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A Sacred Trust: Gettysburg Perspectives Lecture Series

July 1, 2 & 3, 2011

At Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center

1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA


The Gettysburg Foundation is pleased to present our annual lecture series featuring renowned authors, historians, National Park Service rangers and others who share perspectives on the Battle of Gettysburg and events of 1861, the first year of the American Civil War on the 150th Anniversary.  Authors will be available after their lectures for book signings.


Friday, July 1

10:30 a.m.  “A Strong and Sudden Onslaught: The Cavalry Action at Hanover, PA” with John Krepps, Author and Licensed Battlefield Guide

Overview of General J. E. B. Stuart’s Confederate cavalry movements during late June 1863 along with an analysis of Stuart’s fight in Hanover with the Union forces of General H. Judson Kilpatrick. The effects of Stuart’s expedition on the Gettysburg Campaign will be considered.  Focus will also be placed on the hardships endured by the cavalrymen and horses during the campaign, and the effects on the local civilian population


11:30 a.m.  “Gettysburg and Symbolic Truth: Monuments are Having Conversations in Broad Daylight” with Troy Harman, NPS Park Ranger and Author

There is a difference between how events transpired in real-time and memorials which depict them afterwards. Memorials also adroitly narrow great issues down to simple symbolic messages that connect the temporal with the otherworldly, taking the deepest human vibes and transcending their meaning across time and space.  If students of the battle are tuned into the right frequency, an eternal conversation can be heard in broad daylight among the stone edifices at Gettysburg.


12:30 p.m.  “Robert E. Lee, Gettysburg and the Elements of Confederate Defeat” with Dr. Ethan Rafuse, Professor of Military History, US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS and Author

When the Army of Northern Virginia crossed the Potomac River in June 1863, Robert E. Lee well understood he was running high risks and playing for high stakes.  Indeed, after the war Lee was recorded as declaring he understood he was “playing a very bold game, but it was the only possible one.”  Was this the case?  This talk will consider this question as part of a broad examination of Lee’s generalship during the Gettysburg Campaign and the factors–above all the lessons of history–that shaped it.  It will describe how the factors that shaped Lee’s generalship were not only evident in the course and outcome of the Gettysburg Campaign, but the war in the East as a whole.


1:30 p.m.  “Murder at Dawn: The Life and Death of Colonel Ellsworth” with Adam Goodheart, Author, Historian, Journalist, Travel Writer

Already a close friend of Lincoln and a national celebrity, Elmer Ellsworth was killed just weeks into the Civil War, making him the first hero and martyr of the Union cause. His death was one of the most tragic and dramatic moments in the war’s first year. In an illustrated lecture, historian Adam Goodheart will share the story as told in his recent New York Times bestselling book, “1861: The Civil War Awakening.”


2:30 p.m.  “Who Was George G. Meade?” with Dr. Allen Guelzo, Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College and Author

George Gordon Meade won fame as the victor of the Battle of Gettysburg, but not lasting fame. Unlike the commanders of other great battles (Wellington at Waterloo, Eisenhower at D-Day), Meade has always stood in the shadow of the man who lost the battle, Robert E. Lee. The reasons for this mysterious neglect have a great deal to do with Meade’s politics, his tactical performance, and his personality, and they form one of the most puzzling aspects of “the secret history of the battle of Gettysburg.”


3:30 p.m.  “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Revisionist?” with Dr. Edward T. Linenthal, Professor of History and Editor, Journal of American History, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana and Author

The term “revisionist” is used in popular parlance as accusatory, indicating someone willing to play fast and loose with historical facts (and by inference) truths for any number of nefarious purposes. Using examples from his studies of American battlefields and a variety of other historic sites, Linenthal will argue for a very different understanding of revisionism as an indispensable and inevitable component of historical work.

4:30 p.m.       “What is the New Birth of Freedom?” with Dr. Will Morrisey, Author and William and Patricia LaMothe Chair in the United States Constitution at Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan

At Gettysburg, Lincoln spoke of “a new birth of freedom” in America as the purpose of a struggle over the character of the American regime itself.  By extending the principle of self-government to the former slaves, American citizens at that same time and by that act extend it more fully in and for themselves.


Saturday, July 2

9:30 a.m.  “I had been under fire…and had felt no inclination to run’” Patrick O’Rorke at First Bull Run” with Author Harry Smeltzer

Patrick O’Rorke is familiar to most of us as one of the saviors of Little Round Top. But in July 1861 he was a new graduate of the U. S. Military Academy and a staff officer at First Bull Run. “I had been under fire…and had felt no inclination to run” looks at his first experiences under enemy fire.


10:30 a.m.  “The George Spangler Farm: 11th Army Corps Field Hospital” with Wayne Motts, Executive Director of the Adams County Historical Society, Author and Licensed Battlefield Guide

Seized by Union forces of the 11th Army Corps on July 1, 1863, the previously tranquil farm of George Spangler was turned into an immense field hospital. From the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, and for five weeks afterwards, the Spangler Farm hosted some 1,900 wounded soldiers of both sides. This farm is one of the most important and preserved hospital sites from the Battle of Gettysburg. Join historian and licensed guide Wayne E. Motts as he presents the fascinating history of this significant property purchased by the Gettysburg Foundation in 2008. 


11:30 a.m.  “Last to Leave the Field: Sergeant Henry Hayward’s Civil War” with Dr. Timothy Orr, Professor of History at Old Dominion University and Author

This presentation will cover the personal war stories of First Sergeant Ambrose Henry Hayward, a 21-year-old needle-maker from Philadelphia, and a member of the 28th Pennsylvania, a regiment that served for more than three years with Brigadier General John Geary’s “White Star Division.” From Antietam to Gettysburg to Chancellorsville, Hayward’s letters vividly detail his participation in a dozen Civil War battles, unveiling the mind-set of a soldier seared by the horrors of combat even as he kept his faith in the cause.


12:30 p.m.  “The Women of Gettysburg” with Dr. Bradley Gottfried, President of the College of Southern Maryland and Author

The role of women in the Gettysburg Campaign is largely overlooked.  Yet, they played an important role during and after the battle, when their talents were needed the most.  This presentation will highlight the deeds of several women who helped sacrificed to help others in need.


1:30 p.m.         “Varina Davis, First Lady of the Confederacy” with Dr. Joan E. Cashin, Associate Professor of History at Ohio State University and Author

Cashin will discuss Varina Howell Davis, who was deeply conflicted about the War.  Davis was a conservative Unionist, both pro-Union and pro-slavery, and she was never comfortable serving as First Lady of the Confederacy.  After her husband died in 1889, Davis moved to New York City, where she worked as a journalist until her own death in 1906.  Cashin explores the long, dramatic life of this complex human being.


2:30 p.m.  “We Were There! The Smithsonian and the Civil War” with James G. Barber, Historian at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Curator of the Gallery’s Time magazine collection of original cover art and Author.

This talk will include a presentation of the Smithsonian’s role in the Civil War and will highlight a selection of Civil War artifacts—many are national treasures—collected over the years from the time of the war itself.


3:30 p.m.  “A Filmmaker’s Journal Through the Civil War” with Director Ron Maxwell


4:30 p.m.  “From These Honored Dead”: The History & Memory of the Gettysburg Battlefield with Dr. Jennifer M. Murray, Professor of History, Coastal Carolina University, Myrtle Beach, SC and Former NPS Ranger

Dr. Jennifer Murray’s program will explore the 148-year history of the Gettysburg Battlefield.  Her presentation will examine preservation, interpretation, and memory controversies of America’s most “hallowed ground” between 1863 and 2011.


Sunday, July 3

9:30 a.m.         “The Gettysburg Story: This Land Will Speak To You” with Gabor S. Boritt, Author, Co-Author/Editor of 16 books and Jake Boritt, Writer and Producer

In “The Gettysburg Story: Battlefield Auto Tour” historian Gabor Boritt and filmmaker Jake Boritt teamed with actor Stephen Lang (“Avatar,” “Gods & Generals,” “Gettysburg”) to produce a fresh, dramatic new telling of the epic battle and Lincoln’s speech.  Both Gabor and Jake Boritt will share scenes from the bestselling Auto Tour and discuss future directions for “The Gettysburg Story” project on the big and small screens. A question and answer sessions and signing follows.


10:30 a.m.  “The Confederate Soldier at Vicksburg” with Matt Atkinson, NPS Ranger and Author

The Vicksburg Campaign is remembered for the guts, tenacity, and good leadership of Ulysses S. Grant and his Union Army.  But what about the other side?  How did the Confederate soldiers perceive their leadership and fate in the campaign?  Join Matt Atkinson as we explore this relatively unknown topic.


11:30 a.m.   National Park Service Chief Historian Emeritus Ed Bearss

A United States Marine Corps veteran of World War II, Ed Bearss is a military historian and author known for his work on the American Civil War and World War II. He served as Chief Historian of the National Park Service from 1981 to 1994. After his retirement he received the title Chief Historian Emeritus, which he holds to this day. Bearss is the author of numerous books and articles on the Civil War including “Fields of Honor: Pivotal Battles of the Civil War” (2008); and his most recent, “Receding Tide: Vicksburg and Gettysburg- The Campaigns That Changed the Civil War” (2010), co-written with Parker Hills. Currently, Bearss, in his eighties, continues to lead numerous tours—traveling as many as 200 days per year—around the United States, the Pacific, and Europe. He routinely outpaces his much younger guests in charging over rough terrain, recreating the color of famous infantry and cavalry attacks.


1:30 p.m.  “Antietam’s Bloody Prelude: The Battle of South Mountain” with John Hoptak, NPS Ranger at Antietam National Battlefield and Author

John Hoptak will discuss in depth the motivations behind Lee’s first invasion of Union soil, drawing comparisons to the Gettysburg Campaign, the problems he encountered once in Maryland, including McClellan’s aggressive pursuit. Special attention will be paid to the September 14, 1862, Battle of South Mountain, an important though entirely overlooked fight, which has long languished in the shadows of Antietam. Comparisons and contrasts will be drawn to the 1863 Gettysburg Campaign.  

2:30 p.m.  “Lee and His Retreat from Gettysburg” with Kent Masterson Brown, Attorney, Author, Producer of Historic Documentaries and First Chairman of the Gettysburg National Military Park Advisory Commission

This lecture is a study of the generalship of Robert E. Lee as evidenced by what Brown uncovered in his research and writing of the book, “Retreat From Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign.”  It covers the invasion of Pennsylvania and Lee’s principal reasons for doing so, the preparations for and conduct of the Army’s retreat from Gettysburg and the movement of more than fifty-seven miles of quartermaster, subsistence, ordnance and ambulance wagon trains to and across the Potomac River.  The lecture will explore Lee’s personality and character, as well as his extraordinarily disciplined and demanding command of the Army and its officers.  It will explore the great military theorists of the 19th Century and how Lee followed their writings as though they were committed to memory.


3:30 p.m.  “Preservation By the Parcel: The On-Going Legacy of the Land By Citizen Volunteers” with Barbara Finfrock, Vice Chair of the Gettysburg Foundation Board of Directors and Author

Gettysburg was private land in 1861 before the American Civil War brought turmoil to citizens, before citizens became soldiers, before soldiers fought, before soldiers died for their beliefs, and before volunteers return again and again to be part of preservation.  Educators and preservationists have accepted an on-going duty to the land called Gettysburg and to the memories of those who made it sacred ground in 1863.  This program will explore just a few of the well-known pieces of property to learn what that land was like in 1861 before the Battle of Gettysburg, its significance during the 1863 battle, and why we hold it “sacred” today – what it means to be part of the “Sacred Trust” at Gettysburg.


4:30 p.m.  “A.P. Hill: From Confederate General to U.S. Army Base” with Patrick Falci

Mr. Falci is best known to many for his portrayal of Confederate General A.P. Hill in the movie “Gettysburg.” He served as Director Ron Maxwell’s historical advisor, as historical advisor for the audio-book release of Michael Shaara’s “The Killer Angels” and for Jeffrey Shaara’s work on “Gods and Generals.” Today he will take us through A.P. Hill’s life from Confederate General to U.S. Army Base.


For more information: or 717-338-1243