(Washington, D.C.) – Traditionally considered the end of summer, Labor Day weekend is often a final opportunity for families to enjoy the outdoors before the school year begins. For Labor Day 2017, the Civil War Trust encourages Americans to get outside, learn about history, and enjoy nine recommended activities at historic attractions nationwide.
September 2: “The Fall of Atlanta” at Pickett’s Mill, Dallas, Georgia
To commemorate the 153rd anniversary of the fall of Atlanta to Sherman's forces, Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site will offer a brief talk about the last battles of the Atlanta Campaign and their influence in ending the Civil War. The program includes a guided tour of Pickett's Mill Battlefield, the site of an 1864 Union defeat during the Atlanta Campaign. Confederate victory at Pickett’s Mill resulted in a one-week delay of the Federal advance on Atlanta. Learn More
September 2: Walk in the Footsteps of Gettysburg’s Heroes, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
As the Confederate army moved toward Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, Union soldiers under Generals Buford and Reynolds stood like iron and slowed the advance, but after furious fighting, Confederates won the day and many of those who lived and died have become historical icons. This Labor Day weekend, share your passion for history with your child, niece, grandson or friends for this special “Generations” event, sponsored by the Civil War Trust and the National Park Service. Choose your side, get in line and march in the footsteps of your ancestors on the very ground where these and countless other human events transpired. Learn More
September 2-3: Artillery Weekend at Monocacy, Frederick, Maryland
On July 9th, 1864, a makeshift Union force under Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace attempted to stop Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early’s invading Confederate divisions along the Monocacy River. Although Wallace was defeated there, Monocacy was called the “Battle that Saved Washington.” Now, the thunderous roar of field artillery will return to Monocacy National Battlefield with demonstrations during the Labor Day weekend. Experience a unique soundscape and learn what it was like to serve in the artillery during the Civil War. Learn More
September 2-3: War of 1812 Encampment at Fort Niagara, Youngstown, New York
Yielded to the United States after the Revolutionary War, Fort Niagara was recaptured by a British surprise attack on December 19, 1813. It was once again ceded to the United States in 1815 at the end of the War of 1812. This Labor Day weekend, explore the Fort’s role in the War of 1812 with a real-time re-enactment on Saturday evening. Daytime activities include tactical demonstrations, clothing programs, recruiting demonstrations and hands-on activities for families. Learn More
September 2-3: “Before the Siege” at Yorktown, Yorktown, Virginia
On October 19, 1781, General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington’s forces at Yorktown, and roughly 8,000 British soldiers laid down their arms. Now, experience the village of Yorktown as it might have appeared in 1781 before Cornwallis’ surrender. Visitors will have the opportunity to see demonstrations both martial and domestic, including British soldiers’ drills and local townfolks’ daily tasks. Learn More
September 2-3: Union Garrison at Fort Clinch, Fernandina Beach, Florida
At different points during the Civil War, Fort Clinch was used by both the Union and Confederate armies as a safe haven or base of operations. Now, the 19th-century fort is one of the most well-preserved in the country. On Labor Day weekend, Fort Clinch State Park will offer visitors the opportunity to interact with historians and experience life in the fort as it was in 1864. This includes soldiers in period costumes, firing demonstrations, marching drills, cooking and other daily activities. Learn More
September 2-3: Living History Program at Point Park, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
In the fall of 1863, Confederate soldiers camped and trained inside what is now Point Park. These soldiers were preparing for the final Battles for Chattanooga, combat that would ultimately open the deep South to a Union invasion. Join Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park during the Labor Day weekend for a special living-history program exploring life in the Confederate army on Lookout Mountain in the fall of 1863. Learn More
September 2-4: Labor Day Weekend at Fort Scott, Fort Scott, Kansas
Visit Fort Scott National Historic Site for tours, demonstrations and living history programs about westward expansion, "Bleeding Kansas,” and the war that followed. During the Civil War, Fort Scott served as a major supply depot for Union armies in the West, a general hospital for soldiers in the region, and a haven for people fleeing the war. Learn More
September 3: Women & Children of the Continental Army at Morristown, Morristown, New Jersey
This Labor Day, visit Morristown National Historical Park to learn about the surprising roles that women and children played in the life of the Continental Army, including jobs with the military performing essential tasks needed to keep the army going. Morristown is the site of the 1779-80 winter encampment of the Continental Army under General George Washington. Learn More
For more events, check the National Park Service events calendar at findyourpark.com, visit your state park website or search for museums and historic sites near you.
The Civil War Trust is a national nonprofit land preservation organization devoted to the protection of America’s hallowed battlegrounds. Although primarily focused on the acquisition of Civil War battlefields, through its Campaign 1776 initiative, the Trust also seeks to save the battlefields connected to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 46,000 acres of battlefield land in 24 states. Learn more at Civilwar.org.
The Civil War Preservation Trust became the Civil War Trust in January 2011; the Civil War Trust became a division of the American Battlefield Trust in May 2018. Campaign 1776 was created in 2014 as an initiative of the Civil War Trust; in May 2018 it became the Revolutionary War Trust, a division of the American Battlefield Trust.