PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s 150 years ago this week since the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, to launch America into its bloodiest war ever.

To mark that anniversary, here are some nearby but little known Civil War getaway possibilities within a few hours of Philadelphia.

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Some of the Civil War’s most gruesome days occurred on the streets of New York City.  Draft riots burned buildings and saw wholesale beatings and lynchings.  The devastation began in midtown, but spread to lower Manhattan and the notorious Five Points district.

“Draft Riot” walking tours include the Boss Tweed Courthouse and the South Street Seaport, in New York. Just look up the New-York Historical Society for more information.

Nowhere are the war’s divided loyalties more clearly defined than at Chestertown, Md., on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay.  This very walkable town of shops, restaurants, and water sports holds a monument to many of its Civil War dead -– one side Union, the other Confederate (see photo).  You’ll see many of the same family names on both sides.

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Sadly missing, but memorialized on other nearby monuments, are the names of 400 freed slaves who also enlisted and died for the Union.

A Vermont getaway could include St. Albans, in picturesque Lake Champlain country. It was the farthest north that Confederate raiders ranged with a daring assault from Canada, robbing three banks to bankroll the Southern cause.  It’s a story prominently featured at the town’s fascinating historical museum.

Reported by Jay Lloyd, KYW Newsradio 1060

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