Virginia Circle Tour
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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
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
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.
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.
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
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
The Seven Days Campaign
The Seven Days campaign, fought from June 25 to July 1,
1862, was a singular episode of the Civil War.
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.
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.
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
“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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
the Virginia Civil War Trails site for more ideas.