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Civil War Trust

Tour Selection

Tour registration is required; space is limited.

    • If you have questions, please contact email or call 800-298-7878 ext. 7229

Tour Descriptions

Annual Conference

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Annual Conference registration includes Friday and Saturday tours; Color Bearer members also may attend tours on Thursday. An optional tour is available Wednesday for an additional charge.

Walking & Accessibility: The tours with the LEAST amount of walking are Touring Gettysburg’s Three Days in One Day and Lee’s Retreat from Gettysburg. All tours on Friday and Saturday, except for the hiking tour, will be able to accommodate those with walking limitations, there may be a few stops where you may choose to stay on the bus instead of walking the field.

« Annual Conference Main | Historian Bios | History Talks

  Optional Tour
(Wednesday Only)

Full and Half Day Options, Additional Fee Applies

Full Day Tour Option Description: The full day tour will include a 1 1/2 hour walking tour, lunch and stops at several of the museums around Gettysburg. The walking tour will feature a tour of the town and its citizens, who were caught between battle lines during the Civil War. Museum stops will include the Visitor Center and Museum at Gettysburg National Military Park, the Gettysburg Heritage Center and the Seminary Ridge Museum. ($95 additional fee to attend, lunch included)

Half Day Tour Option Description: The half day tour will include a 1 1/2 hour walking tour and stops both the Visitor Center and Museum at Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Heritage Center. ($65 additional fee to attend)

  Color Bearer Tour —
Gettysburg’s Aftermath in 4-D: The Rose Farm
(Thursday Only)

Historians: Garry Adelman and Tim Smith

Description: Within days of the battle, Alexander Gardner and his crew recorded more photographs of the Civil War’s human toll than any other photographer secured at any other battlefield of the war. More than 35% of all known photos of Civil War dead were taken by Gardner’s crew at Gettysburg. Of all the places at Gettysburg, more fallen were recorded on the Rose Farm than at any other site, making it a sad but appropriate place to visualize the horror of Gettysburg’s aftermath. Join Garry Adelman and Tim Smith for a four-dimensional experience like none other—or, as author William A. Frassanito calls it, a Journey in Time.

  Color Bearer Tour —
Behind the Scenes Tour
at the National Civil War Museum
(Thursday Only)

Historian: Wayne Motts

Description: The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is one of the largest museums in the country dedicated to interpreting the American Civil War. Join CEO Wayne Motts and his staff for a behind the scenes look at the museum’s outstanding collection of unique and rare Civil War artifacts, archival documents, and photographic images. Participants will not only see the items but will also be able to handle some of the war’s special treasures. After this special tour, participants will also have the opportunity to stroll through the exhibits in this 65,000 square foot facility.

  Gettysburg in Detail, Part 1
(Friday and Saturday)

Historians Friday: Charlie Fennell, Troy Harman, Scott Hartwig, Wayne Motts, and Dave Richards

Historian Saturday: Troy Harman 

Description: This tour will focus upon the first half of the three-day Battle of Gettysburg, spanning the opening engagements on July 1st until sunset on July 2nd. The ridges, orchards, knolls, pastures and hills now burned into the annals of American history will all be covered. McPherson’s Ridge, Oak Hill, Barlow’s Knoll, Seminary Ridge, Little Round Top, the Wheatfield, Peach Orchard and Cemetery Ridge are just some of the places that will be covered in all the detail that time will allow. Expect short walks from the coach of up to 200 yards at a time.

  Gettysburg in Detail, Part 2
(Friday and Saturday)

Historian Friday: Carol Reardon

Historians Saturday: Charlie Fennell, Scott Hartwig, Wayne Motts, Carol Reardon, and Dave Richards 

Description: This tour will focus upon the second half of the three-day Battle of Gettysburg, spanning the evening attacks on July 2nd through the climactic ending known as Pickett’s Charge and beyond. The towering East Cemetery Hill and the, rugged twin Culp’s Hills and of course the broad fields where 12,000 Confederates attacked will be covered in as much detail as possible before finishing off with the battle’s aftermath on Cemetery Hill. This tour will include short walks of up to 200 yards at a time but may also include an optional opportunity to walk the Pickett’s Charge attack route (3/4 mile).

  Hiking the Union Fishhook
(Friday and Saturday)

Historian: Garry Adelman and Douglas Douds

Description: In better understanding the numerous battles within the Battle of Gettysburg, it becomes clear that the various fights were interconnected and walking from place to place is the best way, bar none, to grasp this. This rigorous and fast-paced hike will cover the Union fishhook as it was generally positioned on July 2nd and 3rd. Little Round Top, Devil’s Den, the Wheatfield, Peach Orchard, the Trostle farm and Cemetery Ridge is the goal by lunchtime with Cemetery Hill, Culp’s Hill, Spangler’s Spring and more rounding out the day. This hike not only entails eight miles of walking up, down, around and along hills and ridges, but requires a relatively fast pace.

  Lee’s Retreat from Gettysburg
(Friday and Saturday)

Historian: Kent Masterson Brown

Description: One of the most difficult military operations in warfare is the retreat of an army after a lost battle. Join Kent Masterson Brown for a tour following the roads and visiting key battle and defense sites along General Robert E. Lee’s masterful retreat from Gettysburg. From the defense lines established along Seminary Ridge on the night of July 3, the tour will follow Lee’s Army and its immense wagon and ambulance trains across the South Mountain Range to the nine-mile-long defenses outside of Williamsport. The tour will visit the sites where Lee’s army crossed the Potomac River at Williamsport and Falling Waters. You will see how Lee, in the words of Carl von Clausewitz, reestablished “equilibrium” between his army and the Army of the Potomac by this brilliant retreat.

  Touring Gettysburg’s Three Days in One Day
(Friday and Saturday)

Historian: John Hoptak

Description: It is the costliest and most famous of all American battles with some of the most iconic of all Civil War place names—McPherson’s Ridge, Cemetery Hill, Little Round Top, the Wheatfield and Pickett’s Charge, to name a few. Gettysburg also had the many of the best known generals on both sides—Lee, Meade, Longstreet, Hancock, Sickles, Stuart and 114 more! Employing an overview approach but with enough details for the staunchest Gettysburg buff, this tour will bring the places, characters and battle movements together in one. Expect short walks of up to 100 yards at a time.

  Plenty of Blame to Go Around:
Jeb Stuart’s Controversial Ride to Gettysburg
(Friday Only)

Historian: Eric Wittenberg

Description: Join award-winning author Eric J. Wittenberg for a full-day tour of sites associated with the second half of Jeb Stuart’s infamous ride to Gettysburg. We will visit the site of Corbit’s Charge in Westminster, Maryland, Union Mills,and the Battle of Hanover, Pennsylvania. After a lunch break, we will follow Stuart to York, Pennsylvania and then on to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. From there, we will make our way back to Gettysburg with a stop at the Hunterstown battlefield along the way. Hopefully, at the end of the day, you will have a much greater appreciation for the ordeal faced by Stuart’s horse soldiers and will better understand Robert E. Lee’s orders to Stuart.

  Forward to Gettysburg, Union Advance
(Friday Only)

Historian: Timothy H. Smith

Description: Forward to Gettysburg: During the early morning hours of June 28, 1863, General George Gordon Meade, was appointed as commander of the Army of Potomac. His order were simple: protect the roads leading to Baltimore and Washington, advance towards Pennsylvania and defeat the Southern army in battle. With energy and decisiveness, he moved his forced rapidly northward and engaged the enemy before they were able to concentrate. Join historian Timothy H. Smith, as we discuss the movements of the Union army in late June of 1863, and visit some of the sites along the Roads to Gettysburg. Tour stop to include: Frederick, Emmitsburg, and Marsh Creek in the morning; Tanyetown, Westminster, and Littletown in the afternoon.

  Non Civil War Tour Offering:
Adventures in Chocolate
(Friday Only)

Description: Enjoy the day touring Hershey, PA. Learn about the Hershey family, chocolate making and more! Stops will include: The Hershey Story Museum, Hershey Gardens and Hershey’s Chocolate World for shopping and chocolate tasting.

  Roads to Gettysburg
(Saturday Only)

Historian: Timothy H. Smith

Description: Here come the Rebels: On June 15, 1863, the advance elements of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia entered Pennsylvania. For two weeks they marched back and forth through South Central Pennsylvania, facing off against the state militia, and gathering supplies and provisions as they went. Join historian Timothy H. Smith, as we visit some of the sites associated with the Southern Invasion of Pennsylvania, prior to the great battle of Gettysburg. Tour stops to include: Fairfield, Greencastle, Chambersburg, and back in the morning; Carlisle and follow the Confederate advance to Gettysburg in the afternoon.

  The Devil’s to Pay: John Buford at Gettysburg 
(Saturday Only)


Description: Join award-winning author Eric J. Wittenberg for a tour of sites associated with John Buford’s superb stand on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. See the First Shot Marker, Herr’s Ridge, McPherson’s Ridge, the Samuel Cobean farm, and learn about the little-known afternoon stand by Buford’s cavalry. Along the way, we will meet a number of interesting characters, and we will visit several sites that are well off the beaten path for Gettysburg Battlefield tours. We will conclude with a visit to the Seminary Ridge Museum, where you will be able to follow in John Buford’s footsteps, and will be able to go up in the same cupola where Buford stood on July 1, 1863.

  Non Civil War Tour Offering:
Pennsylvania Dutch Country
(Saturday Only)

Description: Spend the day learning about the history and heritage of Lancaster, PA. Stops to include: Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, depicting life in a rural Pennsylvania German community (1740 – 1940); and Wheatland, a historic home showcasing President James Buchanan’s home and legacy.

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