Antietam & Gettysburg
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Date(s) - 12/10/2017 - 15/10/2017
All Day

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The Crucible of Freedom expedition explores the Antietam and Gettysburg battles as they shaped, more than any other in the Civil War, the destiny of freedom in America. In the space of about nine months, these fields, just 43 miles apart, saw the bloodiest day in American history and the largest battle ever fought on the continent. This expedition will take us back 150 years to some of the most crucial days of the Civil War where brother fought brother to determine America’s future as a beacon of freedom. The beautiful foliage of South and Catoctin mountains will enhance the journey as we visit these beautiful, pastoral scenes, so rich in history.

Antietam tours


The Antietam campaign, including the siege of Harpers Ferry and the battle of South Mountain, resulted in the blunting of General Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of the North and enabled President Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Some of the fabled sites we will visit include the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park with its exhibits on the industrial revolution and the National Armory, westward expansion, the Lewis & Clark Expedition, the Storer College/WEB DuBois Niagara Movement, and John Brown’s Raid among others. On the Antietam and Gettysburg tour, we will visit iconic battlefield sites including the Cornfield, the East and West Woods, the Sunken or Bloody Lane, Burnsides’ Bridge and the National Cemetery.

The battle of Gettysburg was a titanic, three-day engagement and we will visit famed sites including McPherson’s Ridge, Oak Knoll, Barlow’s Knoll, Culp’s Hill, Big and Little Round Tops, the Wheatfield, the Peach Orchard, and Cemetery Hill. We will take two extended hikes – one with John Bell Hood’s division in James Longstreet’s attack on 2 July and the second with George Pickett’s division in Longstreet’s Assault on the afternoon of 3 July. We will complete our Gettysburg guided tour in the National Cemetery where President Lincoln gave his dedication address that forever changed America.

Gettysburg tours


gettysburg guided tours

Day 1

  • Social hour, welcome & overview of the expedition
  • Four-course dinner at Antrim 1844 Inn (or comparable)

Day 2

  • Breakfast
  • Discussion of the American Civil War up to September 1862
  • Harpers Ferry & Siege of Harpers Ferry, 12-15 September
  • Battle of South Mountain, 14 September
  • Lunch at Washington Monument State Park
  • Battle of Antietam, 17 September
  • Social Hour
  • Four-course dinner at Antrim 1844 Inn (or comparable)

Day 3

  • Breakfast
  • Discussion of the American Civil War from September ‘62 to June ‘63
  • Battle of Gettysburg First Day, 1 July
  • Lunch on the Gettysburg battlefield
  • Battle of Gettysburg Second Day, 2 July
  • Social Hour
  • Dinner at the famed Revolutionary-era Dobbin House

Day 4

  • Breakfast
  • Battle of Gettysburg Third Day, 3 July
  • National Cemetery
  • Bus returns to lodging and Gettysburg guided tour is complete
gettysburg guided tours
gettysburg guided tours


  • Three days of in-depth guided tours
  • An optional opportunity to role-play an important character of the Civil War
  • Luxury accommodations for three nights at the beautiful and renowned Antrim 1844 Inn (or comparable)
  • All meals, including dinner at Dobbin House, a lodging since 1776 and a stop on the famed Underground Railroad
  • All entrance fees
  • All transportation
  • Personalized tour support
antietam tours


  • Pricing: $1,950
  • Down payment: $1,000 per guest due upon registration
  • Please see Terms and Conditions for payment schedule and cancellation policy.
  • All active duty and career retired military, current and career retired educators, and students receive a 10 percent discount on the Gettysburg tour.
  • All repeat Essential History Expeditions guests receive a 10 percent discount on all future expeditions.
  • We require a minimum of 10 guests to run an expedition; if fewer than 10 guests, we may operate with Essential History Expeditions’ discretion.