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Civil War Experiences Beyond Your Expectations

Tour Ideas  >  VA Civil War Trails Tours

 

Virginia Circle Tour

Book a Virginia Civil War Circle Tour today!.
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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 Valley.
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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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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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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.
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Manassas

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 Hill.
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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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The Seven Days Campaign

The Seven Days campaign, fought from June 25 to July 1,
1862, was a singular episode of the Civil War.
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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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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 of managing her deceased father's farm with Ruby, a scrappy drifter who assists and teaches Ada along the way.
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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 Campaign.
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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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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.
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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. 
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“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.
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Cedar Mountain

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.
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Civil War in 1862 Virginia

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.
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