Civil War Charleston Itinerary

A 2019 BGES Civil War Weekend Warrior Program

December 13-15, 2019

Despite the utter defeat of the Confederacy, the heart of the South was in her great cities: Richmond, Wilmington, Savannah, Mobile, New Orleans, and Charleston. Defiant in defeat, they have risen again to become the heart of the New South. Perhaps no southern city is more significant than Charleston. Join us as we consider Civil War Charleston.

Because of some of the special features of this program, the itinerary is subject to change once the 2019 Holiday events are announced. We have arranged this based upon the current calendar and our events proximity to the 2018 schedule for these opportunities.


Friday, December 13, 2019

5:00 PM. If you are going to Charleston, do so in style. Meet at our headquarters hotel on or near Meeting Street in downtown Charleston. Here southern culture specialist, Mary Hatcher, will present a program on “Charleston Women 1860-1865.” Mary then will accompany us for a self-guided tour of the Edmiston-Alston House on the Charleston Battery. This classic Charleston antebellum home will be specially decked out for the holidays and is a classy way to spend the evening. You also are there during the “Charleston Festival of Lights.” The visual effect should be stunning. Afterward you are released for dinner on your own.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

8:30 AM. Charleston is best taken slowly and on foot. We will meet Rick Hatcher at the headquarters hotel for a walking tour, with his expert commentary on the great events that took place in the buildings and along the streets of this historic city. Our interpretative stops will include: Hibernian Hall. where the South Carolina legislature met; Mills House, where Governor Pickens and others first resided; St. Lawrence Hall (site), where South Carolina secession delegates voted for secession; Institute Hall (site), where the South Carolina formal secession ceremony was held; the Old Exchange, where first South Carolina flag was raised; The Battery; and the Confederate Museum.

After lunch we will go to Secessionville on James Island, where the battle for Charleston was fought in June 1862. Our afternoon concludes with a walk around MacLeod Plantation. Here the power of the southern economy is on full display—a majestic home and the slave quarters, a farm bell and the infrastructure of a rural economy. We will return to the hotel and prepare for our Holiday Dinner Cruise on Charleston Harbor and up the Cooper River. This is an elegant and meaningful way to wrap the evening. Both lunch and dinner are included.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

8:15 AM. We are off this morning for Sullivan’s Island, site of so much American history. Our first stop at Breech Inlet will tell us the story of the submarine Hunley as she set out on her one-way mission. While there we will also discuss the failed British assault on Fort Moultrie during the Revolutionary War. We will continue on to Fort Moultrie, which is one of America’s most historic forts—an important bastion from the Revolution through WW II.

We will take the launch to Fort Sumter, where Rick served as historian, and get an insider’s tour of this most important Civil War symbol. After lunch, we will drive to North Charleston to visit the Hunley Museum, concluding with a walk with the scions of Charleston society at Magnolia Cemetery. As we finish, you will have been fully engaged in the elements that make Charleston the quintessential southern city. This is a great way to anchor your holiday season and to wrap up our seminar and tour schedule. Lunch is included.

About the Faculty

Mary Hatcher, a historian since 1968, holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Mary Washington University. She worked in the National Park Service in various interpretative roles for more than ten years, and for the past 25 years she has perfected a presentation with historian Jean Hutchinson on the impact of the war on southern civilians. Her “Straight Lace” Seminars are always well subscribed and engaging. A great opener for a great program.

Rick Hatcher is a retired National Park Service historian who was stationed at Charleston where he now lives. Rick knows everyone and everything about Revolutionary and Civil War Charleston, and he is very well connected with the community. He is co-author of the definitive work on Wilson’s Creek with William Piston, Wilson’s Creek, The Second Battle of the Civil War and the Men Who Fought It. He is working on a book about Fort Sumter. He is a popular and engaging educator whose knowledge will amaze and entertain you.

Hotel Information

This program will be based in Charleston, South Carolina. We will announce a hotel once we make arrangements for a block. Our first preference is historic Charleston along Meeting Street—you can expect to pay approximately $200 per night plus tax. This city strictly regulates activities and parking in the downtown. However, once you are there, practically everything is in walking distance. You should not assume that you will be able to stay outside the historic area and commute to the headquarters hotel—you may very well have to park in a public lot and walk a number of blocks to the meeting point.


The servicing airport is Charleston (CHS), which is serviced by Southwest Airlines. The airport is outside of the historic district and requires transport to the downtown hotels. Amtrak has two daily trains through Charleston, The Palmetto and the Silver Meteor. Charleston is easily accessed via I-26 and other federal interstates.

Recommended Reading

You will be provided with a reading book and maps upon arrival. We recommend the following books to enhance your preparation for this tour. has a program to support non-profits IF YOU SIGN UP to support Blue and Gray Education Society (EIN 54-1720582) at AmazonSmile. When you sign up there rather than the normal Amazon site, one-half of one percent of your purchase price will be provided to BGES as a donation from Amazon. This will apply not only on this purchase but others you may make at other times.

Patrick Brennan: Secessionville: Assault on Charleston
Tom Chaffin: The H.L. Hunley:The Secret Hope of the Confederacy
Patrick Harwood: In the Arms of Angels: Magnolia Cemetery—Charleston’s Treasure of History, Mystery, and Artistry
Maury Klein: Days of Defiance: Sumter, Secession, and the Coming of the Civil War
Robert Rosen: Civil War Charleston: An Illustrated History of the City and the People During the Civil War

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Registration Type

To register by mail or fax, download this printable registration form: Civil War Charleston