Join historian and SVBF Chief Executive Officer Keven Walker for “Fridays at the Front,” special complementary tours of Civil War battlefields and historic sites in the Shenandoah Valley. These tours cover stories great and small, from the accounts of huge armies moving across the landscape to the individual stories of loyalty, determination, and sacrifice involving soldiers and civilians alike.
Come alone or bring a friend, your family, or a group. Discover the dramatic history of these sites — and the incredible stories — history and stories that the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, thanks to your help and support, continue to fight to preserve today.
The tours are free, but pre-registration is required. To register, fill out the form below or call the Battlefields Foundation at 540-740-4545.
Friday, April 13, 2018, 10am-Noon
Fridays at the Front – “The last fight of the Shenandoah”: The Battle of Waynesboro
Car caravan tour of sites related to the March 2, 1865, fight, the last Civil War battle fought in the Shenandoah Valley. A smaller battle with a big impact, it was site of Jubal Early’s “last stand,” saw the destruction of the last significant Confederate force in the Valley, and allowed Philip Sheridan and his troops to head east to play pivotal roles in the Appomattox campaign. Tour led by Richard Williams, historian and author of The Battle of Waynesboro, and SVBF CEO Keven Walker.
Friday, May 11, 2018, 11am-2pm
Fridays at the Front – “God blessed our arms with victory”: The Battle of McDowell
Car caravan tour of sites related to the May 8, 1862, battle in the mountains of Highland County, where a spoiling attack up the mountainside by undermanned Federal troops almost carried the day, where pre-war neighbors “called [each other] by name” across the battlefield and then “proceeded with the slaughter,” and where Stonewall Jackson won his first victory of his Valley campaign – a tide-turning victory for the Confederacy that provided the “first blush of…triumphs after a season of gloomy disasters.” Tour led by historian and author Bill Miller and SVBF CEO Keven Walker.
Friday, May 18, 2018, 6pm
Fridays at the Front – “Exploded in the streets”: The Battle of New Market
Walking tour of sites related to the parts of the Battle of New Market that took place in the town itself, including the opening artillery duel that sent residents scrambling for shelter; the Confederate attack that moved through the town; the fight along the River Road, the immediate post-battles stories of horror and compassion; and longer post-war stories of memorialization and reconciliation.
Friday, June 22, 2018, 10am-2pm
Fridays at the Front with Ed Bearss – “Men ceased to be men”: The Battle of Port Republic
Car caravan and walking tour of sites related to the closing battle of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign, ranging from Jackson’s Narrow Escape (on June 8) and headquarters to the attacks across the river plain and the epic closing struggle for the “hell-spot” of the Coaling. Tour led by the legendary Ed Bearss, Historian Emeritus, National Park Service, and Keven Walker, SVBF CEO. Tour will include a lunch break. (Tour-goers will be able to purchase a box lunch or bring their own.)
Friday, July 27, 2018, 10am-Noon
Fridays at the Front – “Stirring times”: Harrisonburg During the Civil War
Tour of sites related to wartime events in Harrisonburg, including Jackson’s Valley Campaign, Hunter’s march to Piedmont, partisan warfare, Sheridan’s 1864 Shenandoah Campaign, the Burning, civilian life, and post-war commemoration and conciliation. (Please note: Registration for this tour has closed.)
Friday, August 10, 2018, 10am-Noon
Fridays at the Front: “Battle and Bushwhackers” – The Page Valley During the Civil War
Car caravan tour of sites related to the 1862 and 1864 campaigns – from Stonewall Jackson’s lightning-like maneuvers to cavalry fights and brutal, take-no-prisoners actions during the Burning – and to stories of divided loyalties and post-war tragedy.
Friday, September 21, 2018, 10am-Noon
Fridays at the Front: “The Fall of Gibraltar” – The Battle of Fisher’s Hill
Car caravan tour of sites related to the September 21-22, 1864, battle where a flank attack by the Army of West Virginia’s “mountain creepers” crashed into the Confederates “like a western cyclone” and helped unhinge the southern line. The stunning Union triumph, which opened up the Valley to the systematic destruction of “The Burning,” was the second in a series of Union victories in the Valley that helped ensure Lincoln’s reelection.
Register today by using the online form below or by calling 540-740-4545!