‘War in the Heart of the Confederacy’
18 September – 3 October 2020
Price to be advised (does not include air fare)
no single supplement
£200 Deposit per person
Recent historians of the ACW have concluded that the campaigns in the western theatre between the Alleghenies and the Mississippi River determined the war's outcome. Overshadowed in popular literature by eastern operations, Shiloh, Stones River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Atlanta and Nashville, plus many smaller engagements,collectively delivered the strategic blows that destroyed the Confederacy.
In this tour you will visit these famous battle sites, as well as other significant contributing places. Additionally we will visit the capitals of four Deep South states and discover the war's impact on southern society.
Depart Heathrow for Atlanta to be meet by the tour manager/guide. Overnight Atlanta Airport.
Today on our way to Montgomery are first stop will be at LaGrange (GA). During the war, LaGrange was defended by a volunteer women's auxiliary group known as the Nancy Harts or Nancy Hart Rifles, named after Nancy Hart. After defeating the Confederates in nearby West Point, Georgia, Colonel Oscar H. La Grange led his Union troops to the county seat of LaGrange. The Nancy Harts negotiated the town’s surrender with the colonel.
Although local assets were burned and looted by Union troops, Colonel La Grange spared the private homes of LaGrange, including Bellevue, the home of former US Senator and then Confederate senator Benjamin Harvey Hill. La Grange may have been returning positive treatment which he had earlier received while in captivity. He had received medical care by the Confederates and was attended by a niece of Senator Hill. After recovering Col. La Grange was exchanged. Following lunch we will continue on to Montgomery Alabama the first Capital of the Confederacy ro visit the 1st White House and Confederate Park .
Before leaving this morning we will visit Oakwood Cemetery where 78 RAF personnel who died during flight training are buried before heading head west towards Jackson MS via Newton Station which was one of the major targets of General Ben Grierson’s raid of April /May 1863. Overnight Jackson.
Today we begin our extensive coverage of the Vicksburg campaign and concentrate on Gen. Grant and his movements at Dillon Farm and Raymond. At Raymond we stop at the Visitor’s Centre and Museum and then the battlefield. We also see Clinton, Grant’s HQ and the scene of one the major intelligence coups of the war .Cocker Hill is next followed by the decisive battle of the campaign Champions Hill, then follow the attacking blue wave as the Confederates withdraw towards Vicksburg. Overnight Vicksburg.
This morning we commence by visiting the Union gun positions on the Mississippi River and then the landing at Bruinsburg, the Battle of Port Gibson and Grand Gulf which fell on 3rd May 1863. We also visit Grant’s HQ at Windsor and Rocky Springs. Overnight 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. Leaving Vicksburg after lunch we stop at Yazoo City where the CSS Arkansas was fitted out before we arrive in Greenwood. Overnight Greenwood.
Our day begins with the drive to Tupelo where can enjoy a little rest from the war to visit Elvis’s birthplace. Returning to the 1860’s we stop at the Tupelo Visitor’s Centre (here there is information on the action at Brice’s Crossroads) departing Tupelo and driving north we stop at the site of the action at Brice’s Crossroads, before making our way over the border into Tennessee. Overnight Pickwick Landing.
At 04.55 hours on Sunday 6 April 1862, the Confederate Army of General Albert S. Johnson attacked the unprepared Union Army at Shiloh. This battle becomes the bloodiest in the west. We will see where Johnson is mortally wounded and the ‘Hornet’s Nest’ & Bloody Pond etc defended stoutly by Union soldiers enabling reinforcements to come up and stabilise the Union lines. That night the Confederates are celebrating a victory; they are confident that on the next morning they will push their foes into the Tennessee River. Overnight Pickwick Landing.
During the night General Grant is able to bring up fresh divisions. These troops forced back the Confederates who eventually withdraw leaving the road open towards the important railroad hub at Corinth. We will spend the morning at Shiloh to see where and how these fresh divisions were able to push the Confederates back, then to Corinth and the Visitors Centre, We will look at the important rail hub in the centre of the town and will see a couple of the Confederate defence positions. Overnight Pickwick Landing
On our way north today we stop firstly at Parker’s Crossroads (Bedford Forest’s order ‘charge them both ways’) Visitors Centre before arriving after lunch at Fort Donelson where in February 1862 General Ulysses S. Grant issued his ‘unconditional surrender’ demand which forced the surrender of the Confederate garrison that in turn compelled the south to give up most of Tennessee.
Today we drive to Franklin and tour the battlefield. In November1864, with Sherman’s Army ‘Marching to the Sea’, the Confederates tried to draw his attention away by advancing into central Tennessee. On the 30 November, the Confederates attacked an entrenched Union force. The attack proved to be a total disaster, with losses of over 6,000 men including Major General Pat Cleburne.
This afternoon you will be free to enjoy Nashville, or visit Union Fort Negley recently saved from development. That evening you may wish to visit the Grand Ol’Opry. Overnight Nashville.
We leave Nashville and head for the Stones River battlefield where we can see the site and imagine the armies there in the freezing conditions with little food and fires prohibited to get a feel of what the soldiers endured here. The armies batter each other with no respite until Bragg withdraws and the Union under Rosecrans claim victory but at a huge cost. Overnight Chattanooga.
Our focus today is the ugly brawl that is the Battle of Chickamauga where Bragg’s army assisted by Longstreet’s Corps gave the Union Army a drubbing which ended Rosecrans’s career and earned George Thomas the name “Rock of Chickamauga”. We will also visit Lookout Mountain and marvel at the courage and stamina of the Union troops who captured the heights opposite on Missionary Ridge. Overnight Chattanooga.
We leave Chattanooga and head south for Atlanta stopping firstly at Pickett’s Mill where the battle was marked by intense heat and lack of water mixed with awful terrain to fight in. Then to the visitors centre at Kennesaw Mountain where Sherman after being well beaten in his attack flanked Joe Johnston’s army to keep the pressure on Atlanta. Depending on time we might be able to visit the Southern History Museum where the locomotive “The General” which was the object of a bizarre and hair raising raid by Union volunteers is located Overnight Marietta.
This morning we visit the Atlanta History Museum with the famous diorama and have a brief look at downtown Atlanta before driving to the airport for your flights home that afternoon.
Arrive London Heathrow early morning.