coast, with much of its battles pertaining to the south and its history. These, too, have been preserved and their history kept alive, both serving as a warning to future generations as well as a lesson from the past.
Colonial National Historical Park
More than a decade later, in 1781, the final battle to secure independence was fought in what's now known as the Colonial National Historical Park in Virginia, where the port of Yorktown once was. This park is also home to the Jamestown Settlement site, which also played a large role in the Revolutionary War.
This location, in particular, details the day on which George Washington and the Comte de Rochambeau marched all the way from New York down to Virginia to attack the British. The command of the British army was under Lord Cornwallis at the time, and during this battle, he and his army were forced to surrender, marking the official start of independence from Britain.
Minute Man National Historical Park
Prior to US independence from Britain, battles were fought on US soil in an attempt to declare America a free country. Minute Man National Historical Park, as it's called now, was of the utmost importance to the war, since this is where it all began.
The first day of the Revolutionary War took place on this land on April 19th, 1775, in Concord, Massachusetts. The battle took place between the Lexington Green and the Old North Bridge, a path that has been maintained and can be explored by visitors.
Monmouth Battlefield State Park
During the summer of 1778, Monmouth became yet another turning point battle in the Revolutionary War. Sir Henry Clinton's British army was marching through as Washington came up behind them, forcing them to retreat.
While this wasn't marked as a victorious turning point like the other, it was symbolic of the power of the Continental Army against all the presumed power and structure of the British Army. The Continental Army's perseverance, determination, and willpower alone won this battle.
Manassas National Battlefield Park
Located not far from Washington D.C., Manassas National Battlefield Park is important in more ways than one. It was the site of two historic battles, both of which held significant importance during the Civil War - the first was the Union defeat during the first battle ever fought in the war, which was devastating for the Union army.
The second went down in history as being one of the biggest flanks by Stonewall Jackson, a move that was elaborate compared to any others seen up until that time. Visitors to this park can see the battlefield itself along with the Henry House and Railroad Cut.
Antietam is well-known thanks to George McClellan, who was able to stop Robert E. Lee's north invasion during the Battle of Antietam. The park in which this battlefield lies is also of huge significance, as it's been perfectly preserved so that visitors can follow the battle along its grounds exactly as it happened.
Here, they'll find the Bloody Cornfield, Dunker Church, Burnside's Bridge, and the famous (said to be haunted) Bloody Lane. Those interested can also learn a bit of medical history from the Civil War, as the Pry House Field Hospital Museum is open, and it also doubled as McClellan's headquarters.
Located in West Virginia, Harper's Ferry was the site of a major turning point of the Civil War. However, its significance was not one related to a Civil War battle but rather, an event that happened prior to the fighting. It was the site of John Brown's slave rebellion, a historically significant moment leading up to the war and one which has been preserved to this day, including the town's engine house where the rebellion was ended. This building came into play yet again in 1862 when Stonewall Jackson laid siege. According to Discerning History, it's still one of the most beautiful Civil War locations, with its history and scenic vistas intact.