Savannah's role in the Civil War is legendary—it was one of the only towns left standing during Sherman's famous 'March to the Sea," preserved and given as a Christmas present to Abraham Lincoln in 1864. Explore how Savannah was a key city in the Confederacy—and what happened after the Union victory.
Orient Yourself to the Town
First, stop at the Tricentennial Park, housed in an antebellum train depot where Confederate troops would depart to the battlefields of North Virginia. The museum holds a collection of Civil War artifacts, so take some time to browse. Then, head next door to the Roundhouse Railroad Museum, a former train repair facility that houses a model train and displays about the railway's importance in shaping Savannah's position as a Confederate power player.
Go on a Historic Home Tour
The Andrew Low House hosted Robert E. Lee and Union generals, and the Green-Meldrim House served as General Sherman's headquarters during his winter in Savannah. Most historic homes played some role in the occupation, so take a careful look at the outside plaques as you walk around town.
Take a Tour
History buffs will enjoy learning about Savannah's involvement in the Civil War on Noble Jones Tours' Civil War Tour. Get an in-depth look at why Gen. Sherman spared Savannah from destruction and what the city was like before, during and after the war.
Hit up Fort Jackson
The Savannah Riverboat Civil War Dinner Cruise includes a Southern buffet and stops at Fort Jackson to watch a cannon firing. Or, head to Fort Jackson on your own and stick around for their Mess & Muster dinner—where your dining companions are actors dressed in period costume and the evening ends with a cannon firing.
Wander down River Street
Steps from the water, and former home to cotton mills, this street was incredibly important for both sides. Try Vics on the River, which used to be used as a housing and planning space by Sherman's officers in 1864.
Sit Down to Dinner at a Former Civil War Hospital
45 Bistro is known for its' mouth-watering menu—and it's location, Marshall House, is known for it's role in the Civil War. Formerly a hotel, the house was turned into a hospital during Sherman's occupation.
Enjoy an Evening at 17 Hundred 90
Also a ghost haunt, the 17 Hundred 90 building (built-in that year) has had a few ghost sightings—and, for the more skeptical history buff—plenty of antebellum architectural details to savor along with your meal.
In a Presidential Suite
The Presidents Quarters Inn, which has rooms named after each U.S. President who has visited Savannah, was originally constructed in 1855. This historic inn is beautifully decorated with both antique and period reproduction furnishings that will make you feel like you've taken a step back in time.
In Savannah's Oldest Hotel
Add a touch of mystique to your trip by staying in the historic Marshall House, which was once a hospital for soldiers during the Civil War. Touches of 19th century details remain from claw foot bathtubs to doors, windows and wrought iron balconies. It is rumored this historic inn may even be haunted with spirits from the past.
In a Former Cotton Warehouse
Built in 1817, the River Street Inn, which is adjacent to the Cotton Exchange, was used for storing, grading and exporting cotton. Now, its historic appeal is elegantly displayed in the inn's furnishings and decor. Stay here and you'll be just steps away from the surrounding history of River Street and Factors' Walk.