Civil War Capitol to Civil War Battlefield

Visit our nation's capitol city and see many of the Civil War connections there.  Then travel the scenic route north to Gettysburg - one of the most famous Civil War battlefields.  Here you will have an opportunity to walk the battlefields, learn about the sacrifices made for unity, and see the area where President Abraham Lincoln gave his now famous Gettysburg Address.

  • Program Highlights

    Most American Christian Tours Education Programs to Washington, D.C. and Gettysburg include:

    • United States Capitol Building
    • Supreme Court
    • Library of Congress
    • Night Illumination Tour of the national monuments and memorials (Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR, MLK, World War II, Vietnam and Korean Wars)
    • Smithsonian Museums
    • Arlington National Cemetery
    • Museum of the Bible
    • Gettysburg National Military Park     
    • Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center
    • Cyclorama
    • Guided Battlefield Tour

                                                                         
    With extended time or an additional day the program may include:

    The National Archives

    • Ford's Theatre and the Petersen House
    • George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate
    • Additional memorials (Air Force, Iwo Jima, Pentagon)
    • White House Photo Stop
       
  • Climate

    The climate of Washington, D.C. and Gettysburg varies greatly.  In the winter it can be very cold; temperatures rarely rising above freezing. Especially in Gettysburg, snow is also a likely possibility.
     
    In the summer it is hot and humid. The best time to visit is in the spring and fall when the air is clear and the temperatures and precipitation mild.  Short heavy periods of rain are to be expected in the spring months.
  • Geography

    Carved from south-central Maryland, Washington is bordered on three sides by that state and sits across the Potomac River from Virginia on its fourth side. The District is also divided by the Anacostia River and Rock Creek. One fourth of the District is park land. The city is divided into four quadrants: northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest.
     
    ​The District has three natural flowing bodies of water: the Potomac River, the Anacostia River, and Rock Creek.  Both Anacostia River and Rock Creek are tributaries of the Potomac.  The famous Tidal Basin is man-made and was developed in the early 1900s.
     
    Gettysburg is located in a portion of southeastern Pennsylvania known as the Piedmont plateau.  The region features rolling hills and small mountains.  To the northwest, there is a series of low, parallel ridges.  Seminary Ridge, closest to Gettysburg, is named for the Lutheran Theological Seminary on its crest. Farther out is South Mountain, the beginning of the Blue Ridge portion of the Appalachian Mountain chain.
     
    Dominating the landscape are the Round Tops to the south. Little Round Top is a hill with a rugged, steep slope 130 feet above nearby Plum Run strewn with large boulders; to its southwest, the area with the most significant boulders - some the size of living rooms - is known as Devil's Den.  The valley formed by Plum Run between the Round Tops and Devil's Den earned the name Valley of Death during the Battle of Gettysburg.
  • Essentials

    • The view of Washington, D.C. from the front porch of General Robert E. Lee's home in Arlington National Cemetery.
    • Visiting Fords Theater and hearing the story of President Abraham Lincoln's assination just a week after the end of the Civil War.
    • Standing on top of Little Round Top and imagining the fields below filled with soldiers, cannon, horses, and smoke.
    • Reading the Gettysburg Address near the spot where Abraham Lincoln delivered his now immortal speech.
  • Get Prepared

    WATCH
    • Gettysburg, 1993, Turner Pictures.
    • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Columbia Pictures (1939)
    • National Treasure, Touchstone Pictures (2004)
       
    READ
    • Killer Angels, Michael Shaara; 1987, Ballantine Books
    • Memorize the Gettysburg Address.
    • Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 of the United States Constitution. This is where the Constitution establishes a district that will later be known as the District of Columbia - the capital of our nation.

    LISTEN
    • Civil War music.
    • Patriotic marches
    • President's Inaugural Addresses
    • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" Speech;
    • Marian Anderson singing at the Lincoln Memorial.
  • Senses

    EAT
    Bake some Hardtack or some Southern Johnnie Cakes.
     
    DRINK
    A lot of water.
  • In A Word:

    • Washington, D.C. - Monumental.
    • Gettysburg - Sacrifice.
  • Surprises

    • The building that Ford's Theatre is located in was originally a Baptist church building.  The congregation moved out in 1861.
    • During the Civil War, soldiers were quartered in the United States Capitol Building.  There were over 7,000 troops filling the Senate and House chambers, galleries, committee rooms and hallways.
    • Of 120 generals present at Gettysburg, nine were killed or mortally wounded during the battle.  No other battle claimed as many general officers.
    • The Battle of Gettysburg was fought at Gettysburg because of the 10 area roads that led into town.
  • Included Cities or Destinations

    • Washington, D.C.
    • Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

© 2019 by American Christian Tours. 

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