Best known as home to Presidents Jefferson and Monroe, Charlottesville has an interesting Civil War history as well. The Downtown Visitor Center is a good starting point for history tours of the city and Albemarle County.
Downtown Visitor Center – 610 E Main St, Charlottesville VA 22902. Open 9 am–5 pm daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
The following Charlottesville sites are marked with Civil War Trails signs.
Rio Hill Skirmish, now the Rio Hill Shopping Center north of Charlottesville on Route 29 – The famed Gen. George Armstrong Custer, leading a cavalry detachment to burn mills and destroy bridges in Charlottesville, was stopped here by Confederates. A good display describing the battle is located on the wall of Subway Sandwiches in the shopping center.
Scottsville, south of Charlottesville on Route 20 – Union soldiers swept through this small James River town March 6, 1865, on their way to join U.S. Grant around Petersburg. Canal locks were destroyed and buildings burned. Buildings in the town served as Confederate hospitals. A cemetery in town honors the dead. Trails sign on Main Street (Route 6).