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What's New • December 2008
Greetings, Regulars and Other Friends



Burnside Bridge

McPherson Leads Antietam and Gettysburg Tour

By Georgia O'Connor

Yes, you have visited Antietam and Gettysburg National Battlefield Parks. So had I, but then I visited them again with James McPherson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his book Battle Cry of Freedom. This brilliant man with his great breadth of knowledge brings entire battles with their infinite details into focus. That is the experience that HistoryAmerica TOURS is offering you in the spring of 2008. From May 3 to May 10, 2009, you can visit these two battlefields as well as the sites that led up to the battles. In addition to the history, to quote McPherson, "Gettysburg is never prettier than it is in May. It is a glorious time to visit there."

Rather than miss this rare opportunity, call HistoryAmerica today, 800-628-8542, and reserve a spot on Antietam and Gettysburg: Killing Fields that Changed America. Don't wait too long! Last time this tour was run it was filled by January.



New Orleans to Andersonville with Ed Bearss

Ft JacksonFarragut's "Damn the torpedoes!" is the familiar battle cry, but there is so much more to the story! The tour Civil War on the Gulf Coast, May 18–25, 2009, like the actual war, stretches from New Orleans through Mobile Bay, to Pensacola, and into Georgia. Many of the cities you will visit, especially the cotton ports, although plagued by the shortages of war, actually were characterized by a festive spirit. Blockade running became an art, but like cards or any other game of chance, many a fortune was made and lost.

This unique trip is a study of naval battles and leads to an understanding of life during the war on the Gulf. Each stop along the way offers a look into what the sailors, marines, and soldiers did and saw in their day. Walk in the footsteps of soldiers who manned the guardian forts, touch the metal of cannons, and imagine the realities of war. Led by the incomparable Civil War historian Ed Bearss, this is a tour that combines high drama and a beautiful southern setting to make a not-to-be-missed learning vacation.



HAT Historian Awarded Humanities Medal

Harold Holzer, historian guide for The Forging of a Presidency: Lincoln Transfixes New York & New England, was the recent recipient of a National Humanities Award. In the photo he is standing just to the left of Laura Bush at the presentation ceremony. HistoryAmerica sends Holzer our sincere congratulations.

The program states, "Harold Holzer, scholar and Civil War historian, is being recognized for engaging scholarship on that crucible of our history, the American Civil War. His work has brought new understanding of the many facets of Abraham Lincoln and his era through the study of image, word, and deed." The link above will give you more information on this exceptional man and his award.



HistoryAmerica News Bits

  • holidayOne of the blessings of this time of year is the opportunity for us to connect with you, our friends and colleagues in the pursuit of history. We've had a happy, busy, and productive fall at the office of HistoryAmerica TOURS.

    It is gratifying for us, as relatively new owners, to have had contact with so many of you. We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your encouragement and your enthusiastic support as you sign up for next year's tours. We believed that HistoryAmerica travelers would be an interesting, scholarly group, but we never guessed that you would be so warm and welcoming.

    May the blessings of the season brighten your days, and may 2009 bring good health, prosperity, and joy to you and your family.
  • Are you Christmas shopping for books for friends who are also history enthusiasts? You cannot do any better than The Confederacy's Greatest Cavalryman by Brian Steel Wills. Publisher's Weekly says, "This is the best biography of one of the most exciting, colorful, and controversial figures of the Civil War." This book about Nathan Bedford Forrest would make a great gift for any Civil War buff.

    HistoryAmerica TOURS is giving you an opportunity to travel with the author and learn first hand about Forrest, when Brian leads the Riding with Forrest tour next summer.
  • If you are planning to take a HistoryAmerica tour next year, be sure to register at least 90 days in advance. If a tour doesn't have enough people signed up to operate, you will receive a total refund. If you wait to know that the tour will run, you may be the one or two people who were still needed to prevent cancellation.

    However, do wait to make your airline reservations until you know the tour is going. Two months out is actually the time to get your best prices on flights.
  • Last month while HAT owner Sharon McDermott was in South Carolina enjoying the sun, the rest of us at HistoryAmerica were digging out from the first big snow storm of the year. The higher Black Hills had 40 inches of snow, but those of us in the foothills had only a little over a foot. It took us two days to get back into the office. There is, however, a reason why people call the Black Hills the "banana belt." That's probably a bit extreme, but a week later we had a couple of days in the 60s and the snow is gone. Last week it rained!

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Updated 22-Dec-2008