Civil War Tours - vacations and travel

Jackson'S Greatest Victory, South Mountain, Antietam

Maryland, United States, North America

from $897* per person 5 Days October
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: Civil War Tours 12 people max
  • Frederick airport park, frederick, maryland, united states
  • Active & Adventure trips
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.
With his invasion, Lee expected some 14,000 Federal troops garrisoning Harpers Ferry
and Martinsburg to withdraw northward. In fact, Lee's plans depended upon it – the
Confederates needed the Shenandoah Valley as their line of supply and communication
while they campaigned north of the Potomac. The Federals, however, refused to
withdraw, forcing Lee into a quandary.
Lee decided to divide his army into four parts. Special Order # 191 contained all the
operational details: three separate columns totaling almost 28,000 men would march on
Harpers Ferry, surround the place, and capture or destroy the Union garrison there.
These orders fell into the hands of the Union and what they did with this knowledge and
the results is a story worth being told.
September Suspense is the tour that takes you to the time of uncertainty like no other
time during the Civil War when the U.S. was in peril. This is a human story that will be
told by one of the greatest historians of our time Dennis Frye.

Locations visited/nearby

Maryland, United States, North America

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Itinerary

Wednesday October 10, 2012
3:00 pm Check-in to local Frederick, Maryland hotel
During the Civil War, Frederick, a busy crossroads on
America's first National Road and first railroad, was witness to
three Confederate invasions, thirty-eight skirmishes and two
major battles (South Mountain and Monocacy) as hundreds of
thousands of Northern and Southern soldiers marched through the community.
Frederick epitomized the tragedy, turmoil and sacrifice that attended four desperate
years of fighting. Near Harpers Ferry and Antietam, it is a perfect location for this tour.
4:00 pm Coach will take the group to Frederick
4:30 pm Wine Tasting at Frederick Cellars
Frederick Cellars is a “city winery” located in downtown Frederick’s Everedy
Square/Shab Row district. The winery’s tasting room and production facility reside in a
wonderful brick warehouse that was originally built in 1904 by the Crystal Plate Ice
Company. This building has undoubtedly seen many uses over the years, from moving
and storage to antiques bazaar. Now, its thick walls and tall ceilings perfectly
accommodate the steel tanks and oak barrels that turn grapes from an estate vineyards
in Frederick and Washington Counties into Frederick Cellars’ fine and casual smallbatch
wines.
5:30 pm Dinner at a local restaurant
7:00 pm Tour of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine
Visitors to the NMCWM will find a unique center of civil war history, guiding them
through a century and a half’s worth of medical history as well as civil war camp life,
hospital life, African American life, Women’s and children’s roles during the war, and
many more aspects of American history during the Civil war era. The NMCWM
highlights the challenges faced by the doctors and surgeons of the civil war era and the
innovations that came out of that era that led to the modern military medical system.
The museum sites begin with displays and artifacts highlighting general medicine in the
1800s progressing into wartime medicine and life, all the while, looking into the faces of
real people who were treated and their caregivers. Reading their stories and memories
puts a human face on the medicine of the time. A space in each museum is dedicated
to Dr. Jonathan Letterman, the Major in charge of the medical department of the Army
of the Potomac. His cohesive plan of triage, evacuation, hospital, and supply
organization not only saved the lives of countless Civil War soldiers; it continues to save
lives on today’s battlefields in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in civilian life wherever emergency
medical help is needed.
The interactive experience that is the National Museum of Civil War Medicine not only
gives a snapshot of Civil War-time medicine including dentistry, veterinary medicine and
medical evacuation, it allows visitors to put faces and names to those who fought, were
injured, the surgeons and caregivers who tended them. The experience is a personal
one, engaging visitors in the stories of soldiers, surgeons, medics, and nurses as they
gain an understanding of the medical advances of the time. For some a bit of family
history may be found as well, the museum has a research department willing to help
those with questions about ancestors injured in the war.

Thursday, October 11, 2012 – Harpers Ferry – Jackson’s Greatest Victory
Breakfast (included) at the hotel
8:00 am Depart with historian and author Dennis Frye
This was the site of the famous John Brown’s Raid in 1859; it also changed hands
throughout the Civil War. We will spend some time on the history and the 1859 raid the
majority of the day will be spend on 1862 and Jackson.
Time for lunch (on own) in Harpers Ferry
The Battle of Harpers Ferry was fought September 12–15, 1862, as part of the
Maryland Campaign of the American Civil War. As Gen. Robert
E. Lee's Confederate army invaded Maryland, a portion of his
army under Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson
surrounded, bombarded, and captured the Union garrison at
Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), a major victory at
relatively minor cost.
As Lee's Army of Northern Virginia advanced down the
Shenandoah Valley into Maryland, he planned to secure his line of supply back to
Virginia. Although he was being pursued at a leisurely pace by Maj. Gen. George B.
McClellan's Army of the Potomac, outnumbering him more than two to one, Lee chose
the risky strategy of dividing his army and sent one portion to converge and attack
Harpers Ferry from three directions. Col. Dixon S. Miles, Union commander at Harpers
Ferry, insisted on keeping most of the troops near the town instead of taking up
commanding positions on the surrounding heights. The slim defenses of the most
important position, Maryland Heights, first encountered the approaching Confederate on
September 12, but only brief skirmishing ensued. Strong
attacks by two Confederate brigades on September 13
drove the Union troops from the heights.
During the fighting on Maryland Heights, the other
Confederate columns arrived and were astonished to see
that critical positions to the west and south of town were not
defended. Jackson methodically positioned his artillery
around Harpers Ferry and ordered Maj. Gen. A.P. Hill to move
down the west bank of the Shenandoah River in preparation for
a flank attack on the Federal left the next morning. By the
morning of September 15, Jackson had positioned nearly 50
guns surrounding the Ferry from the nearby mountain tops. He
began a fierce artillery barrage from all sides and ordered an
infantry assault. Miles realized that the situation was hopeless
and agreed with his subordinates to raise the white flag of
surrender. Before he could surrender personally, he was
mortally wounded by an artillery shell and died the next day. After processing more than
12,000 Union prisoners, Jackson's men then rushed to Sharpsburg, Maryland, to rejoin
Lee for the Battle of Antietam.
6:00 pm Dinner at a local restaurant (included)
8:00 pm Return to hotel

Friday, October 12, 2012 – Frederick & South Mountain
Breakfast (included) at hotel
8:00 am Depart with Dennis Frye pick up local guide for tour of Frederick
Stops will include the Monocacy Battlefield where Special Order # 191
will be on display.
Lincoln visited the Antietam Battlefield soon after the Battle. Upon leaving from the train
station he gave a moving speech to the people of Frederick. The speech will be read at
the train station during the town tour.
Lunch (on own) in Frederick
1:00 pm Battle of South Mountain
South Mountain is a natural obstacle that separates the Hagerstown Valley and
Cumberland Valley from the eastern part of Maryland.
After Lee invaded Maryland, a copy of an order, known as order 191, detailing troop
movements that he wrote fell into the hands of McClellan. From this, McClellan learned
that Lee had split his forces and the Union general hoped to attack and defeat some of
these isolated forces before they could concentrate against him. To reach Lee,
McClellan had to move across South Mountain. Lee learned of McClellan's intelligence
coup and quickly sent forces to reinforce the passes to block his advance.
Not a well know battle, its significance is extraordinary. It is not visited by the general
public so this will be a rare treat for participants. Not a “battlefield” as most understand
Battlefields, you will be places most never see. Stops
will include Crampton Gap, Turn Gap and Fox Gap.
6:00 pm Dinner at a local restaurant

Saturday, October 13, 2012 – Antietam
Breakfast (included) at the hotel
8:30 am Meet Dennis Frye – All Day
Antietam
Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia—about 40,000 men—entered the state of
Maryland on September 4, 1862, following their victory at Second Bull Run as August
closed. Emboldened by success, the Confederate leadership intended to take the war
into enemy territory. Lee's invasion of Maryland was intended to run simultaneously with
an invasion of Kentucky by the armies of Braxton Bragg and Kirby Smith. It was also
necessary for logistical reasons, as northern Virginia's farms had been stripped bare of
food. Based on events such as the Baltimore riots in the spring of 1861 and the fact that
President Lincoln had to pass through the city in disguise en route to his inauguration, it
was assumed that Maryland would welcome the Confederate forces warmly. They sang
the tune "Maryland, my Maryland!" as they marched, but by the fall of 1862 pro-Union
sentiment was winning out, especially in the western parts of the state. Civilians
generally hid inside their houses as Lee's army passed through their towns, while the
Army of the Potomac was cheered. Some Confederate politicians, including President
Jefferson Davis, believed the prospect of foreign recognition would increase if they won
a military victory on Northern soil; such a victory might gain recognition and financial
support from Great Britain and France.
The Battle considered “The Bloodiest Day” began September 17, 1862 just before 6:00
am and continued just after 6:00 pm. Did the North win, was it a
draw or can it be considered a turning point?
Some students of history question the designation of "strategic
victory" for the Union. Lee displayed great generalship in holding
his own in battle against an army that greatly outnumbered him.
Casualties were comparable on both sides, although Lee lost a
higher percentage of his army. Lee withdrew from the battlefield
first, the technical definition of the tactical loser in a Civil War battle.
However, in a strategic sense, despite being a tactical draw,
Antietam is considered a turning point of the war and a victory for the Union because it
ended Lee's strategic campaign (his first invasion of the North)
and it allowed President Lincoln to issue the Preliminary
Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, which took effect
on January 1, 1863. The Union victory and Lincoln's
proclamation played a considerable role in dissuading the
governments of France and Britain from recognizing the
Confederacy; some suspected they were planning to do so in
the aftermath of another Union defeat.
Stops will include:
Dunker Church
Corn Field
Bloody Lane
Burnside Bridge
We will have a picnic lunch on the Battlefield (included)
6:00 pm Dinner at a local restaurant

Sunday, October 14, 2012
Breakfast (included) at the hotel
11:00 am Checkout

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