Meals D. Tour begins: The Willard Washington D.C., 6:00 PM. A transfer is included from Ronald Reagan National Airport or Dulles International Airport to The Willard Washington D.C. Over the next 11 days with us, you'll embark on this most comprehensive of Civil War tours, developing a deeper understanding of the war and its legacies. You'll visit key places where the war was fought, that “most hallowed ground”... listen to stories in the words of people who were there... and meet scholars, experts and living historians who interpret its lessons today. Learn about the days ahead through a filmed vignette by Ken Burns during tonight’s welcome cocktail reception and dinner at the hotel, followed by a "DC by Night" illumination tour of the capital's brilliantly lit monuments this evening. Lodging The Willard Washington D.C.
Day 2: House Divided: Washington, Ford's Theatre and African American Civil War Museum.
Meals B, L, D. A morning guided sightseeing tour examines the capital's beginnings as well as its role in the Civil War, viewing the White House, the Capitol, the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and other monuments on the Mall. Then Most Hallowed Ground fast-forwards to the end of the conflict – the tragic night of April 14, 1865 – for a deeper understanding of the beginning. Visit the restored Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site, where President Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot that evening by actor John Wilkes Booth. Explore the theatre itself and (subject to availability) the Ford's Theatre Museum chronicling Lincoln's presidency. After lunch, attend a private lecture at the African American Civil War Museum and Monument; you'll have time to explore the museum's unique exhibits and visit the African American Civil War Memorial. Dinner is at a local DC restaurant tonight. Lodging The Willard Washington D.C.
Day 3: American Stories: Exclusives inside the National Archives.
Meals B The seeds of discontent that grew into secession and war are brought to light in a Tauck Exclusive keynote presentation at your hotel by a noted Civil War historian on events that led up to the start of the Civil War. Stories recounted include abolitionist John Brown’s 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry and his subsequent execution; Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860; the secession of seven Southern states, and the shelling of Fort Sumter in April, 1861. Next, a behind-the-scenes look at the Civil War tours the Rotunda of the National Archives, where exclusive early admission provides a private viewing of America's "Founding Documents" – the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights – with welcome comments by an Archives insider. Then go behind the scenes with a National Archives staffer to learn how modern archival techniques preserve both great documents and stories of individual Americans. Spend the rest of the day and evening as you please in Washington, DC. Lodging The Willard Washington D.C.
Day 4: Civil War medicine and "Bloody Antietam" in Maryland to Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.
Meals B, L, D. Heading outside the Beltway into Maryland, stop in Frederick for a guided visit to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. Exhibits tell inspiring stories of care, healing and courage, and advances such as Dr. Jonathan Letterman's system for treating battlefield casualties, still in use today. In Sharpsburg in 1862, a little creek gave its name to American history’s bloodiest single day of combat; your guided tour of Antietam National Battlefield includes the story of Burnside’s Bridge. Travel to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; a Ken Burns vignette offers insights on the town’s destiny as the site of the “high water mark of the Rebellion.” After lunch at a 19th-century inn, drive with a Gettysburg expert through some of the battlefields – now eerily peaceful – viewing pivotal sites and hearing stories such as the defense of Little Round Top, the "Killer Angels" and the courage and futility of Pickett’s Charge. Many Civil War tours visit Gettysburg, but none bring the special insights that Tauck does. Dinner tonight is at your choice of three restaurants at your hotel. Lodging Wyndham Gettysburg.
Day 5: More at Gettysburg, Harpers Ferry and Shenandoah National Park.
Meals B, L, D. More than 50,000 men on both sides were killed, wounded or missing at Gettysburg; about 6,000 lie in the national cemetery here, which Lincoln dedicated with his famous address later that year. This morning you'll visit Gettysburg National Military Park's new Visitor Center, an amazing interpretive center. The Cyclorama, Film and Museum Experience includes a film narrated by Morgan Freeman, A New Birth of Freedom; the massive Cyclorama painting, which literally surrounds visitors with a magnificent visual of the fury of Pickett’s Charge and brings vividly to life the sights and sounds of the battles that raged here on July 1-3, 1863; and the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War, featuring 12 exhibit galleries that contain artifacts and interactive displays. Traveling on to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, a Ken Burns vignette sets up your visit to the site of John Brown’s failed 1859 raid on the town’s federal arsenal, where the abolitionist was captured and most of his 21-man “army” were killed. Later, ride the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park; overnight at Big Meadows Lodge or Skyline Resort inside the park. Lodging Big Meadows Lodge / Skyland Resort.
Day 6: Madison's Montpelier to Charlottesville and the University of Virginia.
Meals B, D. The Civil War was fought in 10,000 places, the majority of them in the South; armies swept across American farms and burned American towns, and homes became headquarters and hospitals. A look at life at one of those homes in the prewar South begins at Montpelier, the former estate of 4th U.S. President James Madison and his wife Dolley, nestled in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Discover the home’s early history and way of life in the years between the Revolution and the Civil War; see archaeological work being done on the estate. After a filmed vignette by Ken Burns en route, arrive in Charlottesville and visit the University of Virginia’s landmark Rotunda and Grounds, described by its designer Thomas Jefferson as an “academical village.” The day ends in Charlottesville with a free evening and dinner at your leisure at the hotel. Lodging Omni Charlottesville Hotel.
Day 7: Jefferson's Monticello and an exclusive lecture on plantation life.
Meals B, L. You’ll feel the presence of author, statesman, scientist and third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson throughout your guided visit to Monticello, the hilltop house he designed on the principles of Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. As you explore the house, plantation and grounds, you’ll observe that the realities of plantation life did not always fit comfortably with the founding father’s principles of equality and liberty. After lunch featuring colonial fare and servers in 18th-century period attire at the historic Michie Tavern, enjoy a Civil War tours Exclusive: a lively private presentation on “Slavery, the Plantation and the Civil War” by Dr. Leni Sorensen, scholar, living history interpreter, and African American Research Historian for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello. Dinner is on your own during a night spent as you please in lively Charlottesville. Lodging Omni Charlottesville Hotel.
Day 8: Appomattox Court House and on to Richmond.
Meals B, L, D. Journey this morning from Charlottesville to Appomattox Court House. Town resident Wilmer McLean had moved to this quiet village to escape the tumult of war after the First Battle of Bull Run had raged across his property in 1861. But on the afternoon of April 9, 1865, he was reluctantly thrust into history when Generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant met in his parlor and agreed to terms which would lead to the reunification of the nation – so in another of the war’s great ironies, it could be said that the conflict began in McLean’s backyard and ended in his parlor four years later! Relive the moment on a visit to McLean’s reconstructed house with a local guide, and gain insights from a Ken Burns vignette en route to Richmond and a three-night stay at The Jefferson Hotel, the city’s finest since 1895. Lodging The Jefferson Hotel.
Day 9: Richmond, Heart of the Confederacy.
Meals B. An in-depth view of the war from various perspectives awaits in Richmond, once the Confederate capital. Hear the story of Robert E. Lee’s divided loyalties on a guided visit to the Rotunda of the Virginia State Capitol, where Lee accepted command of the state military forces, and stand in the space shared by the Virginia legislature and the Confederate government during the war. Examine the life of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in his wartime home, the White House of the Confederacy; step back to the time he resided here with his family on a guided visit, and take a self-guided tour of the Museum of the Confederacy. After lunch, experience Union, Confederate and African American viewpoints at the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar and the Tredegar Iron Works, the Confederacy’s industrial heart. In another Civil War tours Exclusive, meet with a local historian who shares insights about the unique role of the Tredegar works, along with little-known facts about “industrial slavery.” Spend the evening as you please in Richmond; lunch and dinner are on your own today. Lodging The Jefferson Hotel.
Day 10: Petersburg and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier.
Meals B, L, D. Explore the siege of Petersburg, Virginia on a tour of Petersburg National Battlefield, where you’ll view re-creations of troop bunkers and officers’ quarters, and relive the drama of battle with the iconic story of The Crater. Then enjoy a unique glimpse of what life was really like in the field with a powerful interactive experience at Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier – where you’ll assume the identity of an actual Union or Confederate soldier, listen to his own words and stories through your headset, and learn his ultimate destiny during the war. You’ll also see Civil War reenactors depicting camp life, musket firings and other period demonstrations. Tonight, enjoy a farewell reception and dinner at your stately five-star hotel, a National Historic Landmark in downtown Richmond, as this most memorable of Civil War tours draws to a close. Lodging The Jefferson Hotel.
Day 11: Journey home.
Meals B. Tour ends: Richmond. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from The Jefferson Hotel to Richmond International Airport; allow two hours for check-in. A one-time early-morning courtesy transfer is offered to Washington, DC airports for guests departing from Reagan National Airport or Dulles International Airport after 1:00 PM. The order of airports is dependent upon traffic.
- Small Group Departures averaging 24 guests! A small group size means a more personal travel experience
- Tour Operator Exclusive – Exclusive early admission to view Founding Documents & private, behind-the-scenes experience with an insider at the National Archives
- Tour Operator Exclusive – Presentation on events leading up to the Civil War by a noted historian in Washington, DC
- Tour Operator Exclusive – Filmed vignettes by Ken Burns featuring compelling stories, fresh insights and personal perspectives on America’s greatest conflict, accompanied by clips and images from The Civil War
- Tour Operator Exclusive – Private lecture on slavery and plantation life by Dr. Leni Sorensen, African American Research Historian for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello
- Tour Operator Exclusive – Private meeting with a Richmond Civil War historian at the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar
- Guided visits to some of the war’s “most hallowed ground,” including Antietam, Gettysburg & Petersburg national battlefields
- Interactive experience where guests “become” a Civil War combatant at the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier
- Private lecture at the African American Civil War Museum and Monument, plus time to explore the exhibits and visit the African American Civil War Memorial
- Visits to Monticello, Montpelier, Harpers Ferry, Ford’s Theatre, and Appomattox
- Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
- 23 meals (10 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners); service charges, gratuities to local guides, admission fees, taxes and porterage.
Prices based on double occupancy land only subject to availability at time of booking, they vary on departure dates, also available September - October, ask for details.
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