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Thu, Oct 21



Artillery in the Civil War: An Intensive Study

Join us in Chambersburg, Pa for a unique program focused entirely on the role of artillery in the American Civil War.

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Artillery in the Civil War: An Intensive Study
Artillery in the Civil War: An Intensive Study

Time & Location

Oct 21, 2021, 8:00 AM EDT – Oct 24, 2021, 12:00 PM EDT

Chambersburg, 955 Lesher Rd, Chambersburg, PA 17202, USA


About the Event

OCT 21 - 24, 2021

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. $105/night double occupancy plus tax. Special pricing for participants based on room availability. When making reservations, mention Chambersburg Civil War Seminars. Use code C-CWS online.

· 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 21

· Bus leaves from Hampton Inn

· Lunch included

· Return by 5 p.m.

· Dinner on your own

8 a.m. - 5 p.m. “Antietam: Artillery Hell” Bus and walking tour led by Tom Clemens

Bus Tour Description:

The battle of Antietam, or Sharpsburg, was labelled “Artillery Hell” with good reason, as artillery played an out-sized role in the battle and both sides had good reason to label it as such. With 313 Union guns dueling with 246 Confederate guns, and firing tens of thousands of round, the artillery was a constant and significant factor in the stubborn defense offered by Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, and the constant pounding of artillery by the Army of the Potomac accounted for many of the casualties inflicted by that army. This tour will not only take participants to various artillery sites on the battlefield, (some off the beaten path), but provide an analysis of the types of guns, and usage of them, the command and organization of artillery, and leadership within the artillery ranks.

Sites to visit:

· Antietam Visitor Center for orientation of battlefield and the artillery pieces employed by both sides.

· Eastern Bluffs of Antietam Creek—Union Artillery Reserve

· Joseph Poffenberger Farm—1st Corps “super battery”

· Guns in the bloody cornfield—Battery B 4 US Art; Thompson, Matthews & Ransom, others; Carlton & other CS guns

· Hauser’s Ridge, Sedgwick’s repulse

· Miller’s Battery & Graham’s K, 1 US Art at Sunken Road

· Cemetery Hill, Froebel’s Battalion & Washington Art

· Artillery at Burnside bridge & final attack

Dinner on your own.

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

Friday, October 22

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

Myths and Realities of Civil War Artillery by Craig Swain

Much more than simple ornaments marking the battle lines of the contest, the cannon we find marking our battlefields today offer interesting stories. While some have suffered in the retelling over the 160 years since the start of the war, overall these stories provide insight into what qualities and attributes the fighting men valued in the weapons used in the bitter contest. What guns were produced most and why? How quickly did the armies discard obsolete cannon?  Did rifled guns supplant, or merely augment, the smoothbores? And just how French was the famous Napoleon gun? We will explore these and other stories of the guns.

“Horse Artillery in the Civil War” by Eric Wittenberg

Both the Union and the Confederacy made extensive use of horse artillery as an adjunct to their cavalry commands throughout the course of the Civil War. These little-known artillery units made significant contributions to cavalry campaigns. We will meet well-known figures such as John Pelham and John H. Calef, the 23-year-old Regular Army artillerist who fought with John Buford at Gettysburg. We will also meet lesser-known figures such as Medal of Honor recipient Robert Williston, Robert F. Beckham, who was the hero of the Battle of Brandy Station, and numerous others.

“Heavy Duty: Heavy Artillery Regiments and Civil War Washington” by Steve T. Phan

Heavy Artillery regiments were organized for specialized service during the Civil War, most notably in Washington DC. The heavies, maligned as "Uncle Abe's Pets and Band Box Regiments" played an integral role in protecting the nation's capital--a role not fully appreciated until the Confederate Raid in July 1864. Their organization, training, and duties were far different than that of light artillery, infantry, and cavalry units. Heavy artillery service was specific and unique, but it did not earn them the adoration of their comrades-in-arms or battlefield honors until 1864. A close evaluation of their time in the capital forts will prove how invaluable the heavies were to the war effort overall.

12 - 2 p.m. Lunch on your own

1-2:30 p.m. Artillery Demonstration by Knaps Battery E.

2:30—5:30 p.m.  Afternoon Lectures

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

Franklin County’s Civil War History by sponsor Franklin County Visitors Bureau

“Battering Bastions and Stand-Off Dilemmas: The Evolving Role of Field Artillery in Western Warfare to the Nineteenth Century” by Chris Stowe

Field artillery played a critical role in the development of modern warfare, a period extending some five centuries from the era of high-bastioned fortifications to that of mobile land armies conducting complex operations over time and space. Stowe's discussion centers upon the doctrinal, tactical, organizational, and technological factors that altered artillery's function as well as its importance in western warfare to the 1860s.

“Get me all the guns you can find!” The tactical effect of massed fire in three battlefields: Shiloh, Stones River, and Chickamauga by David Powell

Each of the above battles involved instances of coordinated artillery deployments above the battery level. At Shiloh, Confederate Brigadier General Daniel Ruggles assembled the largest concentration of cannon yet seen on an American battlefield—up to 62 guns—to drive the Federals from the Sunken Road. At Stones River, Federal Major John Mendenhall assembled 45 field pieces to break the back of a Confederate charge on January 2, 1863. And at Chickamauga, Confederate Captain Henry C. Semple employed three batteries, 12 guns, in a deadly crossfire that opened a key gap in the Union defensive line around Kelly Field. All three instances provide early examples of massed artillery fire on western battlefields, though with mixed results. This talk will compare/contrast the effectiveness of each deployment.

5:30 p.m. Dinner included at Hampton Inn

7 p.m. The Men Behind the Guns - Experiences at the Battle of Gettysburg by Jessie Wheedleton

The men in the artillery at the Battle of Gettysburg give us a unique perspective of the action those three days in July.  We will follow the action in chronological order through personal interest stories of the blue and gray batteries.  Through their stories we can gain insight into the challenges artillerists faced on both sides and their struggle to overcome them.  This lecture is designed to complement Saturday's tour of the battlefield.

Saturday, October 23

· Bus leaves from Hampton Inn

· Lunch included

· Return by 5 p.m.

· Dinner on your own

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Artillery of Longstreet’s Assault on July 2 at Gettysburg” bus and walking tour led by Jim Hessler with special guest Dave Shultz

Bus Tour Description:

On the afternoon of July 2, Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and James Longstreet launched a massive assault against the Army of the Potomac's left flank south of Gettysburg. The brutal attack was one of the Civil War's largest, and Southern artillerist Edward Porter Alexander described it as the hardest artillery fighting of the entire war. What role did artillery play in Lee’s objectives? How was Union General Dan Sickles's unauthorized movements toward the Emmitsburg Road influenced by the need to place his cannons? Was Little Round Top really a strong position for artillery? Did General Henry Hunt and Lt. Colonel Freeman McGilvery save the day for the Union? How did the artillery organization and leadership in both armies contribute to the day’s outcome? Join Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide and author James Hessler as we examine the action, human interest stories, and controversies associated with the July 2 artillery fighting at Gettysburg.

Sites to visit:

· Warfield Ridge

· Peach Orchard

· Wheatfield Road

· Little Round Top

· Trostle Farm

· McGilvery’s Line

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 24

· Bus leaves from Hampton Inn

· Return by Noon

8:30 to Noon. Horse Artillery at Gettysburg—bus and walking tour led by Eric Wittenberg

Bus Tour Description:

A subset to the artillery arms at Gettysburg is the horse artillery, which travelled and served with the cavalry. This optional tour will visit sites associated with the employment of horse artillery during the Battle of Gettysburg, where both Union and Confederate cavalry forces employed horse artillery.

Sites to visit:

· McPherson’s Ridge

· Seminary Ridge

· Brinkeroff’s Ridge

· East Cavalry Field

· South Cavalry Field

Conference Completion by Noon

Thank you for your patronage!

Price 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:

$495  Members Conference Package (Entire program)

$525  Non-Members Conference Package (Entire Program)

$160  Thursday Only

$130  Friday Only

$175  Saturday Bus Tour & Evening Mix & Mingle

$95  Sunday Only


  • Members Package Oct. 21-24

    This ticket is for the entire program, Oct. 21-24. It is a discounted rate for members of Chambersburg Civil War Seminars.

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  • Non-Members Package Oct. 21-24

    This ticket is for the entire conference, Oct. 21-24. It is for non-members of Chambersburg Civil War Seminars.

    Sold Out
  • Thursday, Oct. 21 Only

    This ticket is for activities on October 21 only.

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  • Friday, Oct. 22 Only

    This ticket is for activities on Friday, Oct. 22 only.

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  • Saturday, Oct. 23 Only

    This ticket is for activities on Saturday, Oct. 23 only.

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  • Sunday, Oct. 24 Only

    This ticket is for activities on Sunday, Oct. 24 only.

    Sale ended



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