the american civil war visitors center is located at the historic tredgar foundry in downtown richmond. the center has a museum on civil war history and you can get maps of the civil war sites in the richmond area. for those interested in visiting the richmond national battlefield park the visitor center is a good first stop.
The Center is located at the American Civil War Centre on a beautiful site on the James River. Richmond's new Canal Walk fronts the river here, and a foot bridge gives visitors access to Belle Isle, a park formerly a prison camp for captured Yankee soldiers. Here at Tredegar, five surviving buildings illustrate the ironworks era and the National Park Service operates the Richmond Civil War Visitor Centre. I found the exhibits and discussion at this museum to be a little preachy and one-sided- very P.C. I actually got more out of the grounds tour of the old ironworks. It's open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily and admission runs $8 for adults as of October, 2008.
This museum is colocated with the Richmond National Battefield visitors center at Tredegar. It has soem great info but is long on story boards and short on artifacts. Therefore it can serve as a quick update on Civil war timelines but you could just as easily read up on it.
The Battlefield park is spread out at many small sites around the city but the visitor's center is at the historic Tredegar Iron works which provided the South with most of its armaments. Here you can get maps for driving tours of the rest of the park
Tredegar was the site of the the largest ironworks in Virginia. The warship CSS Virginia, which fought the USS Monitor in the world's first clash of ironclad ships, was built here. Today, this is the home of American Civil War Center. Located inside the former cannon foundry, the Cause of Liberty is a collection of exhibits on the war. It follows the story from the Union, Confederate, and African-American view. No photos are allowed inside, but it's a great place to learn about the war, its causes, and its consequences. For any new Civil War buff, this is where you can get started finding out what happened.
Around the main building are the Pattern Building, which houses the National Park visitors center. Then there are the remains of old industrial equipment used to manufacture artillery and cannonballs.
Nearby, the remains of an old bridge offers a splendid vista overlooking the James River. It's dangerous here, with rapids and rocks. Here are plaques showing visitors the story of the fall of Richmond at the end of the Civil War in 1865. As the Confederate defenses gave way, the orders were given to raze the city so as to deny anything of value to the Yankee invaders. You can see where this all happened. As you walk out, look down at historical quotes etched into the planks of the old bridge.