5 Reasons You Should Consider Civil War Themed River Cruises

River Views®, a River Cruise Blog


Since the era of wagons and mud-choked roads, America's waterways have always been some of the best ways for people to get around the country. At American Queen Steamboat Company, we've organized several cruises that let Civil War history buffs experience the past the way people of generations ago did: from the water's edge. Here are five can't-miss attractions that give you the perfect excuse to book one of our Civil War tours:

Savannah, TN

Savannah Civil War Tour

This city in southwestern Tennessee is a major stop for any Savannah Civil War tour. The Battle of Shiloh – also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing – took place here in 1862. It was one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War, as Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant faced off against Confederate Gen. Albert Johnston, and 24,000 lives were lost over just two days. Other attractions included with this civil war landmark near Savannah are the United States National Cemetery and the Shiloh Indian Mounds.

Dover, TN

Dover is a beautiful town on the northern edge of Tennessee. It is home to one of the most pivotal Tennessee Civil War sites. Here, Gen. Grant waged a costly but ultimately triumphant battle against Fort Donelson. His victory helped secure Kentucky under Union control. Fort Donelson National Battlefield is also a beautiful park where you can appreciate the lush forests and wild animals of the Mid-South. It's home to bald eagles, so keep your eyes peeled – you just might spot one of these iconic birds during your visit.

Chattanooga, TN

If you book the optional American Select Premium Excursion, you'll explore the city during the day.  You'll be taken on a city tour and then head out to nearby Lookout Mountain. The track will take you nearly straight up the mountainside along the Amazing Mile, granting you an eye-popping view of the Tennessee River and Appalachian Mountains. Afterward, you can visit a Tennessee Civil War museum and national military park.

Decatur, AL

Decatur started as a river crossing, and has since grown in size and historical significance. Some of the highlights in your day-long walking tour include the Blue and Gray Museum –  a private collection of Civil War relics and memorabilia. These give you a closer, more personal look at the high cost of this conflict in American History. Other attractions include the Princess Theater – a 130-year-old building with a unique Art Deco style, and the Carnegie Visual Arts Center.

Paducah, KY

The Battle of Paducah was a Confederate victory where Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and his troops successfully captured Union supplies as the opposing forces holed up in Fort Anderson. After taking in the history in this town, you can take in other sights, such as the Moonshine Company, the Lloyd Tilghman House (built in 1852), and the National Quilt Museum.

Cruise Into History With American Queen Steamboat Company

Are you interested in Civil War-themed river cruises? American Queen Steamboat Company has been transporting vacationers in comfort and style for years. We have several cruises that take you to Tennessee Civil War sites where you can experience American history in a whole new way:

  • Explore battlefields from Shiloh to Fort Donelson.

  • Visit Civil War Museums and National Cemeteries.

  • Uncover the culture of towns along the rivers, from moonshine to fine dining.

Search our website to see which dates are available.