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Twilight Pop Up Tours

Summer 2021 Twilight Tours

With the launch of our summer “Twilight Tours,” we were abletowelcomemore than500 people back to the battlefield. With the help ofnumerouspartners of the Trust, we held 27 tours, in six states, over eight weeks!  The program was brought to life through thecreative effortsof the American Battlefield Trust staff, and organized in partnership withhistorians in North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New Jerseyand Mississippi.For half of our participants, this was their first time attending atourhosted by our organization.The purpose was tonot only get folks back on the battlefields but to highlight properties our members are responsiblefor preserving.  

 



The Last Open Attack Plain: The Slaughter Pen Farm at Fredericksburg  |  Fredericksburg, VA

Historian: Chris Mackowski, Emerging Civil War, and Kristopher D. White, American Battlefield Trust 
Date: Friday, June 18, 2021
While urban growth has all but consumed the Marye’s Heights sector of the Fredericksburg Battlefield, to the south of the city, a lone farm represents what the fields around Fredericksburg would have looked like in 1862. The Slaughter Pen Farm played host to some of the most vicious fighting of the Battle of Fredericksburg, and the heroism displayed in and around its farm fields produced no less than five Medal of Honor recipients. Join American Battlefield Trust Senior Education Manage Kristopher White as he takes you across the last open attack plain at Fredericksburg. We will explore the history of this piece of hallowed ground and give you a behind the scenes glimpse at the herculean preservation efforts that it took to secure these vital acres for future generations. 

Twilight Tour of Slaughter Pen Farm June 18, 2021

 


Evening Tour of the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center (NC)  |  Kinston, NC

Historian: Matthew Young, CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center
Date: Thursday, June 24, 2021
Enjoy an after-hours evening guided tour of the CSS Neuse Civil War Museum. The tour highlights many of the ship's features such as her construction, her outfitting in Kinston, her deployment and commissioning, her battle experience, her destruction, and the eventual recovery and movement of the ship from the 1960s to today. 



The Battle of Spencers Ordinary  |  Williamsburg, VA

Historian: Kirby Smith, Guide and Historian 
Date: Thursday, June 24, 2021
This will be a Part 1 of 2 programs offered, part 2 being the Battle of Green Spring. An hour-long discussion that will focus on the day of the battle of Spencer's Ordinary: June 26th, 1781. We begin by discussing the movements of both the Crown Forces under General Cornwallis, and the movements of General Lafayette’s American Forces in the days before the encounter between the two armies near Spencer's Ordinary (or Hot Waters), transition to the battle itself on the actual grounds, and conclude with the aftermath of the fighting near the core of the partially preserved battlefield. 

 


The First Day Battle at Chancellorsville  |  Fredericksburg, VA

Historian: Daniel T. Davis, American Battlefield Trust
Date: Friday, June 25, 2021
When most history buffs discuss the Battle of Chancellorsville, the conversation usually gravitates toward one man, Stonewall Jackson. Jackson’s flank attack, wounding at Chancellorsville and his subsequent death overshadows the larger story of the battle. Join American Battlefield Trust Education Manager Daniel T. Davis as he examines another part, an overlooked part, of the Battle of Chancellorsville. One that involves Jackson, the United States Regulars, and the momentum of the very campaign. Learn more about the opening action at Chancellorsville on May 1, 1863, and the fight that pushed Joe Hooker back into the Wilderness. Tread across the very land that members of the American Battlefield Trust helped to preserve now some two decades ago. 

 


The Final Attack on Seminary Ridge at Gettysburg  |  Gettysburg, PA

Historian: Pete Miele, Seminary Ridge Museum and Education Center
Date: Friday, June 25, 2021
Situated along the Chambersburg Pike (modern-day Route 30) is the home of the widow Mary Thompson. Thompson's home was the witness to the opening day of the Battle of Gettysburg, and the home and its grounds played host to some of the most famous personalities of the battle. Join Garry Adelman and Kristopher White of the American Battlefield Trust (and a few special guests) for an evening at Lee's Headquarters. Learn more about the battle, the people who lived in Thompson's neighborhood, and the preservation and restoration of this key part of the Gettysburg battlefield.  

 


Summer Thunder: A Nighttime Cannon Firing at Fort Anderson (NC)  |  Winnabow, NC

Historian: Jim McKee & the Staff of Fort Anderson North Carolina Historic Site
Date: Friday, June 25, 2021
Add a little thunder to your summer nights with a cannon firing! Tour historic Fort Anderson on the banks of the Cape Fear River. Explore one of the most impressive earthen fortifications of the Civil War. The staff of volunteers of the site will be firing the reproduction 32-pdr seacoast gun located within Fort Anderson.

 


The Battle of Green Springs  |  Williamsburg, VA

Historian: Kirby Smith, Guide and Historian 
Date: Friday, June 25, 2021
An hour-long walking tour that will focus on the pivotal day of the battle of Green Spring: July 6, 1781. We begin by discussing the movements of both the Crown Forces under General Cornwallis, and the movements of General Lafayette’s American Forces in the days before the encounter between the two armies near old Jamestown, transition to the battle itself on the actual grounds, and conclude with the aftermath of the fighting near the core of the unpreserved battlefield. 

 


An Evening at Lee's Headquarters  |  Gettysburg, PA

Historian: Garry Adelman & Kristopher White, American Battlefield Trust
Date: Thursday, July 1, 2021
An hour-long walking tour that will focus on the pivotal day of the battle of Green Spring: July 6, 1781. We begin by discussing the movements of both the Crown Forces under General Cornwallis, and the movements of General Lafayette’s American Forces in the days before the encounter between the two armies near old Jamestown, transition to the battle itself on the actual grounds, and conclude with the aftermath of the fighting near the core of the unpreserved battlefield. 

 


Pressing Toward Vicksburg: The Battle of Raymond, Mississippi  |  Raymond, MS

Historian: Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Parker Hills
Date: Friday, July 2, 2021
Debrief
For the Twilight Tour of the Raymond battlefield on Friday, July 2, 2021, Friends of Raymond erected two welcoming tents on Artillery Ridge of the Raymond battlefield at the gravel parking area next to Hwy 18.  Since the location has no street address, the tents were placed to provide maximum visibility to those who might not have GPS capability.  Coolers with iced bottled water and Gatorade were provided, as well as the summer tonic of Mississippi, insect repellent.  In preparation for the tour Friends of Raymond volunteers mowed the designated routes for the one mile walk and picked up the constantly-replenished highway trash.  The battlefield's 46 interpretive markers were cleaned and cannon were spruced up; finally all was ready.

The tour, led by retired Brigadier General Parker Hills, started precisely at 6:30 pm and ended at 8:02 pm.  The heat and humidity, even at the late hour, were a daunting challenge, but no one dropped out of the "march."  Plenty of daylight remained at tour's end, and at the end of the hike everyone gathered around the welcoming tent to enjoy a cold bottle of water and continued to socialize. 

The lectures at Artillery Ridge incorporated a number of the new Friends of Raymond interpretive markers, which were installed in December 2019.  The markers served as training aids for a recap of the events leading up to the Battle of Raymond, and both the Union and Confederate order of battle and situations were discussed.

Since the initial lectures were on the 22-cannon artillery line, a cannon loading teamwork-exercise using one of the Model 1841 six-pounder smoothbores, of course with the necessary artillery implements, was included in the tour agenda.  Four "volunteers" were selected from the group to serve the piece, and the need for cross-training among crew members was emphasized.  After all, in an artillery crew there is no such thing as "come back tomorrow because private Smith is not here today." 

After the discussion of the battle plan for Raymond, the group began the one-mile battlefield tour, which took it through the walking lanes in the newly-planted cotton fields south of Raymond, Mississippi.  First, the group trekked to follow the action on the high ground of eastern Artillery Ridge, where the three Union brigades of Elias Dennis, John Smith, and John Stevenson, totaling approximately 6,000 soldiers, deployed into line of battle. 

To help in the understanding of the sequence of events, Mickey Roth of Friends of Raymond attached bright red helium balloons on 30-foot strings to distant interpretive markers to serve as reference points. The tour group had a marvelous vista because the air was crystal clear after the earlier rains, and the view from the epicenter of 70 acres of fields was both unique and breathtaking.  The balloon concept was an experiment created for this tour, and it worked perfectly.  From the easternmost point of Artillery Ridge the group could see the entire battlefield to better understand the action.  

Then the group walked a third of a mile to the forward battle line, which is marked by a cannon and a cedar rail fence.  Since the original fence burned during the battle of May 12, 1863,, today's fence is an authentic reconstruction of the "worm fence" that served as the defensive position for two regiments of Maj. Gen. John Logan's Third Division of Maj. Gen. James McPherson's 17th Corps.  As the group walked along the fence line, where the troops of the 20th Ohio and 20th Illinois infantry regiments were attacked by the soldiers of the 7th Texas and 3rd Tennessee infantry regiments, the close combat came alive. 

There was a discussion of the archaeology work that helped determine precisely where the action took place and with what types of weapons.  To enhance the description of the events, several of the historical artifacts found during the archaeological work from 2011 to 2015 were brought out of storage and shown to the group so that each member could touch and feel a small piece of history.  In the final analysis, there is nothing like hands-on-training.

Of course, all along the tour route the partnership of the American Battlefield Trust and Friends of Raymond was repeatedly discussed in relation to the preservation of almost 200 acres at Raymond since the first battlefield acre was purchased in 1998.  With a generous round of applause the group gratefully acknowledged the most recent purchase of 43-plus acres which took place earlier this year. 

After all was said and done, it was a great day to be back on the battlefield!    

 


The Battle of Tebbs Bend  |  Campbellsville, KY

Historian: Taylor Bishop, American Battlefield Trust Youth Leadership Team & Betty Gorin, Tebbs Bend Battlefield Association  
Date: Saturday, July 3, 2021
Join Taylor Bishop, American Battlefield Trust Youth Leadership Team & Betty Gorin, Tebbs Bend Battlefield Association for an evening at Tebbs Bend. Situated on the banks of the Green River, Tebbs Bend is the location of a July 1863 battle between John Hunt Morgan and Orland H. Moore's 25th Michigan Infantry. The tour will encompass the main battle site where Colonel Moore's 25th Michigan whipped Morgan's Cavalry. The tour group will learn how a green regiment of no more than 200 men defeated nearly 1,000 of Morgan's Veterans.  

 


Revolutionary War at Yorktown  |  Yorktown, VA 

Historian: Daniel T. Davis, American Battlefield Trust
Date: Friday, July 9, 2021
Saratoga, Valley Forge, and Yorktown—are some of the most iconic places associated with the American Revolution. Join American Battlefield Trust Education Manager Daniel T. Davis, as he treks across one of those iconic landscapes—Yorktown. Hear the stories of some of the most famous participants of the conflict, from George Washington and Charles the Earl Cornwallis to Alexander Hamilton. And learn about the evolution of Yorktown from a sleepy settlement on the York River to must-see destination for all history buffs.  

 


Lopsided Battle: The Battle of Bristoe Station | Bristoe, VA 

Historian: Kevin Pawlak, Bristoe Station Battlefield
Date: Friday, July 9, 2021
The Battle of Bristoe Station, which was the climax of the October 1863 campaign that bears the same name, is an often-forgotten piece of the Civil War in Virginia. However, it turned out to be Robert E. Lee's last offensive campaign. Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park tells the story of this battle, which was a lopsided defeat for Lee's army. Join Bristoe Station Site Manager Kevin Pawlak for this tour which will focus on the 1863 battle but share information about the other years of the war at Bristoe Station, as well as some of the recent preservation victories at Bristoe Station. 

 


Rednap Howell and the Road to the Battle of Alamance  |  Burlington, NC 

Historian:  Ted Henson & the Staff of Alamance Battleground State Historic Site (NC) 
Date: Friday, July 9, 2021
The 1771 Battle of Alamance was the culmination of the Regulator movement, a grassroots protest movement among farmers in the North Carolina backcountry. Several leaders emerged among the Regulators. One of them, Rednap Howell, was a teacher and balladeer who proved effective at attracting support for the movement. Alamance Battleground volunteer Ted Henson will portray Rednap Howell and discuss his role in the movement, leading up to the Battle of Alamance. 


Why Bentonville? The Campaign, Battle, and it's Aftermath | Four Oaks, NC 

Historian:  Derrick Brown & the Staff of Bentonville Battlefield 
Date: Friday, July 9, 2021
The Battle of Bentonville was the largest Civil War battle fought in the state of North Carolina. The March 1865 battle was the final battlefield clash between Generals William T. Sherman and Joseph E. Johnston. Join Derrick Brown of the Bentonville Battlefield for a lively discussion about one of the final chapters of the Civil War, and learn more about why the battle was fought, and its impact on the Western Theater of the American Civil War.  


Hoke's Division at the Battle of Bentonville | Four Oaks, NC

Historians:  Colby Stevens & the Staff of Bentonville Battlefield  
Date: Thursday, July 15, 2021
Join Colby Stevens Site Manager of the Bentonville Battlefield for a living history demonstration that will transport visitors back to the year 1865. Learn more about the uniform and equipment of the men from Maj. Gen. Robert F. Hoke's Division North Carolina division who fought at Bentonville. The talk will be followed by a musket demonstration. Both activities will take place at the outdoor classroom, located just beside the Visitor Center.   

 


Ben Lomond's Civil War Story  |  Manassas, VA 

Historian: Kevin Pawlak & the Staff of Ben Lomond Historic Site
Date: Friday, July 16, 2021
Ben Lomond was not a battlefield, but a house and its occupants were greatly affected by the Civil War. Following the Battle of First Manassas, Confederate troops occupied the house as a hospital and headquarters. Later, Union troops visited the home and graffitied the walls with their names. The Pringle family, tenants of the house, suffered tremendously from the visit of both armies. Join Kevin Pawlak and the Staff of Ben Lomond Historic Site as they take you through the home and explore the grounds of this hidden Civil War-era gem. 

 


Evening Tour of the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center (NC)  |  Kinston, NC 

Historian: Matthew Young, CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center
Date: Thursday, July 22, 2021
Enjoy an after-hours evening guided tour of the CSS Neuse Civil War Museum. The tour highlights many of the ship's features such as her construction, her outfitting in Kinston, her deployment and commissioning, her battle experience, her destruction, and the eventual recovery and movement of the ship from the 1960s to today. 

Trust Members at the CSS Neuse Twilight Tour


 


Mine Run: the Forgotten Campaign |  Locust Grove, VA 

Historians:  Chris Mackowski, Emerging Civil War, and Kristopher D. White, American Battlefield Trust 
Date: Friday, July 23, 2021
Lost in the wake of the Gettysburg Campaign, and “overshadowed” by the battles of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, the Mine Run Campaign is the forgotten 1863 campaign in the Eastern Theater. Luckily, the members of the American Battlefield Trust did not forget about this action! Join Chris Mackowski and Kris White as they take you back to 1863 and examine one of the Civil War’s forgotten. 


Brandywine: A Walking Tour of Birmingham Meetinghouse and Birmingham Hill  |  West Chester, PA 

Historians: Michael Harris, Author and Historian
Date: Friday, July 23, 2021
On September 11, 1777, General George Washington was determined to prevent the British from capturing the American seat of government, Philadelphia. Taking up positions along Brandywine Creek, Washington mistakenly believed that his army blocked all fords across the Brandywine. Join Michael Harris, author of Brandywine: A Military History of the Battle that Lost Philadelphia but Saved America, for tour of Birmingham Meetinghouse and Birmingham Hill where the heaviest fighting of the battle took place.  

 


Summer Thunder: A Nighttime Cannon Firing at Fort Anderson |  Winnabow, NC

Historian:  Jim McKee & the Staff of Fort Anderson North Carolina Historic Site
Date: Friday, July 23, 2021
Add a little thunder to your summer nights with a cannon firing! Tour historic Fort Anderson on the banks of the Cape Fear River. Explore one of the most impressive earthen fortifications of the Civil War. The staff of volunteers of the site will be firing the reproduction 32-pdr seacoast gun located within Fort Anderson.


Tyron's Sailor Artillery Detachment at the Battle of Alamance |  Burlington, NC

Historian:  Drew Neill & the Staff of Alamance Battleground State Historic Site (NC) 
Date: Friday, July 23, 2021
Alamance Battleground Historic Interpreter Drew Neill will discuss the use of artillery at the 1771 Battle of Alamance, including the story of the Wilmington sailors who served on some of the guns during the battle. Learn more about the role of sailors in 18th century artillery, and the role of the Royal Navy in North Carolina before the American Revolution. 


A Handsome Flogging: The Battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778  |  Manalapan, NJ 

Historian: William "Billy" Griffith, Emerging Revolutionary War
Date: Saturday, July 24, 2021
On June 28, 1778, the vanguard of the Continental Army under Maj. Gen. Charles Lee engaged Sir Henry Clinton’s rearguard near the small village of Monmouth Court House. Lee’s over-cautiousness prevailed early on and the Americans were ordered to hastily retreat from the field. Only the arrival of Washington and the main body of the army saved the Americans from disaster. By the end of the day, they held the battlefield as the British continued their march to Sandy Hook and the safety of New York City. It was, as British brigadier general William Erskine dubbed it, "A handsome flogging." Join historian William R. Griffith, author of A Handsome Flogging: The Battle of Monmouth, for an evening on this iconic Revolutionary War battlefield.  


The Fight for the Cole Plantation at Bentonville | Four Oaks, NC

Historians: Derrick Brown & the Staff at Bentonville Battlefield 
Date: Saturday, July 24, 2021
The Battle of Bentonville was the last grand charge of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, and the grounds of Willis Cole's Plantation played host to one of the dramatic closing chapters of the American Civil War. Join Derrick Brown of the Bentonville Battlefield for a tour of the grounds of this former plantation (a portion of which was preserved by the members of the American Battlefield Trust), and learn more about the struggle between Generals William T. Sherman and Joseph E. Johnston's armies in the closing weeks of the war.

 


Pressing Toward Vicksburg: The Battle of Raymond  |  Raymond, MS 

Historian: Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Parker Hills
Date: Friday, July 30, 2021
In May of 1863, Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee had the bastion city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, in their sights. A riverine landing south of the city, coupled with an overland drive north began to cut off Vicksburg from the rest of the Confederacy. A scant force of Confederates was tasked with slowing down Grant’s forces, and the two sides clashed at Raymond. Join Brig. Gen. (retired) Parker Hills for a tour of the Battle of Raymond of the Vicksburg Campaign, fought on 12 May 1863. The battle, the preservation, and the interpretation of the battlefield will be covered in this lively presentation that you won’t want to miss! 

 


Devil’s Den at Gettysburg: Fighting, Photos and Folklore  |  Gettysburg, PA 

Historian: Garry Adelman, American Battlefield Trust
Date: Friday, July 30, 2021
Join the American Battlefield Trust’s chief historian, Garry Adelman, for both an overview and deep dive into all things Devil’s Den—pre-1860s history, the battle, the aftermath, the evolution of the site into a commercial attraction, and then to the preserved place we all know. Myth, legend, then & now photos, and stories old and new will pepper the narrative.  Expect roughly ½ mile of walking over some rugged terrain.  Meet in front of the largest boulders at Devil’s Den.  Park only in designated spaces in and above the Den, in the Valley of Death, and along Ayers and Sickles Avenues. 

 


Caught in the Midst of Battle: The H.P. Bottom House at Perryville  |  Perryville, KY

Historian: Joni House & The Friends of Perryville Battlefield 
Date: Saturday, July 31, 2021
The October 1862 Battle of Perryville was the climax of the Confederate Heartland Offensive, and the largest Civil War battle fought in the Bluegrass State. Join the Friends of Perryville Battlefield for a tour of a witness to the action, the H.P. Bottom House. Nestled along the banks of Doctor’s Creek, the H.P. Bottom House was caught in the crossfire of the two armies and served as a hospital for those who were left wounded in that sector. Learn about the action that swirled around the structure and see the scars of battle from some 150 years ago. 


The Battle of Cedar Mountain  |  Rapidan, VA 

Battle Guides: Brad Forbush & Vic Middlekauff with Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield
Date: Saturday, August 7, 2021
On the blazing hot afternoon of August 9, 862 a few miles south of Culpeper, Virginia, Confederate Major General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson fought off an attached from the Union Major General Nathaniel Banks’ corps of the Army of Virginia. Four Federal brigades surged across corn and wheat fields against three Confederate divisions stretched out into a mile-long front anchored at Cedar Mountain.  With the odds against them, the Federals nearly swept the Confederate’s from the field. 

Culpeper’s native son, Major General A. P. Hill, sealed the Confederate victory when his arriving division re-formed Jackson’s crumbled line and led the charge that turned the tide of the battle. For Hill and the other Culpeper men engaged, this was a personal battle to liberate their homes, friends, and family from the Union occupation. Over 3,600 men were killed or wounded in the shadow of Cedar Mountain by the end of the day — the deadliest day in Culpeper’s history.