The Civil 
War Institute

300 North Washington Street
Campus box 435
Gettysburg, PA 17325
P: 717.337.6590
F: 717.337.6596

Battlefield Tours

Gettysburg Tours - Saturday, June 20
In the Footsteps of a Soldier

(1) Lt. Colonel Rufus Dawes of the 6th Wisconsin

Scott Hartwig

On the morning of July 1st, Lt. Colonel Rufus Dawes, commanding the 6th Wisconsin Infantry, led a successful counterattack against Confederate troops who threatened to completely unhinge the Union position west of Gettysburg that General John Reynolds hoped to establish. Nearly 180 men were shot during the attack but it succeeded in capturing over 200 Confederates and smashing the threat to the Union flank. What were the qualities of Dawes that enabled him to lead men into such a maelstrom and succeed? This program will follow in the very footsteps of Dawes and his men from their initial position west of the Lutheran Seminary, across the meadows to the north, over the Chambersburg Pike, and to the Railroad Cut. Along the way we will meet Dawes and his men and learn why he was such an exceptional leader. This is a moderate walk through tall meadow grass for about a half-mile. There is little shade for most of the route so plan accordingly.

(2) Private Justus Silliman of the 17th Connecticut

Pete Vermilyea

Justus Silliman was a teacher hailing from New Canaan, Connecticut, who enlisted with the 17th Connecticut infantry -- an Eleventh Corps unit. On the first day at Gettysburg he fought with his unit at Barlow's Knoll, This tour will focus on the different roles Silliman experienced at Gettysburg: soldier, prisoner, casualty, and hospital steward. Moderate walking.

(3) Lt. Colonel Benjamin Humphreys of the 21st Mississippi

Jennifer Murray

This tour follows the route of the 21st Mississippi on July 2, 1863, with a particular emphasis to the experience of Lt. Col. Benjamin Humphreys. The tour will entail approximately 2.5 miles of moderate walking. We will begin at the Mississippi Memorial along West Confederate Avenue, advance through the Peach Orchard to the Trostle Farm, and conclude along the southern slope of Cemetery Ridge.

(4) Colonel Eliakim Sherrill of the 126th New York

Dan Welch

Follow in the footsteps of Col. Eliakim Sherrill on July 2 and 3 as he leads his New Yorkers in combat as well as his final moments at Gettysburg following his mortal wounding.  Weigh in on Sherrill's command decisions on July 2 and see if his arrest was justified.  This program will have some long walks on level ground through high grass. Bug spray, good shoes, tall socks, sunscreen, and water are recommended for this program.

(5) Corporal Manley Stacey of the 111th New York

Ed Suplee

This tour will follow the path of Corporal Manley Stacey of the 111th New York Regiment on July 2, 1863, as his unit is sent from Zeigler's Grove on Cemetery Hill to charge into Wilcox's Alabama brigade in the Trostle Thicket in the late afternoon. The 111th New York was part of Colonel George Willard's Brigade of Winfield Scott Hancock's 2nd Corps. The 111th New York will actually enter combat just to the left of the more famous 1st Minnesota Regiment in the center of the Union line. They will lose 249 of their 390 men that day (63.8%). The tour will involve walking about 3/4 of a mile over mostly level (but some rough) terrain.

(6) Lt. Randolph McKim of Brigadier General Steuart's Brigade

Chris Gwinn

Join Supervisory Ranger Christopher Gwinn and follow in the footsteps of Lt. Randolph McKim, a Confederate Marylander serving on the staff of Brigadier General George Steuart. McKim witnessed some of the most brutal and sustained fighting of the battle of Gettysburg and took part in the fighting on Culp's Hill, July 2nd and 3rd, 1863. This tour will traverse the lower slopes of Culp's Hill, often in wooded and rugged terrain, and will cover a mile and a half of walking as we explore this pivotal phase of the battle through the recollections of Lt. McKim.

1865 Battlefield Tours - Monday, June 22

(1) The Petersburg Campaign (I)

A. Wilson Greene

The Petersburg Campaign covered 292 days and included nine Union offensives, three Confederate offensives, and several cavalry raids.  This is a little more than we can cover in a one day tour!  That said, our trip will include some of the most famous Petersburg landscapes, such as the Crater and the site of the Union Breakthrough on April 2.  We'll also take you to a few out-of-the-way places and try, by the end of the day, to explain the general course of the campaign, the armies' objectives, and the critical command decisions that led to the evacuation of the city on the night of April 2, 1865. Moderate walking on mostly-level walking paths. 

(2) The Petersburg Campaign (II)

Emmanuel Dabney

This version of the Petersburg Campaign tour will cover the armies' operations from June 15, 1864 through April 2, 1865, as well as a stop at a historic plantation. Primary stops off the bus will be at Grant's Headquarters at City Point (approximately 1000 feet of walking from the bus, through a couple of stops, then back to the bus). In the "Eastern Front," the tour will cover parts of the initial assaults on Petersburg in mid-June 1864, the soldiers' experience at Petersburg, the Battle of Ford Stedman, and the Battle of the Crater. After lunch, we will see sites along the "Western Front" portions of the battlefield where we will exit the bus at Poplar Grove National Cemetery, the Five Forks Battlefield, and the Fort Gregg Battlefield. The most strenuous walks will be at the Fort Stedman and Crater battlefields. The Crater features one semi-steep hill. The least amount of walking will be at Poplar Grove and Five Forks. Given the distances to be covered, this tour will not attempt to go everywhere connected with the campaign, but will instead try to do full justice to the places we do visit. 

(3) Lee's Retreat to Appomattox: Why Appomattox? (I)

Ernie Price

The first stop of the tour begins at the critical Battle of Five Forks that forces Lee to evacuate Petersburg.  Several  key points of the battlefield will be visited.  The next stops will be at is the Sailor’s Creek Battlefield to view the inside of Hillsman farm house which served as a field hospital;  the bullet ridden Lockett farm house and possibly Marshall’s Crossroads where Generals George Pickett and Bushrod Johnson were overrun by Federal Cavalry.  The first stop in Appomattox  will be the newly developed Appomattox Station battlefield originally purchased by Civil War Preservation Trust and now run by the Appomattox 1865 Foundation.  This April 8, 1865, engagement pitted Federal General George A. Custer’s cavalry division against Confederate General Rueben L. Walker’s reserve artillery.  The fight was unique in many aspects and a key element to trapping the Army of Northern Virginia, leading to its surrender the next day. The next stop will include details of General Gordon’s April 9th morning breakout attack and a visit to the Confederate Cemetery, the final resting place for some of the war’s final victims.  The final stop will be in the village itself where the group will tour the McLean House where the surrender occurred, the Clover Hill Tavern where the parole passes were printed for the Confederate soldiers to return home, the Lee-Grant April 10 meeting site and the stacking of arms/salute site, and possibly the museum. Minimal walking, though there will be a 1/4-1/2 mile walk within the village at Appomattox. 

(4) Lee's Retreat to Appomattox (II)

Robert E.L. Krick

This version of the "Lee's Retreat" tour will cover the armies' operations from April 3 through April 9. Primary stops off the bus will be at historic Namozine Church, at several spots on the Sailor's Creek battlefield, and at three places around the wartime village of Appomattox Court House. One walk in the morning will span 3/4 of a mile and follow the Union attack across Sailor's Creek and up the hill to the Confederate lines. The afternoon walk (1/2 mile) will follow R.E. Lee's path as he rode into the village to surrender his army. The latter walk is briefly steep, in the original road bed. Given the distances to be covered, this particular tour will not attempt to go everywhere connected with the campaign, but instead will try to do full justice to the places we do visit. 

(5) Lee's Retreat to Appomattox (III)

Bert Dunkerly

This tour will emphasize key moments in the campaign and the decisions made by Lee and his officers.  We will make stops at Amelia Court House, Sailor's Creek, the seldom-seen Confederate trenches at Appomattox, and the Appomattox battlefield.  There is minimal walking, except for the last stop, which will involve a half mile, downhill walk to the village of Appomattox Court House.

(6) Staff Ride: Appomattox

Christopher Stowe & Christian Keller

The Retreat/Pursuit to Appomattox staff ride immerses its attendees in a seminar-style learning experience. It encourages of its participants both study prior to the event and active participation while in the field. The staff ride analyzes national strategies, command and civil-military relationships, operational concepts, and tactical outcomes relating to the eight-day campaign that culminated in the surrender of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia to the armies Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant. The all-day ride begins just west of Petersburg and includes such locations as Five Forks, Sutherland Station, Amelia Court House, and the village of Appomattox Court House. 

1865 Site Tours: Tuesday, June 23

(1) A Conqueror or a Peacemaker?
Abraham Lincoln in Richmond, April 4-5, 1865 (2 Buses)

Mike Gorman

On the afternoon of April 4, 1865, President Lincoln visited Richmond. As he moved through the city streets, he was surrounded by a growing throng of jubilant former slaves. This tour traces the places he went during his walk through Richmond, including the White House of the Confederacy and the Virginia Capitol, as well as what he hoped to achieve during his visit. The tour requires walking approximately 2 miles, some of which involves steep hills.

(2) The Autumn 1864 Battles Outside Richmond & the Fall of the Confederate Capital in 1865

Robert E.L. Krick

The first part of this six-hour tour will focus on the September 29-30, 1864, battles below Richmond, specifically Fort Harrison and Fort Gilmer, where the Army of the James established a toehold in the midst of the Confederate defenses. Visits to those well-preserved forts will set the scene for the spring 1865 events. Our bus will follow the Federal army's original route into Richmond. Because there was no "Battle of Richmond," our stops in the city instead will concentrate on key surviving places connected either with the evacuation fire on April 3, or the immediate Union occupation of the former Confederate capital. A one-third of a mile flat hike at Fort Harrison and some very limited walking in Richmond's streets will constitute the only exercise. 


(3) Virginia State Capitol

Mark Greenough

(4) Staff Ride: Petersburg

Christopher Stowe & Christian Keller

The Petersburg staff ride immerses its attendees in a seminar-style learning experience. It encourages of its participants both study prior to the event and active participation while on the field. The ride will focus on areas related to the "western front" of Petersburg operations. It covers actions from the Fifth Union Offensive (30 September - 2 October 1864) through the Eighth Offensive (29-30 March 1865) that imperiled General Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in its attempts to defend the "Cockade City." The staff ride analyzes national and military strategies as they evolved over the fall and winter of 1864-1865, command relationships, operational concepts, and tactical actions involving two great American armies in a campaign unique in its pace, complexity, and decisiveness. 

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