The Civil 
War Institute

300 North Washington Street
Campus box 435
Gettysburg, PA 17325
P: 717.337.6590

Battlefield Tours

June 23, 2018 [Saturday]

(1) The Seminary Ridge Museum, Daryl Black (Seminary Ridge Museum)

(2) "No Troops on the Field Had Done Better:" The Counterattack of Caldwell's Division Into the Wheatfield, Scott Hartwig (Independent Historian)

Gen. John Caldwell's 1st Division of the 2nd Corps conducted the only division size attack by the Army of the Potomac in the entire Battle of Gettysburg. The attack by this experienced unit went extremely well, but ended in disaster. The walk will explore why it succeeded initially, why it ended in defeat, and the role leadership, or lack thereof, played in both. The walk will cover about 1 1/2 miles of walking through fields, along trails, across the Wheatfield and up to Rose Hill.

(3) Hood's Texas Brigade, Susannah Ural (University of Southern Mississippi)

Hood's Texas Brigade is one of the most celebrated units of the Confederacy, but at the Battle of Gettysburg, they failed to fully achieve the victory they sought.  This tour focuses on the leadership challenges the brigade faced during and after this fight, and how the unit recovered from their significant losses to continue to contribute to the Confederate war effort. The tour will examine the unit as a whole, but will specifically trace the route of the 4th and 5th Texas from Warfield Ridge to Little Round Top on July 2, 1863.  While my 2016 CWI tour required significant walking across challenging terrain and focused on Devil's Den, this tour has been designed to include as many CWI participants as possible by sticking to the paths along the Bushman and Slyder farms, with a brief stop on the way to Little Round Top, and an extensive discussion looking down at the Texans' advance from Little Round Top.

(4) Gettysburg's Monuments, Dan Vermilya (Eisenhower National Historic Site)

Civil War monuments are a fascinating part of how we remember the conflict of over 150 years ago. Each monument on the Gettysburg battlefield has its own story that reflects the time and manner in which it was placed and dedicated. For the Confederacy, monuments at Gettysburg have always been controversial, eliciting heated debates from veterans and historians alike. Though the Virginia Memorial and Florida Memorial each sit along West Confederate Avenue and represent the same Confederate army, their dedications reflect two vastly different meanings. Union monuments have also seen their share of controversies, reminding us that monuments for both sides have played a major role in shaping how we remember the Civil War's bloodiest battle. This tour will feature minimal walking, with most stops consisting of very short walks over to monuments, and a potential walk into the cemetery at the conclusion of the tour.

(5) The 12th New Hampshire and the Fight for the Klingle Farm, John Hoptak (Gettysburg National Military Park)

Late on the afternoon of July 2, 1863, the 12th New Hampshire Infantry of General Daniel Sickles’s Third Corps, Army of the Potomac, suffered nearly fifty percent casualties in a desperate and deadly struggle along the Emmitsburg Road. Join Ranger John Hoptak and follow in the footsteps of this hard-fighting regiment, assume the identity of one of its soldiers, and learn his fate while discovering the largely unheralded and untold story of the 12th New Hampshire’s service at Gettysburg. This program is walking-intensive and will cover approximately 2.5 miles of ground.

*Please Check Back Regularly For Additional Tour Descriptions*


June 25, 2018 [Monday]

(1) In the Footsteps of John Brown, Dennis Frye (Independent Historian)

Many historians credit John Brown as the fuse that exploded into the Civil War. Significant sites associated with the abolitionist and the launch of his ill-fated war upon slavery still remain. We will visit his Kennedy Farm headquarters, tucked in the mountains of western Maryland, where he gathered his men and materials of war. We will explore old town Harpers Ferry and visit the sites of the US Armory and Arsenal - the targets of Brown's attack. We will experience the culmination of the raid at "John Brown's Fort," where Marines led by Robert E. Lee made a daring assault and captured Brown. Then off to Charles Town and a visit to the original court house where Brown was tried and convicted. Finally we will witness the execution site where Brown delivered his final words: "I, John Brown, am not quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land, will never be purged away, but with blood."

(2) 2nd Manassas, John Hennessy (Author, Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas) & Brooks Simpson (Arizona State University)

(3) Photography at Antietam, Garry Adelman (Civil War Trust)

The Antietam Battlefield was extensively covered within days of the battle by photographer Alexander Gardner and his crew, under the employ of Mathew Brady. The 80 glass-plate negatives they produced included soldiers, civilians, structures, now-famous fields as well as twenty views of the human carnage on the hard-fought battlefield. These ghastly images—the first of American dead on a battlefield—shocked and fascinated the nation, even while the armies still struggled. After the war, other photographers worked to visually capture even more of the battlefield. Join Garry Adelman for an enthusiastic portrayal of the battle and battlefield while walking in the footsteps of the soldiers and early photographers… which will happen to take the group by the icons of Antietam. A handful of short walks of several hundred yards each, some of which will be on rugged terrain, will be included.

(4) Meade at Gettysburg, Kent Masterson Brown (Witnessing History Educational Foundation, Inc.) & Christopher Stowe (Marine Corps University, Quantico)

This tour follows Meade as a general on the battlefield. The tour will examine his plans on the first day and what actually happened, his deep involvement on the second day defending Sickles’s front, and his actions on the third day. Walking will be limited; the tour will mostly require multiple stops on and off the bus.

(5) Civil War Defenses of Washington, DC, Steve Phan (Civil War Defenses of Washington)

The Campaigns of 1864 brought the Confederate army to the gates of Washington, threatening the Lincoln Administration’s tenuous management of the war effort. On July 11-12, 1864, Federal defenders, a mix of raw volunteers, convalescents, and government employees, occupied the defenses of Washington as Confederate General Jubal Early’s army menaced the capital. Would Washington fall? Victory or defeat was measured by the heat index and the timely arrival of veteran reinforcements.This bus tour will explore some of the Defenses of Washington engaged during the Battle of Fort Stevens. The tour will include a visit to 3-4 forts that saw action on July 11-12, 1864-- notably Fort DeRussy, Stevens, and Totten. Total walking distance will average 3-4 miles on path and dirt trails, with moderate elevation grades. Ranger Steve will have the bus take visitors to each fort, cutting the walking distance as much as possible.

*Please Check Back Regularly for Additional Tour Descriptions*


June 26, 2018 [Tuesday]


(1) Gettysburg Off-the-Beaten-Path, Garry Adelman (Civil War Trust) (Walking Intensive)

While summer throngs of Civil War tourists swarm Gettysburg’s iconic sites, true enthusiasts know that the battle was fought along modern battlefield avenues but mostly in the fields and hills off the beaten path. Join Garry Adelman for a series of hikes around the field to gain the perspectives of 1863 soldiers and civilians. Walk where they walked. Touch what they touched. This tour will consist of two hikes of 2-3 miles each over sometimes rugged terrain and up and down Gettysburg’s three best-known hills highlighting main July 2 and 3 sites. The tour will include places you probably haven’t stood, some things you don’t know, photos and rock carvings you probably haven’t seen, and a special aftermath experience at the Rose Farm.

(2) Meade's Pursuit to Williamsport, Jennifer Murray (Oklahoma State University)

This is a full day bus tour covering the path of the Federal pursuit from Gettysburg to Williamsport. We will make multiple stops along the way and minimal walking will be required at each stop.

HALF DAY TOURS: Breakout Tours in the Footsteps of Soldiers and Civilians (brief classroom discussion of primary source documents followed by focused battlefield tour)

(3) Embattled Civilians, (Ashley Whitehead Luskey (Gettysburg College)

When the armies clashed at Gettysburg in July of 1863, they brought the war home to the literal doorsteps of a community of 2,400 souls who had, until that time, been spared the direct impacts of the battle front. With lives, homesteads, livelihoods—and in the instance of the local African-American community, individual freedom—on the line, Gettysburg’s civilians braced for the coming storm.This tour will explore some of the stories of Gettysburg’s civilians—women, farmers, African Americans, college students and faculty, and German immigrants—whose lives were permanently transformed by the battle and its aftermath. After a brief classroom discussion of a selection of pertinent primary sources, we will visit several sites in the borough and on the battlefields to discuss not only the battle’s impact on the local community, but also how civilians of all different stripes responded to the carnage and helped to shape the post-war landscape and memory of Gettysburg. We will also discuss how the pre-battle civilian landscape and civilians’ post-battle responses to the battle inform our larger understanding about the texture and tenuousness of life along the Mason-Dixon Line during the Civil War era. This tour will involve minimum walking, but will require a few short walks to farmsteads over uneven ground.  The tour will all also include several stops that will require de-boarding and re-boarding the tour bus.

(4) "The Severest Fight of the War:" The Gettsyburg Experiences of Alexander McNeill, 2nd South Carolina Infantry, Keith Bohannon (University of West Georgia)

This tour will begin on Confederate Avenue  and follow the advance of the 2nd S.C. across the Emmitsburg Road, through the Rose Farm and into the Wheatfield. The walk will cover several hundred yards of gently rolling and uneven ground.

(5) Slocum's Second Interior Line on July 1, Troy Harman (Gettysburg National Military Park)

This tour will visit three significant hills that were seized by the Union 12th Corps on the battle’s first day to secure Meade’s position at Gettysburg. Advance of the Union 12th Corps to Benner’s Hill secured the army’s right flank, while occupation of Little Round Top secured the army’s left, and establishment of Powers Hill reinforced the army’s center behind Cemetery Hill. This tour will visit all three hills by bus, with some walking up-and-down the south slope of Powers Hill, and the north slope of Little Round Top, for a total of one mile on foot.

*Please Check Back Regularly For Additional Tour Descriptions*




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300 North Washington St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325
P: (717) 337-6300