Smithsonian Journeys Commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War Features Two Unique Civil War Tours

May 6, 2011
News Release

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Smithsonian Journeys, the Smithsonian Institution’s travel program, will present two unique Civil War tours this summer and fall to help kick off the in-depth programs commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. Both tours are led by renowned historian and author A. Wilson Greene, who will explore the personalities, controversies and tensions that led to the Civil War. Each tour offers an opportunity to learn and reflect on the significance of this pivotal period in American history. Full details on these two Civil War tours can be found at

This summer at Chautauqua, N.Y., Smithsonian participants can attend a sweeping survey of the Civil War—one of the most pivotal events in American history. Scheduled for Aug. 20-27, this special program features lectures and discussions with Smithsonian Study Leader Greene. He will explore many of the core issues of the war: the events leading up to the conflicts, the resulting political and social upheavals, the plight of individual soldiers and the role of the great commanders and their strategies. Plus, he will examine whether the Civil War was an avoidable tragedy or an irrepressible conflict. In addition to attending Smithsonian lectures, participants will also hear presentations by other leading authorities on the Civil War, including Pulitzer Prize-winning authors and historians Gordon Wood and Daniel Walker Howe. The special tour price of $2,895 for “Smithsonian at Chautauqua: The Civil War” also includes event tickets for select Chautauqua opera, theater and music performances, all meals and accommodations at the historic Athenaeum Hotel.

Civil War lovers can also join Greene on a Civil War tour titled “Journey through Hallowed Ground” (Sept. 13-18). This tour traces themes of American history along the “Old Carolina Road” from Charlottesville, Va., to Gettysburg, Pa. Smithsonian travelers will visit two presidential homes, including President Thomas Jefferson’s magnificent Monticello and James Madison’s newly restored mansion, Montpelier. The tour continues along the fascinating National Heritage corridor to various Civil War sites such as the Brandy Station Battlefield, site of the Civil War’s largest cavalry campaign, and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and sites associated with John Brown’s raid.  Greene then takes participants on a tour of Antietam National Battlefield and discusses the battle of 1862, when 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after 12 hours of combat. The tour culminates at Gettysburg with an in-depth exploration of the historic three-day battle that took place in 1863. Throughout the tour, travelers will enjoy comfortable accommodations and fine meals at charming and historic inns along the way. The cost for this tour is $2,395 and includes all meals and accommodations.

Smithsonian expert Greene is executive director of Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier, located near Petersburg, Va. Full details on both tours and an interview with the Smithsonian expert can be found at  

About Smithsonian Journeys

Smithsonian Journeys is the Smithsonian Institution’s travel program, with more than 40 years dedicated to life-enriching experiences worldwide. The Smithsonian is known for “Inspiring Generations through Knowledge and Discovery,” which is central to Smithsonian Journeys and its more than 150 expert-led international and domestic tours featuring exclusive access and unforgettable experiences. The Smithsonian Journeys collection includes small-ship luxury and value cruises, private-jet tours, custom designed private travel options and small-group, air-inclusive tours worldwide. For more information, call toll-free 1 (877) 338-8687 or visit

About Smithsonian Institution

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. There are 6,000 Smithsonian employees, including approximately 500 scientists, and more than 6,500 volunteers. There were approximately 30 million visits from around the world at the Smithsonian in 2009 with more than 188 million visits to the Smithsonian websites. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at 137 million.

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