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    Our March tour, through the stunningly beautiful Mobile Bay region, will explore the sites on land and water where the Civil War’s last major campaign—the Campaign for Mobile—occurred. We’ll visit the site where Admiral Farragut famously exhorted his men to “Damn the Torpedoes”, walk over portions of one of the nation’s best-preserved battlefields at Fort Blakeley, venture by pontoon boat into the tranquil waters of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, and visit remote locations where Confederate and Union army and navy forces battled for control of the last major city to remain in Confederate hands. We also will visit an antebellum plantation, a historic cemetery, And, OH YES, during our three-day adventure together, we will dine at some of the Gulf Coast’s best eateries!

    A Deep South tour not to be missed! Get the Details here and enroll NOW!

  • Follow Lafayette on the Road to Yorktown

     In the summer of 1781, the Marquis de Lafayette faced off against a powerful British army led by Lt. Gen.  Charles, Lord Cornwallis in Virginia. On Saturday, April 28, join U.S. Army historian John Maass on a tour of sites associated with Lafayette and his campaign in the Williamsburg and Yorktown areas.

    To enroll, call 800-298-1861 - or use the form and mail to CWEA, Box 78, Winchester, VA 22604, or fax to 800-550-1347.

  • VICKSBURG: After-Action Report

    We closed out our 2017 season with a Bang – with The Vicksburg Campaign: A Field & Walking Tour, November 1-4, led by,Terry Winschel recently retired Chief Historian of Vicksburg National Military Park and Timothy B. Smith, author of Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg.

    After an orientation on Wednesday evening, we set forth on Thursday morning on our three-day tour, during which we traveled the back roads around Vicksburg with stops at Grand Gulf, Port Gibson, Willow Creek, Grant's Canal, Chickasaw Bayou, Big Black River, the Coker House, Wintergreen Cemetery and Raymond. On Friday we visited Champion Hill where Terry and Tim guided us up the hill as we recalled the bloody conflict that resulted in CSA General Pemberton deciding to retreat into the works of Vicksburg.

    Saturday’s tour visited the Vicksburg National Battlefield Park during which Terry captivated us with stories about the grueling days endured by soldiers of both sides during the long siege.  We visited the site of the Federal breakthrough attempt along the Jackson Road near the Shirley House, and stopped at Stockade Redan, the Railroad Redoubt, the Iowa Monument and other important sites.

    Our visit to the USS Cairo and its museum was a special highlight as Terry narrated a detailed description of the working of this gunboat, its sinking and its recovery. We ended our adventure at the site of Pemberton's headquarters in downtown Vicksburg.

    We dined in the field on the first two days on delicious boxed lunches and, on Saturday, we enjoyed a hearty buffet lunch at Goldie’s Barbecue restaurant.

    Terry Winschel’s knowledge of the campaign is staggering. His flawless presentations were augmented by large color maps which he used at each stop to help us comprehend this complicated campaign. Tim Smith, too, was a bundle of knowledge and a joy. In every way, this was a great tour and a wonderful way for the CWEA to cap off our 2017 season.


    97 enthusiastic men and women from 15 states gathered at the rustic Spring Mill Lodge at the Spring Mill State Historic Park in Mitchell, Indiana from August 17-19 to study and share their love of Civil War history. Historians Kent Masterson Brown, Stephen Davis, David L. Mowery, Michael B. Murphy, Dale K. Phillips, Stephen Lee Ritchie, James I. “Bud” Robertson, Darryl Smith, Jeffry D. Wert and Brian Steel Wills offered thought-provoking, and in some cases dazzling, talks on a variety of Civil War topics. The sessions were artfully moderated by program director Stephen Lee Ritchie.


    Attendees enjoyed the quaintness of the Lodge and remarked favorably on the bountiful and tasty buffet meals. The level of exuberance throughout was extraordinary with many being quite pleased that a major annual conference on the Civil War has now come to the Midwest. A flock of folks signed up on the spot to attend next year’s program, August 16-18, 2018, again at the Spring Mill Lodge. Faculty have been set to included Bruce Allardice, Kent Brown, Stephen Davis, Gary Ecelbarger, Leslie Goddard, Scott  Patchan, Dale Phillips, Steve Ritchie, Bud Robertson and Brian Wills. And already we have some of the talk titles:

    • The Rail-Splitter and the Wigwam: The Nomination of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 – by Gary Ecelbarger
    • Philip Sheridan – by Scott Patchan
    • Clara Barton – Civil War Nurse – by Leslie Goddard
    • Lee’s Retreat from Gettysburg – Kent Brown

    Soon we will announce the rest of the talk titles.

    Our nightly room rate for sleeping rooms at the Spring Mill Inn will remain $80.99.

    We hope you will join us at Spring Mill!


    History Background: As part of Sherman's Campaign to capture Atlanta, in July, 1864, these two sites, now situated within the urban sprawl of Atlanta, were the scenes of two bloody battles between William T Sherman and John B Hood. After taking control of the CSA Army of Tennessee just a few days before the fight at Peach Tree Creek, Hood ordered an assault by parts of two of his three corps in hopes of destroying a part of Sherman's combined army group. His target was George Thomas and his Army of the Cumberland.  Despite a spirited effort by General A.P. Stewart and his corps, Hood was not successful.

    Following the battle of Atlanta, Hood decided on a bold maneuver to flank Sherman as the Union general ordered General O.O. Howard and the Army of the Tennessee to march west of Atlanta with the hope of breaking the last rail line into the besieged city. Hood's plan was solid but new corps commander General S. D. Lee failed to accurately execute it. The Confederates charged into a 'meat-grinder' as 'Black Jack' Logan and the15th Army Corps withheld six assaults by the Confederates.

    Our tour leader Robert Jenkins wrote an excellent book on Peach Tree Creek based on exhaustive research, and this tour was as in-depth as any ever presented by the CWEA.

    After an informative overview on Thursday evening in Marietta, we set forth on Friday morning. Our hardy band of troopers marched down Peachtree Street in Buckhead to see where the battle began, past the fine homes, restaurants and medical center that now sit on the Collier 1864 farm. We closely followed CSA General Winfield Featherston's Mississippi's Brigade as its soldiers charged across Tanyard Branch sustaining 50% casualties.  On tour with us that day was Stephen Davis, a premier Atlanta Campaign expert in his own right, whose pithy contributions, especially about various Civil War personalities involved, further enhanced the rich commentary by Robert Jenkins.

    The next day, Robert led us onto the Ezra Church battlefield, one of the least visited, and now part of Westview Cemetery, Mosley Park, Stanton Elementary School and the grounds of various subdivisions and businesses.  The complex story of the battle was artfully unfolded by Robert and we were able to make sense of the movements of both sides as CSA General S.D. Lee fed his troops into a series of assaults that practically destroyed, for the remainder of the War, A.P. Stewart's Corps. Robert read from several first-hand accounts by soldiers – these dramatically conveyed the destructive nature of this battle. 

    The lunches were good, the snacks plentiful – Norman Dasinger skillfully managed the adventure, and all seemed to come away well-pleased. Buoyed by how well things went, we are already planning another Atlanta Campaign outing in 2018, to be led again by Robert Jenkins, Stephen Davis and Norman Dasinger.

    In the meantime we heartily recommend Robert’s book on Peach Tree Creek, as well as that of Gary Ecelbarger on Ezra Church.