Cockpit of the Revolution: New Jersey in the War for Independence

Wednesday, May 31 (7:30pm) – Saturday, June 3, 2017  (5:00pm)

Tour Leader: Bill Welsch

HQ: Bridgewater, New Jersey

Tour Registration Fee: $475 

New Jersey has been called the Cockpit of the Revolution, with more battles and encampments occurring here than in any other state. Trenton, Princeton, and Monmouth are familiar names of New Jersey battlefields. This tour will provide an opportunity to visit some of the other important, but less well known, sites in this state. This is not a campaign tour as such, but rather a survey of important places and critical events that impacted both the state and the Revolution.

Our first day will begin with a visit to Fort Lee Historic Park on the Hudson River. We’ll explore the reconstructed earthworks that were designed, in conjunction with Fort Washington across the river, to deny the British passage up the river. The view is spectacular! The fall of Fort Washington, which we’ll also discuss, necessitated the evacuation of Fort Lee and began the American retreat in the fall of 1776, eventually ending on the Delaware River at Trenton. We’ll follow the initial stages of this historic retreat through Bergen County to New Bridge Landing.  At this vital river crossing over the Hackensack, the troops from Fort Lee just barely evaded Cornwallis and his pursuing British regiments. We’ll visit the Zabriskie House at the Landing which served as headquarters for both the Americans and the British.

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6th Annual Conference of the American Revolution – March 24-26, 2017

Friday, March 24 – Sunday to March 26, 2017  (Conference begins at 6:30pm)

Williamsburg, Virginia

Conference Registration: $245 

American Revolution Conference

  View/Download the Conference Agenda

Edward G. Lengel, Head of Faculty – George III’s American Madness

James Kirby Martin – The Real Continentals: Joseph Plumb Martin and His Comrades

David Preston – The Legacy of Braddock’s Defeat on the American Revolution

Mark Lender – Fatal Sunday: George Washington, the Monmouth Campaign and the Politics of Battle

John Grenier – Staying Loyal to the King: Why Robert Rogers Did Not Join the Rebels

Michael Gabriel – Major General Richard Montgomery: The Making of an American Hero

Dennis Conrad – A Sea Change: Naval Warfare in the American Revolution during the Spring of 1778

Robert Smith: – Manufacturing Independence: Industrial Innovation during the American Revolution

Robert Selig – Rochambeau’s Most Colorful Officer: Robert Guillaume, Baron de Dillon of Lauzun’s Legion

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5th Annual Conference of the American Revolution – March 18-20, 2016

Friday, March 18 – Sunday to March 20, 2016  (Conference begins at 6:30pm)

Colonial Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel

Williamsburg, Virginia

Conference Package: $225 (includes lunch and refreshment breaks)

American Revolution Conference

Edward G. Lengel, Head of Faculty:“The Action was Warm in Every Quarter”: The Battle of Germantown

Nathaniel Philbrick: “Stand Secure Amidst a Falling World”: The Battle of Bunker Hill

Daniel Krebs: The King’s German Auxiliaries during the American War of Independence

Kathleen Duval: Spain’s Unsung Hero: Bernado Galvez and the Capture of Pensacola 1781

Peter Henriques: America’s Atlas: The Leadership of George Washington

James Kirby Martin: Through a Howling Wilderness: Benedict Arnold’s March to Quebec

Todd Braisted: The Grand Forage of 1778: The Revolutionary War’s Forgotten Campaign

John Bell: The Road to Concord: How Four Small Cannons Set Off the American Revolution

Molly Fitzgerald Perry:“The Lowest of the Mob”: Exploring the Actions of Sailors and Slaves during the Stamp Act Crisis

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On to Richmond: First Manassas – April 14, 2016

Thursday,  April 14, 2016 – 8am to 5pm

(Leaving from the Hilton Dulles Hotel – Herndon, VA)

Led by: General John “Jack” Mountcastle, U.S. Army (ret.)

Registration Fee: $145

On to Richmond: The First Battle at ManassasAmerica’s History’s bus tour for the Company of Military Historians’ annual meeting will focus on the Civil War’s first major campaign in the East. The call was “On to Richmond” when Union and Confederate armies collided near Manassas Junction, the battle that became known as First Manassas or First Bull Run as it was known in the North.

We have designed this tour so it will not duplicate any other activities planned for the CMH annual meeting.

This tactical tour will include the major sites associated with the battle at First Manassas such as Henry House Hill where Col. Jonathan T. Jackson acquired his immortal sobriquet, “Stonewall,” Matthews Hill where Union artillery blasted away at the Confederates on Henry House Hill, the Stone House which was used as a field hospital for Federal wounded, the famous Stone Bridge over Bull Run where the Yankee withdrawal turned into a rout and other significant sites on the battlefield. We have included in our itinerary the rarely visited Blackburn’s Ford site which saw action on July 18, prior to the main engagement.

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Kill Jeff Davis: The Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid on Richmond in 1864 – April 28-30, 2016

Thursday,  April 28, 2016 (7:30pm) to Saturday, April 30, 2016 (5:00pm)

Headquarters: Glen Allen , VA

Led by: Bruce Venter

Registration Fee: $295

Kill Jeff Davis: The Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid on Richmond in 1864On paper, Union Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick’s plan, approved directly by Lincoln, to release some 13,000 Federal prisoners, “burn the hateful city” of Richmond and capture or kill Confederate President Jefferson Davis, had all the earmarks of success. As one Michigan officer recalled, “The rationale of the raid was a hurried ride, timely arrival, great daring, a surprise, a sudden charge without a moment’s hesitation – success.” Even Confederate cavalry commander Maj. Gen. Wade Hampton felt “the enemy could have taken Richmond” except for some rebel luck. But in execution the Kilpatrick–Dahlgren Raid was a dismal failure; and a major embarrassment to Lincoln when controversial orders were found on the dead body of the expedition’s subordinate commander, the dashing and well-connected Col. Ulric Dahlgren.

Our tour will consider all aspects of the raid’s plan: its execution, the routes taken by Kilpatrick and Dahlgren and the credibility of the infamous “Dahlgren Papers.” We will retrace the raid’s original routes and discuss the decisions, mistakes and happen-stances that affected both the intrepid Federal raiders and the dogged defenders of the Confederate capital. We will focus on the tactical movements of the troops and the decisions made by the commanders on both sides. During most of the tour we will follow the same roads the troopers did in 1864.

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Forging Heroes: Benedict Arnold, Ethan Allen and the Revolutionary War in New York – July 27-30, 2016

Wednesday,  July 27, 2016 (7pm) to Saturday, July 30 (5pm)

Headquarters: Lake George, NY

Led by: James Kirby Martin and Bruce Venter

Registration Fee: $495

Forging_HeroesOur tour this summer will continue the study of Benedict Arnold as one of the foremost combat commanders of the Revolutionary War. Last year we investigated Arnold’s career in Connecticut as both a patriot and a traitor. This year’s tour will follow his career in the first two years of the war when he excelled on land and water. We will also learn about his enterprising relationship with the wily Ethan Allen during their joint venture to capture Fort Ticonderoga and how he handled Horatio Gates when he served under the Northern army commander on two separate occasions during the war.

Our first day will start in Bennington, Vermont where will see the sites associated with Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold as the plot to capture Fort Ticonderoga unfolds. From Bennington we’ll trace the march of the Green Mountain Boys through what was called the “Hampshire Grants” at the time. Hand’s Cove, the jump off spot for Allen, Arnold and their men on Lake Champlain, is on private property but America’s History has made special arrangements for you to walk to this historic site. We will then cross to the New York side of the lake and follow Allen and Arnold’s attack on the fort. There will be time to visit Fort Ticonderoga’s museum which has a new exhibit this year on 18th century artillery.

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Sullivan’s Campaign Against the Iroquois in 1779 – August 24-27, 2016

Wednesday,  August 24, 2016 (7:30pm) to Saturday, August 27, 2016 (5:00pm)

Headquarters: Victor, NY

Led by: Glenn Williams

Registration Fee: $475

Sullivan's_Campaign_against_the_Iroquois_1779The Sullivan-Clinton campaign against the Iroquois in 1779 has been described as implementing a “scorched earth” policy for no useful purpose other than eradicating Indians, or a failed attempt to capture Fort Niagara. No campaign of the American War for Independence has been more inaccurately described or remains more controversial than the Continental Army’s invasion of the Iroquois Confederacy in 1779.  This tour is designed to follow the main effort of that offensive as conducted by troops commanded by Major General John Sullivan. Sullivan’s troops took the war to the very heart of the territory controlled by the Six Nations of Iroquois who had allied themselves with the British Crown.  At the tour’s end you’ll decide if the campaign was a success or a well-executed failure.

On our first day will travel to the Gonandagan State Historic Site with its reconstructed Iroquois longhouse – near Victor – where we will focus on the political and military structure of the Six Nations, the decision of four of them to side with the British and two to become allies of the United States, with a resulting civil war. We will also stop at Verona Beach State Park where Wood Creek empties into Lake Oneida to discuss Colonel Goose Van Schaick’s expedition and attack on Onondaga in April 1779. We’ll visit Brewerton in Cicero, site of a former French and Indian War fort where patriot troops land before marching cross-country to Lake Onondaga and finally, Pompey at the site of an Onondaga Town that existed prior to the 18th century.

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Burgoyne’s 1777 Campaign: The Battles at Saratoga – September 23, 2016

Friday,  September 23, 2016 (8:00am to 5:00pm)

Tour leaves the Fort Ticonderoga parking lot at 8am

Led by: Eric Schnitzer and Bruce Venter

Registration Fee: $125

Battles_at_Saratoga-092316America’s History is proud to continue its partnership with Fort Ticonderoga by again offering a special one-day Revolutionary War tour. This tour will complete Burgoyne’s 1777 campaign by concentrating on the battles at Saratoga. Led by Eric Schnitzer, historian at the Saratoga National Historical Park and Bruce Venter, we will spend the entire day on the battlefield exploring the first battle at Freeman’s Farm, the second battle at the Wheatfield, Burgoyne’s fortifications, Gates’ line at Bemis Heights, the surrender area and much more. One of the foremost experts of the Saratoga campaign, Eric Schnitzer, will review the strategy and tactics of the opposing leaders in a comprehensive narration, including some new information on Arnold’s conduct based on a recently discovered letter written by an officer serving in the American army. This is a rare opportunity to understand the actions at Saratoga from a leading authority on the campaign. We will return to Fort Ticonderoga in time for you to attend the opening session of Fort Ticonderoga’s American Revolution Seminar.

Tour Registration fee: $125.00

What’s included: Motor coach transportation, lunch, snack and beverage breaks, all admissions and gratuities, a map and materials package and the services of two tour leaders selected for their knowledge and expertise.

Our Tour Leaders: Eric Schnitzer has been a park ranger/historian for 20 years at the Saratoga National Historical Park and has lectured frequently on the Northern Campaign. He is also a military artist and serves in a British re-enacting unit. Dr. Bruce M. Venter, president of America’s History, LLC is an experienced tour leader of the Revolutionary War period. He is the author of The Battle of Hubbardton: The Rear Guard Action that Saved America.

Other important information: The bus will leave the main parking lot of Fort Ticonderoga at 8:00 a.m. and return by 5:00 p.m. Tour goes out rain or shine. To attend the American Revolution Seminar, you must register directly with Fort Ticonderoga. [Read more…]

The Swamp Fox Rides Again: Francis Marion’s War in South Carolina – October 27-30, 2016

Thursday,  October 27, 2016 (7pm) to Sunday, October 30, 2016 (5pm)

Led by: Charles B. Baxley

HQ: Georgetown, SC

Registration Fee: $495

Swamp_Fox_Rides_AgainMany of us will remember the stirring adventures of the “Swamp Fox” portrayed by Leslie Neilson in Walt Disney’s episodic series in the late 1950’s. Again in 2000, Mel Gibson starred in a fictionalized version of a composite Swamp Fox character in the movie “The Patriot.” The real Swamp Fox story, however, is even more exciting than either of its modern day adaptations.

Our tour will focus on the military career and partisan exploits of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion, a true American hero who challenged the might of the British army in South Carolina during the Revolutionary War with a few loyal men, along with a hearty supply of guts and guile.

On Thursday evening we’ll have a “meet and greet” to distribute name badges and a map package. Your guide, Charles Baxley, will provide an introductory talk on South Carolina in the American Revolution.

On Friday we will take a tour to Marion sites in and around the historic district Georgetown, South Carolina. After lunch, we will take a boat trip with the tidal flow down the Pee Dee River to see the relics of the Southern rice culture and to retrace Gen. Marion’s and Lt. Col. “Light Horse Harry” Lee’s January 1781 raid on Georgetown. [Read more…]

4th Annual Conference of the American Revolution – PAST TOUR

Friday, March 20 (7pm) – Sunday, March 22 (Noon)

Colonial Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel

Williamsburg, Virginia

Conference Package: $225

American Revolution Conference

Edward G. Lengel, Head of Faculty: “Enigmatic Warrior: Light-Horse harry Lee at the Battle of Eutaw Springs”

Rick Atkinson: “Bringing Back the Dead: History, Memory, and Writing About War”

John “Jack” Buchanan: “ ‘A Great and Good Man’: Nathanael Greene and the Road to Charleston”

Don Hagist: “The Revolution’s Last Men: The Soldiers behind the Photographs”

James Kirby Martin: “The Man Who Wouldn’t Be King: George Washington and the Newburgh Conspiracy”

Holly Mayer: “Command and Control of congress’s Own: Hazen’s 2nd Canadian Regiment”

Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy: “Hot Weather and Heavy Casualties: The Revolutionary War in the Caribbean”

Julia Anne Osman: “From Greatest Enemies to Greatest Allies: France and America in the War for Independence”

[Read more…]

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