States with the most historic military sites

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Chip Somodevilla // Getty Images

States with the most historic military sites

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 7% of the U.S. population is a veteran of at least one war. Though most modern wars are not fought on U.S. soil, there are thousands of historic sites in America, from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to other domestic conflicts that have been preserved for posterity.

The National Register of Historic Places was established in 1966 and aims to help identify important historical and archeological areas in the U.S. for study and protection. Using the National Register’s online database, Stacker analyzed how many historic military sites are located in each state. The map shows both the exact number of sites and the relative number by color: A state with more historic military sites is darker than a state with fewer sites.

Whether a site is categorized as relevant to military history or not was determined by the National Register’s database, which provides an area of significance for every site listed. Some sites may be categorized under multiple areas of significance; however, if at least one of those areas is military history, that site is included in this visualization. 

Graphic by Emma Rubin

Of the 3,499 historic military sites identified, 3,112 of them are open to the public for viewing.

Nearly half of sites are categorized as a “building” by the National Register, with fewer entries categorized as a “district,” “site,” or “structure.” Virginia is the state with the most historic military sites by far at 291 sites, or 8.3% of all sites in the country.

Historic military sites across the U.S. include veteran cemeteries, battleships, presidential homes, and more. Whether it’s a well-known battlefield like Gettysburg in Pennsylvania or a Nazi spy landing site in Maine, each location reveals part of the United States’ military history. Take a look at the map to see how many sites you may be able to explore in your state.