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On September 16, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan confronted Lee’s
Army of Northern Virginia at Sharpsburg, Maryland. At dawn September 17,
Hooker’s corps mounted a powerful assault on Lee’s left flank that began
the single bloodiest day in American military history.
The Seven Days Campaign
The Seven Days campaign, fought from June 25 to July 1,
1862, was a singular episode of the Civil War.
Washington City 1861~1865
With the outbreak of the American Civil War, Washington, DC
turned into the training ground, arsenal, supply depot, and nerve center
for the Union cause. Newly formed regiments encamped in every quarter,
and streets reverberated under the wheels of cannons. Cattle for meat grazed
on the National Mall; sacks of flour, stacked against siege, surrounded
the U.S. Treasury. Today explore Washington City in the 1860s.
The Road to Gettysburg
At the Battle of Brandy Station on June 9, 1863 Hooker was
still in command of the Army of the Potomac. He sent his cavalry under
the command of General Alfred Pleasonton to break up a concentration of
Confederate cavalry around Culpeper. He feared Jeb Stuart was either going
to mount a massive raid into Maryland and Pennsylvania or move around the
Federal flank as he had done nine months earlier during the Second Manassas
The Struggle for Atlanta
Gen. William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign, from May 7 to September
2, 1864, was the decisive event of the Civil War. During this grueling
four-month ordeal, mighty Union armies maneuvered through northwestern
Georgia and forced Confederate retreat from key positions protecting the
approaches to Atlanta.
Philadelphia - The Civil War
Philadelphia is often noted as a shrine of the Revolutionary
War, but the city played a most significant role in the American Civil
War, earning it the title of “Arsenal of the North”.
The Great Invasion
Following his victory at Chancellorsville in May, 1863, General
Lee received approval from his government to invade the north. Lee hoped
an invasion would fuel the northern peace movement and, at least, disrupt
the Union war effort. After the death of Stonewall Jackson, Lee's Army
of Northern Virginia, had been reorganized into three army corps under
Longstreet, Ewell, and A.P. Hill. On June 3, advance troops of the Confederate
army left their camps near Fredericksburg and marched west toward the Shenandoah
First months of the Peninsula Campaign
In the early spring of 1862, the Union Army of the Potomac
landed at Fort Monroe at the tip of the Virginia "Peninsula" formed
by the James and York Rivers. The battle of the Ironclads March 9 had cleared
Hampton Roads, enabling the Federal water transports to land unmolested.
Union Gen. George McClellan hoped to march west on the Peninsula and capture
Richmond, less than 100 miles away. Confederates, led by Gen. John Magruder,
manned strong fortifications behind the Warwick River, holding off the
Federal juggernaut for a month before making a fighting withdrawal through
Williamsburg in early May. The Confederate armies fell back to the Richmond
defenses and were pinned down by mid-May.
The Civil War at Sea
One day in August of 1861, a cantankerous man in New York wrote
a long letter to the President. He was John Ericsson, a brilliant inventor.
The “writer,” the letter said, offers to construct a vessel for the destruction
of the Rebel fleet at Norfolk. He wanted no pay, it would be his contribution.
New Market Tour
As part of his 1864 spring offensive, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
ordered Major Gen. Franz Sigel to advance south along the Valley Pike to
destroy the railroad at Staunton and then to move on the rail complex at
Shenandoah Valley- Stonewall to Hunter’s Raid
The Valley is often described as an avenue of invasion directed
to the head of the Federal government at Washington D.C. More importantly,
it was a vital (and vulnerable) granary for the Confederacy and a worrisome
flank for both sides during operations around Richmond.
Civil War Virginia
Embark on a journey to the crossroads of conflict in Northern
Virginia. Your tour will begin where many believe the “first shots” of
the Civil War began…Harper’s Ferry, WV. You will come to understand the
history of Harper’s Ferry and the reasons John Brown chose this remote
area…You will experience in-depth what occurred during the first major
battle of the American Civil War at the first Manassas Battle and cover
the important battle at Second Manassas before continuing to Antietam.
This was the first major land battle of the armies in Virginia.
On July 16, 1861, the untried Union army under Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell
marched from Washington against the Confederate army, which was drawn up
behind Bull Run beyond Centreville. On the 21st, McDowell crossed at Sudley
Ford and attacked the Confederate left flank on Matthews Hill. Fighting
raged throughout the day as Confederate forces were driven back to Henry
Gray Ghost Tour - Shenandoah
“My purpose was to weaken the armies invading Virginia, by
harassing their rear…To destroy supply trains, to break up the means of
conveying intelligence, and thus isolating an army from its base, as well
as its different corps from each other, to confuse their plans by capturing
their dispatches, are the objects of partisan war. It is just as legitimate
to fight an enemy in the rear as in the front. The only difference is in
the danger….." John S. Mosby
Civil War Journey
When Abraham Lincoln, a known opponent of slavery was elected
president, the South Carolina legislature perceived it as a threat. Calling
a state convention in January of 1861 the delegates voted to remove the
state of South Carolina from the union also known as the United States
of America. Other southern states followed. On April 12, 1861, Charleston
was the scene of the first conflict of what became the American Civil War.
Jackson’s Brilliant Victory
On September 4, 1862, Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia
splashed across the Potomac River into Maryland at White's Ford. During
the next few days, Lee's veteran Confederates settled in around the town
of Frederick. The first invasion of the North had begun.
In 1863 Gettysburg had a population of 2,400 and was at the
center of a network of some ten roads. Small farms with cultivated
fields, orchards, and woodlots that concealed outcroppings of granite boulders
surrounded the town.
A new threat to the Confederacy lurked in Northern Virginia
in the summer of 1862. Two previous threats had already been successfully
opposed by the Southerners. Confederate forces under Major General Thomas
J. "Stonewall" Jackson had thwarted Federal designs in the Shenandoah Valley
earlier in the year. The emergence of General Robert E. Lee insured the
safety of Richmond by driving Union troops away from the Confederate capital
in the Seven Days battles. A desperate Lincoln Administration next turned
to the bombastic Major General John Pope. Pope forged an army out of the
several Union commands embarrassed by Jackson in the Valley and christened
his new fighting force the Army of Virginia.
“In The Footsteps of John Brown”
John Brown believed he could free the slaves, and he selected
Harpers Ferry as his starting point. Determined to seize the 100,000
weapons at the Arsenal and to use the Blue Ridge Mountains for guerrilla
warfare, abolitionist Brown launched his raid on Sunday evening, October
16, 1859. His 21-man "army of liberation" seized the Armory and several
other strategic points. Thirty-six hours after the raid begun, with most
of his men killed or wounded, Brown was captured in the Armory fire engine
house (now known as "John Brown's Fort") when U.S. Marines stormed the
building. Brought to trial at nearby Charles Town, Brown was found
guilty of treason, of conspiring with slaves to rebel, and murder. He was
hanged on December 2, 1859. John Brown's short-lived raid failed, but his
trial and execution focused the nation's attention on the moral issue of
slavery and headed the country toward civil war.
From July 1 to 3, 1863, in and around the small Pennsylvania
town of Gettysburg, the Federal Army of the Potomac and the Confederate
Army of Northern Virginia fought one of the bloodiest battles in American
history. More than 170,000 men fought in it, and over 50,000 became casualties.
Retrace the drama and spectacle of the Gettysburg Campaign. Spend one day
on each of the days of the battles. Learn about the military maneuvers
and tactics of Lee, Meade, Longstreet, and Buford with our historian guide.
Weather permitting you will have the opportunity to walk Pickett’s Charge.
1861 Virginia to 1863 Pennsylvania
Fought over the first three days of July 1863, the Battle of
Gettysburg was one of the most critical battles of the Civil War having
occurred at a time when the fate of the nation hung in the balance- the
summer of 1863. Often referred to as the "High Water Mark of the Confederacy",
it was the culmination of the second and most ambitious invasion of the
North by General Robert E. Lee and the "Army of Northern Virginia". The
"Army of the Potomac", the Union army that had long been the nemesis of
Lee, met the Confederate invasion at the crossroads town of Gettysburg
and though it was under a new commander, General George Gordon Meade, the
northerners fought with a desperation born of defending their home territory.
The Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg resulted in Lee's retreat
to Virginia and an end to the hopes of the Confederacy for independence.
“In the Footsteps of Gods and Generals”
As one review of the film stated: “While Gettysburg was an
intelligent, well-made epic, Gods and Generals is an entirely different
order of movie: perhaps the finest Civil War movie ever made -- including
Gone With The Wind -- and one of the most inspiring movies you'll ever
see. Vast in scale, brilliant in its detail, Gods and Generals also
offers the most balanced view yet of what the conflict was really about.
In choosing to make Stonewall Jackson its tragic hero, it brings into painfully
clear focus why the war had to be fought. Gods and Generals is not only
a great movie – it is also what America is, brought thrillingly to life.
This tour gives you the opportunity to explore the battlefields and towns
featured in this epic film and more! Discover the human side behind
the Civil War—feel the past and let it touch you.
Cold Mountain….the rest of the story
"Cold Mountain" tells the story of a wounded Confederate soldier
named Inman who struggles on a perilous journey to get back home to Cold
Mountain, N.C. as well as to Ada, the woman he left behind before going
off to fight in the Civil War. Along the way, he meets a long line of interesting
and colorful characters, while back at home, Ada is learning the ropes
managing her deceased father's farm with Ruby, a scrappy drifter who
assists and teaches Ada along the way.
From the historic town of Harpers Ferry to the wheat fields of Gettysburg
An adventure you cannot experience on your own and one you
dare not miss. This tour is for the people who enjoy a good mystery and
enjoy learning human interest stories. It will satisfy those who are mildly
interested in the events of the Civil War, as well as those who are more
Upper Shenandoah Valley 1862
Stonewall Jackson erupted on the national scene, and became
an overnight phenomenon, while fighting in his beloved Shenandoah Valley.
Jackson’s 1862 Campaign became a model of military art and ability that
is still relevant today. Jackson’s success offered the Confederacy its
only glimmer of hope in an otherwise dismal spring of 1862.
Shenandoah Valley 1862
Battles of Kernstown & Winchester
The Battle of First Kernstown was fought on March 23, 1862
between the forces of Confederate general Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson
and Union General James Shields. Shields was not on the field in person
and only colonels faced Jackson, eleven of whom later became general officers.
The battle was Jackson’s only defeat in the Shenandoah Valley and changed
his command style from that day on.
1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign
The year 1864 saw the turning point in the Civil War for the
Valley. It was a complex year of multiple military operations that ended
Confederate control of the Valley and wrought the near total destruction
of its agricultural economy.