Embattled Capital, 1861 to 1865 Richmond's story is not just the tale of one large Civil War battle, nor even one important campaign. Instead, the park's resources include a naval battle, a key industrial complex, the Confederacy's largest hospital, dozens of miles of elaborate original fortifications, and the evocative spots where determined soldiers stood paces apart and fought with rifles, reaping a staggering human cost. Park battlefield areas are open sunrise to sunset.

The Battle of Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862, was a futile effort by the Confederates to eliminate the Union Army. The loop trail winds through fields and forest, with historical markers describing the action at all the important sites on the main field of battle. With its open fields and broad vistas it makes this grim battle very easy to understand. The houses on or near the field occupy the same foundations as the original structures, although the West House is on private property. The "hill" is only slightly more elevated than the surrounding areas so the trail is fairly level. For me, this is the best trail of the Richmond National Park units.