The Revolutionary War: A Huge Part of America’s History
The Revolutionary War may not be as popular or as widely debated as the American Civil War, but it should retain its high importance for making America a nation in its own right. This was possibly the most important war Americans ever fought, and is fascinating to study for those with the right information. One great family activity is a visit to some of the places made famous by the Revolution; here I’m showcasing colonial sites on the East Coast. If you have ancestors who fought in the Revolution, this is especially a great vacation idea to help children learn about the lives of their forebears. Try to find out as much as possible about the ancestor’s unit, where he fought and who his commanders were.
Boston and Philadelphia Are Well Worth the Visit
Two old Revolutionary cities to visit on the family’s quest to study the 18th century are Boston and Philadelphia. While in Boston, after immersing yourself in colonial history, check out Bunker Hill. If you’re like me, you’ve heard of it but never knew exactly what it was. The Battle of Bunker Hill occurred in the early phrase of the Revolution, during 1775, and was associated with British attempts to take over Boston. Take note of the huge monument reaching to the sky; this should be a focal point while visiting the area.
Some Historic Places in Philadelphia
Philadelphia lays claim to Independence Hall, home of the famous Liberty Bell, but did you know that for part of the Revolutionary War it was a British-occupied city? Many places that the British soldiers would have seen as they settled into their new abode still exist, such as the Betsy Ross House, the Todd House, Carpenters’ Hall, and various colonial-era churches and streets. Check out the oldest section of Philadelphia to get a real feel for the 18th century. Old St. George’s is one church with a connection to the British occupation; it was one of the buildings commandeered by English soldiers in 1777.
Don’t Miss Brandywine Battlefield
Brandywine Battlefield near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, is one of the most famous Revolutionary War sites in the East Coast, probably the whole country. Not only is the area full of peaceful scenery, but there is a lot of history jammed into this park – September 1777 to be exact. If old homes are of particular interest, don’t miss the beautiful stone Benjamin Ring House. General Washington took up residence here during the battle. A house owned by a man named Gideon Gilpin is also located on the grounds; don’t forget to see the famous sycamore, which has stood on this site for almost 400 years. Check the Brandywine website to see admission information and what times the houses and grounds are available for exploration.
Visit Germantown and Valley Forge
While in Pennsylvania, don’t forget to check out the sites of the Battle of Germantown and Valley Forge. Valley Forge alone has many places to visit (Washington’s headquarters and the Washington Memorial Chapel, just to name a few), so you’ll want to take at least three days in this area to see all the Revolutionary War history available.
A Revolutionary Fort With A Lot of History
Fort Ticonderoga in New York is a great East Coast site to learn about the Revolution. The area has actually contributed to New York’s history since long before the Revolution, but the events of 1775 helped it become the place it is today. Ticonderoga was occupied by English soldiers and was raided by a group of men you may have learned about in school; the Green Mountain Boys. The stone fort is a great place to explore and learn about the escapades of the Revolutionary and the earlier French and Indian War.
A Quick Trip To Saratoga
You may have also heard of Saratoga. This is a historic park in New York where visitors will discover the Saratoga Battlefield, the rebuilt Schuyler House, and a tall column paying tribute to the Revolutionary fighters who won the battle. For those who feel they have the strength, the view from the top of the monument should be very memorable.
Colonial Experience At Jamestown and Williamsburg
The Revolutionary War played a huge part in the history of Yorktown, Virginia; some of the most intriguing attractions here are the colonial Nelson House, a stately brick structure, and a cave where British General Cornwallis is rumored to have concealed himself during the siege in 1781. You should plan a few days in Yorktown, not only for the battlefield and historic structures within the town, but for Colonial Williamsburg nearby. After studying what life was like for Revolutionary soldiers, stop by Williamsburg to see how “common folk” lived in the 1770s and 1780s. You definitely can’t see everything that Yorktown and Williamsburg have to offer in the space of a few hours, so plan wisely!