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The Battle of Chancellorsville is depicted with soldiers fighting in the background.

"The Red Badge of Courage" Driving Tour

See real sites from Stephen Crane's famous novel near Fredericksburg.

  • 5 hours
  • From 85 US dollars
  • Starts at the Franconia Museum, 6121 Franconia Road, Alexandria, VA 22310

Tour Description

Join Nathaniel Lee for a driving tour through the real-life sites from Stephen Crane's novel, "The Red Badge of Courage" on the battlefield of Chancellorsville in central Virginia. The tour starts from the Franconia Museum in Alexandria, Virginia and includes a 40-minute history of the American Civil War on the drive down to the battlefield. You won’t get confused missing directional signs, dealing with road closures, and otherwise wasting time. Your guide knows exactly where to go and will ride alongside you in your car to point the way while you drive, so everyone can fully enjoy the tour. Please make sure to have one open seat available in your vehicle for the tour guide so they can ride along with you. The Red Badge of Courage is a war novel by American author Stephen Crane (1871–1900). Taking place during the American Civil War, the story is about a young private of the Union Army, Henry Fleming, who flees from the field of battle. Overcome with shame, he longs for a wound, a "red badge of courage", to counteract his cowardice. When his regiment once again faces the enemy, Henry acts as flag-bearer, carrying the regimental colors. Although Crane was born after the war, and had not at the time experienced battle first-hand, the novel is known for its realism and naturalism. He based the fictional battle on that of Chancellorsville and he interviewed men who fought in the battle. These included veterans of the 124th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, commonly known as the Orange Blossoms. This driving tour will visit the places that this regiment fought in, as well as places featured in Crane's book. The novel was published in full in October 1895 and is known for its distinctive style, which includes realistic battle sequences as well as the repeated use of color imagery, and ironic tone. Several of the themes that the story explores are maturation, heroism, cowardice, and the indifference of nature. The Red Badge of Courage garnered widespread acclaim, what H. G. Wells called "an orgy of praise", shortly after its publication, making Crane an instant celebrity at age twenty-four. Crane would be dead just a few years later at age 28 after a lifelong battle with tuberculosis.

Accessibility and Cancellation Policy

Some of our tours are marked as active walking tours; guests are advised that they should be physically capable and prepared to walk around an urban environment for the time and distances listed. ASSISTANCE DOGS: All assistance dogs are welcome on our tours including registered guide dogs, hearing dogs and medical alert dogs. Please make us aware of this beforehand by email at WHEELCHAIRS AND MOBILITY VEHICLES: Any guests who use a wheelchair must be capable of travelling throughout the length of the relevant tour, some parts of which will be on uneven terrain. Manual wheelchair users are likely to need to bring a personal assistant with them. Self-propelled wheelchair users even with assistance are likely to struggle in some areas and as a result may experience difficulty on some areas of tours. Guests who use an electric wheelchair or mobility scooter must ensure they have sufficient battery power for the duration of a tour. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries on the suitability of a tour. TOILET FACILITIES: As we host outdoor tours, we are not able to provide permanent toilet facilities for visitors. We however try to ensure our tours are designed to pass via publicly accessible toilets as a rest break for visitors. We are however not able to guarantee that these will be open at all times during our tours. Our guides will always try to direct visitors towards open facilities if required. TOUR CANCELLATION POLICY: Franconia History LLC understands that schedules change, especially while you are on vacation or with family. You are welcome to cancel or reschedule your tour with us at no additional charge up to twelve hours prior to the scheduled start time of your tour. If cancellation is required, you are requested to notify us no later than twelve hours before your scheduled tour start time. Please note that any cancellations you make within twelve hours of your scheduled tour start time will cause the forfeiture of one-half of the fee you paid for the tour. Franconia Museum LLC cannot be held responsible for delays or cancellations of customer trips that result from weather, traffic, mechanical difficulties or circumstances beyond our control. If Franconia History LLC is forced to cancel your tour due to reasons outside of company control, all prior payments will be refunded to you within ten business days.

Contact Details

Franconia Museum, Inc., 6121 Franconia Road, Alexandria, VA 22310, USA

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