The Atlantic Coast War - Forts & The Blockade
This is one of our favorite tours! Not only will we explore an oft neglected subject of the American Civil War, but the tour will be based in three historic districts. Our accommodations are in historic buildings so guests can become immersed in the historic ambience of the period. With its origins in General Winfield Scott’s “Anaconda Plan,” United States forces occupied strategic locations along the south Atlantic coast in an attempt to strengthen their blockade of the Confederate coast. Several factors combined to cause an evolution of coastal defenses in the United States. Coastal warfare experienced dramatic changes during the American Civil War and they are evident in no better locations than Charleston and Savannah.
Our tour will explore the extant fortifications of the coastal war, focusing in Charleston on those connected with the Siege of Charleston. Our accommodations will be located in the historic district of both cities in period buildings to enjoy the ambience afforded by these jewels of the Old South and top-rated preserved historic districts in the country. To accentuate the experience, the tour will include several historic house museums.
The third leg of the adventure carries us to the British island territory of Bermuda in the North Atlantic. Most Americans do not realize the vital role Bermuda played in the American Civil War. Not only was it a port for blockade runners, but also the point at which war almost erupted between the United States and Great Britain. Historic accommodations on historic St. George Island, the center of Civil War era blockade running activity, completes the historical experience. There is even free time built in for guests to enjoy Bermuda’s famed pink-sand beaches and other distractions. Truly a history vacation experience of a lifetime!
Day 1: Welcome/Orientation
Tour participants will meet at our hotel for a welcoming reception. The tour historian will give a historical introduction and orientation to the tour. Following the welcoming/orientation, we will then go to dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Day 2: Savannah, GA
To begin the tour we visit Fort Jackson for an example of the “Second System” of U.S. coastal defense and learn how it was incorporated into the new developments during the Civil War. Next is Fort Pulaski, ground-zero for the military developments that produced the revolutionary change in coastal defense warfare. The afternoon also includes a tour of the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters, an excellent example of Regency architecture is followed by a free afternoon in the Historic District.
Day 3: Savannah, GA – Charleston, SC
Fort McAllister embodies the new coastal defense system. A lengthy tour explains its role in the coastal war and the Siege of Charleston. After lunch, the tour makes its way to Charleston where a leisurely afternoon is spent discovering locations in the Historic District that figured prominently during the Civil War.
Day 4: Charleston, SC
The morning is consumed with a tour to Fort Sumter. Its role in the beginning of the Civil War and in the Siege of Charleston is covered at length. The northern anchor to Confederate defenses is the object of the afternoon focusing on Fort Moultrie. The fortifications’ role in history and several coastal defense systems will be explored. After returning to the city, we visit the Charleston Museum (the oldest in the country), which provides a good orientation to the historic city and its role in the war. This is followed by a stroll through part of the historic district and its role in the Atlantic Coast War.
Day 5: Charleston, SC
In the morning we visit one of the most unique museums in the country – The Hunley Museum. The advent of submarine warfare was a preoccupation of the Confederates with the first successful use of the craft ending tragically. After lunch we take a private boat to the scene of much of the action during the Siege of Charleston – Morris Island. Still accessible only by boat, the earthworks are long ago washed away by the tides, but the views of Charleston harbor and the perspective of the Federal troops are unparalleled.
Day 6: - In Transit
Guests will follow their pre-arranged flight to Bermuda and check-in at our historic hotel. In the evening, we’ll have an orientation after which we will take a short stroll into historic St. George for dinner.
Day 7 – Bermuda: Commisary to the Confederacy
To begin our investigation of the vital role Bermuda played in the American Civil War, we begin our tour with a visit to the island’s National Trust Museum in the historic old Globe Hotel building. A short stroll through the historic district takes us to the St. George’s Heritage Museum where we learn about early life in Bermuda. After lunch, we take a shuttle to Fort St. Catherine, Bermuda’s premier fortification and focal point for British defenses during the American Civil War.
Day 8 – Bermuda: Runners and Rogues
After breakfast, enjoy a free day in Bermuda! From the shopping at the Royal Navy Dockyard to any of the pink sand beaches, the islands of Bermuda have something for everyone. We’ll meet back at a restaurant in St. George’s for a relaxing dinner.
Day 9 - Departures
If guest schedules allow, enjoy a relaxing breakfast at the hotel amidst ‘farewells’ and ‘bon voyages’ before departing on your return flights. Tour participants are more than welcome to extend their stay in Bermuda.