The Civil War Custer
"Always at the Front and Never Still"
September 27-October 5, 2014
Historian Guide: Neil Mangum
George Armstrong Custer — Most people view him as impulsive and egotistical and remember him only for his debacle at Little Bighorn. Yet an examination of the Civil War Custer reveals a cavalry officer whose military achievements prove he was a person of rare ability and courage, and one of the greatest cavalrymen who ever served in the United States Army. This tour will present the real and true Custer, the Custer before Little Bighorn.
Join HistoryAmerica veteran tour guide Neil Mangum on a week long journey as we visit more than 30 battlefields to uncover the Civil War Custer. We begin with his early exploits on the Virginia peninsula as an aerial balloonist, and then as he takes up stiff engagements at Yorktown and Brandy Station. Leaving an indelible impression on his superiors, Custer makes a meteoric rise to brigadier general and commands the Michigan Cavalry Brigade as they hold the Union line against Jeb Stuart's grayclads at Gettysburg.
We follow Custer's pursuit of Lee from Pennsylvania into Maryland and also retrace the remainder of the summer of 1863 campaign in Virginia. Throughout 1864 Custer and his troops would distinguish themselves in battle after battle on the road to Richmond and through the Shenandoah Valley, until he forced Lee to surrender in 1865 at the fall of Appomattox Station.
9 Days / 8 Nights
Cost: $2,895 Single Occupancy, $2,575 Double Occupancy
There is a $200 reduction in price per tour if you take both
this tour and Jackson & Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley.
Click to request a 2014 printed Travel Guide.
Saturday, September 27
Gather in Richmond for a briefing and welcome dinner hosted by Neil Mangum and HistoryAmerica TOURS.
Sunday, September 28
Hear about Custer before he became a general, as a balloonist in the area of Old Warwick Courthouse, and where he captured the first Confederate battle flag for the Army of the Potomac. End the day at the cavalry battle at Brandy Station. Overnight in Warrenton.
Monday, September 29
Visit Aldie, where Custer, as a staff officer, came under the notice of Major General Pleasonton. In Maryland see where he assumed command of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade before taking them into battle at Littlestown and Hanover. Topping the day is a tour of Gettysburg's East Cavalry Field, where Custer's Wolverines fought Jeb Stuart's vaunted Confederate cavalry to a standstill. Overnight in Gettysburg.
Tuesday, September 30
Sharp engagements at Monterey Pass and Monterey Inn mark the route Custer took in pursuit of the Confederate army back to Virginia. Then it's on to Smithsburg, followed by encounters at Falling Waters, Jones' Crossroads, Boonsboro, Buckland Mills, Newby's Crossroads, Culpeper Courthouse, and Greenwood Hill. Overnight in Culpeper.
Wednesday, October 1
Drive by Custer's 1863-64 winter quarters at Clover Hill, and then eastward following Eley's Ford Road to Wilderness. In Grant's offensive in spring 1864 to apply pressure on the Confederates everywhere, Custer is deeply involved in fighting at Todd's Tavern. Here his new commander Phil Sheridan learns to trust the youthful Custer with more responsibilities. Custer is the hammer blow at Beaverdam Station, Yellow Tavern and the fatal wounding of Jeb Stuart, Meadow Bridge, Hawe's Shop, Old Cold Harbor, and finally the fierce struggle at Trevillian Station. Overnight again in Culpeper.
Thursday, October 2
Morning features discussions and stops involving the feuds between Custer's men and John Mosby's Rangers, ending in both sides executing a number of soldiers. Then it's off to the third battle of Winchester. Continuing up the Shenandoah Valley, we drive by George and Libby Custer's 1864-65 winter quarters at Long Meadow. We conclude the day with visits to Cedar Creek, Toms Brook, and Lacey Spring battlefields. Overnight in Charlottesville.
Friday, October 3
In the final days of the Civil War in Virginia, Custer is everywhere. We pick up his involvements in a series of quick-hitting fights — Dinwiddie Courthouse, Five Forks, Sutherland Station, Namozine Church, and Saylor's Creek. Overnight in Lynchburg.
Saturday, October 4
Morning is spent examining the fighting around Appomattox Station. Custer's capture of Confederate locomotives loaded with supplies helps seal Lee's surrender. After a visit to Appomattox Courthouse, we return to Richmond for our farewell dinner.
Sunday, October 5
Depart at your leisure following breakfast.