Civil War Tours - vacations and travel

Civil War In 1862 Virginia Tour

Virginia, United States, North America

from $1,186* per person 4 Days September
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: Civil War Tours 12 people max
  • Newport news marriott at city center, town center drive, newport news, va, united states
  • Active & Adventure trips
One day in August of 1861, a cantankerous man from New York wrote a long letter to the President. He was John Ericsson, a brilliant inventor. The “writer,” the letter said, offered to construct a vessel for the destruction of the Rebel fleet at Norfolk. He wanted no pay.
The letter went unanswered and Ericsson fumed. He had heard rumors that the Confederates were converting a fifty gun frigate the Merrimac, into an Ironclad of revolutionary design.
However, it took Cornelius Bushnell, a Connecticut manufactures’ interest to make the union’s own Ironclad, the Monitor a reality……and none too soon! The Merrimac on her first attack burned one ship, sank another and drove one aground. March 9 1862 the day following the Merrimac attack, the Monitor met the Merrimac for their battle at Hampton Roads. This day changed Navy battles forever.
Both the Union and Confederate governments and military leaders recognized the extremely strategic location of the Virginia peninsula formed by the York and James Rivers. Discover how the Union Army planned its avenue of advancement toward the rebel capital of Richmond in 1862, and how Confederate General "Prince John” Magruder fortified against it.
Stand on the very banks that residents of Hampton stood as they watch the two ironclads meet. Discover the human side of the Hampton Roads struggle through the Civil War.

Locations visited/nearby

Virginia, United States, North America

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Itinerary

Day One - September 6, 2012 ~ Tour Begins
3:00 pm Participants check-in to Marriott Newport News City Center
740 Town Center
Newport News, VA 23606
5:00 pm Group departs for dinner and evening speaker

Day Two - Friday, September 7, 2012
Full Breakfast (included at hotel)
8:00 am Meet historian John Quarstein for full-day tour
Begin with a driving tour past Skiffes Creek. The redoubt here was built by Magruder to help protect his right flank along the James River. We walk the fortifications where the Battle of Lee’s Mill took place on April 5, 1862, and drive by the site of the Battle of Dam No. 1, the only site where McClellan attempted to break Magruder’s defenses. We will also take a side journey to Ft. Eustis to view the Navy’s Ghost Fleet. Pass Warwick Court House, occupied by McClellan’s troops and the site where an observation balloon was deployed. We then drive by Young’s Mill, whose earthworks were Magruder’s first defensive line across the peninsula.
10:00 am Cruise on board Miss Hampton II for the Monitor-Merrimack Harbor Cruise. We will pass over the site of the Battle of the Ironclads on March 9, 1862.
Visit Ft. Wool, (weather permitting) which was used by Union forces against Confederate-held Norfolk just after the beginning of the Civil War. Incomplete at the War’s outbreak, it was the companion fortification to Fort Monroe. Constructed on the Rip Raps, a small artificial stone island constructed by the Federals in the middle of Hampton Roads, it was originally named Castle Calhoun. The fort was renamed Fort Wool following its use in the operations against Confederate-held Norfolk in May 1862 in honor of Major General John E. Wool.
pm 3:00 pm Visit The Mariner’s Museum, America’s premier maritime museum.
The Mariner’s Museum features a “Clash of Armor” exhibit that tells the story of the famous sea battle between the Monitor and the Merrimack (Virginia). The museum showcases items recovered from the Monitor, which sank in a storm off Cape Hatteras on the last day of 1862, including its iron anchor. Have a special in-depth tour of the Monitor Center with your historian guide. **Group will have an exclusive tour of the Monitor Lab.
6:30 pm Enjoy an evening at the historic Boxwood Inn (Newport News, VA).
Costumed staff will treat us to a candlelight dinner and show in Civil War style. Highlighting the era of fluttering fans and southern hospitality, Boxwood Inn’s Doorway Singers showcase the music of the Stephen Foster era. “An Evening in Old Virginia”, when time moved more slowly. Dinner includes Peanut soup, salad, baked chicken or ham, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans, bountiful desserts and beverage.

Day Three - Saturday, September 8, 2012
Full Breakfast at the hotel (included)
Tour the Lee Hall Mansion.
This Italianate mansion was Magruder’s headquarters during the Warwick River siege, part of McClellan’s 1862 Peninsula Campaign. The Donald R. Tharpe Gallery, located in the mansion’s English basement, houses an exhibit dedicated to interpreting the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. This comprehensive exhibit tells the story of the events that took place on the Peninsula in 1861 and 1862, including the June 10, 1861 Battle of Big Bethel. Meet Mrs. Lee, a young wife and Mother who shortly after building her house the war came to her front door. Learn the trials and the sacrifices she had to make for the War.
Depart for Richmond
Meet John Quarstein – complete the Peninsula Campaign in Richmond
Dinner (included) in Shockoe Slip – Richmond
Drive to Fredericksburg – check-in Marriott Fredericksburg

Sunday, September 9, 2012
Full Breakfast (included) at the hotel
Full day Tour of Fredericksburg Battlefield including the town
The Battle of Fredericksburg was fought December 11–15, 1862, in and around Fredericksburg, Virginia, between General Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside. The Union army's futile frontal assaults on December 13 against entrenched Confederate defenders on the heights behind the city is remembered as one of the most one-sided battles of the American Civil War, with Union casualties more than twice as heavy as those suffered by the Confederates.
Burnside's plan was to cross the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg in mid-November and race to the Confederate capital of Richmond before Lee's army could stop him. Unfortunately, bureaucratic delays prevented Burnside from receiving the necessary pontoon bridges in time and Lee moved his army to block the crossings. When the Union army was finally able to build its bridges and cross under fire, urban combat resulted in the city on December 11–12. Union troops prepared to assault Confederate defensive positions south of the city and on a strongly fortified ridge just west of the city known as Marye's Heights.
On December 13, the "grand division" of Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin was able to pierce the defensive line of Confederate Lt. Gen. Stonewall Jackson to the south, but was finally repulsed. Burnside ordered the grand divisions of Maj. Gens. Edwin V. Sumner and Joseph Hooker to make multiple frontal assaults against Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's position on Marye's Heights, all of which were repulsed with heavy losses. On December 15, Burnside withdrew his army, ending another failed Union campaign in the Eastern Theater.
6:00 pm Dinner at Olde Silk Mill Bed and Breakfast
Local Gospel Singers Entertainment

Day Four - Monday, September 10, 2012 Full Breakfast (included) at the hotel 9:00 am White Oak Museum – special tour 10:30 am Time in Fredericksburg 1:00 pm Depart for Newport News to pick up cars We will make a Richmond Airport drop at 2:15 pm for those flying out of Richmond. Make flights after 4:15 pm
4:00 pm Drop off at Marriott City Center, Newport News

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