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2017 IHS Member Fall Trip - Lincoln: Gettysburg, D.C. and the Hoosier Connection

Lincoln: Gettysburg, D.C., and the Hoosier Connection

Every fall, IHS members take a trip to learn more about history while experiencing the sights, sounds and tastes of the historical sites visited. This year, IHS members will take a six-day trip from Sept. 25 to 30 in conjunction with the Sept. 16 opening of You Are There 1863: Letter Home from Gettysburg, the story of an Indiana soldier and his experiences during the battle of Gettysburg. Join the IHS Development staff as we travel to the East Coast to explore the Civil War, the life of President Abraham Lincoln, and their Hoosier connections.

Day 1: Monday, Sept. 25  Preview to Gettysburg

Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans

Enjoy the scenic mountain views as you head to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Thomas Jefferson wrote in Notes on the State of Virginia, published in 1785, that "... the passage of the Patomac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature." Lunch is on your own in this 19th-century town situated at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. Professor Matthew Pinsker will join the tour at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park to introduce the group to the central issues and controversies concerning the coming of the Civil War. Harpers Ferry witnessed John Brown's raid in 1859 and the largest surrender of Union troops during the Civil War. From there, we will travel to Gettysburg National Military Park for an exclusive behind-the-scenes program about the "The Battle of Gettysburg," also known as the "Gettysburg Cyclorama," which depicts Pickett's Charge and the climactic Confederate attack on the Union forces during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. A buffet dinner will be served in the Park's Visitor Center. Overnight accommodations will be at the Courtyard hotel in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Meals included – dinner.

Day 2: Tuesday, Sept. 26  Gettysburg

We begin our day touring Gettysburg National Military Park with a local guide. The Battle of Gettysburg is considered a turning point in the Civil War because the Union victory placed the Confederacy on the defensive and ended Gen. Robert E. Lee’s most ambitious attempt to invade Union territory. More than 165,000 soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia (the Confederacy) and the Army of the Potomac (the Union) fought at Gettysburg including thousands of Hoosier soldiers. The newest exhibit at IHS, You Are There 1863: Letter Home from Gettysburg is based on a letter from Indiana native Captain David Beem. The letter was written just months after President Lincoln made the Emancipation Proclamation and immediately after the Battle of Gettysburg. Following lunch at the Visitor Center, members will have time to explore the Gettysburg Visitor Center which includes The Gettysburg Museum of The American Civil War; a nationally-renowned museum that spans 11 galleries, features some of the most celebrated artifacts from the Battle of Gettysburg, and dramatically tells the story of the three-day battle. Visitors can view the film A New Birth of Freedom narrated by Morgan Freeman, featuring the voices of Sam Waterston and Marcia Gay Harden. The film places the monumental events of the Battle of Gettysburg into the larger context of the Civil War and American history. Historian Matthew Pinsker will rejoin the group to discuss the Gettysburg Address. Given by President Abraham Lincoln in November 1863, the 272-word speech was part of the dedication ceremony for the Soldiers' National Cemetery, a resting place for the Union dead at Gettysburg. The evening's dinner will be at The Historic Fairfield Inn which has been in continuous operation since 1757 and served as a Confederate Civil War hospital and an Underground Railroad stop. Meals included breakfast and dinner.

Day 3: Wednesday, Sept. 27  Lincoln's Home

Following breakfast, we will travel to the Seminary Ridge Museum, our last stop in Gettysburg. Three floors of exhibits connect guests to the dilemmas which led to the Civil War, provide a powerful and personal view of the battle's first day, and show the work of one of the battlefield's largest field hospitals. Stand in the cupola where Brigadier Gen. John Buford and his staff stood on the morning of July 1, 1863 as the Battle of Gettysburg began. Professor Pinsker will guide the visit at Fort Stevens, which was part of the extensive fortifications built around Washington, D.C. and where President Lincoln came under enemy fire in July 1864. President Lincoln's Cottage is our next stop; Professor Pinsker, author of Lincoln's Sanctuary, will lead, along with onsite guide, participants around the site where Lincoln and his family lived during more than a quarter of his presidency and help explain how the private "sanctuary" of the Soldiers' Home helped transform Lincoln's public leadership. Members will then tour Soldiers' Home National Cemetery which served as the precursor to Arlington National Cemetery. Learn how President Lincoln used his walks around this location to prepare for his famous Gettysburg Address. Dinner will feature true flavors of Italy at Carluccio's in Alexandria. Overnight accommodations will be at the Marriott Courtyard Alexandria Old Town/Southwest in Alexandria, Virginia. Meals included breakfast and dinner.

Day 4: Thursday, Sept. 28  Washington, D.C.

Our first stop of the day is the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. The Church welcomed President Lincoln and his family as pew holders on the first Sunday following his inauguration in March 1861. We will learn more about Lincoln's evolving personal faith during his wartime presidency. IHS members will receive unique, behind-the-scenes access at the Library of Congress. Specialist Michelle Krowl will present original Lincoln manuscripts and important Civil War documents with a special focus on Hoosier history. Lunch will be at Madison Cafe, just across from the Library of Congress. After lunch, Professor Pinsker will lead the group to the first Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., built with funds from ex-slaves and dedicated in 1876 by Frederick Douglass. This now-obscure monument will provide the backdrop for some fascinating stories about Lincoln, Douglass and the contested memory of emancipation. Next, we will visit Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site. While at the site, members will learn about the events of April 14, 1865 and the lasting impact of Lincoln’s assassination on our nation. The group will enjoy dinner at Marble & Rye, a wood fire kitchen and whiskey bar in Arlington, Virginia. Meals included breakfast and dinner.

Day 5: Friday, Sept. 29  Smithsonian Museums

Visit the newest museum of the Smithsonian Institute that opened in September 2016. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history and culture. There are 85,000 square feet of exhibition space, nearly 3,000 objects, 12 exhibitions, 13 different interactives with 17 stations and 183 videos housed on five floors. Lunch will be on your own at the many cafes in or near the museum. The rest of the afternoon is open for you to explore the city. Don't forget that all Smithsonian Museums are free to the public! Check out other sites in the area like Newseum, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial or the National Archives Building. Our farewell dinner will be a relaxing evening cruise on a stunning glass-enclosed ship. You will have the most breathtaking views of the nation's greatest landmarks including the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. Meals included breakfast and dinner.

Day 6: Saturday, Sept. 30  Depart for Home

Members will depart for Washington Dulles International Airport at 10 a.m.

Booking details:

Double occupancy $2,420 member / $2,495 non-member (includes membership); after May 15, $2,670 member / $2,745 non-member (includes membership)

Single occupancy $2,695 member / $2,770 non-member (includes membership); after May 15, $2,945 member / $3,020 non-member (includes membership)

Inclusions: 

• Round trip air from Indianapolis to Washington, D.C. (Dulles) / Washington, D.C. (Dulles) to Indianapolis

• Transportation via luxury motor coach

• Five nights accommodations

• Ten meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 dinners, 1 dinner cruise

• Admission to all attractions listed in itinerary

• Guide services by Professor Matthew Pinsker

• Baggage handling (hotel only)

• Great time with great IHS members

Download the registration form here

About the Guide

Dr. Matthew Pinsker, historian, holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford. He teaches courses in U.S. political, legal and diplomatic history at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the career of Abraham Lincoln, partisanship in the Civil War era, American constitutionalism, the Underground Railroad and the history of U.S. campaigns and elections.