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OCT 20 - 23, 2022


Welcome to our fall 2022 program, Cavalry in the Civil War. This is the concluding event of our three-year study of infantry, artillery, and cavalry in the Civil War. Six expert historians in the field of Civil War history will cover diverse topics such the evolution of cavalry doctrine and tactics, how advances in technology drove the evolution of Civil War cavalry tactics and more.


Tours will include visits to the Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville battlefields of June 17-21, 1863, led by Bob O’Neill, as well as visits to the accessible cavalry battlefields at Gettysburg (accessibility is limited due to construction on the battlefield), led by Licensed Battlefield Guide James A. Hessler and Eric Wittenberg. You should take away a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of cavalry tactics by the end of what promises to be an outstanding program.

Featuring speakers/guides Scott Patchan, Jim Hessler, Bob O'Neill, Chris Stowe,

Melissa Weeks and Eric Wittenberg.

**EARLY BIRD** Save $30 when you register for the Members or Non-Members Conference Package by September 16. Use code EARLYBIRD22 for Members and EARLYBIRD21 for Non-members.

General Information:

· Conference based at Hampton Inn at 955 Lesher Rd., Chambersburg, Pa 17202.

· Deluxe continental breakfast for Hampton Inn guests each morning. 

 All participants are responsible for arranging hotel accommodations for the seminar, which is not included in tour price. $106/night double occupancy plus tax. Special pricing for participants based on room availability. When making reservations, mention Chambersburg Civil War Seminars. Use code CWS online. Must register by October 10, 2022 for group rate.

· Check-In will be in the hotel lobby about 1 hour before the day’s activities begin. You only need to check-in once.

· Each participant will receive a packet of tactical maps & a name badge at check-in

· Classroom sessions will be held in the Hampton Inn conference room.

· Bus tours will leave from the Hampton Inn parking lot at the specified time.

· Civil War & More Book Vendor available during conference selling works by our speakers. Please patronize this local business!

Thursday, October 20

· Bus leaves from Hampton Inn

· Lunch included

· Return by 5 p.m.

· Dinner on your own


8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. “The Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville: Small But Important Riots": Tour led by Bob O'Neill



Bus Tour Description:

On June 17, 19, and 21, 1863, the cavalries of the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac met in spirited clashes. Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart had the important task of keeping the newly active and effective Union horse soldiers from finding the dispositions of the Army of Northern Virginia as it made its way down the Shenandoah Valley, headed for the Potomac River crossings and its ultimate date with destiny in Pennsylvania. These often-overlooked but crucial engagements kept the blue clad cavalry tied up and prevented Brig. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton, the Army of the Potomac’s new cavalry commander, from locating Robert E. Lee’s army. This tour will visit all pertinent locations associated with these battles.


Sites to visit:

· The Furr farm, where the heaviest fighting of the Battle of Aldie occurred

· The location of the June 18 rout of the 1st Rhode Island Cavalry

· The Mount Defiance main battlefield at Middleburg

· The Goose Creek brigade battlefield site associated with the Battle of Upperville

· The Trappe Road battlefield associated with the Battle of Upperville

· Vineyard Hill, where the heaviest fighting of the Battle of Upperville occurred


Dinner on your own.


7 - 9 p.m. Mingling in North/South Conference Room. Book Vendor Civil War & More on site.

Friday, October 21

8:30  a.m.—12 p.m.  Morning Lectures

· Lectures held at Hampton Inn’s North/South Room at 955 Lesher Road in Chambersburg.

· Book Vendor, Civil War & More on site

Lectures include:

· Welcome & Introduction by Eric Wittenberg, program coordinator


“A Multitude of Roles: The Evolution of Cavalry in the Modern Western World” by Chris Stowe

 Cavalry held a central place in the conduct of military operations for thousands of years across multiple continents. Stowe’s presentation focuses upon the development of cavalry doctrine, tactics, and organizations over some seven centuries preceding the American Civil War. It places special emphasis upon social and cultural factors that encouraged—and at times limited—cavalry’s employment in both campaign and battle.

“How advances in technology drove the evolution of cavalry tactics” by Eric Wittenberg

Our program coordinator will describe how advances in technology, particularly with the development of repeating carbines, drove the evolution of cavalry tactics during the Civil War. The traditional roles of cavalry—scouting, screening, and reconnaissance—became secondary to fighting because of the proliferation of repeating weapons. By the end of the Civil War, the primary role of the cavalry was to serve as a mobile strike force equipped with a great deal of firepower, so much so, that by the spring of 1865, the tactics of Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson’s Cavalry Corps served as a prototype for the armored blitzkrieg tactics of World War II.


“A Tale of Two Raids” by Bob O’Neill

A Tale of Two Raids, is drawn from Chasing Jeb Stuart and John Mosby. Bob will discuss Jeb Stuart’s Christmas Raid of 1862 and a phantom raid of 1863. Stuart’s earlier raids in June and October 1862 had humiliated Maj. Gen. George McClellan and his Army of the Potomac, while his Catlett Station Raid in August 1862 had embarrassed Maj. Gen. John Pope and his Army of Virginia.  Stuart’s Christmas Raid was less successful than these earlier forays.  The raid received little press coverage at the time, and Stuart did not write his report of the affair until February 1864.  Historians have largely followed suit and ignored the raid.  To do so is a mistake.

The Christmas Raid is notable for two reasons; the raid marked the beginning of John Mosby’s career as a partisan ranger, and Stuart’s audacity left a lasting mark on the Union psyche.  Bob will discuss the Christmas Raid in some detail, including the purpose of the raid, the attacks on Union outposts at the towns of Dumfries and Occoquan, Virginia, the very successful Union response and the brief skirmish near Fairfax Court House.  He will then explain the forgotten result of the raid – the fear of another raid on the capital. Stuart had, in his two Rides around McClellan, avoided, to the extent possible, engaging Union troops.  In his Christmas Raid he challenged the Union troops defending the capital, choosing to go right through their lines rather than around them.  In doing so he came within sight of the inner fortifications ringing the city.  Union commanders never forgot Stuart’s challenge. Thus, when a report reached the Union high command in May 1863, that Confederate cavalry was planning to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln and members of his cabinet, the threat could not be ignored. This ‘phantom raid’ to kidnap Lincoln consumed the War Department, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker and Maj. Gen. Samuel Heintzelman, commanding the Department of Washington, from mid-May until after the opening shots were fired at Gettysburg.  Bob will dust off this forgotten ‘phantom raid’ and place the Union response within the context of the Gettysburg Campaign.


12 - 2 p.m. Lunch on your own


2—5 p.m.  Afternoon Lectures

· Lectures held at Hampton Inn’s North/South Room at 955 Lesher Road. 


Presentation by sponsor Franklin County Visitors Bureau


“J.E.B. Stuart: A Rendezvous with Destiny” by Melissa Weeks

Melissa Weeks will discuss the significance of J. E. B. Stuart’s command at the opening of the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse in May of 1864.

The Most Inspiring Scene of Martial Grandeur:  The U.S. Cavalry at the Last Battle of Winchester by Scott Patchan

In August of 1864, Maj. Gen. Philip Henry Sheridan, went to the Shenandoah Valley to subdue General Robert E. Lee’s “Bad Old Man” Jubal Early who had raided to the gates of Washington on July 12 and burned Chambersburg Pennsylvania to the ground. Early ran off a string of victories starting with Lynchburg on June 17, Monocacy July 9, Snickers Gap July 18 and Second Kernstown July 24. Sheridan arrived in the Valley with a mixed record as the commander of the Army of the Potomac’s Cavalry Corps. In the Valley, Sheridan would utilize his cavalry as an independent strike force that proved to be the decisive element in the Valley Campaign. The Union Cavalry engaged the Southern infantry and cavalry on an almost daily basis, quickly making Early’s horsemen and irrelevant force in the Valley and even challenging the supremacy of Stonewall Jackson’s old “Foot Cavalry.” This campaign also saw the growth of Sheridan’s Cavalry into the force that played a crucial role in the Appomattox Campaign, seeing the continued growth of horsemen such as Wesley Merritt, George Custer, Thomas Devin and others. The efforts would culminate in the crushing cavalry charge at the Last Battle of Winchester on September 19 where they sent Early’s army whirling through Winchester. They would go on to achieve further fame in the Valley in victories at Tom’s Brook and Cedar Creek, but Winchester marked the moment that Sheridan’s Cavalry achieved battlefield supremacy and turned a stalled battle into a rousing Union victory that helped propel Abraham Lincoln to reelection that fall.


5 p.m. Dinner included

7 p.m. “Custer’s Luck: The Rise and Fall of George Armstrong Custer” by James Hessler

George Armstrong Custer is among the most famous individuals to participate in the Gettysburg Campaign. Yet, much of what most people think they know about Custer is a mixture of fact and fiction. We will trace Custer’s rise and fall through his two most legendary battles: Gettysburg and Little Big Horn. What factors helped him during the Civil War but failed during his final campaign? Along the way, we will discuss some popularly held misconceptions and attempt to place Custer in his true historical context.    

Saturday, October 22

· Bus leaves from Hampton Inn

· Lunch included

· Return by 5 p.m.

· Dinner on your own


8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Cavalry at Gettysburg” bus tour led by James A. Hessler and Eric J. Wittenberg

Bus Tour Description:

We will spend the day exploring important sites associated with the cavalry engagements fought at Gettysburg. This in-depth tour will cover Brig. Gen. John Buford’s delaying action fought on July 1, 1863, the Battle of Hunterstown, and the hard-fought fighting on Brinkerhoff’s Ridge and East Cavalry Field. These actions will address the evolution of the Army of the Potomac’s Cavalry Corps as well as the ordeal of the Army of Northern Virginia’s weary horsemen, who had just finished a long and arduous march to get to Gettysburg.


Sites to visit:

· The First Shot Marker

· Buford’s main line of battle on McPherson’s Ridge

· North Confederate Avenue, where Col. William Gamble made a stand on the afternoon of July 1

· The area where Buford’s troopers feinted a mounted charge late on the afternoon of July 1 that helped to blunt the pursuit of the Army of the Potomac to East Cemetery Hill.

· The Grass Hotel site in Hunterstown

· The Felty farm in Hunterstown

· Cress Ridge

· The Michigan Cavalry Brigade monument

· The Cavalry Shaft


Dinner on your own.


7-9 p.m. Mingling in North/South Conference Room. Book Vendor Civil War & More on site. *This is the last night Civil War & More will be available!

Sunday, October 23

· Bus leaves from Hampton Inn

· Return by 12 p.m.

8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. “Cavalry at Gettysburg” bus tour led by James A. Hessler and Eric J. Wittenberg


Bus Tour Description:

We will conclude our study of cavalry actions at Gettysburg by touring sites associated with Brig. Gen. Elon J. Farnsworth’s fateful charge after the repulse of Pickett’s Charge on the afternoon of July 3, followed by a visit to the Fairfield battlefield on our way back to Chambersburg. Please note that, due to construction on the battlefield at Gettysburg, there is no bus access to the site where Farnsworth’s Charge occurred. Consequently, we will have a nearly 2-mile roundtrip hike out and back over some hilly terrain.

 Sites to visit:

· The Slyder Farm

· The D-shaped field, where the climax of Farnsworth’s Charge occurred

· The Marshall house on the Fairfield battlefield



Conference Completion by 12 p.m.

Thank you for your patronage!

Pricing Breakdown

Please note lodging is not included in tour price. Registration includes packet of maps, name tag, meals as described, and cold bottled water during bus tours.



Seminar registration fee schedule:

$710 Members Conference Package (Entire program)

$740 Non-Members Conference Package (Entire Program)

$210  Thursday Only

$165  Friday Only

$210  Saturday Bus Tour & Evening Mix & Mingle

$160  Sunday Only

Cavalry in the Civil War
Oct 20, 8:30 AM EDT
Hampton Inn Chambersburg

Payment Policy: Full payment is due prior to seminar.

Cancellation Policy: -Seminar registrations cancelled two weeks before a scheduled seminar are subject to a $100 per person administrative fee; cancellations received within two weeks will be charged 50% of the registration fee, including partial registrations or $100 (whichever is greater).

►  Chambersburg Civil War Seminars and Tours, in making arrangements for the transportation, accommodations and other services referred to herein, acts only as an agent for the owner or operator, and its responsibility is limited to that of an agent. By registering for the Chambersburg Civil War Seminars with registration form, online,  or phone call, participant or those traveling with you agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, and their agents, servants and employees, from and against any claim, cost, expense for liability (including attorney’s fees), attributable to bodily injury, sickness, disease, or death, or to damage to or destruction of property (including loss of use thereof) in connection with any accommodations, transportation or other travel services resulting directly or indirectly from any occurrences or condition beyond our control.

►  We reserve the right to make changes in the tours where necessary, due to unforeseen circumstances. We do not like to cancel tours but if we must cancel due to insufficient participation or other circumstances, our total obligation will be to refund all monies paid to us for the specific event.

►  We strive to accommodate all of our seminar participants. If you have ANY dietary restrictions, please tell us during registration so we can make the appropriate arrangements.

►  All photos/videos taken before, during, and after events are the property of Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours. These will be used at the discretion of the organization and may be used for marketing and advertising purposes both online and in print.


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Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours is an affiliate of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of this partnership is to drive awareness about our local military heritage and support local businesses.