Fredericksburg: A Comprehensive Walking Tour – June 22-25, 2011

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Wednesday, June 22 (7:30 PM) thru Saturday, June 25 (5 PM)
Headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA
Led by Frank O’Reilly
Registration Fee: $425.00 

Pushed by President Abraham Lincoln to win a decisive victory for the Union, Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside attempted to cross the Rappahannock River in December 1862 to please his commander-in-chief. Burnside successfully forced a crossing, but the result was a major Federal debacle at Fredericksburg. Our comprehensive tour of the Fredericksburg campaign will be conducted by the nationally recognized expert on the battle, Frank O’Reilly.

We will stop at all the major sites associated with the battle and some places that perhaps you have not seen. We’ll get to understand this campaign as a far more complex operation than just a frontal assault by Blue-coated infantrymen on the entrenched positions of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia which stretched eight miles along ridges west of Fredericksburg. Our tour will include a stop at Chatham, a magnificent plantation home used by Union Maj. Gen. Edwin “Bull” Sumner as his headquarters and later as a field hospital. We’ll walk thru part of the old town where Confederate Brig. Gen. William Barksdale’s sharpshooters held off Union troops for twelve hours as they attempted to pontoon the river. Of course, we’ll follow the heroic charge of the Irish Brigade on the stone-lined Sunken Road below Marye’s Heights which was held by units under Lt. Gen. James Longstreet.

After a visit to Lee’s Hill where the Confederate army commander had his headquarters and where he watched the battle unfold, we’ll head to the heart of the fighting on December 13, 1862. Burnside’s main attack was supposed to dislodge “Stonewall” Jackson’s line south of the town on Prospect Hill. This area of the battlefield became known by the sanguinary epithet the “Slaughter Pen.” Recently this historic acreage was saved by the Civil War Trust. We will spend a significant time here as we discuss Maj. Gen. George G. Meade’s attack, Brig. Gen. John Gibbon’s support of the attack, Confederate Maj. Gen. Ambrose Powell Hill’s stubborn defense, the Federals’ temporary breakthrough and then their repulse. Several Medals of Honor were awarded for acts performed in these bloody farm fields south of Fredericksburg. The stories of bravery and courage manifested in the Slaughter Pen area are myriad and no one can relate them better than Frank O’Reilly.

There will also be discussions and stops associated with Burnside’s infamous “Mud March” in the month following the battle and at Kelly’s Ford where cavalry units from both sides skirmished as Confederate horsemen under Maj. Gen. J. E. B. “Jeb” Stuart sought to disrupt Union supply lines. We have some surprise stops at locations not normally opened or accessible to the general public planned, so you will not want to miss this in-depth tour of a critical 1862 campaign which had wide-reaching implications for both sides.

Registration Fee: $425.00

What’s included: motor coach transportation, three lunches, beverage and snack breaks, a map and materials package, all admissions and gratuities, and the services of an experienced tour leader/historian. Our hotel will provide a complimentary breakfast each day. Tour participants are responsible for transportation to the headquarters hotel, and securing a room reservation, if necessary. Dinner is on your own. Tour goes out rain or shine. Please see our policy page for information about cancellations.

Hotel: We have arranged with the headquarters hotel for a group rate of $89.00 per night plus tax. Please call the Hampton Inn, 4800 market Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22408 at 540-898-5000 and ask to reserve your room at the America’s History group rate. This rate will be guaranteed up to 30 days prior to the tour, so please make your reservations soon.

Our Tour Guide/Historian:

Frank O’Reilly is the author of numerous Civil War books and articles including the highly acclaimed The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock and Stonewall Jackson at Fredericksburg: The Battle of Prospect Hill. He is a historian at the Fredericksburg-Spotsylvania National Military Park and is a much sought after speaker and battlefield guide. Dr. Bruce M. Venter, CEO of America’s History, LLC will accompany this tour.

Register Online:

If you need to make payment arrangements for an amount other than the full price, please use the phone option to register.

Register By Phone:

Phone: 1-855-OUR-HISTORY (687-4478)

Register by e-mail:

Register by Postal Mail:

America’s History LLC, P. O. Box 1076, Goochland, VA 23063

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