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Washington, D.C. with Civil War Battlefields

Washington, D.C. with Civil War Battlefields

After climbing marble steps and exploring national museums take a journey into the Civil War.  See Harper's Ferry scene of John Brown's raid and nearby Antietam Battlefield - one of the bloodiest Civil War battles.  Finally visit Gettysburg - considered by many the turning point in the American Civil War.

  • Program Highlights

    Most American Christian Tours Education Programs doing the Washington, D.C. with Civil War Battlefields Tour 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
    • Harper's Ferry National Historical Site
    • Guided Antietam National Battlefield Tour
    • 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 on the Civil War Battlefields tour can vary 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

    Washington is surrounded by the states of Virginia (on its southwest side, and a small part of its northwest one) and Maryland (on its southeast and northeast sides, and most of its northwest one).  It interrupts those states' common border, which is the Potomac River both upstream and downstream from the District.  The land ceded from Virginia was returned by Congress in 1846, so what remains of the modern District was all once part of Maryland.

    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 was actually man-made in the early 1900's.
    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.
    Antietam is located in western Maryland in a region known as the Hagerstown Valley.  It is along Antietam Creek that flows into the Potomac River.
  • 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.
    • Seeing the view that caused Thomas Jefferson to say "This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic." from Jefferson Rock at Harper's Ferry.
    • Observing Sunken Road at Antietam National Battlefield.  In just this short farm lane alone over 5,000 soldiers were killed or wounded in this battle - the single most bloodiest day in United States history.
  • Get Prepared

    • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 1939, Columbia Pictures.
    • National Treasure,  2004, Touchstone Pictures.
    • Gettysburg, 1993, Turner Pictures.
    • 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.
    • Killer Angels, Michael Shaara; 1987, Ballantine Books
    • Memorize the Gettysburg Address.
    • Patriotic marches;
    • President's Inaugural Addresses;
    • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" Speech;
    • Marian Anderson singing at the Lincoln Memorial.
    • Civil War music. 
  • Senses

    • Being a capital city, Washington, D.C. is home to people from all over the world.  Be adventurous and try some ethnic food.
    • Also Washington is close to the Chesapeake Bay.  There is good seafood around Washington.  We recommend the clam chowder at the Fish Market in Alexandria.
    • Bake some Hardtack or some Southern Johnnie Cakes.
    A lot of water.
  • In A Word:

    • Washington, D.C. - Monumental.
    • Gettysburg - Sacrifice.
    • Harpers Ferry - Picturesque.
    • Antietam - Bloody.
  • 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.
    • President Abraham Lincoln used the occasion of the Antietam Battlefield victory to issue the famous Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. It changed the federal legal status of more than 3 million enslaved African Americans in the South from slave to free.
    • The largest surrender of United States forces during the Civil War took place at Harpers Ferry.  The 1862 battle at Harpers Ferry resulted in nearly 12,400 Union troops becoming Confederate prisoners.
    • 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.
    • Harper’s Ferry
    • Antietam
    • Gettysburg
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