Session I: July 6-11*
This program will cover selected topics of the Civil War from the Secession Crisis to the surrender at Appomattox Court House. Major themes will be the election of 1860, the Secession crisis, the Fort Sumter crisis, citizen-soldiers mobilizing for war, military turning points, and the impact of the war on American society. In addition to these topics, the class will also examine the presidency of Abraham Lincoln – both as commander-in-chief and the architect of significant political policy. The class will also examine the issues of slavery, emancipation and the leadership of select military figures such as U. S. Grant. Finally, the class will undertake a five-day field trip to visit Antietam National Battlefield, Gettysburg National Military Park, and various locations throughout Virginia, including Petersburg and Richmond. Visiting the battlefields will afford students the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the soldiers, touch history, and explore the issues of the Civil War beyond the classroom. This is a wonderful opportunity for students and parents to enjoy and explore history together.
The program is led by David Ward, a retired Hotchkiss librarian. Ward founded the Connecticut Civil War Round Table in 1989. He has owned and operated Civil War Tours since 2000 and has published several works, including The 96th Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Civil War. Ward served as a historical consultant for the movie Lincoln directed by Steven Spielberg. To put it bluntly, he knows every blade of grass at Gettysburg and Antietam!
*The program is open to students in grades 7 and higher. Parents/guardians and adults are welcomed and encouraged to attend as well.
Rising seventh through rising ninth graders must be accompanied by an adult. Attendees are expected to arrive on their own in Gettysburg on July 6 for the beginning of the tour. The price includes meals, lodging, instruction, supervision, and transportation during the tour. While the tour begins on July 6, attendees are expected to attend a week-long series of Zoom lectures on the topics prior to departure. Lectures will be recorded and available asynchronously.