Winter Programming at Gettysburg National Military Park

snowy cannon

Winter Lecture Series 2017
Controversies, Myths, and Misconceptions: Refighting the Civil War

Winter is a great time to visit and explore Gettysburg National Military Park. On January 7, 2017, the annual Winter Lecture Series begins. Featuring some of the best National Park Service Rangers and Historians from across the region, this 11-week series of hour-long talks will examine some of the more controversial and complex aspects of the of the American Civil War. From Emancipation to the legacy of George McClellan, the Lincoln Assassination to the battle of Gettysburg, the history of the American Civil War is fraught with myths, misconceptions, and controversies. The Winter Lecture Series is held at 1:o0 p.m. on weekends in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center from January 7th through March 12th, 2017.

For a complete schedule of all programs and featured speakers, check the park website or call the Visitor Information Desk at 717-334-1124 ext. 8023. Can’t make it to Gettysburg? All Winter Lectures will be filmed and made available on our park YouTube page: youtube.com/GettysburgNPS 

 Sat. Jan. 7
Longstreet’s Counter-march – In one of the more controversial moments of the battle of Gettysburg, Confederate General James Longstreet’s men did not attack until mid-afternoon on July 2nd.  This delay possibly cost victory for the Confederacy.   Join Ranger Matt Atkinson and explore what we do and do not know about the fateful march.  – Matt Atkinson, GNMP

Sun. Jan. 8
A New Birth of Freedom: Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation remains one of the most misunderstood and controversial events of the American Civil War. Many today still debate its legality and what it accomplished. Did Lincoln truly believe in the document, or was it simply a war measure meant to end the war quicker? What did the Emancipation Proclamation do and what did it mean? Join Ranger Dan Vermilya to address these questions and more, as we discuss what Lincoln called “the central act of my administration, and the great event of the 19th century.” – Daniel Vermilya, Gettysburg NMP

emancipation

Sat. Jan. 14
Is Gettysburg America’s Epic Tale, Central to Our National Identity?
 Throughout the history of civilization, the most significant nation-states and empires have celebrated an epic war story that formed the core of their identity. Whether it was Homer’s Iliad in Greece, Virgil’s Aeneid in Rome, the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt or England’s Beowulf and King Arthur, all of these informed and instructed successive generations what it meant to be Greek, Roman, Hebrew or English. Each one imparted great stories that promoted collective heritage and instilled moral lessons on how to live a noble and virtuous life. Each epic story embodied the essence of the people portrayed within its pages. Can the same be said for the Battle of Gettysburg? Does the battle encapsulate the nature of what it is to be an American? -Troy Harman, GNMP

Sun. Jan. 15
Mary Surratt: Guilty or Not Guilty
In 1865, Mary Surratt became the first woman executed by the Federal Government. Join Ranger Karlton Smith and examine Mary Surratt’s guilt or innocence in connection with the Lincoln Assassination conspiracy. Was she completely innocent or did she, as stated by President Andrew Johnson “keep the nest that hatched the egg?”- Karlton Smith, GNMP


Sat. Jan. 21
If These Things Could Talk: New Acquisitions
The American Civil War spawned a technological revolution of military arms and equipment. Join Ranger Tom Holbrook and examine original objects from the park’s museum collection, many of which have never before been publicly displayed.  – Tom Holbrook, GNMP 

Sun. Jan. 22
The Battle of Monocacy: The Fight that Saved Washington D.C – 
On July 9, 1864 Union troops led by General Lew Wallace clashed with Confederate veterans commanded by General Jubal Early. The fighting that would rage outside of Frederick, Maryland that day would be remembered as the battle that saved Washington D.C. – Tracy Evans, Monocacy National Battlefield

battle-of-monocacy

Sat. Jan. 28
Debacle at Balls Bluff: The Battle that Changed the War
On October 21, 1861, Union and Confederate forces fought a bloody battle outside of Leesburg, Virginia.  The Union defeat that resulted sent shock-waves throughout the country. Corpses floated down the Potomac River as far as Washington DC, the Union commander was imprisoned, and the powerful Committee on the Conduct of the War was created. Join Historian Christopher Gwinn for a look at this momentous and controversial battle.   – Christopher Gwinn, GNMP

Sun. Jan. 29
“Vincit Qui Patitur”: The Life of an American Armsmaker -Colonel Samuel Colt
The American Civil War saw transformative industrial development on an unprecedented scale.  Inventor Samuel Colt obtained his first revolver patent at the age of 22; and during the Civil War, his company manufactured and sold over 375,000 of “The World’s Right Arm” to the Union. You may know the guns. But just who was this Hartford boy-genius, and what is his story? – Bert Barnett, GNMP

Sat. Feb. 4
“…one of the most brilliant victories of the war turned into one of the most disgraceful defeats….” The Fatal Halt at Cedar Creek

Following one of the riskiest and most audacious assaults of the entire American Civil War, Lt. Gen. Jubal Early and his Army of the Valley seemingly won an improbable victory at Cedar Creek.  Yet by nightfall, the Confederate army had suffered a near complete defeat and was in full retreat.  What caused this stunning reversal was the most controversial decision Early made during the entire 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign, if not his entire military career.  Known simply as “The Fatal Halt,” this decision instantly generated acrimonious debate that continued for decades.  – Eric Campbell, Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP

Sun. Feb. 5

“The Dawn of Peace”- Grant, Lee and the Lore of Appomattox
On April 9, 1865, a stoic General Robert E. Lee examined the terms written by General Ulysses S. Grant, leaned over the table and signed his name in agreement. It was the end of the Army of Northern Virginia and signpost of the last gasp of the Confederacy. What the two generals took away from their meeting in Wilmer McClean’s parlor and the events that followed have been revered and retold, sometimes quite differently from the reality of the occasion. Legends are often more intriguing than reality and we’ll examine a few of those legends, separating fact from fiction in the troubled peace that followed.  – John Heiser, GNMP

Sat. Feb. 11
The Controversial Court Martial of Fitz John Porter – After the Battle of Second Manassas, Porter garnered much of the blame for the defeat.  He was subsequently court martialed and cashiered for his conduct during the battle.  He spent the next 25 years trying to exonerate his name.  Join Matt Atkinson and explore this interesting and controversial topic. – Matt Atkinson, GNMP

Sun. Feb. 12
“A Simple Hop, Skip, and Jump?” Burnside and His Bridge at Antietam: A Reexamination
Major General Ambrose E. Burnside ranks among the most maligned generals of the American Civil War and much of the criticism leveled against him stems from his actions during the September 17, 1862, Battle of Antietam, and especially his efforts at storming the Burnside Bridge. But is this popular criticism of Burnside fair? Join John Hoptak for a new look at the role and actions of Ambrose Burnside and the soldiers of his 9th Corps during the war’s Bloodiest Day. – John Hoptak, GNMP

burnside

Sat. Feb. 18
On the McClellan Go Round—George McClellan and the Antietam Campaign
George Brinton McClellan—one of the Civil War’s most controversial and disliked generals—has been the subject of scorn and derision for decades. Frequently near or at the top of “worst generals” lists, historians typically use words such as coward, traitor, or foolish to describe this former commander of the Army of the Potomac. But is the story we all seem to know so well correct? Does George McClellan deserve the reputation he has today? Join Ranger Dan Vermilya for a look at McClellan’s actions in the pivotal Antietam Campaign, the most important of McClellan’s military career, to see why when it comes to the “Young Napoleon” history tends to be ruled by perceptions and not realities.  – Daniel Vermilya, GNMP

Sun. Feb 19
Longstreet & Huger: The Battle of Seven Pines, May 31 – June 1, 1862
The battle of Seven Pines cannot be considered a Confederate success. Who was to blame? Was it James Longstreet, Benjamin Huger, or someone else? This program will examine some of charges and counter-charges made at the time and in the years since the battle and will explore how historians have interpreted the event.  – Karlton Smith, GNMP

Sat. Feb. 25
A Load of Buell? Another Look at The Cannoneer
Many stories have been spun about the American Civil War; some of them better than others.  In the modern marketplace, everything from AK-47 wielding Confederates to a vampire-slaying Lincolns permeates the battlefields in search of profit.  With this as a backdrop, let us re-evaluate the scorned story of one soldier of the Union in “A Load of Buell?”  – Another Look at The Cannoneer.– Bert Barnett, GNMP

Sun. Feb. 26
Thomas Francis Meagher – Angie Atkinson, GNMP
From his exile to Van Diemen’s Land to the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death, Thomas Francis Meagher’s life was captivating and mystifying. Dedication to his men was unquestionable, but rumors of over indulgence darkened his reputation both on and off the battlefield. Join Angie Atkinson as she delves into Gen. Meagher’s complicated history and examines some of the lingering questions regarding his leadership, actions, and untimely passing.

Sat. March 4
“In violation of the laws and customs of war:” Andersonville and the Trial of Henry Wirz
The American Civil War claimed the lives of nearly 700,000 Americans. 13,000 of those deaths occurred in one place, more deaths than on any battlefield of the war. That place was Andersonville Prison. Upon the war’s conclusion, the Federal Government wanted answers to the atrocities committed at this Confederate-operated prison while bringing the perpetrators of such war crimes to justice. Their answers were found in the camp’s prison stockade commander: Henry Wirz.
– Caitlin Brown, GNMP

andersonville

Sun. March 5
“It was, indeed, a scene of unsurpassed grandeur and majesty” – An Audio-Visual Presentation of the National Park Service’s Coverage of the 150thAnniversary of the American Civil War. Over the past six years, the National Park Service has covered the commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War through extensive photography and video projects. From behind the camera, Jason Martz and a team of passionate and dedicated staff and volunteers have spent countless hours capturing these once-in-a-lifetime events. They have been used for immediate use on web and social media sites for a worldwide audience and have been saved and cataloged for ages to come. Beginning with the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) in July, 2011, and ending with the anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination, Jason will highlight some of the most remarkable and stunning pictures and videos from the past five years.  – Jason Martz, GNMP

Sat. March 11
How Does The Civil War Qualify as the First Modern War?
For 5,800 years of recorded history, wars were fought with pre-modern forms of transportation and communication, where the world was powered by windmills, watermills, literal horse power and human muscle, However, this all changed with the invention of the steam engine and its implementation in the 19th century. In fifty short years, macadamized roads, canals, steam trains, steam boats, steam presses and telegraph communication revolutionized the transfer of energy and power. By the 1850s, every aspect of western civilization looked and functioned differently than it had for thousands of years. It was in this milieu the Civil War was fought. What did the first modern war look like and how did it differ from previous wars? How did wartime observations by foreign emissaries alter the course of future wars?
– Troy Harman, GNMP

Sun. March 12
RAIN DATE

snowy sat.

The Gettysburg Battlefield Book Series

Every Saturday, January 7th to March 11th
11:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Ford Education Center
Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center

Gettysburg National Military Park is pleased to announce the selections for the 2017 Gettysburg Battlefield Book Series! Meeting 11:00 AM -12:00 AM, every Saturday from January 7 to March 11 this series will examine significant works of history and literature on topics related to the Battle of Gettysburg and the American Civil War. We invite you to read along over the course of the winter before attending the informal one hour discussions in the Ford Education Center of the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. The Park staff will lead the meetings, providing a brief overview of that week’s topic and discuss the chapters read.

From January 7 to February 4 we will examine our first book, The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara. Winner of the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, it is an account of the battle of Gettysburg from the perspective of some of the key figures who were involved in the climactic event.

We hope you will join us this winter, read along, and share your thoughts and perspectives on these two fascinating books.killer-angels

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
January 7 – February 4

January 7            Part 1: June 30
–  with Ranger Chris Gwinn

January 14          Part 2: The First Day
– with Ranger Daniel Vermilya

January 21          Part 3: The Second Day
–  with Ranger John Nicholas

January 28          Part 4: The Third Day
 with Ranger Caitlin Brown

February 4          A Conversation with Jeff Shaara

 

sickles-at-gettysburg


Sickles at Gettysburg by James Hessler
February 6 – March 11th

February 11            Chapter 1-3: (Pages 1-68)
with Ranger Chris Gwinn

February 18           Chapter 4-7 (Pages 69-142)
with Ranger Daniel Vermilya

February 25          Chapter 8-11 (Pages 143 – 212)
with Ranger Matt Atkinson

March 4             Chapter 12-15 (Pages 213-300)
with Ranger John Hoptak

March 11        Chapter 16-Epilogue (Pages 301-406)    A Conversation with James Hessler

Karen Wood

 Winter Reading Adventures

For children ages 5 to 10, and their families!
Every Saturday, January 7th to March 11th
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM
Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center

Our new Winter Reading Adventures program is for kids who LOVE to read, parents who WANT their kids to love to read, and for budding history buffs everywhere! Best of all, it’s FREE!

Each Saturday morning, a park educator will read aloud a picture book, or parts of a chapter book (see this winter’s exciting titles below), followed by an indoor game, activity, or visitor from the past… and then instructions for an outdoor winter adventure with your family!

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…

  1. READ a new book with a park educator.
  2. MEET a guest from the past, or CREATE something special from the book.
  3. EXPLORE an extra special place at Gettysburg National Military Park.

Some of our winter reading adventures include: Marching like a Civil War soldier;Cooking up some corn bread, Singing campfire songs like “Goober Peas”; Going on a museum treasure hunt; Meeting General Robert E. Lee; Dressing up like President Lincoln; Or trying out a hoop skirt and corset!

WHO?                   YOU!  Children ages 5 to 10 and their families.
WHAT?                Winter Reading Adventures program, a FREE history book club just for kids!
WHEN?                Every Saturday morning at 11:00 from January 7 through March 11.
WHERE?             Theater inside the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor                                   Center

Discounts for your entire purchase, including the weekly book selections, are available for participants in our Museum Bookstore, helping them to achieve their school’s independent reading objectives.  PLUS kids who participate in five or more winter reading adventures will receive a special SOLDIER’S HAVERSACK to carry their new books around!

So get your kids reading, get your kids outdoors, and get your kids into history… and have a family winter reading adventure with us at Gettysburg National Military Park!

January 7, 2017                 B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet by Patricia Bauer

January 14, 2017               The Patchwork Path by Bettye Stroud

January 21, 2017               Civil War on Sunday (Chapters 1-5) by Mary Pope Osborne

January 28, 2017              Civil War on Sunday (Chapters 6-10) by Mary Pope Osborne

February 4, 2017               Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds
by Marissa Moss and John Hendrix

February 11, 2017             Pink & Say by Patricia Polanco

February 18, 2017            I Am Abraham Lincoln by Brad Meltzer

February 25, 2017            Voices of Gettysburg by Sherry Garland

March 4, 2017                    The Silent Witness: A True Story of the Civil War
by Robin Friedman

March 11, 2017                   The Last Brother: A Civil War Tale by Trinka Hakes Noble

Message to parents:  The Civil War was a real event and horrific in nature… and it was brought about by issues such as slavery that will be new and somewhat difficult for young children to grasp.  Some of our book selections introduce and discuss these topics in an age-appropriate way, but we recommend that you spend some time after the program answering any questions they might have and exploring the issues with other books. 

 Mid-Winter Reminder

Farms of Gettysburg

Sunday, March 12th to  Sunday, April 2nd
1:00 PM – 1:45 PM
Ford Education Center
Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center

Before it was a battlefield it was a home. Join a Park Ranger in the Ford Education Center at Gettysburg National Military Park and discover the fascinating stories of the Farms of the Battlefield, and the people who called them home.

Sunday, March 12 –Lydia Leister Farm

Leister House- Meade's HQ

Saturday, March 18 –William Culp Farm

culp

Sunday, March 19 –George Weikert Farm

Weikert farmhouse roof

Saturday, March 25 – Basil Biggs Farm

Frey Farm

Sunday, March 26 – Abraham Brian Farm

Gettysburg_Bryan_house

Saturday, April 1 –Moses McClean Farm

McClean Farm House - Toward N.jpg

Sunday, April 2 –  Joseph Sherfy Farm

sherfy

About The Staff

Staff of Gettysburg National Military Park
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s