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).
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.