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Photograph of a cannon under a blooming tree

Manassas National Battlefield Park, Manassas, Va.

Rob Shenk

Friday & Saturday Tours

The tour schedule is subject to change.
American Battlefield Trust Event
May 12 - 15, 2022

Friday, May 13, 2022

Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination with Dennis E. Frye and Tom Clemens

Walking Level: Moderate. Approximately 2 miles of total walking on uneven terrain.

Description: This tour will be unlike any other visit you've had to the battlefields of Antietam and Harpers Ferry. Dennis Frye is known in Civil War circles for challenging convention and sparking provocation. His recent book, Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination turns upside down and inside out what you know about Antietam and Harpers Ferry and the first invasion of the North. Dennis - a life-time resident of the Antietam/Harpers Ferry area - has been studying this campaign for more than 50 years - and he's drawn conclusions that contrast with traditional tales. Dennis will share iconic places with you like The Cornfield, Bloody Lane, Burnside Bridge and Bolivar Heights, but his interpretation of the events that occurred there are certain to generate lively debate.

Exploring a Lost Battlefield and a State of the Art Museum: The Battle of Chantilly & the National Museum of the US Army with Daniel T. Davis

Walking Level: Light walking.

DescriptionFollowing his victory at the Battle of Second Manassas, Gen. Robert E. Lee hoped to cut off the retreat of Maj. Gen. John Pope's Army of Virginia before they could reach the Washington defenses. To that end, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson engaged Union infantry on September 1 near Ox Hill. The bitter fighting that followed witnessed the death of two Union generals, however, the Federals were able to escape. In the late 1980s, development tragically overwhelmed the battlefield, forever altering the landscape. Just down the road stands the National Museum of the US Army. This state-of-the-art museum celebrates more than 245 years of Army history and honors our nation's soldiers. Join Dan Davis, the Trust's Education Manager, as we visit the Chantilly battlefield and the new Army Museum. Walk what remains of Chantilly, hear the stories of valor from those in blue and gray and explore the battlefield that launched the modern preservation movement, and visit the new Army Museum that was more than 245 years in the making.

"Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! Winter War on the Rappahannock": The Battle of Fredericksburg with A. Wilson Greene

Walking Level: Moderate. Approximately 2 miles of total walking on uneven terrain.

Description: With apologies to George Rable and Frank O'Reilly, this tour will take a comprehensive look at the fighting at Fredericksburg, December 11-15, 1862.  We will visit various Union command posts, examine the pontoon crossing sites on the Rappahannock River, and walk the attack route that led to the infamous stone wall and Marye's Heights.  We will pay particular attention to the south end of the battlefield, including the Trust's Slaughter Pen property, to examine the brief but potentially decisive Union success here, and in the process analyze the reasons behind Robert E. Lee's most lopsided victory of the war.  Will Greene, who served as historian at Fredericksburg National Military Park for nearly eight years, will be our guide.  This tour will involve extensive amounts of walking, some of which will be off established paths.  It is probably inappropriate for those with moderate or significant mobility issues.

George Washington's World: Mount Vernon & Old Town Alexandria with Phillip S. Greenwalt and Mark Malloy

Walking Level: Moderate. Approximately 2 miles of total walking on uneven terrain.

Description: In 1749 a young local Virginian cut his teeth as a surveyor laying out the town of Alexandria.  His home was located just nine miles south of this new town where he ultimately died fifty years later.  Yet in that half-century, the world in which he moved changed dramatically and he was one of the biggest reasons for it. That Virginian? George Washington. Spend the day touring sites associated with George Washington and his era in Alexandria, followed by lunch and a tour of his home, Mount Vernon.

Lee's Greatest Victory/Lee's Greatest Defeat: The Battle of Chancellorsville—Heavy Walking Tour with Chris Mackowski and Kristopher White 

Walking Level: Heavy. Expect FOUR MILES of walking. This hike will traverse roads, woodland paths (some well worn and not so well worn), and open fields. Expect uneven surfaces, tree roots, and tree branches along the way. Please do not select this tour unless you are capable of hiking extended distances up and down hills at a steady clip with only short breaks.​

Description: Often viewed as one of the most resounding victories in the annals of military history, the Battle of Chancellorsville was truly one of General Robert E. Lee's greatest achievements. Yet, in the ashes of the Wilderness of Virginia, lay more than 13,000 of Lee's men, a wrecked chain-of-command, and a seemingly lost opportunity to finish off the Army of the Potomac once and for all. The engagement was filled with high risk, high anxiety, and high drama. Was the Battle of Chancellorsville Lee's greatest victory or was it the beginning of the end for the Army of Northern Virginia?  Join the authors of That Furious Struggle: Chancellorsville and the High Tide of the Confederacy, Chris Mackowski and Kristopher White, as they follow in the footsteps, and "hoofsteps," of some of the most famous commanders and actions of the Chancellorsville Campaign—from the Catharine Iron Furnace to the wounding of Stonewall Jackson, and from Hazel Grove to the Chancellor Mansion ruins—relive the high drama that was, Chancellorsville.

“Raised from Obscurity”: The Cavalry Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville on the Road to Gettysburg with Kevin Pawlak

Walking Level: Moderate. Approximately 2 miles of total walking on uneven terrain.

As the Army of Northern Virginia made its way north into Pennsylvania, Army of the Potomac commander Joseph Hooker sought information about the enemy's whereabouts. He turned to his cavalry and their commander, Alfred Pleasonton. Over five days, the Federal cavalry and infantry engaged J.E.B. Stuart's Confederate horsemen in three battles in the Loudoun Valley. The fights allowed Lee to steal a march on Hooker and set the stage for one of the most controversial events of the Gettysburg Campaign: Stuart's ride to Gettysburg.

Return to Bull Run: The Second Battle of Manassas with John Hennessy 

Walking Level: Light to Moderate. The day will include several short walks—the longest about 1,000 yards, generally over easy ground.  

Description: This day-long tour will start at Thoroughfare Gap, and then track the armies on the plains of Manassas during three days of fighting—from the Brawner Farm to the unfinished railroad, the Deep Cut, and the climactic fighting on Chinn Ridge.

 

 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Antietam Heavy Walking Tour—the real deal with Garry Adelman

Walking Level: Heavy. Expect FOUR MILES of walking, partly on rugged surfaces and in rugged terrain. Please do not select this tour unless you are capable of hiking extended distances up and down hills at a steady clip with only short breaks.​

Description:  Experience the many phases of the Battle of Antietam the way most soldiers did… on foot!  This rigorous hiking tour will include most of the morning’s battlefield—the East Woods, the Cornfield, the epicenter, Hagerstown Pike, Dunker Church and the West Woods before lunch.  A nice walk to the later fighting at the Bloody Lane and (after a short bus ride) the Burnside Bridge and the especially rigorous scene of the Final Attack will round out the day.  The Trust’s chief historian, Garry Adelman, will keep things moving and lively with military some marching in-line, 2D and 3D photos, some places you likely haven’t stood, and plenty of stories about the battle and battlefield that the Trust’s members have helped to preserve to a great extent.

Burnside Reconsidered: The IX Corps in the Maryland Campaign with A. Wilson Greene 

Walking Level: Moderate. Approximately 2 miles of total walking on uneven terrain.

Description: The performance of the Union's IX Corps and the generalship of Ambrose E. Burnside often receive blame for the Army of the Potomac's missed opportunities during the 1862 Maryland Campaign.  From the streets of Frederick to South Mountain's Fox's Gap, and the iconic "Burnside's" Bridge, the IX Corps' played a central role throughout the campaign.  This tour will focus on that star-crossed organization and its commander, and challenge some of the conventional wisdom surrounding the carnage at Antietam.  The program will involve an extensive amount of walking at both Fox's Gap and at Antietam National Battlefield, some of which will be off established paths.  It is probably inappropriate for those with moderate to significant mobility issues.  Will Greene, who has published on both the Union command at Antietam and General Burnside, will lead this tour.

Chancellorsville: Lessons in Leadership—a Staff Ride with Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White

Walking Level: Light. Approximately 1 - 1.5 miles of total walking on uneven terrain.

Description: Command decisions and indecisions can cost armies time, lives, or they can even mean the difference in winning or losing a battle. The 1863 Chancellorsville Campaign is chock-full of these critical moments when veteran and not-so-veteran commanders are faced with adversity, and their decisions will decide the outcome of the battle. Join the authors of That Furious Struggle: Chancellorsville and the High Tide of the Confederacy; and Chancellorsville's Forgotten Front: The Battles of Second Fredericksburg and Salem Church, Chris Mackowski and Kristopher White, as they explore the Chancellorsville Campaign utilizing a military staff ride approach. Come and place yourself in the shoes of some of the most famous commanders in the Eastern Theater, as participants learn about and debate some of the most critical command decisions of the Chancellorsville Campaign in this staff ride approach to history. Sites will include the Lee-Jackson Bivouac Site, Jackon's Flank Attack site, the Salem Church, and more. 

Fredericksburg 1862: An Overview with Daniel T. Davis

Walking Level: Light to Moderate. 1-2 miles, mostly flat but with some hills. This tour will go up Marye's Heights.

Description: In November 1862, anxious for a victory to support the upcoming Emancipation Proclamation, Union Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside moved his Army of the Potomac to Fredericksburg in a drive to Richmond.  Robert E. Lee countered and managed to block Burnside's route south. With few options available, Burnside decided to punch his way through. From December 11-13, the two armies struggled for control of the old colonial city, and its surrounding heights and plains, soon to be stained with blood. The engagement resulted in the worst defeat ever inflicted on a Union army in Virginia. Join the Trust's Education Manager, Dan Davis, for an exploration of this critical campaign and battle. Visit Chatham Manor, follow men in blue and gray through the city streets in urban warfare, walk the Slaughter Pen Farm, retrace the footsteps of the fateful Union attacks against Lee's position at the stonewall below Marye's Heights and hear the stories of horror and heroism that forever changed Fredericksburg. 

Historic Homes and Gardens

Walking Level: Light.

Description: Spend the morning at lovely Morvern Park, former home of Westmoreland and Marguerite Davis. It is now owned and operated by it's namesakes foundation and boasts well-maintained grounds, an oppulent home and a wonderful story. Following Morvern Park, you'll head to quaint Middleburg, Virginia to have lunch at a local winery, and enjoy a tour afterwards. The day will finish up at Aldie Mill, an historic and still active water mill. 

On the Trail of the Gray Ghost: Exploring Mosby’s Confederacy with Kevin Pawlak 

Walking Level: Light. Minimal walking, mostly on even terrain and sidewalks

Description: Mosby’s Rangers are one of the most famous units of the Civil War. Led by John Singleton Mosby, they served as one of the Confederacy’s few successful partisan organizations and plagued Union forces in Virginia for the Civil War’s last 28 months. Much of Mosby’s Confederacy is still preserved today. The safehouses, roads, and battlefields of Mosby’s Rangers will be visited to examine why these partisan rangers were a force to be reckoned with in Northern Virginia.

Return to Bull Run: The Second Battle of Manassas with John Hennessy 

Walking Level: Light to Moderate. The day will include several short walks—the longest about 1,000 yards, generally over easy ground.  

Description: This day-long tour will start at Thoroughfare Gap, and then track the armies on the plains of Manassas during three days of fighting—from the Brawner Farm to the unfinished railroad, the Deep Cut, and the climactic fighting on Chinn Ridge.

“Twice Baptized”: An Overview of the Battles of First and Second Manassas with Robert Orrison 

Walking Level: Light to Moderate. 1-2 miles, with rolling hills.

Description: In a weird twist of fate, the land along Bull Run in Virginia saw two major battles. On July 21, 1861, the first battle of the Civil War was fought on the “plains of Manassas.” A Confederate victory, the battle alerted the nation that the war would not be short and bloodless. Returning a year later on August 28-30, the Confederate and Union armies clashed in a much larger battle that is considered by many to be the “high-water mark” of the Confederacy.