Discover The 7 Most Historic Battlefields in America

Written by Niccoy Walker
Updated: October 19, 2023
Share on:

Advertisement


With dozens of national battlefields and historical parks across the country, there is no shortage of places to visit to learn about American history. These parks, monuments, and memorial areas provide a space for historians, students, and tourists to better understand the link between wars and social and political changes. If you are a history buff who wants to learn more about United States’ history, check out these seven most historic battlefields in America.

1. Antietam, Maryland

Sun rising behind artillery near a wheat field at Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland. The battle at Antietam was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history.

Antietam was the site of a significant battle in the Civil War.

©Adam Parent/Shutterstock.com

The Battle of Antietam occurred during the American Civil War on September 17, 1862. It is known as the bloodiest day in American history, which included 12 hours of intense combat between the Confederate and Union soldiers. About 23,000 men were killed, wounded, or missing following the battle, which ended with Union victory. This battle was a key turning point in the war, leading President Abraham Lincoln to announce the Emancipation Proclamation.   

2. Fort McHenry, Baltimore

Fort McHenry from the air, Baltimore

Fort McHenry played a vital role in the War of 1812.

©Christopher Mazmanian/Shutterstock.com

The Battle of Baltimore occurred at Fort McHenry on September 13 and 14, 1814. This battle was part of The War of 1812, and Fort McHenry played a vital role as early as 1813 when British forces entered the Chesapeake Bay. After the nation’s capital fell, English forces turned their attention to Baltimore. However, they were confronted by Fort McHenry and its 1,000 soldiers. The battle began when the British launched bombs and rockets at the fort for a full 25 hours, but after the smoke cleared, the fort and its defenders were still standing.

3. Chalmette, Louisiana

Chalmette Battlefield Monument

The Chalmette Battlefield Monument stands in Louisiana.

©scgerding/iStock via Getty Images

The Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetary is the site of the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. The modern-day area includes historic structures, a monument, and self-guided tours. While the treaty for the War of 1812 was signed in 1814, the war was not yet over. On January 8th, 1815, General Andrew Jackson and his army were victorious over the British forces, who were by any standards more equipped for the battle. This day in history was celebrated for decades, much like the Fourth of July.

4. Trenton, New Jersey

George Washington Crossing the Delaware - An oval, 1908 chromolitho reproduction of Emanuel Leutze's painting (1851) of Washington's December 26, 1776 surprise crossing in the Battle of Trenton

This artwork depicts George Washington crossing the Delaware River.

©Victorian Traditions/Shutterstock.com

While the Battle of Trenton was relatively small, it was a pivotal moment in the American Revolutionary War. The battle occurred in Trenton, New Jersey on December 26, 1776, where George Washington led the Continental Army against German auxiliaries to the British Army. After the Continental Army’s victory, morale was boosted, and new enlistments increased. This battle reinvigorated the fight against the British, even though the week earlier, the army had been on the verge of collapse.

5. Chancellorsville, Virginia

Chancellorsville and Wilderness Battlefield

Chancellorsville Battlefield in Virginia involved the second bloodiest day of the Civil War.

©Grant Wylie/iStock via Getty Images

The Battle of Chancellorsville was a major battle of the American Civil War. It occurred between April 30th and May 6th of 1863, but the second bloodiest day of the Civil War and the fiercest day of the battle took place on May 3. Confederate General Robert E. Lee launched attacks against the Union opposition in Chancellorsville, leading to significant losses on each side. However, the damage caused Union General Joseph Hooker to pull back. Lt. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was by friendly fire during the battle, requiring a left arm amputation. He died of pneumonia a little over a week later.

6. Saratoga, New York

Saratoga National Historical Park, New York, USA

Saratoga National Historical Park is the site of the Battles of Saratoga in the American Revolutionary War.

©jiawangkun/iStock via Getty Images

During the Saratoga Campaign, the British attempted to gain military control of the Hudson River Valley during the Revolutionary War. The climax of the campaign spanned September 19th to October 7th, 1777, when British General John Burgoyne led an army of more than 7,000 men from Canada into the Champlain Valley. His goal was to meet with two other British forces coming from other positions and combine their troops in order to take Albany, New York. However, the other forces never arrived, and Burgoyne and his troops became surrounded by American troops in Upstate. While the British won its first victory, they lost the second battle. Burgoyne surrendered his army on October 17 in Saratoga.

7. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg was the war’s turning point. George Meade’s army defeated the Confederates.

©iStock.com/Delmas Lehman

The Battle of Gettysburg was a significant battle in the American Civil War. Fought by Confederate and Union forces, this battle occurred between July 1st and July 3rd of 1863 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This battle was the war’s turning point, as Union General George Meade and his army defeated Confederate General Robert E. Lee, which forced Lee’s retreat and stopped his invasion of the North. Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War and was also President Lincoln’s inspiration for the famous Gettysburg Address. You can visit the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and go on tours.

A Recap of the 10 Most Historic Battlefields in America

RankMost Historic Battlefields in AmericaLocation
#1Battle of AntietamMaryland
#2Battle of BaltimoreMaryland
#3Battle of New OrleansLouisiana
#4Battle of TrentonNew Jersey
#5Battle of ChancellorsvilleVirginia
#6Battles of SaratogaNew York
#7Battle of GettysburgPennsylvania

The photo featured at the top of this post is © scgerding/iStock via Getty Images


Share on:
About the Author

Niccoy is a professional writer for A-Z Animals, and her primary focus is on birds, travel, and interesting facts of all kinds. Niccoy has been writing and researching about travel, nature, wildlife, and business for several years and holds a business degree from Metropolitan State University in Denver. A resident of Florida, Niccoy enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and spending time at the beach.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.