The tour will examine how we use the battlefield today as part of PME (professional military education), emphasizing locations that have particular relevance for modern U.S. Army education/training in light of current operations. It will focus on staff ride methodology and how the history of various points on the field are actually utilized to achieve tangible, real learning objectives that can be useful to officers at all levels today. We will discuss this from a variety of perspectives: the service academy (tactical emphasis), the intermediate level officers' schools (operational emphasis), and the service colleges (strategic level emphasis).
Gettysburg has not only attracted countless history enthusiasts to its hallowed hills and fields, but it has served the nation as a vehicle in which to train and educate its military servicemen and women. Our four-hour tour looks at Gettysburg National Military Park's utility as both a military training site and as a location where uniformed professionals can reflect upon the intricacies of their craft. From Camp Colt and Smedley Butler's 1922 Marine Corps reenactment to the modern-era staff ride, Gettysburg has played an important role in the professional development of generations of U.S. and international military personnel. This tour involves light-to-moderate walking to sites located within the confines of the Gettysburg borough and National Military Park.
This tour will center on the crucial command decisions of James Longstreet on July 2nd and 3rd. In the field, we will gather at Lee's command post on Seminary Ridge, follow the route of Longstreet's men toward Little Round Top, stop at the Peach Orchard, and conclude in front of the Virginia monument to discuss Pickett's & Pettigrew's charge. Throughout the tour we will discuss the events as they happened in 1863, and how they were reinterpreted through the disciples of the Lost Cause. There is minimal walking on this tour.
The Army did not leave Gettysburg in 1863. In fact, the American Civil War was only the beginning of the vibrant military relationship fostered within the National Military Park. Over the following decades, the site was not only a commemorative landscape for veterans or a destination of leisure for tourists, but a proving ground for the rising stars of the United States Military. Come explore the secret history of the World Wars at Gettysburg. Learn about Dwight Eisenhower’s first command at Camp Colt, hear of a classified psychological warfare unit that trained on Seminary Ridge, trace an FBI manhunt for Nazi POWs on the battlefield, and much more. Finally, see how Lincoln’s “unfinished work” was carried on by WWII combatants now buried in the Soldiers National Cemetery.
Many historians argue that the Army of the Potomac victory at Gettysburg is at least partially attributed to Major General (and XI Commander) Oliver Otis Howard. Others find him, and his life of service, to be that of incompetence. This tour on the fields of Gettysburg will enable CWI attendees to stand on ground including the July 1, 1863 XI line of battle, East Cemetery Hill, and the the Soldiers National Cemetery. This tour will cover Howard's early life, his army experiences over four decades, and roles within Reconstruction. A special focus will be on Howard's post-war perspectives of the battle and his return visits to Gettysburg.
Few regiments had more members write first-hand accounts of their experiences at Gettysburg than the 20th Maine, and few of those members left better accounts than William T. Livermore. At the time of his enlistment in the summer of 1862 Livermore was a twenty-one year old farmer from Milo, Maine. Assigned to Company B, Livermore was promoted to corporal in February of 1863 and served as a member of the color guard. Standing next to color bearer Andrew Tozier, and within feet of Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, the unit’s two Medal of Honor awardees, Livermore was perfectly positioned to observe the regiment’s iconic fight on Little Round Top. Before falling asleep on July 2 Livermore penned an extensive diary entry setting down his impressions of the unit’s actions. He also wrote to his brother just four days later offering a full account of the fight with additional details. These accounts, written before a shared understanding of the battle would begin to play tricks on personal memories, offer important insights into some of the controversies surrounding the unit, including whether Chamberlain actually ordered a charge and if the men understood the importance of their position at the time. An 1899 letter that Livermore wrote to set former commander Joshua Chamberlain straight on some important details regarding the actions of the color guard adds further interesting information and shows the ways the story continued to be shaped in the postwar years. Telling the story of the fight for Little Round Top through the eyes of William T. Livermore, as opposed to the more standard Chamberlain-centric story, offers a new and deeper understanding of the 20th Maine on Little Round Top as well as their own postwar debates over the details of the battle.
This walk will detail the climactic assault of July 3rd, popularly known as Pickett's Charge. Specifically, we will follow the route of Brigadier General James Kemper's Brigade, with a particular focus on Colonel Joseph Mayo of the 3rd Virginia. This walk will begin at the Virginia Memorial, proceed to the Spangler Farm, and then follow the path of Kemper's Virginians across the fields, finishing at the Angle. Total walking distance is approximately 2 miles, over rough terrain, including fences and high grass. Participants are advised to wear boots and pants.
On the afternoon of July 2, 1863, Colonel Thomas Egan, a former New York City clerk, led 600 men from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York in a desperate advance across the base of Little Round Top, toward Devils Den. In the fighting that ensued over 150 would become casualties. Join Supervisory Historian Christopher Gwinn and follow the route of their advance and retreat, exploring how the survivors of the 40th New York remembered, commemorated, and grappled with their time in the Valley of Death. This challenging walk will cover 1 1/2 miles over rugged terrain.
Follow in the footsteps of Hood's Texans as they made their famous assault on the Union position at Little Round Top, utilizing (and analyzing) the moving post-war account of Private Val C. Giles (Company B, 4th Texas). The tour will focus on understanding what the men thought about the fight that July and how their memories evolved in the post-war period. Grounded in writings from 1863, we will also look at little known descriptions of medical care and what some of the New Yorkers and Michiganders thought about their Texas attackers.
The staff ride technique used in professional military education is used to examine the dynamics of the senior leaders in battle; its focus is not on tactical actions, but rather how those actions impacted decision-making at the senior level. At various stops around the battlefield, discussion will focus on the situations commanders faced and assess their actions. This, in turn, leads to a richer understanding of how leaders deal with uncertainty, rapid change, challenging command relationships, and the difficulty in fulfiling political objectives after military victory.