The tourists who picnicked during the Battle of Bull Run.

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Aug. 4 2011 4:27 PM

The First Civil War Tourists

For D.C. day-trippers, the Battle of Bull Run was the can't-miss show of the season.

Battle of Bull Run. Click image to expand.
Federal Cavalry at Sudley Springs after the First Battle of Bull Run

If you've ever visited Civil War battlefields or watched re-enactors stage non-lethal facsimiles of famous skirmishes, you've no doubt tried to imagine what it would have been like to witness the real deal. It turns out some tourists did just that 150 years ago. As part of a new series for the Slate Daily Podcast, radio producer Nate DiMeo brings us the story of the enthusiastic civilians who traveled to Manassas, Va., in July 1861, to take in the first major land battle of the young American war:

(You can also listen in this, download the episode, or subscribe for free to the Slate Daily Podcast in iTunes.)

The Memory Palace: Civil War Stories. Subscribe for free on iTunes.

"Civil War Stories" is a collaboration between Slate and "The Memory Palace," DiMeo's long-running podcast that unearths forgotten historical gems. The series will appear monthly during the sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War.

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Andy Bowers is the executive producer of Slate’s podcasts. Follow him on Twitter.

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