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Civil War Experiences Beyond Your Expectations

Tour Ideas  >  Shenandoah at War Tours

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.
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“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.
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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.
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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
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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 Lynchburg.
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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.
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