Join fellow history buffs on a small-group anniversary tour that commemorates one of the most pivotal battles of the Civil War. Led by knowledgeable guides, see of some of the conflict's most important places and battlefields, and gain insights into the generation who lived, fought and died during this divisive period in American history.
• Witness two skirmishes during the Gettysburg re-enactment.
• Celebrate the Fourth of July at the National Capital Fireworks Celebration.
• Visit Monocacy Battlefield, Antietam Battlefield and Harpers Ferry.
America marked the Civil War's 150th anniversary in 2011, kicking off a four-year commemoration aimed at bringing those tumultuous years to life. As part of this multi-year effort, the remembrance and re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg reflects one of the war's most important turning points. Fought between July 1–3, 1863 in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of this pivotal battle. Tragically, the three-day encounter resulted in the largest number of casualties of any single Civil War battle. But the Union Army's eventual victory also halted the Confederate invasion of the North.
Gettysburg Battlefield is America’s largest Civil War Battlefield, containing more than 40 miles of historic sites and scenic avenues. Here, you'll have tickets and bleacher seating to witness key skirmishes including the “Springing the Trap Cavalry Battle of Hunterstown” and “A Bloody Harvest in the Battle of the Wheatfield.” To the cadence of a steady drumbeat, re-enactors in gray and navy uniforms assemble in formation and simulate these hard-fought clashes. Also enjoy a tour of the battlefield and soldier’s cemetery with a licensed battlefield guide (pending availability).
Although the Gettysburg re-enactments are the highlight of your trip, you'll also tour other sites important to the war. Visit Antietam National Battlefield, where the costliest one-day battle in American history paved the way for Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Stop at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park where you'll come to understand the conditions and events leading up to the war, most notably abolitionist John Brown’s infamous raid at Harpers Ferry. Learn more about the war years on a Civil War focused tour of Washington D.C. that includes the cottage where President Lincoln lived during the conflict. And turning toward the future, celebrate the unity of our nation today with attendance at the Fourth of July fireworks display on the National Mall.
• 5 nights accommodations at the Marriott Gaithersburg in Maryland
• Daily breakfast, 1 brunch and 3 dinners
• All on-tour transportation and services of a knowledgeable tour escort
• Gettysburg Battlefield Re-enactment tickets with bleacher seating (pending availability)
• Visits to the Monocacy Battlefield, Antietam Battlefield and Harpers Ferry
• City tour of Washington, D.C. with a focus on Civil War history – includes President Lincoln’s Cottage, the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum, the U.S. Capitol Building, the White House (exterior only) and the Lincoln Memorial
• Attendance at the Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration on the National Mall
• Round-trip airport/hotel transfers
Note: This tour involves quite a bit of walking and standing for extended periods each day. Pre-tour and post-tour nights may be available at the Marriott Gaithersburg. Inquire for rate and availability at time of booking. Pre-tour and post-tour stays do not include breakfast and transfers.
Day 1 - Arrive in Washington, D.C.
Arrive in Washington D.C. where you will meet your tour escort and be transferred to your Maryland hotel. Enjoy free time and dinner on your own this evening.
Accommodation: Marriott Gaithersburg - 5 nights
Day 2 – Monocacy and Antietam Battlefields / Harpers Ferry
After breakfast at the hotel, depart with your tour escort and local costumed guide for a journey through the Maryland countryside. Enjoy a welcome brunch at an historic location with a local musician onsite to entertain.
After, tour of Monocacy National Battlefield in Frederick, MD. This is the site on July 9, 1864 of the Civil War battle that has been dubbed, “The Battle that saved Washington.” Continue to Sharpsburg, MD to see Antietam National Battlefield, site of the bloodiest one-day battle in American history.
Later, arrive where the Shenandoah River meets the Potomac at Harpers Ferry, WV. See Harpers Ferry Visitor Center and take a guided walking tour of Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. The history of Harpers Ferry has few parallels in the American drama. It is more than one event, one date or one individual. Enjoy dinner this evening at a local restaurant complete with sing-along, Civil War-themed entertainment.
Day 3 – Washington D.C. Sightseeing
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Today will be spent in Washington, D.C. with our licensed guide to explore the history of the city with a special focus on the Civil War. Tour President Lincoln’s Cottage, the most significant historic site directly associated with Lincoln's presidency aside from the White House. During the Civil War, President Lincoln and his family resided here from June to November of 1862, 1863 and 1864.All totaled, Lincoln lived here for a quarter of his presidency.
• The African American Civil War Memorial. At the center of a granite-paved plaza encircled on three sides by the Wall of Honor is the Spirit of Freedom sculpture.
• The African American Civil War Memorial & Museum honors and examines the African American's heroic struggle for freedom and civil rights. Enjoy a docent presentation. Using photographs, documents and state of the art audio visual equipment, the museum helps visitors understand the African American's heroic and largely unknown struggle for freedom.
• A guided tour of Capitol Hill. See the U.S. Capitol Building, the most recognized symbol of democratic government in the world, the U.S.
• Tour the monuments and memorials on the National Mall as our escort narrates with a special focus on the Civil War history of the city. Stops include the White House (exterior only) and the Lincoln Memorial.
Enjoy dinner this evening at a local restaurant.
Day 4 – Folk Life Museum and Smithsonian Institution / Evening Fireworks Celebration
Note: Today’s itinerary is extremely tentative due to the volume of visitors expected for the events today.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and depart with the tour escort who is available to assist individuals all day today. You’ll have free time to explore the Folk Life Festival and Smithsonian Institution’s museums. Enjoy lunch and dinner on your own.
This evening, enjoy our nation’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration! Seating is not guaranteed. We have included rental chairs to be set up ON YOUR OWN on the National Mall for viewing of the fireworks and concert. Individuals are responsible for placing chairs early to secure a viewing spot. Local law enforcement and event coordinators will determine if the seats are in areas that are permitted.
Day 5 - Gettysburg Battlefield Re-enactment
Note: Today’s itinerary is extremely tentative due to the volume of visitors expected for the events today. This is an outdoor event and summers in Gettysburg are hot and humid. Please dress comfortably and wear good closed-toed walking shoes. Also, bus parking may not be onsite.
After breakfast at the hotel depart with your tour escort to Gettysburg, PA for the 150th Anniversary Commemoration of the Battle of Gettysburg. Witness the 11:00am skirmish at the re-enactment portraying “Springing the Trap Cavalry Battle of Hunterstown” followed by free time to explore the camps. Tour the battlefield and soldier’s cemetery with a licensed battlefield guide, pending availability.
Other highlights include viewing the film, Cyclorama, and visiting the Gettysburg Museum which holds one of the world’s largest collections of artifacts and memorabilia from the American Civil War, pending availability. At 6:00pm, witness the re-enactment portraying “A Bloody Harvest in the Battle of the Wheatfield.” Enjoy dinner at an historic site en route back to the hotel.
Day 6 - Depart for home
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning prior to checking out. Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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