The Chambersburg Civil War Seminar series comes to Sharpsburg this month with more than 40 speakers and guides, and runs over 5 days — July 25th thru 29th. This will be the most comprehensive such event held in recent memory, and promises something for every student of the Battle of Antietam.

Featured speakers and tour guides include most of the very best on the subject including Tom Clemens, Ed Bearrs, John Schildt, John Priest, Ted Alexander, REL Krick, Dennis Frye, Ethan Rafuse, Mark Snell, Perry Jamieson, and just about the entire Battlefield staff including fellow bloggers Hoptak and Gentile.

Bonus events include a sneak-peek at Virtual Antietam with Stephen Recker, the famous Paul Chiles Artillery Hell tour, and Pat Falci does AP Hill.

See the organizer’s home page for more details and registration information.

3 Responses to “Antietam seminar arriving”

  1. Don says:


    I’ll be making my first trip to Antietam on Sunday. Any tips on preparations for the trip (other than reading extensively from aotw, of course) and mandatory stops? What is the best single-volume history of the campaign, in your opinion?

    I’m doing some work on the cavalry breakout from Harper’s Ferry, but am trying to make that stop on Friday so I can focus on the battlefield proper on Sunday.

  2. Brian says:

    Hi Don,

    I envy you the Sunday tour. Your first views will be instructive, I’m certain. No amount of reading will prepare you for the soldier’s view from the ground. Or, more truly, what the soldiers couldn’t see…

    My favorite single volume narrative for the battle is Sears’ Landscape Turned Red. It suffers from some factual defects, and Sears positively foams at the mouth for McClellan, but nobody has written a better overview.

    The best tour book is Luvaas and Nelson’s Guide. They use OR excerpts to do the talking, and provide excellent driving directions and detail map segments. South Mountain, Harpers Ferry, and Shepherdstown actions included.

    For your first time at the field, and with only one day, I’d recommend you use the Park’s tour route. Taped tours (and the books above) are available in the Visitor’s Center bookstore. That’ll hit all the highlights including famous cornfield, sunken lane, and stone bridge. Try to catch at least one of the Ranger talks/hikes, too. See if you can find Mannie, if he’s guiding on Sunday.

    Get out of your car at the Middle (modern) Bridge over the Antietam and look for the historical tablets for the Federal Cavalry units, if that would be interesting. Most are along Rte 34 — Boonsboro Pike — at the east edge of the park. [more about Tablets]

    I’ve scanned and posted the current Park brochure, if you want to get a jump on it.

    The Park also hosts professional tour guides, and these are really the best way to go, but there’s not much time to arrange, and there is a fee. Check with Stephen Recker if interested.

  3. Don says:

    Thanks very much for the tips, Brian, that helps a great deal.

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