The Coming Storm

In 1860 America was truly a "house divided" - North and South. While the North prospered from the industrial revolution, the South's economy remained agrarian with slave labor being essential to its economy. The population of the north was nearly double that of the South where 40 percent was represented by slaves. A political crisis in the country around the mid 19th century, fueled by the slavery issue, was also in part responsible for the discontent. The doctrine of popular sovereignty established by the Kansas-Nebraska Act, created further sectionalism. Then in October 1859, John Brown's raid left the South "feeling isolated, besieged, dishonored, and physically imperiled as never before". Many in the South believed that the North would resort to force, just like Brown, in order to stop slavery. Things moved to a greater division of the two sides when Abraham Lincoln, a relatively unknown candidate of the Republican Party, was elected President, arousing the southern states into a protective mode to establish their sovereignty and begin plans for secession from the Federal government.

Now, 150 years later, we come together on a 19th century paddlewheel steamboat to reflect on events that would lead our country into the deadliest war our nation would ever face. To this day it captivates and haunts us as we continue to study the causes, the personalities, and the effects it would have on our country. We are privileged to be led in this study by three eminent Civil War historians, John C. "Jack" Waugh, Dennis Frye, and James Ogden. Enhancing our experience will be James Getty as Abraham Lincoln and Civil War balladeer, Bobby Horton. Our event will be completely reminiscent of a Delta Queen cruise on the river as activities will fill our days and evenings while we relax in the luxury of this 19th century Victorian icon now docked on the beautiful Tennessee River.
The rivers played a key role during the 19th century and the Civil War. They were the major means of transport for goods from the west into the ports of New Orleans and the Northeast, as well as a major source of passenger transportation. During the Civil War the rivers were critical, for whoever controlled the rivers controlled the flow of troops and supplies. The Delta Queen is a paddle-wheel steamboat that has carried passengers on America's waterways for decades and has the distinction of being a National Historic Landmark. With its Victorian ambiance and intimate setting it is the perfect setting for our symposium. During these four days it will be filled with Civil War history brought back to life by our scholars and shared by people who enjoy learning more about the Civil War. It is the perfect way to kick off our Sesquicentennial program!

What's Included: 4 nights accommodations in the category "cabin" of your choice, transfers or complimentary valet parking, three meals daily, welcome reception, onboard lectures and discussions by John C. Waugh and Dennis Frye, two full days of touring Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and Chattanooga with NPS historian James Ogden, entertainment by James Getty as President—Elect Abraham Lincoln and Bobby Horton who will charm us with his Civil War ballads, and a pre-tour reading list.
Payments can be made by check payable to Custom Travel Concepts or by credit card.

To Make Your Reservation Contact Charlene Corris ~ Custom Travel Concepts
Toll-free 866-956-4440 Email:

Our Itinerary

Thu/April 29 Arrive in Chattanooga, TN and transfer to the Delta Queen Hotel in Coolidge Park, or if you are driving valet parking service is complimentary. This evening we’ll gather for a welcome reception to get acquainted with one other and to meet our esteemed historians and President- Elect Abraham Lincoln. Enjoy dinner in the Orleans Room followed by a brief introduction by our historians and an overview of our upcoming events.

Fri/April 30 After breakfast we’ll meet Jim Odgen who will put into perspective what was happening in Chattanooga during 1860. That year Stephen Douglas made a speech in the city, Vice Presidential candidate Herschel Johnson passed through, as did many of the delegates to the Charleston Democratic Convention. Then moving ahead to 1863 Ogden will lead us to Chickamauga on whose fields and hills Union and Confederate armies clashed during the fall of 1863 in some of the hardest fighting of the Civil War. The prize was Chattanooga, key rail center and gateway to the heart of the Confederacy. We’ll enjoy a barbeque at the Gordon Lee mansion, where Gen. William Rosecrans and future president, James A. Garfield spent 3 days before the battle. Enjoy dinner in the Orleans Room with an appearance by President Elect Abraham Lincoln as our evening entertainment.

Sat/ May 1 Today is devoted to learning from our Civil War scholars John C. Waugh and Dennis Frye, who will bring to light the political and social events of 1860 with emphasis on slavery and the role of John Brown. We’ll enjoy lunch onboard and some free time to see the surrounding area in Chattanooga. Our evening highlight is a performance of Civil War music by Bobby Horton of whom Ken Burns has aptly said “I don’t think I’ve met anyone quite like Bobby Horton in the ability to understand the soul of American music” Sun/May 2 Once again Jim Ogden will take us back to the events of 1860 & 1863 in our visits to Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge where in 1863 Union Gen. Rosecrans would lead his army’s defenses against Gen. Braxton Bragg’s Army of the Tennessee. We’ll return to the Delta Queen for lunch before commencing with the afternoon portion of our tour. This evening we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner in the Orleans Room followed by a question and answer session with our historians. Mon/May 3 - Enjoy breakfast this morning and transfer to the airport or spend leisure time in Chattanooga or choose to extend your stay on the Delta Queen.

Accommodations and Per Person Pricing (based on double occupancy)
Bunk Beds Cabins: Small and cozy with windows located on the Texas and Sun Decks.
Perfect for singles
Standard Cabins: Located on the Texas and Sun Decks with twin beds. $1650
Deluxe Cabins: Located on the Cabin and Texas Decks with access to the Betty Blake
Lounge area with double or queen beds.
Master Suites: Located on the Cabin and Sun Decks these luxury cabins feature queen or double beds, some with both tub and shower, and the most spacious accommodations. $2195
Single in Bunk Bed Cabins: $1595
All cabins on the Delta Queen have windows with views of the river or Coolidge Park. Each cabin has a private bath with shower, premium pillow top mattresses, deluxe duvets, spa bathrobes, hair dryer, and make up mirror. Cabins will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis so please reserve early. Odd number cabins face the river.

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