PAMPLIN HISTORICAL PARK AND
THE MUSEUM OF THE CIVIL WAR SOLDIER
Pamplin Historical Park - Main Entrance and Museum
Pamplin Historical Park - Battle Center
Pamplin Historical Park - Battle Center - Back
Pamplin Park - Battle Center - Entrance
Over the Door: APRIL 2, 1865.
The Pamplin Historical Park Complex is a privately-owned Park and
Museum located on a portion of the Confederate lines constructed
around Petersburg during the 1864-1865 siege . It is easily accessible
via Interstate 85 or U.S. 1 south of Petersburg. Directions to the
park are well-marked.
The focal point of the Park is the
multi-million dollar Museum of the Civil War Soldier. In addition to
the exhibits, book store, and a coffee shop, the Museum provides a
virtual tour of the life of a civil war soldier. When you take the
tour, you select one of nine soldiers that you will track. You are
then given a CD player which plays over ten different
selections, taken from the soldier's writings, addressing each display
as you view it. The displays illustrate infantry, cavalry, and
navy weapons, relics, and uniforms. Tents, huts, supplies, a Church,
and soldiers drilling are also there to view. It is a fabulous way to
get a feeling for what it was like back then. At the conclusion of
the virtual tour you enter an area with a simulated battle occuring.
You hear the cannon and rifle fire and the soldiers yelling. I could
actually feel the bullets whiz by (Really bursts of air) and feel the
shaking of the floor as the cannon fired.
Outside the Museum demonstrations of rifle and cannon fire are presented.
Leaving the Museum area, you follow a trail to a portion of the Confederate
earthern works built around Petersburg.
In addition to the reconstructed Civil War camps near the earthworks, you'll
notice the saw-toothed Battle Center (See, above) which was used as a Visitors
Center when the Park was initially constructed. The Park's documents say the
Battle Center building is in the shape of the Confederate Lines near there.
I'll take their word for it.
Outside the Battle Center, a trail takes you around the Confederate earthworks.
I was impressed at the height of these
earthworks. They appear to have weathered very
little compared to other sites in the state. Highlights on the trail include
several passes through the earthworks at the locations the Union used on
April 2, 1865 to overrun the Confederate fortifications
. You also see
Confederate picket sites and note
how far from the main line they were located.
Between the Visitor's center and the Battle Center is the renovated
Tudor Hall Plantation which existed during the seige and was used as brigade
headquarters for Confederate General Samuel McGowan.
Finally, and really interesting, are the re-constructed soldier huts, of the
kind used by the Confederates in the 1864-65 winter. It is not unusual to
encounter Park Guides, in period Confederate uniforms, at the huts. On one
oppressively hot June day, on a visit to the park, I was impressed that the Park
Guides still wore those hot wool uniforms. The photographs below illustrate some
of the uniforms worn by the Guides. The three Guides in the photograph (made
about ten years ago) no longer work at the Park.
David Reed     Steve Perez     Mike Hudson
The Pamplin Park Guides, just like their National Park Service counterparts,
go out of their way to assist you and make your visit enjoyable. It says
something for the personnel manning these Parks, at Pamplin Park, the State
Parks and at the National Parks, that they are some of the most dedicated and
friendly people I have ever met.
Museum of the Civil War Soldier
Rear View - During Construction.
As you can tell, we were impressed with Pamplin Historical Park. If only all
of the Civil War Sites were treated with such care and respect.