For anyone interested in history, the physical traces of the past, especially places, haold a special fascination. Sometimes such a visit raises new questions in our minds. James McPherson has described walking in the field where Pickett's men charged at Gettysburg and wondering, what made them do it? But whatever our motivation for visiting these places, or how they affect us, there is no question that we understand the past in a different way when we encounter it "on the ground". We can touch, or be touched by, history in many places that are not historic sites' in the guidebook sense. A rusted bridge on Route 66 may speak more evocatively to us than the Bunker Hill Monument - partly because each of us has an individual sensibility, and also because each encounter with the past is unique. In this work, some of American's most gifted historians write about their own encounters with historic places, bringing a personal viewpoint to bear on a wide variety of sites, ranging from Monticello to Fenway Park, Queens to cyberspace.