159th Anniversary of Spotsylvania Courthouse Special Event

Past Event: May 20, 2023
Past Event: May 20, 2023
Save To Wish List

Adding item to wishlist requires an account

  • Guided Bus Tour With stops in each location
  • 4 Hours1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Spotsylvania Battlefield
  • $99

Join a Special Tour with the Authors on the 159th Anniversary of the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse

Join Battlefield Tours of Virginia for an exceptional book signing and tour event commemorating the 159th Anniversary of the Spotsylvania Courthouse battle on Saturday, May 20. Presented in collaboration with Eastern National, this event promises to be an unforgettable experience.

We are thrilled to have Bradley Gottfried, with his newly released book Maps of Spotsylvania Through Cold Harbor, from Savas Beatie Publishing as our featured author of the day. Joining him will be historian Don Pfanz with his Emerging Civil War book No Turning Back: A Guide to the 1864 Overland Campaign, from Savas Beatie Publishing.

Brad and Don will sign their books in the morning at the Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet these two incredible authors and purchase their books.

Plus, those booking a tour will receive a 15% discount on Eastern National purchases of $50 and above.

After the book signing, Bradley Gottfried, along with Don Pfanz, will lead an afternoon bus tour of the Spotsylvania Courthouse battlefield from 1:00 – 5:00 pm. The tour will focus on the second epic battle of Grant’s Overland Campaign.

 The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House lasted for over two weeks (May 8-21, 1864). Heavy fighting culminated around “The Mule Shoe”, where some of the fiercest fighting of the Civil War took place, especially at the “Bloody Angle”. Grant would eventually say, “I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.

The bus tour will start just 10 minutes from the visitor center. The bus will leave from the Route 3 Gordon Road Commuter Lot at 12135 Gordon Rd, Fredericksburg, VA 22407.

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet these two celebrated authors and tour the historic Spotsylvania Courthouse battlefield on the 159th anniversary of the battle.

Discover the Incredible Story of 'The Maps of Spotsylvania Through Cold Harbor'

This book continues both armies’ actions through the Overland Campaign’s completion. After the Wilderness fighting, the Army of the Potomac attempted to swing around the right flank of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and shoot straight for Richmond. The Confederate capital was never the goal; the move was intended to force Lee into the open, where the large and well-stocked Union army could destroy it.

The head of Lee’s army blunted the enemy at Spotsylvania Courthouse, where both sides dug in. Days and men were wasted on fruitless attacks until Col. Emery Upton designed an audacious strike that temporarily penetrated Lee’s works. Two days later, a much larger offensive against the “Mule Shoe” tore the line open, destroyed a Rebel division, and triggered a long day of fighting.

More fighting convinced Grant of the folly of further attempts to crush Lee at Spotsylvania, and again he swung around the Rebel right flank. The march ignited almost continuous fighting at the North Anna, Bethesda Church, and Cold Harbor, where the volume ends.

The Maps of Spotsylvania Through Cold Harbor breaks down the entire operation into thirty-five map sets or “action sections” enriched with 134 detailed full-page color maps.

This unique presentation allows the reader to easily and quickly find a map and text on any portion of the campaign, from the march to Spotsylvania to Cold Harbor. Serious students will appreciate the extensive and authoritative endnotes and complete order of battle. Everyone will want to take the book along on trips to these battlefields.

Meet the Author of 'The Maps of Spotsylvania Through Cold Harbor'

Brad Gottfried, a native of Philadelphia, is a renowned educator and historian who has spent four decades teaching in higher education. He earned his Ph.D. in Zoology from Miami University and has held various academic positions, including full-time faculty member, department head, campus dean, chief academic officer, and president. Until his retirement in 2017, he served as the President of Sussex County Community College (NJ) and the College of Southern Maryland for 17 years.

Dr. Gottfried’s fascination with the Civil War began early and was rekindled when he returned to an administrative position in Philadelphia. He has authored fifteen books, including five on the Battle of Gettysburg and two brigade-level histories. His current niche is map books, where he meticulously describes campaigns using maps. His published works by Savas Beatie include seven books in this series: Gettysburg, First Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Cavalry at Gettysburg, Bristoe/Mine Run, and the Wilderness. The latest addition to this series is The Maps of Spotsylvania through Cold Harbor. 

Currently, he is working on several other Civil War-related projects. Besides his writing, Brad is an Antietam Certified Battlefield Guide and a Gettysburg Licensed Town Guide. His passion for history and education is evident through his continued involvement in the field, despite being retired.

Meet the Author of 'No Turning Back: A Guide to the 1864 Overland Campaign'

Don Pfanz, a distinguished historian and preservationist, was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to legendary Gettysburg author/historian Harry Pfanz. He graduated from the College of William and Mary and had a distinguished 32-year career with the National Park Service.

During his time with the National Park Service, Don worked as a historian at three Civil War parks: Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County National Military Park, Petersburg National Battlefield, and Fort Sumter National Monument. He has been featured numerous times on popular television series on the History Channel, A&E Network, The American Heroes Channel, C-SPAN, and many others.

An avid historian and preservationist, Don is a founding member of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites (now the American Battlefield Trust). Recognizing his contributions, he was inducted into the American Battlefield Trust Hall of Fame and presented with the Trust’s Edwin C. Bearss Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. The Central Virginia Battlefield Trust also selected him as the recipient of its Ralph Happel Lifetime Achievement Award in Civil War preservation.

Don has written eight books and a dozen articles on Civil War topics. In 2014, he co-authored the book No Turning Back: A Guide to the 1864 Overland Campaign as part of the Emerging Civil War series published by Savas Beatie. He resides with his family on the Wilderness battlefield and serves as a battlefield guide for Battlefield Tours of Virginia.

Despite his impressive achievements and contributions to the field, Don is known for being one of the most approachable and kindest historians you’ll ever meet.

If you can’t make it for this special anniversary tour, be sure to book a tour with Don when it’s convenient for you. Check out our Author-led Civil War Battlefield Tours to book and learn more about Don Pfanz and his areas of expertise.

Supporting Battlefield Preservation

We are practitioners of and believers in sustainable tourism. That means we invest a portion of all ticket proceeds back into the battlefields we tour and beyond. This ensures that the hallowed ground – these places we treasure and love to share with others – are preserved for future generations to enjoy.

A few of Battlefield Tours of Virginia’s preservation partners include the Central Virginia Battlefield Trust and the American Battlefield Trust.

What's Included

  • Award-winning author for battlefield guide
  • Vehicle transportation
  • A 15% discount on purchases of $50 and above at the Chancellorsville National Park Battlefield Museum gift shop

What to Bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Bottled water
  • Jacket & umbrella
  • Sunglasses & sunscreen
  • Hat & light clothes
  • Insect repellant

What's Not Included

  • Food & drinks


  • The bus tour will start just 10 minutes from the visitor center. The bus will leave from the Route 3 Gordon Road Commuter Lot at 12135 Gordon Rd, Fredericksburg, VA 22407.
  • Tour the Spotsylvania battlefield area largely on National Park property
  • Discover the story of a battle famous for its intense and prolonged fighting
  • Tour with two distinguished authors

Special Notes

  • The minimum recommended age is 10 years old.
  • The tour makes multiple stops and gets out of the vehicle
  • Walking at stops is minimal, usually not far from the vehicle
  • Traveling between stops has commentary
  • The tour continues in all weather conditions as adjustments can be made to make everyone comfortable

Presented in Collaboration With

Eastern National logo
Savas Beatie Publishing logo

Unmissable Civil War tours with Battlefield Tours of Virginia

Even if you cannot join us for our special 159th anniversary of the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse event, you may wish to consider joining us for one of our American Civil War tours in Virginia.

In addition to the 14 options available in our core selection of tours, we also offer combo Civil War tours. And we can craft custom battlefield tours for visitors who wish to enjoy an experience focused on a particular aspect of the war or study topic.

If you have any questions about our tours and services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Related Tours

Spotsylvania Court House

Battle of Spotsylvania Court House Guided Tour

The second battle of Ulysses S. Grant’s Overland Campaign. See Robert. E. Lee’s defenses known as The Mule Shoe & where intense fighting occurred at The Bloody Angel.
Spotsylvania Court House & North Anna

Civil War Earthworks: Battles of Spotsylvania Court House & North Anna Combo Tour

Interested in earthworks & fortifications? Then, this tour is for you! See some of the best-preserved Civil War earthworks in Central Virginia.