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The Confederacy’s Strategic Coast Itinerary

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

7:30 PM. Eat your dinner early and then gather at the headquarters hotel in Washington, NC. Washington is a city on the Pamlico River that was occupied and defended by the Federals throughout the war. Indeed, they endured a Confederate siege in spring 1863 by forces under Major General Daniel H. Hill. Pick up your reading books and name tags while meeting your fellow travelers. Steve Wise will give an introductory lecture and lay out his perspective about the tour he is about to conduct.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

8:15 AM. On the first day, we will be up early and head to the coast and venture out to Cape Hatteras and the sites of Forts Hatteras and Clark to discuss the North’s initial assault that opened the passage to North Carolina’s sounds. On our return, we will stop at Roanoke Island and visit the sites of Confederate forts and the battleground where Confederates vainly resisted the combined Federal army and navy assault that secured the island and opened the way to the occupation of Albemarle Sound. The surrender of Roanoke Island and capture of former Virginia Governor, Henry Wise, caused much turbulence in Richmond that resulted in the dismissal of Secretary of War, Judah Benjamin, and the recall of Robert E. Lee from his command in South Carolina. The South prepared for an assault from the region of the Dismal Swamp on the Gosport Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia. Lunch is included, and dinner is on your own.

Friday, March 9, 2018

8:15 AM. This morning we are headed to Plymouth, North Carolina, where a detailed tour will take us around the town to the sites of the April 1864 Confederate attack that utilized both land and naval elements including the ironclad Albemarle. A stop will be made at the Port of Plymouth Museum to learn more of the naval fight and Lieutenant Cushing’s destruction of the Albemarle before heading on to Elizabeth City to tour the fine Civil War exhibit at the Museum of the Albemarle and proceeding to the waterfront to see where Union gunboats overwhelmed the Confederate Mosquito Fleet. We will then make a quick trip to the South Mills battlefield to hear about an unsuccessful attempt by the Federals to destroy a portion of the Dismal Swamp canal. We will end the day at Fort Branch, a Confederate work that guarded the Albemarle’s construction site on the Roanoke River. Once again, we will provide lunch but leave dinner to your own choice.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

8:15 AM. Washington is such a great hub–it’s easy to understand why the Federals used it during the war. Be on board at 8:15 and we will learn about the 1862 Federal raid by General Foster from New Bern to Goldsboro, which resulted in fighting at Kinston, Whitehall, and Goldsboro. Skipping ahead to 1865 and Sherman’s entrance into the state, we will visit the Kinston Battlefield (Wise Forks), a fight in March 1865 that found Confederates trying to stop the Federals advancing from New Bern from reaching Goldsboro and resupplying General Sherman’s armies as they move north from Fayetteville. Our guide will be Colonel Wade Sokolosky, author of To Prepare for Sherman’s Coming: The Battle of Wise (Wyse) Forks March 1865. Since we have reached Kinston we will visit the Neuse Museum, where the remains of the CSS ironclad Neuse are located. More importantly and nearby, there is a full-scale replica of the Neuse that we will be able to board and tour. The day will end with a stop at the Goldsboro Bridge battlefield, where a northern raid in December 1862 briefly disrupted the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. Today is so full we will provide both lunch and a farewell dinner.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

8:15 AM. We have a full day today, so be on board by 8:15 AM. The final day of the tour harkens back to the background we set on Thursday as we will better develop sites associated with General Burnside’s very successful 1862 amphibious operations. We will start at the well-preserved, third system fortification, Fort Macon, a stout brickwork that was captured by the North. Working again with local expert Wade Sokolosky, we will pass through Beaufort, NC, and take a short excursion on the Neuse River before going to the New Bern battlefield where Federal forces overran a Confederate defense line guarding New Bern. In New Bern, we will stop at a unique Civil War museum before returning to Washington. Lunch is provided.

You may depart at your leisure tonight or tomorrow. Thank you for joining us.


Registration includes four lunches, one dinner, all paid admissions, a reading book with maps, the academic program, support of a professional historian and local historian, tour director, and on-the-ground transportation. We will also provide snacks, bottled water and a limited selection of sodas.

Ten percent of your registration fee is a tax-deductible contribution to the BGES 25th Anniversary Capital Reserve Campaign.

Register for this program online using our secure Sutler’s Tent ecommerce site: Register for The Confederacy’s Strategic Coast.