From this past Wednesday through Sunday, I participated in Ted Alexander’s Chambersburg Civil War Seminar. It was a great time not only getting to stomp lots of battlefield ground, but meeting old friends and making new ones. I finally got to meet Jeffry Wert – Eric and myself had a great panel discussion with Jeff to close the event on Sunday morning. Jeff is a terrific guy and we got to talk a great deal when Eric and I took him to dinner at Dave and Jane’s Crab House near the Mason Dixon line south of Fairfield on Saturday night. There we met Gettysburg locals Dave Moore and his wife Carol, and the Master of Adams County – Dean Shultz – and his wife Judy also met us for dinner. Yes, I shocked everyone again with my eating prowess and we left the table in quite a mess! Of course, this great seafood restaurant is used to that.
I made fast friends with the folks who work Ted’s seminar and do so much work behind the scenes to make it a terrific and successful event year after year. It was wonderful meeting folks such as Ethan Rafuse, John Schildt, and Steve French. Steve and I have corresponded over the years but it’s always nice when you get to shake the hand of a friend.
On Thursday, Eric and I gave about 20 folks a full-day tour of Jeb Stuart’s ride to Gettysburg based on our first book, and at the end we threw in a tour of Fairfield for them as well. On Friday Eric and I took the day to make a run to DC, where we got to see Forts Stevens and DeRussy. DeRussy sits in the heavy woods in Rock Creek State Park, and I was amazed that one is able to walk all over the parapets. We visited the beautifully restored Lincoln Cottage at the Soldier’s Home, and visit that I recommend to all.
On Saturday, after spending the morning in Gettysburg, Eric (with a little assist from me) gave a tour of South Cavalry Field – Merritt’s and Farnsworth’s actions – to a group of about 8 folks. At the end, we threw in another tour of Fairfield for this group, and I spent a little time at the end wrapping up all the events of the Reserve Brigade for the folks.
Saturday morning, Eric and I joined Jeff Wert for a panel discussion of Stuart’s role in the Gettysburg Campaign, and then we had lunch and parted ways. It was a wonderful four days and I learned much more than I taught – which is always a winner for me. Once again, I bought way too many books, and I’m hoping that Jim McLean of Butternut&Blue names that new wing on his house after me…
Ted Alexander is planning several cavalry-related topics for next year, so I’m very much looking forward to participating in future events. Everyone involved deserves a hearty congrats for all their hard work in making the event a rousing success, and for raising some $5000 for battlefield preservation. If you haven’t attended this event, please consider doing so.