Tag Archives: military history

Tour group listens to Tim Smith explain the Shiloh battlefield at Shiloh National Cemetery.

2018 Military History Tours

Follow in the footsteps of an assassin, walk the grounds that inspired the birth of our nation’s anthem, or see the site of the largest cavalry action in North America; Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours is pleased to announce its 2018 tour schedule.

Back by popular demand, the “5th Annual National Ed Bearss Symposium” will take place April 4-8 in Chambersburg focused on all aspects of American military history along with lectures by top historians including the legendary Edwin Bearss. The Symposium will include bus tours of the decisive 1814 Battle of Baltimore that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Other aspects of the tour will include colonial war sites in the lower Cumberland Valley as well as Civil War points of interest in Harrisburg, Pa. and Shepherdstown, W. Va.

“Our tours are designed to bring history to life by telling the stories and walking the hallowed grounds of sites that truly shaped our nation,” said Lark Plessinger, program coordinator of Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours. “From Fort McHenry to Ford’s Theatre, our 2018 conferences will deliver an unforgettable experience.”

“Roads to Gettysburg” will also be held at the Hampton Inn on July 24-29. Eric Wittenberg will lead this popular tour and follow the path of the Blue and Gray to Gettysburg with Brandy Station (site of the largest cavalry action in North America) and the battle of Second Winchester. Bonus tours in Virginia will include Aldie, Upperville and Middleburg as well as retracing the path of Officer Mosby’s Confederacy. The conference will include sessions by well-known historians, a silent auction to raise funds for Civil War battlefield preservation and more.

Finally, “Mr. Lincoln’s City & Booth’s Escape” will happen October 10-14 in Frederick, Md. This event will retrace one of the greatest manhunts in history – the flight of John Wilkes Booth! Attendees will discover Washington, D.C. through the eyes of Abraham Lincoln led by Dr. Ed Steers and Joan Chaconas. Also included are tours of Frederick’s Civil War history (like a behind-the-scenes look at artifacts at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine) as well as visiting popular places in the South Mountain region made famous by five U.S. Presidents including Eisenhower, Lincoln, Lyndon B. Johnson, James Buchanan and Andrew Jackson.

More than 200 people from the U.S. and Canada are expected to attend the conferences, with limited seating available on each tour. For more information about the upcoming seminars, or to register, visit www.CivilWarSeminars.org or call Plessinger at 717-264-7101 ext. 206. Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours is a division of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce and held in partnership with historian Ted Alexander. Special thanks to Franklin County Visitors Bureau for sponsoring the tours.


Bearss Symposium Update

Hi Folks,

Due to maintenance  being conducted by the National Park Service at Jumonville Glen, we will not be able to visit this site of the symbolic first shots of the French and Indian War. However, we have an excellent substitute. We will be visiting the actual site of Braddock’s Defeat. Through the hospitality of Mr. Bob Messner, Director of the Braddock’s Battlefield History Center, we will visit the museum which features relics from the battle; and view a number of terrain features that remain from the battle.  Among them; the ridge line held by the French and Indians and the ford on the river where the British army crossed. This is a rare opportunity to visit a battle site that most people never see. In the afternoon we will visit Braddock’s grave and tour Fort Necessity. We look forward to seeing you.

Please contact Lark with any questions at lplessinger@chambersburg.org or 717-264-7101.

Best regards,
Ted Alexander & Lark Plessinger

Gaines Mill

July 2017 Conference – On to Richmond

Hi Folks,

We are excited for our July 2017 Civil War tour to Richmond, Virginia. This year’s theme is “On to Richmond: The Peninsula Campaign.” We begin on Wednesday with a detailed tour of the lower Peninsula. This includes visits to the Monitor Center to observe the restoration of that great ship, historic Fort Monroe, extensive earthworks built by the Confederates, Williamsburg battlefield and much more. We have the go-to guy to lead this tour: author and historian John Quarstein. He also serves as the Director of the Monitor Center and oversees the Monitor’s restoration.

Thursday and Saturday will feature detailed tactical tours of the Seven Days led by master tour guides Edwin Bearss and Robert E.L. “Bobby” Krick. Superintendent Dave Ruth will open the seminar with an update on the extensive preservation that has been made on the Seven Days battlefields. We will have talks on every phase of the campaign, including a talk and tour of Jeb Stuart’s legendary Ride Around McClellan.

Friday night dinner will be a Southern BBQ buffet. Following dinner we will have a talk by award-winning McClellan biographer Ethan Rafuse.

Of course we will have our book dealer, Jim Schmick selling all the books about our subject. Many of our speakers will be available to sign their books. We will also have book raffles and our traditional    silent auction. Part of the proceeds from this event will go to the U.S.S. Monitor Center as well as friends’ groups associated with the Richmond Battlefields.

I know that I say this all of the time, but this truly promises to be one of our best seminars ever. We hope to see you there. Meanwhile, thank you for supporting our seminars.


Ted Alexander, Co -Founder



2017 Tours: Covering New Ground

Hi Folks,

Welcome to our 2017 seminar year! This promises to be an exciting season with new and different events that we are trying for the first time. We start with the April 6-9 seminar featuring talks on all aspects of U.S. military history presented by many of the top military historians in the country.

The centerpiece of this is a tour we call George Washington on the Frontier. It will be led by battlefield guide extraordinaire Ed Bearss. Many tours cover George Washington as a Revolutionary War commander. But rarely is there a chance for you to follow Washington’s exploits on the frontier with a man who is arguably the leading battlefield guide in the country, Mr. Ed Bearss. Along the way we will see sites associated with the ill-fated Braddock Campaign of 1755. This includes the site of Fort Cumberland, a major staging point for the campaign. Step back in time as we visit Jumonville Glen. This pristine site has changed little from the time Washington ambushed a French detachment more than 260 years ago. Historians argue that the French and Indian War began at Jumonville Glenn.

The tour will include historic Fort Necessity National Battlefield. Here Washington and his men battled the French and Indians. Participants will tour the reconstructed fort and state of the art visitor center and museum. We will also visit General Braddock’s grave and other sites associated with this decisive campaign.

We look forward to seeing many of you in April. Please click here for the schedule. Thank you and we appreciate your support of our seminars and battlefield preservation.

- Ted Alexander, co-founder & facilitator

- Lark Plessinger, program coordinator