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Weekend Warrior Tours

Battle of New Orleans – January 8, 1815. Created/Published: c1841. Courtesy Library of Congress.

BGES is proud to offer a series of affordable programs designed for an early Friday get away and Sunday evening return. Our “Weekend Warriors” tours provide a meaningful weekend survey program of significant but often overlooked events of the Civil War. Each program is designed to give you the best experience possible on a two-day excursion. They’re shorter than our other programs but just as high in quality. All include two lectures, two days touring, admissions fees, bus transportation, two lunches, services of an expert historian, a tour leader and any other transportation needed. Registration, except for Charleston which includes a dinner cruise, is $375 for non-members or $330 for BGES members. Charleson is $450 for members and $395 for non-members. All tours are limited to one motor coach.

He Ain’t Fess Parker, Andrews’ Famous Great Locomotive Chase. April 21-23, 2017. With Jim Ogden from Dalton, GA. Who among you has not seen the old Walt Disney classics featuring Fess Parker that included The Great Locomotive Chase? Executed, decorated (with the first Medals of Honor) and buried in a prominent location in the Chattanooga National Cemetery are some of the honored dead of that risky and ultimately unsuccessful effort to steal a Confederate locomotive and disrupt the Western and Atlantic Railroad. For years this has been one of Jim Ogden’s favorite stories and now he is going to devote the weekend to telling you about it. Framed in our cost effective and friendly Weekend Warrior format its a great add on to the Atlanta program–easily accessed and compactly organized to permit you to make the start at 6 PM on Friday and then conclude by 4 PM on Sunday. This is a fascinating program offered by the man most uniquely positioned and capable of telling the story. You will love this event! The detailed itinerary and registration information is here: He Ain’t Fess Parker, Andrews’ Famous Great Locomotive Chase
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Lee Triumphant, Lee Crippled: Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. May 5-7, 2017. With Rick Britton from Fredericksburg, VA.
Robert E. Lee owned the Army of the Potomac. Since his dramatic successes in front of Richmond, the movement of the armies to the northern portion of Virginia and then the entry into Maryland and the capture of Harpers Ferry in exchange for a bloody day at Antietam, Lee held the northern leadership’s fearing attention. In this weekend warrior offering, historian Rick Britton takes the BGES’ pilot seat for the first time since his successful audition at Charlottesville in October 2015. What could be better than lectures on Friday night followed by a day of studying first the dramatic, but, unequal fight at Fredericksburg. This was followed by Lee’s most dramatic victory, produced by a brilliant counter to General Hooker’s equally audacious opening gambit. Lee defeated and nearly destroyed the Union Army of the Potomac at Chancellorsville. During these two large battles, Lee destroyed the careers of both Ambrose Burnside and Joseph Hooker. Great sites for a great story presented in our handy weekend format. Meet at 6 PM Friday and finish by 4 PM Sunday. The detailed itinerary is here: Lee Triumphant, Lee Crippled: Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville
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“The Institute Will Be Heard From Today,” VMI in the Lower Valley During the Civil War. June 23-25, 2017 with Colonel Keith Gibson and Major Troy Marshall from New Market, VA. VMI and its graduates are proud of their long and distinguished history. Although a young school, just 20 years old, her graduates and young cadets provided a significant boost to readiness and combat capabilities of the southern Confederacy. Cadets served as trainers in drill and ceremony, while faculty and graduates filled the officer ranks. Cadets were never far from the combat arms in the Valley. The legacy they established is an important study in character, loyalty and leadership.

With three significant museums related to the Civil War and the wartime barracks the VMI is rich in stories and preserved artifacts. This is the first in a series of programs that will feature them with the men best qualified to interpret them. The detailed itinerary and registration information is here: VMI in the Lower Valley During the Civil War

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Crossed Sabers in Virginia: The Battles of Brandy Station and Trevilian Station. August 18-20, 2017. With Rick Britton from Fredericksburg, Virginia. Although much attention in Virginia is properly focused on infantry actions two particularly significant cavalry battles: Brandy Station in 1863 and Trevelian Station in 1864 had ramifications that showed the importance of the mounted arm to larger land operations. Historian Rick Britton will deliver two lectures on Friday evening of this Weekend Warrior program before devoting a day to the largest cavalry action on the North American continent–Brandy Station where JEB Stuart was surprised and Lee’s northern movement towards Gettysburg was nearly uncovered and a second day to a battle that denied General David Hunter mounted support for his Lynchburg/ Tennessee and Virginia Railroad Raid and opened the door for Jubal Early’s movement to Lynchburg and subsequent 1864 Valley Campaign, at Trevelian Station. For Custer students, this was a second reckless engagement that could have resulted in the total destruction of his forces. Both battlefields are preservation success stories and will be covered during an intense weekend program that will end by 4 PM on Sunday. The detailed itinerary and registration information is here: Crossed Sabers in Virginia: The Battles of Brandy Station and Trevilian Station
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A Treacherous Affront: The Continental Army Claws For Survival — (Optional Add-On to American Fabius, George Washington and the Philadelphia Campaign) August 25-27, 2017. With Len Riedel from West Chester, PA Arrive early and enjoy a specially arranged Weekend Warrior program that will take you to Valley Forge to see the formation of the American army in the legendary encampment. In the afternoon, we will go to the Crossing of the Delaware and the battles of Trenton and Princeton. On Sunday, we will go to the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse and return to Philadelphia for a 3 hour walking tour of Independence Hall and the area surrounding the great debates. We will finish in time to permit you to freshen up at the hotel before we start the central program with Gary. The detailed itinerary is here: A Treacherous Affront: The Continental Army Claws For Survival
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Yankee Blitzkrieg, Wilson’s 1865 Alabama Raid. September 8-10, 2017. With Norm Dasinger from Birmingham, AL The growth of Federal power in an increasingly bloody war reached its climax with the fielding of Army Groups by the Union Commanding General, US Grant. It was a logical progression that this prowess would also extend to the mounted arm and in early 1865, Grant protégé James H. Wilson fielded a mounted force of over 13,000 men heavily armed and capable of severe fighting. In his way were the remnants of the fierce fighter Nathan Bedford Forrest. Our opening lectures on Friday night will set the stage for a fast paced visit through the Civil War and Civil Rights history of Alabama–they are intertwined and should not be overlooked especially in Selma and Montgomery. This program has perhaps more bang for the buck than any other this year. Many of these are American sites that really should be visited and understood. You will know the names and the deeds and by the end of the weekend you will have stood literally in their shadows. The detailed itinerary and registration information is here: Yankee Blitzkrieg, Wilson’s 1865 Alabama Raid
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Charleston, Heart and Soul of the Rebellion. December 1-3, 2017. With Richard Hatcher and Kyle Sinisi from Charleston, SC. This program concludes the season and is one of our favorite destinations. The program which officially starts with a dinner cruise on Charleston Harbor will have a real bang up lead in with a 2 PM meeting at the Citadel with Kyle and a two hour walking tour of this picturesque and historically important post. Weather and Corps training schedule permitting the trip to the Citadel will conclude with an impressive parade complete with bagpipes, drummers and regimental band in full dress uniform–a social event in Charleston not to be missed. Following the dinner cruise, Saturday will commence with a walking tour of historic Charleston followed by a tour of critical sites like Fort Johnson and Secessionville on James Island. Sunday will be a tour de force with visits to Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie and the Lash Conservation Lab to see the Hunley. The program closes with a visit to the sacred grounds of Magnolia Cemetery. Here are buried heroes and scions of South Carolina Society. Charleston is one of our favorite cities and this tour will help make it one of yours as well. A great wrap to a great season. The detailed itinerary and registration information is here: Charleston, Heart and Soul of the Rebellion
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To register by mail, download our 2017 Weekend Warrior printable registration form.