Spring Campaign


Harpers Ferry arial view, National Park Service Photo  - Antietam National Battlefield, The West Woods at Antietam and a monument to Confederate Gen. William Starke who was killed during the battle. National Park Service Image,

Extend your Civil War Weekend experience with an optional two-night field trip to Harpers Ferry and Antietam. Leaving directly from the Inn at Virginia Tech on March 27, we'll travel together by charter bus to Shepherdstown, our base for the next two days.

Distinguished historian Dennis Frye will guide us around historic Harpers Ferry and the Antietam battlefield. Frye has been leading tours in this area for 45 years--since he was a teenager. He is well known for challenging conventional history and guarantees that even previous visitors will depart with new perspectives.

We'll explore the beautifully-preserved town of Harpers Ferry, where abolitionist John Brown launched his unsuccessful attack on slavery, an attack that helped spark the Civil War. During the war, Harpers Ferry became a strategic hub where, Frye will argue, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson won his most brilliant victory.

At Antietam, we'll visit the storied spots where history was made that September day in 1862: Lee's center; McClellan's vantage point at the Pry House; the North Woods; The Bloody Cornfield, site of indescribable carnage; the battle's turning point at the West Woods; the Dunker Church, a refuge of peace on America's bloodiest day; Bloody Lane; and the Burnside Bridge, one of the most iconic structures on any battlefield.

The cost of the Spring Campaign includes accommodation, all meals, tours, and round trip transport between Blacksburg and Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Space is limited so please register right away!

About our guide: Dennis E. Frye served as Chief Historian (retired) for 20 years at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. His latest publications include Confluence: Harpers Ferry as Destiny and Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination. Frye is one of the country's top battlefield guides, leading tours for the Smithsonian, National Geographic, the New York Times and major universities and Civil War organizations. He is a co-founder and past president of today's American Battlefield Trust, and a co-founder and first president of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation. For his three decades of public service with the National Park Service and his preservation leadership, he received the Department of Interior's highest honor - the Distinguished Service Award. He also earned the Shelby Foote Award from the Civil War Trust and the highest honor within the Civil War Round Table organizations, the Nevins-Freeman Award. Frye has appeared on national and international television as a Civil War scholar, including PBS, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, C-SPAN, and Voice of America. A native of the Antietam area, he lives in and has restored Gen. Burnside's post-Antietam headquarters, where Burnside hosted Lincoln in a meeting.

Photo Attribution
Jesse Lee Tucker [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Mark Fickett [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Photos of Antietam courtesy National Parks Service

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