Fredericksburg: Not Just the Sunken Road

Bruce Venter

To paraphrase a famous depiction used to describe Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, I would have to say that our Fredericksburg tour leader, Frank O’Reilly was simply “superb.” I knew there was more to the battle of Fredericksburg than just the maniacal assaults at the Sunken Road. But Frank’s incredible expertise brought many other aspects of this campaign to a new, higher level of comprehension for me and our tour participants. Frank’s understanding of the campaign’s political, logistical, cartographic, and command and control problems made this tour unforgettable. He also included a good dose of personal valor stories, descriptions of the idiosyncratic personalities of various leaders on both sides and leadership questions for us to consider on different parts of the field. As Tom Lannon from Phoenix, Arizona put it, “From my point of view as a tour attendee three days with Frank O’Reilly on the Fredericksburg battlefield was a real treat. The guy has an amazing amount of knowledge about the history there and did an outstanding job of conveying what happened and why. I could not have asked for more. And all the things you did to make it comfortable with the accommodations, the lunches, snacks and transportation were just first rate. Thanks for everything and I am sure I will see you on another tour in the future.”

[Read more…]

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

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. [Read more…]

Customized by 2 Smart Chix LLC