Thursday, May 13, 2010

Living History Schedule Released at NCWM

NCWM Announces Spring/Summer Living History Schedule

(Harrisburg, PA) -The National Civil War Museum today announced their living history schedule for the 2010 spring/summer season. Encampments include Confederate artillery, Confederate & Union infantry units, loading and firing demonstrations and much more!

Living history schedule*:

May 29-30 Encampment of the Midway Southern Guard (15th Alabama)

June 19-20 Encampment of the North & South – Federal Generals Corps & Lee’s Lieutenants

July 10-11 Encampment of the 1st Maryland (CSA)

July 17-18 Recruiting tent with the 142nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry

July 24-25 Encampment of the 4th Maryland Light Artillery (CSA) & the 42nd Mississippi, Company F

July/Aug. 31-1 Encampment of the 31st Virginia, Company C

August 7-8 Encampment of the Federal Generals Corps

August 14-15 Encampment of the United States Colored Troops

August 21-22 General Longstreet’s Encampment

August 28-29 Encampment of the 4th Maryland (CSA)

Sept. 18-19 Encampment of Purcell’s Battery
Artillery demonstrations at 11am, 1pm & 3pm

Museum visitors will see the flash and smell the smoke of Civil War muskets and rifles. Visitors are encouraged to visit the camps and ask living historians questions about their attire, food rations and daily life. Most infantry groups perform loading and firing demonstrations each day.

*Programs are weather contingent. Visitors should check the Museum’s website for more information and updates to this schedule, as they are subject to change.

About The National Civil War Museum
Opened in February 2001, The National Civil War Museum is a non-profit educational institution dedicated solely to the American Civil War. It is the largest Civil War museum that addresses the war from both the Northern and Southern perspective, and from both a military and civilian perspective. The Museum protects some of the nation's treasures, including General Robert E. Lee's personal Bible, and more than 24,000 artifacts, documents and photos, worth an estimated $20 million. Admission to the Museum is $9.00 for adults, $8.00 for seniors, and $7.00 for students with reduced rates for children and families. The Museum offers complimentary ample parking. For more information, please call 717.260.1861, or visit the Museum’s website at

Monday, April 5, 2010

New Director Named to the Gettysburg College Civil War Institute

Gettysburg College has named Peter Carmichael its new director of the Civil War Institute and Robert Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies.

Carmichael is currently the Eberly Family Professor of Civil War Studies at West Virginia University. Michael Birkner, who is the Benjamin Franklin Professor of the Liberal Arts and a professor of history, served as interim director for the Civil War Institute this year. Gabor Boritt, who was the founding director, retired in 2009.

"The Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College occupies an important place in thought about and study of the American Civil War,” said Gettysburg College’s Interim Provost James White. “As the CWI's new director, Dr. Peter Carmichael, a noted historian of this epic conflict, will nurture and advance the Institute and work to make its programs ever better."

“I am very excited about the Civil War Institute and building on this incredible legacy of Gabor Boritt,” said Carmichael. “There’s no other place like Gettysburg College to be a public intellectual and where you can bring together students, scholars and the public to study the Civil War. I have visited here numerous times, but to think about this place to live in and to teach is extraordinary. I am honored.”

Carmichael has published a number of books, most recently a study of Southern college students during the Civil War era, “The Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion (2005).” He is currently researching the experience and wartime representation of Confederate slaves, and how the mythical idea of loyal African Americans defending the South animates current cultural wars over "Southern heritage." Carmichael earned a doctorate and a master’s from the Pennsylvania State University, and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.

For over 28 years, The Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College has hosted visiting educators and students, sponsored conferences, lectures, concerts, and movie premieres, as well as other educational programs on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Each summer, the CWI hosts hundreds of Civil War enthusiasts, scholars and prominent historians for an annual conference in Gettysburg. The Institute also co-sponsors the annual Dedication Day, Nov. 19, which is the anniversary of Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address,” with the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania and the Gettysburg National Military Park. CWI also co-sponsors and publishes the annual Robert Fortenbaugh Lecture. In addition, the institute coordinates the annual Michael Shaara $5,000 Book Prize for Civil War fiction.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Museum Curator Nears End of Picket Duty

Curator has been living the life of a Civil War soldier for two weeks

(Harrisburg, PA) – Despite two blizzards that blanketed the Harrisburg area with almost four feet of snow, the curator of collections for The National Civil War Museum has continued on his mission to live the life of a Civil War soldier on the picket line 24 hours a day for a 2-week period. Titled, “In Their Footsteps: Walking the Picket Line”, Kelley has been residing in reproduction winter quarters on the Museum grounds in an effort to raise awareness and funds for The National Civil War Museum’s education department since February 6. He wraps up his duty on Saturday, February 20 around 12:00pm. Afterward, Kelley will venture into Gettysburg to have a tintype photograph taken to commemorate his experience.

Kelley, a former Marine and native of Vermont, has survived through two winter storms, extreme winds, green wood that wouldn’t burn, a missing door, and marches through giant snow drifts into areas such as downtown Harrisburg, Camp Curtin, Fort Couch and the Lincoln Cemetery. During the Museum’s Community Free Day on Saturday, February 13, Kelley was greeted by President Lincoln and General Grant, as they applauded his efforts. He has also received a steady stream of visitors with many questions during his encampment, and has given more than a dozen interviews to various national and local media outlets.

“My experiences during the last two weeks have made me develop a new and heightened appreciation for what Civil War soldiers endured during winter encampment. While I have only been in winter quarters for two weeks, these soldiers would have lived in this difficult conditions for a much longer period of time, meanwhile also worrying about being shot or plagued with disease…this is only a snap-shot of what they went through and I am deeply humbled,” stated Kelley.

During this time, Kelley has kept a daily journal to document his experiences for the world, which have been imported into a blog created and maintained by local students from Hershey High School. The Museum’s Facebook page has received a dramatic increase in the number of fans since Kelley began his quest with more than 1,560 fans and counting. He has also acquired followers on Twitter. Videos posted on Facebook, the blog and YouTube have included topics such as Kelley’s experiences during the blizzards, cooking lessons, his marches, and an interview with a local historian about Civil War soldiers buried in a nearby cemetery. Fans and followers have shown their support of Kelley with comments such as, “this is a fantastic thing you are doing,” and “love, love, love the journal posts!”

Money that has been raised as a result of this initiative is being directed to the Museum’s education department. CEO David Patterson commented, “Although donations received for “In Their Footsteps” have not quite been what we had hoped for, the exposure The National Civil War Museum has received has been tremendous, as well as the outpouring of support for Brett from the community.” Patterson continued, “Although Brett’s duty will end on Saturday, it is our hope that individuals will continue to read his journal entries and watch his videos, as they are all part of the educational experience we offer here.” Donations can be made through the end of the year on the Museum’s website: or by calling 717.260.1861 x. 1108.

About The National Civil War Museum
Opened in February 2001, The National Civil War Museum is a non-profit educational institution dedicated solely to the American Civil War. It is the largest Civil War museum that addresses the war from both the Northern and Southern perspective, and from both a military and civilian perspective. The Museum protects some of the nation's treasures, including General Robert E. Lee's personal Bible, and more than 24,000 artifacts, documents and photos, worth an estimated $20 million. Admission to the Museum is $9.00 for adults, $8.00 for seniors, and $7.00 for students with reduced rates for children and families. The Museum offers complimentary ample parking. For more information, please call 717.260.1861, or visit the Museum’s website at

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Registration Open for Gettysburg National Military Park Lecture Series

Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation are proud to present the 2010 Gettysburg Seminar, to be held in Gettysburg on April 10-11. The theme of the seminar is the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg and the end of the Pennsylvania Campaign. Presentations will provide seminar participants with a variety of subjects from the experience of Robert E. Lee's retreat to the Potomac River, to the enormous job of caring for the wounded, an evaluation of the generals’ decisions, and the cleanup of the battlefield.

The 2010 Gettysburg Seminar will begin on Saturday morning with a series of lectures to take place in the ballroom of the historic Gettysburg Hotel on Lincoln Square in downtown Gettysburg. The lectures will be followed with a variety of battlefield walking tours and bus visits to important sites relative to the aftermath of the battle and campaign.

Saturday night's social will begin with "An Evening with the Painting: The Gettysburg Cyclorama," a guided presentation about the famous cyclorama painting of "Pickett's Charge" given by Licensed Battlefield Guide Sue Boardman, followed by "Our Hearts Were Touched With Fire," a living history presentation featuring the voices of those who experienced the battle and its aftermath, first hand. The personalities presented will include: Henry Eyster Jacobs, who was an 18 year old Gettysburg College student at the time of the battle; Sallie Myers, a Gettysburg school teacher at the time of the battle; a composite character representing a Confederate soldier; nd Almira Russell Hancock, wife of Union General Winfield Scott Hancock.

The seminar will conclude on Sunday in the ballroom of the Hotel Gettysburg with a final series of lectures focusing on the experiences of soldiers and civilians in the horrific aftermath of the battle.

The registration fee for the Gettysburg Seminar is $90 per person and the seminar is limited to 240 participants. For a complete schedule of lectures, field programs, and presenters and to register go to the park’s website at:

Information is also available by calling Park Ranger Evangelina Rubalcava (717) 334-1124, ext. 3251.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Something Must Be Done About This!

The Longstreet Society sent this along in hopes that we will spread the word and write a letter or send an email to help set at least this record straight.

The Houghton Mifflin publication The American Heritage College Dictionary (4th edition, 2007) contains the following entry:

Longstreet, James, 1821-1904. American Confederate general whose delay in carrying out orders contributed to the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg (1863).

We'd like Houghton Mifflin to know that this entry is inaccurate and ask them to change the entry for the next edition of their dictionary. Please send an email to or drop a note to:
Dictionary Editorial Department
Houghton Mifflin Company
222 Berkeley Street, 8th Floor
Boston, MA 02116

If they get enough polite and sincere emails and letters from us, they might take notice and make the change. If would be best if we all wrote our own original emails but, if you prefer, you can cut and paste this note into your email.

Dear Houghton Mifflin Editorial Department-
Your publications have outstanding reputations as learning and teaching tools and we know that you take pride in them. But the entry for General James Longstreet in your American Heritage College Dictionary is factually inaccurate and based on what is now accepted as misrepresentation and bad history. We of the Longstreet Society sincerely hope that you will investigate the matter and update the entry to reflect the modern and accepted historical view that Longstreet served General Lee, his soldiers and the Confederate cause appropriately and admirably at Gettysburg.(Suggested sources-Lee's Tarnished Lieutenant: James Longstreet and His Place in Southern History by William Garrett Piston, University of Georgia Press, 1987; I Have Been a Soldier All My Life by Carol Reardon, Farnsworth Military Impressions, 1997.)

For more information or to become a member of the Longstreet Society, write P.O.Box 191 Gainesville GA 30503, call 770-539-9005 or email

Kristie Poehler, Editor
Battlefield Journal

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gettysburg NMP Offers Winter Lecture Series--Put these on your Calendar!

Weapons of the battle, Lee’s retreat and Meade’s pursuit from Gettysburg, and the experience of battle on July 2 are among the topics of the 2010 National Park Service series of free winter lectures, “Gettysburg: Perspectives on the Battle and Campaign at Gettysburg National Military Park.”

National Park Rangers will offer the programs on weekends beginning Sunday, Jan. 10 and running through Sunday, Feb. 28. They are free of charge and will be held at the new Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, in the Ford Motor Company Fund Education Center.

Programs begin at 1:30 p.m. and last approximately one hour.

The programs for 2010, along with the NPS Ranger presenting the program, are:

Sunday, Jan. 10 – Colonel Sharpe and The Bureau of Military Information (Angie Atkinson)

Saturday, Jan. 16 – Think Bigger – Gettysburg in Space and Time (Troy Harmon)

Saturday, Jan. 23 – Civil War Maladies – The Cases of Robert E. Lee, A.P. Hill and Richard Ewell (Matt Atkinson)

Sunday, Jan. 24 – E. P. Alexander and Resolving Conflicting Accounts of the Battle of Gettysburg (Karlton Smith)

Saturday, Jan. 30 – The Weapons of Gettysburg (Tom Holbrook)

Saturday, Feb. 6 – The Veterans and the Battlefield: How Veterans Shaped the Gettysburg Battlefield Park (John Heiser)

Sunday, Feb. 7 – “To Judge and Act for Myself” – The Experiences of Colonel Charles Wainwright, Soldier & Democrat (Bert Barnett)

Saturday, Feb. 13 – “Unwilling Witness to the Rage of Gettysburg” – The Experience of Battle on July 2 (D. Scott Hartwig)

Sunday, Feb. 14 – The Federal Fight When it Wasn’t – The 24 Hours Between July 1 Collapse and July 2 Battle (Chuck Teague)

Saturday, Feb. 20 – Lee’s Retreat and Meade’s Pursuit (Troy Harman)

Sunday, Feb. 21 – Gettysburg, The Turning Point… But Not as You Think (Bill Hewitt)

Saturday, Feb. 27 –
“More May Have Been Required of Them Than They Were Able to Perform” – Pickett’s Charge (Matt Atkinson)

Sunday, Feb. 28 – Pettigrew and Trimble: New Insights Into the Other Half of Pickett’s Charge (Karlton Smith)

For more information, visit Gettysburg National Military Park’s website at or call (717) 334-1124, ext. 8023.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cedar Creek Historical Commission to Meet

The next meeting of the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical
Park Advisory Commission will be held on Thursday December 17, 2009 at the
Warren Government Center, 220 North Commerce Avenue, Front Royal, Virginia. The meeting will begin at 8:30 am and is open to the public.

The draft General Management Plan and its implementation will be the main
subject of the meeting.

Individuals who are interested in the national park system or the business
of the Park Advisory Commission are encouraged to attend the December 17,
2009 meeting. Questions may be directed to Diann Jacox, Park
Superintendent, (540) 868-9176.