Civil War Roundtable of the Mid-Ohio Valley to visit historic sites

Photo Provided The Bloody Angle is one of the locations of a battle at Gettysburg.

MARIETTA — The Civil War Roundtable of the Mid-Ohio Valley will host a field trip in October featuring several important Revolutionary and Civil War period sites in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, including Valley Forge, Washington Crossing, Philadelphia’s historic district, and Gettysburg.

The “New Birth of Freedom Field Trip” will depart from Marietta and Parkersburg on Oct. 17, and return on Oct. 20.

The purpose of the field trip is to recognize the sacrifices of those associated with the Mid-Ohio Valley region who served in American Revolutionary or Civil War period campaigns. Interpretation will be provided by Scott Britton, Executive Director of The Castle Museum in Marietta, based on original research on personal correspondence, published memoirs, official military records, and other resources.

The registration fee is $ 445 per guest for double-occupancy or $565 per guest for private accommodations. Registration is limited and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Leight Murray at 740-706-2575 or lmurray5154@gmail.com for more information.

The field trip registration fee includes round-trip charter bus transportation, hotel accommodations, admissions to attractions, narrated tours, a guide for dining venues close to the hotels, suggested reading and viewing references, and official visitors’ publications.

Photo Provided Valley Forge, the historic American Revolution site, will be one of the stops on the field trip organized in October by the Civil War Roundtable of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Featured locations will include:

* Valley Forge National Historical Park, King of Prussia, Pa., where the Continental Army was reborn during the 1777-8 winter encampment.

* Washington Crossing State Park, Titusville, N.J., where General George Washington and 4,000 soldiers crossed the Delaware River on Christmas Day 1776 in the face of a winter tempest to capture the Hessian garrison at Trenton

* Philadelphia’s historic district, a UNESCO World Heritage City, to explore Independence National Historic Park which features Independence Hall, historic homes, churches, cemeteries, museums, parks, neighborhoods, shops and restaurants. The original city is one of 266 UNESCO Heritage Cities worldwide and the only one in the U.S. The designation celebrates Philadelphia where democracy was first established and its importance to world culture.

* Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg Pa., where tour participants will study the battle in 1863 that turned the tide of the war with emphasis on local soldiers who played pivotal roles during those three days at sites such as McPhersons Woods, the Railroad Cut, Barlow’s Knoll, The Brickyard, The Wheatfield, Little Round Top, Seminary Ridge, Cemetery Hill, and The Angle.

Photo Provided The “New Birth of Freedom Field Trip,” organized by the Civil War Roundtable of the Mid-Ohio Valley, will be in October and include a visit to the historic district of Philadelphia, Pa.

At Gettysburg National Cemetery tour participants will celebrate President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and will participate in a flag ceremony to honor those local soldiers who never returned home.

Among the historical figures who will be highlighted during the field trip are Benjamin Franklin, James Mitchell Varnum, Alonzo Cushing and the Rev. William C. Corby.

Franklin, among his many other accomplishments as a Founding Father, served as emissary to France from 1776-85 during the American Revolution.

Varnum served as Brigadier General in the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, advocated for freed African American slaves to be recruited to the Continental Army, and was an early pioneer to the Northwest Territory. On Aug. 29, 1787, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Ohio Company of Associates.. On Oct. 14, 1787, Varnum was appointed as one of two “supreme” judges for the Northwest Territory.

He was among the first residents of Marietta arriving on June 5, 1788, to perform his new duties.

Photo Provided Scott Britton, executive director of The Castle in Marietta, talks at the Railroad Cut at Gettysburg National Military Park during a 2014 field trip organize by the Civil War Roundtable of the Mid-Ohio Valley. Gettysburg is one of the stops planned for another field trip in October.

Varnum assisted Territorial Governor Arthur St. Claire, who took office on July 15, 1787, in creating the first code of laws for the new territory. This was ultimately Varnum’s only significant accomplishment in Ohio as he soon became ill following his arrival.

Varnum died in January 1789, only seven months after arriving in Marietta. His was originally interred in the original “burying grounds” near the current American Legion on Eighth Street in Marietta but was later moved to the Pioneer Plot in Oak Grove where his grave is marked with a historical marker erected by the Washington County Historical Society.

Cushing graduated from West Point in 1861 and commanded Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery at Gettysburg. He was killed during Pickett’s Charge at The Bloody Angle on July 3, 1863. He was recognized 150 years later when President Barack Obama posthumously presented the Medal of Honor on Nov. 6, 2014.

His father, Milton Cushing, married Abigail Browning Tupper on Nov. 25, 1823. Tupper is the granddaughter of both Benjamin Tupper and Rufus Putnam. Milton Cushing was a merchant in Putnam, Ohio, from 1820 to 1838 and operated a dry goods store in Putnam, Ohio, on the west side of today’s Zanesville.

Corby, CSC, 88th New York Volunteer Infantry and President, University of Notre Dame, 1866-1871 and 1877-1881, said “That general absolution was intended for all – not only for our brigade, but for all, North and South, who were susceptible for it and who were about to appear before their Judge.”

Photo Provided James Mitchell Varnum was a brigadier general in the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, advocated for freed African American slaves to be recruited to the Continental Army and was an early settler in the Northwest Territory.

Father Corby’s connections to the Mid-Ohio Valley are largely through loyal Notre Dame football fans. However, his story is compelling because his service with the Irish Brigade spanned more than three years and included all of the day-to-day hardships that Civil War veterans experienced both in long marches and battle. He, as did most chaplains, worked the battlefields to comfort locate the wounded and comfort the dying.

Photo Provided Alonzo Cushing graduated from West Point in 1861 and commanded Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery at Gettysburg. He was killed during Pickett’s Charge at the Bloody Angle on July 3, 1863.


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