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Lincoln in Virginia: A Wartime Journey

In-Person Program

Weekend All-Day Tour

Saturday, May 13, 2023 - 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1CD012
Departs from the Holiday Inn Capitol at
550 C St SW (corner of 6th & C Sts)
Fringe: I-95, Exit 158B commuter lot
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Thomas Wallace House, Petersburg

Abraham Lincoln spent 18 of his last 21 days of life not in Washington but in eastern Virginia, headquarters for Ulysses S. Grant’s campaign against Robert E. Lee, whose army was in the process of defending Richmond and Petersburg. It was Lincoln’s longest time away from the Union capital during which he did no official work, and a pivotal period that saw the Civil War wind down to its conclusion.

Join Noah Andre Trudeau, author of Lincoln’s Greatest Journey: Sixteen Days That Changed a Presidency, March 24–April 8, 1865, as he leads a visit to sites in the region connected to that trip. What Lincoln saw there, what he said, and who he encountered provide vital missing pieces in the narrative of his final days.

Highlights include City Point, Lincoln’s base during his visit; Fort Wadsworth, where Lincoln and his son Tad observed troops in combat; the Thomas Wallace House, the site at which Lincoln and General Grant met to discuss the terms for Lee’s surrender; and Richmond’s Jefferson Davis mansion, the house Lincoln visited the day after Union troops entered the city.

Along the way, the tour route passes many places associated with the president, including the wharf area where his steamship the River Queen, was docked; the Field Depot Hospital, where Lincoln spent much of a memorable day with wounded soldiers; a field where he reviewed Union troops; and his routes to Petersburg and Richmond after they had fallen to Grant. Representatives of the National Park Service and the American Civil War Museum add perspective on Lincoln’s visit and the closing weeks of the war.

Know Before You Go

  • The tour departs by motorcoach from downtown Washington, DC with a designated secondary pick-up outside the city. Content delivered by the study leader on the way to the destination, after the secondary pick-up, is an integral part of the study tour experience. Meeting the group once the tour is en route is discouraged.
  • Tour participants meet at and leave by bus from the Holiday Inn Capitol, Capitol, 550 C St., SW (corner of 6th and C Sts., SW), with a pick-up stop at the Horner Road commuter lot at approximately 7:25 a.m.
  • Lunch at a local restaurant is included.
  • The tour involves walking and standing on uneven terrain.

General Information

  • Registration for this tour will end by 2 p.m. ET on Friday, May 12, 2023.
  • Smithsonian is a mask-friendly environment. Masks are strongly recommended to be worn on buses at all times and may also be required at various indoor sites.
  • For additional tour information: