Join Brooks Simpson for an introductory tour of the battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House. It will cover the main events of each battle, highlighting key locations. Learn what happened and why as Grant and Lee confronted each other for the first time in the war. This tour is ideal for participants who may not have visited these battlefields in the past. This tour will have minimal walking.
As an advanced tour covering the battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House, the guides intend to focus on some significant "off the beaten path" sites. As opposed to providing a quick overview of the battles, we intend to make just a few stops where we take the time to investigate both the sites and the events that occurred at each. At the Wilderness battlefield, we will visit Ellwood and the Widow Tapp Farm. At Spotsylvania Court House, we will visit Laurel Hill battlefield and Heth's Salient. This tour will include lengthy walks over uneven ground and wooded terrain. The level of difficulty for this tour should be considered moderate to high.
This will be a professional military education-style staff ride of the Wilderness with possible stands at the Spotsylvania field. Emphasis will be on decision-making at the higher levels of command, command relationships, and the tactical-operational-strategic nexus. The staff ride is led using a Socratic methodology with parallels to current strategic issues. Participants in the staff ride should already have at least an intermediate understanding of the Battle of the Wilderness. Tour involves moderate walking on relatively easy terrain.
Join Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park's Chief Historian John Hennessy for an examination of war-time Fredericksburg. This tour will consist of extensive walking through the town. Participants will spend the morning examining how the local community (both slave and free) grappled with wartime pressures, and the afternoon touring Civil War hospital sites -- including a number of churches not normally open for visitors.
Once regarded as the "Valley of Humiliation" by Union troops, the Shenandoah Valley had been the scene of incessant disasters for Federal forces -- that is until General Philip H. Sheridan's smashing successes in the autumn of 1864. This all-day tour will examine two of Sheridan's victories -- Fisher's Hill, fought on September 22, 1864, and Cedar Creek, fought on October 19, 1864. These tours will examine the ebb and flow of battle through the eyes of the soldiers who fought; examine command decisions; assess the battles' impact on the local civilian populations, and also explore how veterans of both sides memorialized their efforts and used the battlefields' landscapes to advance the cause of postwar reconciliation. The Fisher's Hill portion of the tour will require walking over uneven terrain. The Cedar Creek portion of the tour will require some walking, but mostly on flat ground.
This will be an in-depth battlefield tour of the July 9, 1864 Battle of Monocacy, Maryland. The tour will begin at the park visitor center and consist of four different stops. Participants will visit three historic farms and be able to see the five monuments that commemorate the battle and honor the soldiers that fought. A picnic-style lunch will be held at the historic Worthington House. After the tour concludes, participants will have the opportunity to visit the park museum and bookstore. This tour will consist of minimal walking that will present low difficulty. The terrain is relatively flat.
The middle weeks of the Overland Campaign saw increased movement. When the armies disengaged at Spotsylvania, they marched south and fought inconclusively at North Anna (May 23-26), and at Totopotomoy Creek (May 28-June 1), before settling into the brutal two weeks at Cold Harbor. The first half of our tour will visit several of the key pre-Cold Harbor sites: the North Anna River battlefield; the large cavalry engagement at Haw's Shop; and the collision along Totopotomoy Creek. In the afternoon we will make multiple stops on the Cold Harbor battlefield, where we will examine the scene of two major Union attacks, against the backdrop of magnificent, 150-year-old entrenchments. This tour will be of medium-level effort. One very short hike in the morning will include some wooded terrain. Several other walks are scheduled, all of them on trails. The cumulative, roundtrip total for the day is approximately two miles.
*This tour bus will depart on Sunday afternoon, June 22nd. Participants will miss a handful of lectures/sessions on campus that evening. They will travel to a hotel just south of Fredericksburg, Virginia for the evening of June 22nd, and will depart for their battlefield tour on the morning of June 23rd. The tour will conclude around 4:00 p.m., and participants will be back on the Gettysburg College campus for dinner Monday evening. There is an extra charge of $90.00 for CWI attendees who participate in this overnight tour trip (to cover hotel and meal costs).
This tour will follow in the footsteps of Michael Schroyer and the men of the 147th Pennsylvania Volunteers (Candy's Brigade, Geary's Division, 12th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac) as they arrived in Gettysburg in the early afternoon of July 1, deploying on the north side of Little Round Top -- their first night back in their home state of Pennsylvania. In the early morning hours of July 2nd, the unit moved to Culp's Hill and took position on the Union right flank. On July 3rd they participated in the longest sustained fighting of the three-day battle to recover control of the hill. We will study the landscape and share stories of some of the men in the regiment through their letters and diaries. Moderate walking on roads, fields, hillsides, and some wooded areas.
This tour will follow the 4th Alabama's route from Seminary Ridge to Little Round Top, all while using period and post-war accounts to describe the unit's actions -- especially the records from William C. Ward of Company G. The physical demands of this tour will be more difficult, and it includes encountering some rugged terrain in the hike up Little Round Top.
Participants will join historians Scott Mingus and Ed Bearss as they follow in the footsteps of a member of the Louisiana Tigers on July 1, 2, and 3 during the First Louisiana Brigade's actions at Gettysburg. This tour will involve moderate walking over level ground, except for the climb up East Cemetery Hill.
Overshadowed in the Gettysburg narrative by the famed 20th Maine, the 137th New York held an equally precarious position on Culp's Hill as the far right regiment of the Union line. This tour explores the role of Colonel David Ireland and the 137th New York (General George S. Greene's Brigade, XII Corps) and the fight for Culp's Hill on July 2nd. In holding off the Confederate assault, Ireland's regiment sustained the heaviest casualties of Greene's brigade. The tour will start at the Culp's Hill observation tower and proceed down Culp's Hill, following Greene's line to the position of the 137th New York (in the saddle of upper & lower Culp's Hill). Terrain will be moderate, with walking distance of about 1 mile.
This tour will first head to Emmitsburg to locate the camp of the 153rd Pennsylvania. We will then follow their route to Gettysburg and go to Barlow's Knoll where we'll discuss the fighting that occurred there on July 1st. We will follow the regiment's retreat through town to Cemetery Hill and conclude with the regiment's actions on July 2nd and 3rd. There will be some walking over uneven ground. The difficulty level will be moderate to easy, and the walking distance will be less than a half mile in short increments.