'American Civil War;
War on the Mississippi River '
14 - 27 May 2016
Price per person £2,795.00 No Single supplement
Deposit per person £150.00
|Vital to the Confederate states, the Mississippi River was a source of hogs, hominy and soldiers to the fledgling nation. It was also the natural highway for the northwestern states of the Union to ship their farmers' goods to the east and to import technology from the outside world. The river was critical to both sides. It had to be taken by the North to win the war. It had to be held by the southerners from the cities and forts along the river.
Arrive at Memphis, Tennessee. Overnight Memphis
On 6 June 1862, from Island 45 just north of Memphis, the Union fleet launched an attack on Memphis at 16.00. Within 90 minutes they sank & captured all but one of Confederate vessels, the city surrendered and was occupied by a Brigade from Indiana.
On the 21 August 1864, General Nathan Bedford Forrest made a daring raid against Memphis; it was not an attempt to capture the city, but to capture three Union Generals; to release Southern prisoners and to cause the recall of Union forces from Northern Mississippi. After lunch we will drive north to Fort Pillow where in April 1864 Gen Forrest attacked the Union garrison of about 600 men, which included 300 black soldiers.
Today you will have an opportunity to visit 'Gracelands' Elvis Presley's home and other music related parts of this vibrant city.
We travel south via Helena where we stop at the Mississippi River overlook to discuss Sherman's first attempt to take Vicksburg in (20) December 1862. Ironically on this same day Earl Van Dorn's cavalry are destroying Grant's Forward Supply Base at Holly Springs. We then cross the river to Moon Lake to follow the Yazoo Pass Expedition that commences in March 1863. On arrival in Greenwood, we shall visit Fort Pemberton, the undefeated bastion that turned back a Union fleet in March of 1863.
We move on to Yazoo City and the site where the C.S.S. Arkansas was fitted out, prior to her famous duel with the might of the Federal fleet down river at Vicksburg in July of 1862. Approaching the 'Gibraltar of the South', Vicksburg, we shall visit Chickasaw Bluffs, the scene of William Sherman's rebuff by Confederate forces that December.
This morning we will travel to a Union gun position on the Mississippi River where we will discuss the Union strategy to open the river. Southward to Windsor ruins, Grant's headquarters after the lead elements of his army landed at Bruinsburg, Mississippi on April 30. Now that Grant had secured his footing, his next objective was "to capture Grand Gulf to use as a base." En route to Grand Gulf, the federals ran into Confederate roadblocks, resulting in the Battle of Port Gibson on 1 May. From Port Gibson we will travel to Grand Gulf which was captured on 3 May.
We will follow the Union army to Grant's HQ of 4-6 May, where Grant perfected his plans while waiting for his army to cross the Mississippi River. Then, on to Rocky Springs, where Grant headquartered 7-10 May and impatiently awaited both the arrival of Sherman's XV Corps and the establishment of a supply line from Grand Gulf.
Today, we return to Grant's route at Dillon's Farm. At Dillon's Grant could hear the sound of the guns at Raymond, six miles to the east, and at Dillon's Grant realized that he had enemy forces to his left and right.
From Dillon's we will travel into Raymond to visit the new Raymond Visitors Centre and relic collection. Then we travel to the Raymond battlefield to discuss the battle. With its 25 cannon, the Raymond battlefield is the only battlefield in the United States to have a one-to-one gun ratio, both in the proper calibre and in the proper location.
After lunch at the Raymond Visitors Centre we drive to Jackson. Although urban sprawl has destroyed the Jackson battlefield, we will travel to the site of the Bowman House, where Johnston established his headquarters on 13 May and Grant planted his flag the next day.
At Clinton we will visit Grant's HQ virtually-unknown site of 15-16 May and learn of perhaps the most remarkable intelligence coup of the Civil War. At Greenwood Plantation Grant virtually assured himself of a victory at Champion Hill.
Our next stop is at the Coker House, Champion Hill, passing the W.S. Jones Plantation, & McPherson's XVII Corps headquarters. Following the retreating Confederates and advancing federals westward from Champion Hill, at the Big Black River we will see the remnants of the burned railroad bridge and discuss the battle. We will then follow the scenic and historic route of McClernand's XIII Corps to Vicksburg.
This morning we will tour the siege lines within the National Military Park, illustrating the mighty 47 day long struggle of 1863 and board the U.S.S. Cairo, the only remaining warship of the war. After lunch, we shall tour downtown Vicksburg, viewing a number of the prominent homes that still stand and visiting the Old Courthouse, now a fine museum to the historic events that took place there in 1863.
Today, we cross the Mississippi into Louisiana. We shall see Grant's canal, dug in an effort to by-pass the city's fearsome batteries. Our drive south takes us to Natchez where we will stop for lunch. Then to Port Hudson, the site of the longest siege in American history.
Overnight Baton Rouge.
This morning we shall visit the Capitol, built by governor, Huey Long, in the 30's, and enjoy the view across the city and along the river. We shall visit Magnolia cemetery and trace the route of the August 1862 battle, fought when confederate forces sought to retake the city. After lunch, we shall move on south, passing Lake Ponchartrain.
Overnight New Orleans
We start this morning with a visit to New Orleans's excellent D Day military museum. We will then spend the rest of the day with a local historian who will show us 'Butler's' Civil War New Orleans. Overnight New Orleans
This morning our first stop will be at the Louisiana's Civil War Museum (formerly known as the Confederate Museum), after which the rest of the day is yours
Overnight New Orleans.
Afternoon depart hotel for airport and flight home.
Arrive London Heathrow early morning.