Overlooked and Forgotten Civil War Battles

February 6, 2021

Welcome to our virtual Shadows of History: Overlooked and Forgotten Civil War Battles.  The event will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. via Vimeo. Eric Wittenberg will moderate the program with the following speakers & talks:


Chris Kolakowski: The Battle of Perryville

Tom Clemens: The Battle of Shepherdstown

Gary Ecelbarger: The Battle of Atlanta

Scott Mingus: The Second Battle of Winchester

David Powell: The Battle of New Market



· Conference held virtually via Vimeo. Registered guests receive the Vimeo link to watch the conference prior to the event. 

· Speakers will be available LIVE to give their presentations and answer questions

· Each participant will receive a downloadable packet of digital maps & program.

$10 from every registration will be donated to Battlefield Preservation.

· The conference will be recorded and available to view afterward as a pay-per-view option.


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. via Vimeo I  Break 12 - 1 p.m.  I  Q&A follows each talk

Perryville: Battle of Kentucky by Chris Kolakowski

Abraham Lincoln said in 1861 that "to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game." In 1862 the Confederates attempted to prove him right, in a campaign that culminated with a battle outside Perryville on October 8, 1862. This presentation will explore the battle and its significance to the overall Civil War story. 


Shepherdstown Ford: Decisive Battle of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 by Dr. Tom Clemens

One of the popular arguments regarding the battle of Antietam, or Sharpsburg, is whether it was a Union victory for Gen. George B. McClellan, or a Confederate success as Gen Robert E. Lee held his ground and successfully extricated his army from a perilous position.  Or was it, as is most often stated, a bloodily-achieved draw. An argument can be made that the true outcome of the battle actually occurred at a crude river crossing on the Potomac River that was known by several names; Packhorse Ford, Boteler’s Ford, Blackford’s Ford or Shepherdstown Ford. While often overlooked in popular narratives and discussion, the actions that took place at this confusingly named location on September 19 and 20th, 1862, provide us a conclusion to the battle of Antietam, and also to the famous Maryland campaign of 1862.

Break 12 - 1 p.m.


The Battle of Atlanta, July 22, 1864: The Most Decisive Day of the Most Important Campaign of the Civil War by Gary Ecelbarger

The Battle of Atlanta ranks among the most dramatic and important contests ever waged on American soil. It was also one of the bloodiest battles with the highest single-day casualties for the last nine months of the Civil War. Most importantly, The Battle of Atlanta changed the course of the Civil War as the turning point of a campaign that most helped decide the most consequential presidential election in U.S. history. It is a wonder that the story and consequences of July 22, 1864 has escaped the notice of the 21st century.


The Second Battle of Winchester by Scott Mingus

In the summer of 1863, as Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia began pushing north toward Pennsylvania, only one significant force stood in the way -- Union Maj. Gen. Robert H. Milroy’s division of the Eighth Army Corps in the vicinity of Winchester and Berryville. Milroy stubbornly defied repeated instructions to withdraw to safety, believing the enemy action to be merely a cavalry raid or feint. His controversial decision put his outnumbered, largely inexperienced men on a path to disaster. Milroy lost half his force and routed ingloriously from the battlefield. Many Union soldiers who fought at Second Winchester, however, believed their three-day resistance delayed the Rebels from entering Pennsylvania long enough to buy time for the Army of the Potomac to arrive and defeat Lee at Gettysburg.


Union Command Failure: The Battle of New Market by David Powell

The Battle of New Market, fought on May 15, 1864, amid thunder and driving rain, was a Confederate victory. It has been celebrated mostly for the participation of the Virginia Military Institute corps of cadets, who were called upon to fight by a Southern commander desperate for manpower. However, there is flip side to that story. Franz Sigel, who commanded the Federal army at New Market, has gone down in history as one of those rank incompetents that have populated Civil War literature since the firing ended. Some names—Braxton Bragg, Gideon Pillow, John Pope, and yes, Sigel—have been reduced to punchlines. But there is another side to every story, and Sigel is no exception. Far from embarking on some vainglorious expedition, Sigel was carrying out his piece of Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s overall strategy for the war in 1864, and doing so to the best of his ability. This talk focuses on Sigel’s actions in the Shenandoah that spring, highlighting what he did correctly as well as where he failed.


Conference Cost:​ $75/members and $80/non-members

Includes downloadable packet of digital maps & program

$10 from every registration donated to Battlefield Preservation

Grand Sponsor


Payment Policy: Full payment is due prior to seminar.

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100 Lincoln Way East, Chambersburg, PA 17201


Tel: 717-264-7101 ext. 206



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