From La Plata to Wilderness, Spotsylvania Sites
The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table (SMCWR) is hosting the second annual spring bus tour to the Wilderness and Spotsylvania battlefields on Saturday, April 26 leaving from the La Plata Campus of the College of Southern Maryland at 9 a.m. The tour is open to members and nonmembers of the SMCWR.
The first stop on the tour will be the Chancellorsville/Wilderness National Park Service Visitors Center.
The tour will pass the command post of Ulysses S. Grant on the Wilderness Battlefield and follow through the location of bloody fighting at Saunders Field, then down the park road to the Widow Tapp Field, and back up the Orange Plank Road to where Confederate General James Pete Longstreet was severely wounded. From here we will follow the Brock Road, just as the Union and Confederate soldiers would have done on May 7, 1864, toward the Spotsylvania Court House, said SMCWR President Dr. Brad Gottfried, the tours organizer.
Following lunch, the tour will continue at the Spotsylvania Court House Battlefield, following the ebb and flow of the combat that erupted around this quiet town. Sites include Bloody Angle, the spot where Union Major General John Sedgwick was killed, and part of the route where Union Brigadier General Emory Upton struck the Confederate line in a prelude to heavier fighting two days later.
During the program, accounts, some well-known others lesser known, will be used to explain the horrors of the battlefield, the observations of the soldiers and officers, and the overall picture of what war in Virginia in May 1864 was all about, said Gottfried. Participants
will have the opportunity to follow the footsteps of Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, and stand at spots where other generals, including John Sedgwick, breathed their last breath. Taken altogether, the tour will encompass a landscape that is considered the bloodiest in all of North Americawhere more than 100,000 men were killed or wounded.
The tour will be guided by Civil War historian and author Phillip Greenwalt, a National Park Service historian at George Washington Birthplace National Monument and Thomas Stone National Historic Site. He began his National Park Service career as a historical interpreter intern at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. He holds a bachelors degree in history from Wheeling Jesuit University and a graduate degree in American history from George Mason University.
The cost of the trip including transportation, boxed lunch and guide is $50 for SMCWR members and $60 for nonmembers. For information, or to register, contact Gottfried at 301- 934-7625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Civil War Battlefields Tour. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 26. College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. The Southern Maryland Civil War Roundtable is hosting a bus tour of Virginia Civil War battlefields leaving from La Plata and traveling to sites near Fredericksburg, including Wilderness and Spotsylvania battlefields. The tour will be guided by Civil War historian and author Phillip Greenwalt, a National Park Service historian at George Washington Birthplace National Monument and Thomas Stone National Historic Site. $50 for SMCWR members, $60 for nonmembers; includes transportation, boxed lunch and guide. To register, contact SMCWR President Dr. Brad Gottfried, 301-934-7625, email@example.com.