Western Theatre of the American Civil War (July 1864 to April 1865) Sherman’s “March to the Sea”
From Battle of Atlanta to Confederate Surrender at Bennett Place
Including Atlanta, Andersonville, Macon, Savannah, Charleston (Fort Sumter), Wilmington, Bentonville, Bennett Place and Charlotte
Following the success of its bespoke Eastern and Western Civil War Battlefield Tours, Trendsetter Travel has designed its 3rd Civil War tour covering Sherman’s victory at Battle of Atlanta and his march to the sea through Georgia and up through South and North Carolina to the eventual surrender of the Confederate forces at Bennett Place in North Carolina, effectively bringing the American Civil War to an end.
Apart from covering this final phase of the civil war in depth, our tour also spends a day at the National Civil War Park at Andersonville, the most notorious of all the Civil War prisoner of war camps where approaching 11,000 Union prisoners died. During our tour we spend 3 nights in each of the famous antebellum cities of Savannah and Charleston (including a visit to Fort Sumter where the 1st shots of the Civil War were fired in April 1861). We conclude by visiting Bentonville, the last major Confederate initiated battle of the Civil War and then on to Bennett Place where General Joe Johnston formally surrendered to General Sherman. Throughout, we endeavour to follow the exact route of Sherman’s all conquering army from July 1864 to April 1865.
Most of the significant battlefields are designated National Parks (or preserved Civil War Trust sites) with an excellent visitor interpretative centre/museum, and typically include a 15 to 30 minute recreated film footage of the actual battles. Our guides at every battlefield, local experts in the particular battles, will provide compelling and incisive commentary to maximise your understanding of the significance of each battle. Our itinerary will be expanded following the appointment of guides and adopting their recommended additional touring activities.
Superior standard accommodation feature throughout the tour. Where possible, we will endeavour to stay in memorable historic hotels. To maximise your enjoyment, touring will start between 8.30 am and 9.00 am and we have included free time for individual exploring in Atlanta, Savannah and Charleston. Breakfast daily and welcome and farewell dinners are included
Day 1 – Monday 10 June 2019 - Atlanta
Arrive independently in Atlanta and check in your hotel. For those arriving earlier, we will secure nights at competitive rates at our Atlanta Hotel.
Accommodation – Atlanta – 3 nights
Day 2 – Tuesday 11 June 2019 – Atlanta – Free Day
By starting the tour in Atlanta we have included a free touring day to allow the opportunity for tour participants to spend extra time in one of USA’s largest cities and visit the many museums, including the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library/Museum. It will also provide a relaxing day for most to recover from their long flight from Australia.
Meet together this evening for a welcome drink and get together with fellow tour members before a tour dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Day 3 – Wednesday 12 June 2019 – Battle of Atlanta
We cover the final stages of the Battle of Atlanta following President Jefferson Davis replacing General Johnson, with General John Bell Hood, arguably, one of the worst military appointments ever made by Davis.
This is the period from Hood’s appointment on 17 July 1864 to the eventual fall of Atlanta on 2 September 1864 after a siege combined by various flanking movements by Sherman which eventually cut off all Confederate supply lines to Atlanta
Day 4 – Thursday 13 June 2019 – Andersonville
Today we drive 2 hours south deep into Georgia and visit the notorious civil war prisoner of war camp at Andersonville, where nearly 11,000 out of approximately 45,000 inmates died during captivity.
Where once a prison, the area has been converted to a National Park Service memorial in remembrance of all United States prisoners of war and is not just limited to the Civil War prisoners. We will spend time visiting the Museum built on the site with special emphasis on the Civil War element of the remembrance.
Following our time at Andersonville, we will drive an hour north east to Macon where we will base ourselves for the night.
Accommodation – Macon – 1 night
Day 5 – Friday 14 June 2019 – Milledgeville - Savannah
From Macon, we drive the circa 3 to 4 hours to the coast arriving in Savannah. This follows the path of the right flank of Sherman’s army. Along the way we visit Milledgeville, the old Georgian capital, plus stop at several of the spots where confederates fought delaying actions against the Union Army. (photo is of Old
Governor’s Mansion – the home of Georgia governors from 1839 to 1868)
Accommodation – Savannah – 3 nights
Day 6 – Saturday 15 June 2019 – Savannah – Civil War Sites
Today we tour the various civil war sites in and around Savannah including Fort McAlister, Tybee Island, Fort Pulanski etc. Sherman famously telegraphed Lincoln on 22 December 1864 “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition and also about 25,000 bales of cotton”.
Day 7 – Sunday 16 June 2019 - Savannah
Savannah remains perhaps the foremost of the antebellum cities in the south and largely avoided the destruction wreaked most other places by Sherman’s rampaging army. Consequently, it remains one of the great must visit cities in the south for a tourist. Today is a free day to independently explore this fascinating city – with much of the activity based around the down town waterfront district. However, we will organise an optional group activity in either the morning or afternoon.
Day 8 – Monday 17 June 2019 – Savannah - Charleston
We drive north from Georgia into South Carolina and on to Charleston. Of course, South Carolina was the most rebellious of the southern states, being first to succeed from the Union and where the first Confederate action of the Civil War was initiated at Fort Sumter.
While we will stop at certain of the Civil War sites on the road, the aim is to give a free afternoon in Charleston so you can independently explore the city either on foot or by horse and carriage.
Before checking into our hotel, we will include a drive around the historic parts of the city.
Accommodation – Charleston – 3 nights
Day 9 – Tuesday 18 June 2019 – Charleston – Fort Sumpter
We will visit the extensive National Park Service offerings on Fort Sumter (a 30 minute ferry ride from Charleston) and related events both on the island where Fort Sumter is located and on the mainland. This will take most of the day. As with all our guided tours, once local guides are appointed, their recommendations will result in an expansion of the Civil War sites we visit. The Fort Sumter Monument comprises the original Fort Sumter, Fort Sumter Visitor Education Centre and Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island. Fort Moultrie is accessed by road.
Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter as they are today.
Day 10 – Wednesday 19 June 2019 – Charleston – General Civil War Site Visits
Today will be spent touring the various Civil War sites around Charleston and the coast. Pre Sherman taking the city in late 1864, there were numerous unsuccessful Union attempts, by both land and sea, to take Charleston
Day 11 – Thursday 20 June 2019 – Charleston - Wilmington
Including stops, it will take around 4 hours this morning to drive to Wilmington, We cover the Battle of Wilmington (fought in February 1865) when Union forces took the city and also cover the January 1865 earlier battle of Fort Fisher (located at the entrance to the Cape Fear River some 30 miles down-stream from Wilmington). As with most battles at this late stage of the Civil War, the overwhelming Union forces made them relatively one sided with predictable outcomes. However, the Confederate forces continued to fight what must have seemed, to even the most optimistic, as an inevitable losing cause. The loss of Fort Fisher/Wilmington was near fatal to the Confederate cause as it resulted in the loss of the last Confederate port available to blockade runners on the Atlantic coast.
Accommodation – Wilmington – 1 night
Day 12 – Friday 21 June 2019 – Wilmington – Bentonville - Raleigh
Leaving Wilmington, we follow Sherman’s route and drive 100 miles to Bentonville in North Carolina. The Battle of Bentonville, fought 19 to 21 March 1865, was the last full-scale action of the Civil War in which a Confederate army was able to mount a tactical offensive. It was the largest battle ever fought in North Carolina and was the only significant attempt to defeat
Sherman’s large Union Army during its march through Georgia and the Carolinas. The battle resulted in total casualties of over 41,000. We will explore the battlefield, the nearby interpretative centre and the Harper House Hospital. The battle is viewed as a victory for the Union.
We conclude the day’s touring with a less than one hour drive to Raleigh for our over-night stay.
Accommodation – Raleigh – 1 night
Day 13 – Saturday 22 June 2019 – Raleigh - Bennett Place - Charlotte
Driving 45 minutes from Raleigh, we will spend several hours at Bennett Place, a then 189 acre farm of James and Nancy Bennett. Here from 17 to 19 April 1865, General Joe Johnston surrendered over 89,000 actively fighting confederate soldiers in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. The initial surrender terms were not ratified by the North and a 2nd surrender was required on 26 April 1865 – this surrender effectively mirrored the terms offered by Grant to Lee at Appomattox Courthouse in early April 1865. This mass surrender effectively ended the Civil War with much smaller formal surrenders occurring shortly after in the western states of Louisiana, Alabama and Oklahoma.
After spending several hours at the Visitors Centre and exploring the surrounding area we will drive 2 hours to Charlotte for our final tour stop and farewell dinner. Charlotte is the major city in North Carolina with a population of over 2 million in its greater metropolitan area.
Accommodation – Charlotte – 1 night
Day 14 – Sunday 23 June 2019 – Charlotte
PTO – for details of tour
Participation Cost: US$5,400 pp twin share/US$1,500 single supplement
The Tour Cost Includes:
- 13 nights accommodation and touring as specified
- Breakfast daily and welcome and farewell dinners (including drinks at those 2 dinners)
- Entrance fees to all included sightseeing
- Services of specialist local Civil War Tour Guides and Trendsetter Travel Tour Manager
- Group gratuities and group porterage
The Tour Cost Does NOT Include:
- Travel to and from USA
- Pre/post tour accommodation and items of a personal nature
- Beverages, lunches and dinners other than for welcome and farewell dinners
- Insurance – TRAVEL INSURANCE IS COMPULSORY
TERMS AND CONDITIONS – PLEASE READ
A completed reservation form is due at the time of deposit. Payment of your deposit and balance constitutes acceptance of these terms and conditions.
- A non-refundable deposit of A$2,500 per person is to accompany the booking form to secure your place on this tour. As the tour is subject to a minimum number of 4 (with a maximum number of 7), if the tour does not proceed the deposit will be fully refundable. The non-refundable final payment will be for the full tour price in USD converted to AUD based on the best USD sell rate from the Major 4 banks as at 10am on Friday 15 February 2019. The deposit will then be deducted from this to give the balance owing. No refunds are available other than through your travel insurance policy.
- While every effort will be made to operate the tour exactly as per the brochure, the organisers reserve the right to make changes, should these be deemed essential, due to changed conditions outside of our control, or in the best interests of the group as a whole.
- Payment by credit card will be subject a merchant fee of 1.25% (VC/MC) and 3.1% (AMEX)
- While travel insurance cover is mandatory while in USA, it is recommended to be in place at time of booking to cover potential need to cancel.