Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Upcoming Civil War Symposium: "Lee Invades the North"

Fellow blogger Nick Kurtz passed along this information about an upcoming Civil War Symposium that will focus on the Maryland Campaign and the Battle of Antietam. It is sure to be quite an event with a number of "heavy hitters" in the Civil War community. I regret that I will be unable to attend since I will be most interested in Steve Recker's presentation on Burnside's Final Attack, which he labels the "Pickett's Charge of Antietam."
Here is the information. If you have the means, I suggest you attend!

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Rocky Mountain Civil War symposium

The Rocky Mountain Civil War Roundtable will hold its annual symposium on October 2-3, 2009 at the Community College of Aurora, Colorado. The theme is “Lee invades the North,” covering the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg.

Speaking at the main event on Saturday, October 3rd, will be Russel Beatie, Stephen Recker, Bradley Gottfried, Lance Herdegen and Timothy B. Smith.

After the individual presentations there will be a panel discussion, followed by an author-signing event. The exhibit hall will have many of the presenters’ books for sale as well as Trailhead Graphics maps and an information booth from the Civil War Preservation Trust. There will also be a Friday night, October 2nd, social event. This extra event will be limited to about 25 people to keep the atmosphere casual and intimate.

Tickets for Saturday only are $50, while tickets for both events are $57.

To order tickets, please visit You can also reach the Round Table for tickets at 303-249-4336.

Russel H. Beatie will provide an overview of the two campaigns. Specifically he will focus on the corps commanders and how they performed in both campaigns. Beatie graduated from Princeton University and Columbia Law School, and has been a trial lawyer in New York City for more than three decades. His Civil War interest began at a young age when he read Douglas Southall Freeman’s Lee’s Lieutenants. A Kansas native and former lieutenant in the field artillery and infantry, Cap has lived in the New York City area most of his life. He has completed the third volume of his “Army of the Potomac” series, and is currently writing the fourth.

Books by Beatie include:
The Army of the Potomac: Birth of Command, November 1860-September 1861
Army of the Potomac, Volume II: McClellan Takes Command, September 1861-February 1862
Army of the Potomac: McClellan's First Campaign, March - May 1862

Stephen Recker will talk about the final phase of fighting at Antietam. He has titled his talk "IX Corps Final Attack: The Pickett's Charge of Antietam." Over the last 16 years Antietam National Battlefield has more than doubled in size due to the acquisition of properties such as the Otto Farm. The NPS continues to improve and interpret the south end of the battlefield which until recently was inaccessible to the public. On the afternoon of Sept 17, 1862 the final Union assault took place over this rolling terrain. The Federal IX Corps literally fought an uphill battle as they ascended 200 feet from the banks of Antietam Creek to the streets of Sharpsburg. They came within a hairsbreadth of cutting off Lee’s avenue of escape to the Potomac fords. The broken ground contributed greatly to the Confederate defense and allowed A.P. Hill’s arriving reinforcements to inflict a crushing flank attack, which stopped the Union advance. In his program, Stephen Recker will take you on a 'virtual' tour of that decisive ground using an early prototype of Virtual Antietam.

Recker left a twenty-year career as a professional guitarist to create Virtual Gettysburg, a critically acclaimed interactive Civil War battlefield tour, and its follow-up, Virtual Antietam, which will be released next year. An avid collector of early Antietam photography and relics, items from his collection can be seen in Civil War Times, America's Civil War, and on the new waysides at Antietam National Battlefield Park. He also gives tours for Antietam Battlefield Guides, a guide service he founded in partnership with Western Maryland Interpretive Association, the non-profit at Antietam. The program is modeled after the Gettysburg system of licensed battlefield guides. A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Recker was named a “Top 100 Producer” by AV Multimedia Producer Magazine, and recently produced a DVD about Little Bighorn.

There will be copies of Recker’s Virtual Gettysburg ($99), Antietam Artifacts - Postcards of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 ($19.95) and The Tipton Collection of Gettysburg Images ($19.95) available for sale at the symposium.

Bradley M. Gottfried will discuss the other invasion by Lee that culminated at the small Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. Gottfried is President of the College of Southern Maryland and has worked in higher education for more than three decades as a faculty member and administrator. As an avid Civil War Historian, Dr. Gottfried has authored many Gettysburg-related books and is currently working with Theodore P. Savas on a Gettysburg Campaign Encyclopedia.

Books by Gottfried include:
The Artillery of Gettysburg
Brigades of Gettysburg: The Union and Confederate Brigades at the Battle of Gettysburg
The Maps of Gettysburg: The Gettysburg Campaign June 3 – July 13
The Maps of First Bull Run
Roads to Gettysburg: Lee's Invasion of the North, 1863
Kearny's Own: The History of the First New Jersey Brigade in the Civil War
Stopping Pickett: The History of the Philadelphia Brigade
The Battle of Gettysburg: A Guided Tour with Edward J. Stackpole, and Wilbur Sturtevant Nye.

One of the foremost authorities on the Iron Brigade is Lance J. Herdegen and he will explain its activities in the two campaigns in a program titled, "From The Cornfield to McPherson's Woods: The Iron Brigade at Antietam and Gettysburg." Herdegen is an award-winning author and journalist. He is presently a historical consultant at the Civil War Museum of the Upper Middle West and an adjunct lecturer in the Carroll University History Department. Herdegen had a long career with United Press International (UPI) news wire service where he covered civil rights and national politics. He has also appeared on the History Channel’s “Civil War Journal”. His latest work, "Those Damned Black Hats!" The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign, recently won the Army Historical Foundation’s Distinguished Writing Award for Operational / Battle History.

Other books by Herdegen are:
The Men Stood Like Iron: How the Iron Brigade Won Its Name
Four Years with the Iron Brigade: The Civil War Journal of William Ray, Seventh Wisconsin Volunteers with Sherry Murphy
In the Bloody Railroad Cut at Gettysburg with William J.K. Beaudot

The final presenter, Timothy B. Smith, is primarily known as a Western theater historian but he also focuses on battlefield preservation. His talk, "Antietam and Gettysburg: Models of Battlefield Preservation," will compare the differing methods used to preserve Gettysburg and Antietam.

Smith received his BA and MA degrees in History from Ole Miss, which were followed by a Ph.D. from Mississippi State University in 2001. A veteran of the National Park Service, he currently teaches history at University of Tennessee at Martin. His main area of interest and specialty, besides the Battle of Shiloh, is the history of battlefield preservation. Smith has been published in numerous journals and is currently working on a history of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga Military Park, which will be available for preorders at the symposium.

Smith’s other books are:
The Golden Age of Battlefield Preservation: The Decade of the 1890's and the Establishment of America's First Five Military Parks
This Great Battlefield of Shiloh: History, Memory, and the Establishment of a Civil War National Military Park
The Untold Story of Shiloh: The Battle and the Battlefield
Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862
Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg
The Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged by D. W. Reed (Reprint)

1 comment:

Nick said...

Thanks for posting this.