Antietam Tour with Tom Clemens, May 2019

Maryland monument with Dunker Church in background. Photo: NPS

The Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg)
Tour dates: May 2-5, 2019
HQ hotel: Hagerstown, Maryland

In the time that I am writing every stalk of corn in the northern and greater part of the field was cut as closely as could have been done with a knife, and the slain lay in rows precisely as they had stood in their ranks a few moments before. It was never my fortune to witness a more bloody, dismal battlefield.

—Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, USA, Commander,
​I Corps, Army of the Potomac
Walk the battlefield next spring with renowned Maryland Campaign historian Thomas Clemens. Professor Clemens will conduct a comprehensive examination of the sites and scenes of the bloodiest day of battle in American history. 

We'll gather on Thursday evening for a pizza reception at our hotel, and to hear an orientation talk by our guide. Friday and Saturday will be all-day bus and walking tours of Harpers Ferry, Sharpsburg and the Antietam battlefield proper, and the Battle of Shepherdstown (aka, Battle of Boteler's Ford).
Click Here for more information,
and to reserve your seat on the bus.
General Itinerary
THURSDAY (May 2): check into our headquarters hotel (Hampton Inn, Hagerstown: details below).
6:30 p.m. Pizza Reception in the hotel meeting room: pick up your registration packets, and meet your host and guide. 
7:30 p.m. Tom Clemens will present an overview of the Maryland Campaign, and Battle of Antietam, and set the stage of the next day's tour with a talk entitled:
"Intentions; the Good, the Bad and the Unforeseen."

FRIDAY (May 3): Board Bus at 7:45 a.m.
Bus departs hotel at: 8:00 a.m.
8:30 am Arrive at Best Farm, Monocacy National Battlefield Visitor’s Center; we'll cover the arrival in Maryland and campaign through Lee’s departure and McClellan’s arrival; discussion of the fateful Special Orders 191.
Approx. 9:30 a.m. — Depart for Harpers Ferry. We'll cover the siege and capture, Bolivar Heights, Schoolhouse Ridge, the cavalry escape, and Maryland Heights
11:00 a.m. — Depart for Crampton’s Gap, cover Franklin’s march and approach, drive by Brownsville Pass.  Burkitsville, Gathland.
Stop for lunch [provided]
Approx. 1:00 p.m. — Depart for Turner’s Gap, stop at Mountain House.  First Corps attack.
Approx. 1:45 p.m. — Walk to Fox’s GapNinth Corps attack
4:00 p.m. — Bus picks up the group at Fox’s Gap; Drive through Keedysville to Pry House overlook
5:00 p.m. — Day One tour concludes, return to hotel.
Dinner on your own. 

SATURDAY (May 4): Board Bus at 7:45 a.m.
Bus departs hotel at: 8:00 a.m.
8:30 a.m. — Overview from Visitor Center at Antietam National Battlefield. 
Poffenberger Woods fight (September 16)
North Woods
Cornfield and East Woods
West Woods
Lunch on the field [provided]
Mumma and Roulette farms
Sunken Road
Middle Bridge

Burnside Bridge
and Ninth Corps Attack
Shepherdstown Ford
(if time allows)
No evening event scheduled. 

SUNDAY (May 5): optional outing (via carpool)
The Battle of Shepherdstown (or Boteler's Ford)
10:00 a.m. for one-to-two hours. Adjourn by noon.

About our guide:

Tom Clemens is a founder and current president of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation and has played a central role in helping preserve the field and associated sites. His essential contributions to the literature on Antietam include the monumental work as editor and annotator of the Maryland Campaign study by Ezra Carmen, published in three volumes by Savas Beatie Publishers.

Tom is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on Antietam, as well as one of the most engaging and entertaining tour guides available.

Visit to Antietam Battlefield, 7 April 1963

Silent motion picture footage of President John F. Kennedy's visit to the Antietam National Battlefield site, Sharpsburg, Maryland. President Kennedy and his party, which includes Senator Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy, Joan Kennedy, Lem (Kirk LeMoyne) Billings, Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army Ralph Horton, and Under Secretary of the Treasury James A. Reed, fly from Camp David by helicopter to the battlefield. Also included is footage of the Acting Superintendent of the Antietam National Battlefield site Robert L. Lagemann, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Maude Shaw, and others who are unidentified. Naval Photo Center #1211-24.
1 film reel (color; silent; 16 mm; 246 feet; 7 minutes)

WHT will be revisiting Antietam next spring for a multi-day tour with historian Tom Clemens. See the full itinerary here:

Adventures in American History: the Rosebud and Little Bighorn battlefield tours

​"On a hot June Sunday in 1876, hordes of painted Indian warriors—perhaps as many as 4,000—swarmed over a treeless Montana ridge rising from the Little Bighorn River Valley. Five companies of U.S. Cavalry, about 215 blue-shirted troopers, contended briefly and hopelessly against overwhelming odds. When the guns fell silent and the smoke and dust of battle lifted, every soldier lay dead.
This was "Custer's Last Stand" the most spectacular triumph of the American Indian in his four-century struggle against the relentlessly advancing European civilization that finally crushed him. It forms a chapter of American history that has inspired intense study and provoked intense controversy, that has been chronicled endlessly in prose and verse and enacted time and again on motion picture and television screens, and that has earned a lasting place in the Nation's historical annals and popular folklore. In total defeat and death, Custer and his men achieved an immortality that even the most dramatic victory could not have won them." 
— Robert M. Utley, NPS Handbook, Little Bighorn National Monument.

We'll be heading out to the battlefields with Neil Mangum in mid-October. If you are interested, and can get away for a few days, follow the link below, or go to for registration information, and details on other upcoming tours. 

After hiking part of the Rosebud battlefield on the first day, the next morning we'll follow Gibbon's route down the Yellowstone and ascend the Rosebud. We'll pause at Custer and Indian campsites (and other sites), visit Deer Medicine Rocks, and devote a day each to the Reno and Custer fighting. For good measure, we'll also take in the Baker Battlefield (August 1872), and Canyon Creek (Flight of the Nez Perce).

Shiloh Tour itinerary (April 4-6, 2018)

The Battle of Shiloh Tour Itinerary April 4-6, 2018 Corinth, Mississippi HQ: Holiday Inn Express: 2106 Us Hwy 72w & Hwy. 45 Bypass, Corinth, MS 38835

Wednesday, 4 April 2018: Registration and Overview
Corinth Interpretive Center — 501 W Linden St, Corinth, MS 38834 (drive on your own, or carpool — we do not have a bus on Wednesday night. Let me know if you require a ride,
and I’ll make arrangements. Dinner is on your own, so you’ll want to do that before or after our 5:00—7:00 event at the CIC.)
5:00 to 6:15 p.m: Pick up your name tag; experience the Center—view the exhibits and watch the mini-movies,
6:15 (or so) We’ll enter the auditorium to watch the feature orientation film, then get a brief Welcome and Intro for the next couple of days in the field.
7:00 p.m. doors close — return to Hotel

Thursday, 5 April 2018: Shiloh’s First Day—Sunday, 6 April 1862
7:30: Depart Hotel
7:408:10: Historic Rail Crossroads – Strategic Overview “Department No. 2”
8:109:00: Bus the Confederate Approach to Shiloh
(Stop @ Michie’s/Mickey’s – today’s Pebble Hill)

9:109:45: Arrive Pittsburg Landing – Why Camp Shiloh? (bus moves to Visitor Center parking, while group ascends bluff on foot via original Pittsburg Landing road)
10:0010:45: View orientation film: Shiloh—Fiery Trial (Visitor Ctr. exhibits, restrooms, etc.) 11:0011:15: Bus to Fraley Field
11:45: Opening of the battle
11:50: Bus to Sowell Field Picnic Area
11:5012:20: Lunch & restrooms
12:25: Bus to Initial Attack on Prentiss’ Camps (bus moves to Eastern Corinth Road @
Robertson’s Alabama Battery)
1:15: Fight for Prentiss’ camps (includes walk through woods to Eastern Corinth Road)
1:151:35: Spain Field & Johnston’s next moves... (walk to the 18th Wisconsin Camp) 1:351:40: Bus to Rea Field (bus moves to Shiloh Church parking lot)
1:402:20: Sherman’s Defense @ Shiloh Meeting House (walk across Shiloh Branch to the church)
2:202:25: Bus to the Crossroads @ Water Oaks Pond (bus moves to Auto Tour Stop #13)
2:253:25: Shiloh’s Killing Zone (walk the fighting on the Confederate left vs. Grant’s right)
3:253:30: Bus to VC area
3:304:00: Break for restrooms, on your own exploration of Shiloh National Cemetery
& the Bookstore

4:004:05: Bus to Stuart’s Camps (bus moves to Bloody Pond Auto Tour Stop #17) 4:054:30: Confederate Right Slams into the true Union Left (walk the battlefront) 4:305:00: On foot to examine McArthur’s line
5:30: Bus to Hotel

Friday, 6 April 2018: Shiloh’s Sabbath continued
7:308:10: Bus to Shiloh Battlefield
8:108:50: Peach Orchard & death of Albert Sidney Johnston
(bus moves to Auto Tour Stop #4)

8:509:40: Hornets’ Nest (on foot exploration of the battlefront)
9:409:45: Bus to VC
9:4510:10: Restrooms & Bookstore
10:1010:15: Bus to north Jones Field via Hwy 22 (Bus moves to Auto Tour Stop #11)
10:1511:15: Attack and Defense of Tilghman Branch
11:1511:20: Bus to Confederate Memorial
11:2011:50: Collapse of the Hornets’ Nest
11:5011:55: Bus to Sowell Field Picnic Area
11:5512:25: Lunch & restrooms
12:2512:30: Bus to Dill Branch (park Bus @ Indian Mound Village Plaza)
12:3012:50: Walk to Gage’s Battery Position – Final Confederate Assault
12:501:00: Bus to Dill Branch (brief stop) then to Grant’s Last Line
(bus moves on to VC parking lot)

1:001:40: Explore Grant’s Last Line defended Sunday (on foot)
1:50: Restroom break @ VC area

Shiloh’s Second Day—Monday, 7 April 1862
1:501:55: Bus to Perry Field
2:10: Lew Wallace Opens Shiloh’s Second Day
2:15: Bus to Jones Field (bus moves to Picnic Area Pavilion parking lot @ Sowell field) 2:153:00: Grant’s Right Hammers Beauregard’s Left (walk to Sowell field)
3:05: Bus to Wicker field/Bloody Pond (bus moves to Auto Tour Stop #4)
3:45: Walking tour of Federal left & center via Daniel Davis field to the Duncan farm 3:454:05: Fight returns to Duncan field (still on foot)
4:10: Bus to Water Oaks Pond @ Woolf field (bus moves to Shiloh Church)
4:40: Climax @ the Crossroads
5:00: Walk to Shiloh Church via Sherman’s headquarters
5:05: Bus to Fallen Timbers
5:25: Shiloh’s final action...
5:30: Bus to The Catfish Hotel
6:45 (approx.) Bus to Holiday Inn Express
End of tour

Woodbury Historical Tours

2018 Tours (click on the tour title for more information)

(headquarters: Corinth, Mississippi)
April 4-6, 2018
with Stacy Allen

(headquarters: Billings, Montana)

October 16-20, 2018
with Neil Mangum