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American Civil War – Western Campaign – June 2017

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Western Theatre of the American Civil War (1861 to 1865)
Military History Tour June 2017

Including Vicksburg, Shiloh, Fort Donelson Campaign, Battles of Nashville and Franklyn, Stones River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga and Battle of Atlanta

Trendsetter Travel’s own Military History consultant has designed this American Civil War Tour of the Western Theatre Battlefields for Australians interested in the period of American history that defined the United States as an indivisible nation and ended slavery. The losses were massive, with over 600,000 soldiers killed in this war – more than the aggregate of all subsequent battlefield deaths by US soldiers.

Unlike Europe, most American Civil War battlefield sites are preserved as hallowed ground and presented as they were at the commencement of the battles in the early 1860s. Most are designated National Parks with an excellent visitor centre and museum, usually with a theatre showing recreated film footage of the particular battle or campaign. All were upgraded over recent years in preparation for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. We will both walk and drive through the battlefields, stopping at the key sites where each of the regiments fought and the exact spots where generals were killed or mortally wounded. It was not unusual for 4 or more generals to be killed in the major

battles. Our guides at every battlefield, chosen as experts on the particular battle, will provide compelling and incisive commentary to maximise your understanding of the significance of each battle.

Superior accommodation (indeed the best available in most locations) and specialist guides feature throughout the tour and at every battlefield. To maximise your enjoyment, touring will not start earlier than 8.30 a.m and we have included sufficient free time for individual exploring, including full half days in Nashville and Chattanooga and a free day in Jackson. Breakfast daily, plus selected lunches and dinners are included. An extra night’s pre tour accommodation is included within Jackson, Mississippi, making 15 nights accommodation within the tour.

Unlike the Eastern Campaign, it is not practically possible to follow a strict chronological order of the battles. However, to the extent this is possible, we will endeavour to do so. For instance we visit Franklyn before Nashville, Chickamauga before Chattanooga and Shiloh before Corinth.


Day 1 – Friday 02 June

Arrive Jackson and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. Note that Direct flights into Jackson are possible from a number of major US cities including both Dallas and Atlanta.

Accommodation – Jackson (2 nights)

Day 2 - Saturday 3 June – Jackson, Mississippi

Spend today recovering from your travel to Mississippi and explore the city of Jackson.

Meet together this evening for a welcome drink with fellow tour members before walking to a nearby Jackson restaurant for dinner.

On the basis that most tour members will arrive in Jackson late Friday 2 June, accommodation this night has been included as part of the tour. Jackson is the state capital of Mississippi and has many interesting museums to visit including the State Capitol building (Photo left).

Day 3 – Sunday 4 June - Vicksburg

Today we drive 45 minutes due west of Jackson to the city of Vicksburg, located on the eastern bank of the mighty Mississippi River. The battle for Vicksburg, held by the Confederacy, amounted to effective control of the Mississippi. In Union hands, this would separate the Confederacy. During Day 1 of our 2 day study of the Vicksburg Campaign, we will visit the key nearby battlefields of Port Gibson, Raymond and Champion Hill.

Accommodation – Vicksburg (2 nights)

Day 4 – Monday 5 June – Vicksburg

Our 2nd day will be spent at the Vicksburg Battlefield Park covering the 2 month siege of Vicksburg by a Union army, commanded by Ulysses S Grant. The Confederate forces were ultimately defeated and Vicksburg surrendered on 4 July 1863 with 29,000 Confederates going into captivity. This was a day after the conclusion of the Battle of Gettysburg and a significant turning point in the Civil War.

Day 5 – Tuesday 6 June – Battle of Brice’s Crossroads - Corinth

Today we’ll drive north and base ourselves in Corinth, just south of the Tennessee Border.

En route there is a stop at Brice’s Crossroads, where in June 1864 a cavalry force of 4,800 commanded by General Nathan Bedford Forest defeated and routed a cavalry force double the size commanded by Union General, Samuel D Sturgis.

This battle has been studied by military commanders over the years as it is a textbook example of an outnumbered force defeating a much larger force through better tactics and aggressive offensive action

There should be time to look around the historic town of Corinth prior to dinner at one of the local restaurants.

Accommodation – Corinth (2 nights)

Day 6 – Wednesday 7 June - Battle of Shiloh

We drive 20 miles north this morning to the battlefield park of Shiloh, one of the best preserved of all the NPS battlefield parks. In April 1862, there was a hard fought two day battle at Shiloh on the banks of the Tennessee River, then by far, the largest battle of the Civil War. Technically it is considered a Union victory under Ulysses S Grant, as the Confederate forces vacated the field of battle at the end of day 2. How- ever, losses on the Union side were higher. General Albert Sydney Johnson, the leader of the Confederate forces was mortally wounded on the first day of the battle and is the only full general to be killed during the Civil War.

After a full day exploring the Shiloh battlefield, including the extensive Visitors Centre, we will return to Corinth.

Day 7 – Thursday 8 June – Corinth/Fort Donelson

This morning, we will visit the Corinth Visitors Centre and battlefield park. Corinth was a vital rail link for the Confederate States, with a railroad crossing that connected the Confederacy from the Gulf of Mexico to Kentucky and from the Mississippi River to the Eastern Atlantic states.

Here we will consider the two battles of Corinth, including the siege of Corinth, which were fought following the battle of Shiloh in 1862. Again it was a victory for the Union forces. We will visit the NPS headquarters and watch an introductory film of the two battles.

This afternoon, we drive due north to Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland River, just south of the Kentucky border.

Accommodation – Fort Donelson (2 nights)

Day 8 – Friday 9 June – Fort Donelson/Nashville

Today we’ll spend a full day with our expert guide visiting the battlefield park of Fort Donelson and its surrounds. After successfully capturing Fort Henry, after which most of the Confederate forces fled to Fort Donelson, Ulysses S Grant led a force which captured that fort and took over 7,000 Confederate prisoners. Almost 1,000 soldiers from both sides died.

Day 9 – Saturday 10 June –

This morning we conclude our tour of the Fort Donelson battlefield and related battles after which we will drive 90 minutes to Nashville.

The rest of today and this evening is free for exploring Nashville, the country and western capital of the world.

Accommodation – Nashville (2 nights)

Day 10 – Sunday 11 June – The Battle of Franklyn/Battle of Nashville

Following the defeat of Confederate General Hood’s forces at the gates of Atlanta in 1864, General Sherman’s forces headed east in his famous march through Georgia to the coast. Meanwhile Hood’s forces regrouped and headed north through Georgia and into Tennessee with a view to recapturing the state of Tennessee.

The Battle of Franklyn was fought on 30 November 1864. After many disastrous frontal assaults, the Confederates claimed a victory as the Union forces under General Schofield retreated to Nashville. However, this was anything but a victory as the Confederates suffered over 6,000 casualties, including nearly 2,000 killed. By contrast, Union deaths were less than 200.

Undaunted, Hood moved onto besiege Nashville, some 20 miles north of Franklyn. In one of the most decisive battles of the
Civil War, Union forces under General Thomas attacked Hood’s Army on 15 December 1964. The Confederate forces were routed and the remnants of Hood’s Army retreated south of the Tennessee border.

Day 11 – Monday 12 June – The Battle of Stones River/Murfreesboro

The Stone River National Battlefield Park is located 40 minute south of Nashville.

The Battle of Stones River was fought near the town of Murfreesboro in the middle of winter from 31 December 1862 to 2 January 1863. Of all the major battles in the Civil War, Stones River had the highest percentage of casualties on both sides – a combined 24,000 Confederate and Union casualties. Notwithstanding the high casualties, it ultimately proved an inclusive battle. Most of the offensive actions were undertaken by the

Confederate forces under General Braxton Bragg with General Rosecrans commanding the Union forces.

Accommodation – Murfreesboro (1 night).

Day 12 – Tuesday 13 June – Nashville/Chattanooga

Late this morning we drive 2 hours south to Chattanooga. During the Civil War, Chattanooga, located on the navigable Tennessee River, was a key railway hub and producer of iron and coal.

A free afternoon exists for exploring the city of Tennessee from our well located downtown hotel.

Accommodation Chattanooga (3 nights)

Day 13 – Wednesday 14 June – Battle of Chickamauga

Today we drive 30 minutes south of Tennessee
into Georgia to visit the extensive Chickamauga
battlefield park with its excellent museum and
gun display. The Battle of Chickamauga was
fought over 2 days in late September 1863.
Losses were appalling with combined casualties
of near 35,000. The Confederate forces broke
the Union on the morning of the 2nd day and it
was only the actions of General Thomas’ forces
which prevented a Union rout. Thomas
subsequently became known as “The Rock of
Chickamauga”. A Confederate victory, Union
forces retreated to Chattanooga late on the 2nd day and the siege of Chattanooga commenced where within 3 months all the Confederate gains would be reversed.

Day 14 – Thursday 15 June – Siege and Battle of Chattanooga

We follow many actions this day including the forces of Ulysses S Grant relieving Chattanooga, and the ultimate breakout and defeat of the Confederate forces during November 1863. Three key battles are covered: Orchard Knob, Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. We will explore Lookout Mountain and take in the wonderful views of Chattanooga and the Tennessee River.

Day 15 – Friday 16 June – Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield/Atlanta

This morning we’ll drive 90 minutes south of Chattanooga to the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park. This national park commemorates the actual Battle of Kennesaw Mountain and related battles (including the Battle of Atlanta) near Atlanta over the period from June 1864 to September 1864. The initial battles were between the Confederate commander Joseph E Johnson and Union General, William Tecumseh Sherman and the subsequent battles after Johnson was relieved by Hood. It ended with the surrender of Atlanta after a siege lasting several weeks.

Accommodation – Atlanta (1 night)

Day 16 - Saturday 17 June – Atlanta - Tour Concludes

Our tour ends officially after breakfast. Atlanta permits excellent connecting flights back to Australia or you may choose to stay on in the USA and explore further.

Participation Cost: US$5,200 pp twin share/US$1,300 single supplement

The Tour Cost Includes:

  • 15 nights accommodation and touring as specified
  • Breakfast daily, selected meals including welcome and farewell dinners
  • Entrance fees to all included sightseeing
  • Services of National Park Approved Tour Guides and Trendsetter Travel Tour Manager
  • Gratuities and group porterage

The Tour Cost Does NOT Include:

  • Travel to and from USA
  • Pre/post tour accommodation
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Beverages other than for welcome and farewell dinners


A completed reservation form is due at the time of deposit. Payment of your deposit and balance constitutes acceptance of these terms and conditions.

  1. 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, if the tour does not proceed the deposit will be fully refundable. The 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 Thursday 27 April 2017. The deposit will then be deducted from this to give the balance owing. No refunds are available after this date other than through your travel insurance policy.
  2. Insurance is mandatory and each participant must have proof of insurance before commencing tour. It is strongly recommended that insurance cover is in place at time of booking to cover potential need to cancel.
  3. 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.
  4. Payment by credit card will be subject a merchant fee of 1.5% (VC/MC) and 3.1% (AX)


PH: (02) 9428 5900

Policies of American Civil War – Western Campaign – June 2017