SPEAKERS & GUIDES
Expert guides, award-winning authors and outstanding historians are actively engaged in each military history conference we host.
Terry Barkley is the co –author of September Mourn: The Dunker Church at Antietam. This is the first full length study on this historic church. In 2012 he retired as the Director of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Illinois. Terry is the author of four books on various aspects of American history.
“Ramblin” Ron Boone is a singer-songwriter and author from Washington, Pa. He holds a masters in earth science from California University of Pennsylvania. He has entertained at coffee houses, campgrounds and festivals in many states, including Alaska. In addition to playing his original songs, Ron delights his audience with traditional tunes and fun anecdotes. He has recorded an album of his original music called Song Stories at Blue Home Recording. It is available from Ron or online at CD Baby, who describes his music as, "Truthful and real, like folk is meant to be...the songs cover a nice mixture of content styles...overall a great work." Ron has also written several books including Alaska Sojourn, a work that chronicles his solo drive to Alaska. Ron can be heard playing his classical guitar, six string banjo or Irish bodhran at area coffee houses and festivals as well as other hide-a-ways when he is off ramblin.
Matt Borders holds a BA in United States history from Michigan State University, as well as a MS in Historic Preservation, with a focus in Battlefield Interpretation from Eastern Michigan University. He has been a seasonal ranger at Antietam National Battlefield, the historian for the American Battlefield Protection Program, a certified battlefield guide at Antietam National Battlefield and is currently a ranger at Monocacy National Battlefield.
Jim Christ is President of the Paoli Battlefield Preservation Fund, and has been on the board for the past 7 years. Jim is an avid history buff and is also Vice President of the American Revolution Round Table of Philadelphia, the Vice President of the Brandywine Valley Civil War Round Table, Board Member of the Christian Sanderson Museum in Chadds Ford, and is Treasurer of Historical Military Impressions, Inc, a non-profit military reenactment group that preforms in several states. Jim works as Director of Client Services for Integrated Software Solutions Inc., in Frazer Pa., and has an Associate’s degree in Business Administration. Jim is married and lives on what was The Battle of The Clouds Battlefield, a Revolutionary War Battlefield in West Whiteland Township, Chester County, Pa.
James Broomall is assistant professor of history at Shepherdstown University and the Director of the University’s Tyler Moore Civil War Center. His specialties include southern history and the Civil War and Reconstruction. He is the co –author of Rethinking American Emancipation: Legacies of Slavery and the Quest for Black Freedom.
Wade P. Catts, MA, RPA is the President and Principal for South River Heritage Consulting, LLC. He is an historical archaeologist specializing in history, archaeology, and historic preservation. His Revolutionary War experience includes multiple projects in throughout the eastern U.S., including work in New Jersey, Pennsylvania (Brandywine, Paoli, Valley Forge National Park, Camp Security, French Creek Powder Works), Delaware (Cooch’s Bridge), New York, Vermont, Virginia and Massachusetts. Many of these projects were successful American Battlefield Protection Program grant projects and include national register nominations and revisions, battlefield overviews, interpretive recommendations and GIS studies. He has extensive experience with Brandywine and Princeton battlefields, having co-authored several ABPP-funded studies of these engagements, and has worked with the American Battlefield Trust in its preservation efforts at Princeton and Brandywine battlefields. He has authored or co-authored articles in Historical Archaeology, North American Archaeologist, Northeast Historical Archaeology, Delaware History, Advances in Archaeological Practice, and The Bulletin of the Archeological Society of Delaware. With the assistance of a McKinstry Award from the Delaware Heritage Commission, he is completing a book on the history and archaeology of the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, Delaware’s only Revolutionary War engagement.
Tom Clemens earned his doctorate at George Mason University where he studied under Maryland Campaign historian Dr. Joseph L. Harsh. He has published a wide variety of magazine articles and book reviews, has appeared in several documentary programs, and is a licensed tour guide at Antietam National Battlefield. A retired professor from Hagerstown Community College, he also helped found and is the current president of Save Historic Antietam Foundation, Inc. Clemens is the editor of the two volume Maryland Campaign by Ezra Carman.
Dr. Gordon Dammann is a member of the Chicago Round Table and the Illinois Historical Society along with other organizations. He served as a U.S. Army Dental Corps Captain as well as a combat medic in Vietnam in 1970. Dammann was a recipient of the Nevins-Freeman Award of the Chicago CWRT and the Iron Brigade Award of the Milwaukee CWRT. He is also a chairman and founder of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.
Dennis Frye served for 20 years as Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry National Park. Upon retirement in 2018, Dennis earned the Department of Interior's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award for his more than three decades with the National Park Service. Dennis has authored 11 books and 102 articles, writing for every major Civil War publication. His latest book, just released is: Confluence: Harpers Ferry as Destiny. Other recent works include: Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination and " September Suspense: Lincoln's Union in Peril. Dennis also has appeared on numerous television and film documentaries. Dennis is a life-long resident of the Antietam area, and he and his wife Sylvia have restored and reside in General Burnside's post-Antietam headquarters.
Bradley M. Gottfried is the retired president of the College of Southern Maryland. He has written 13 books on the Civil War. After writing several books on the Gettysburg Campaign and a couple unit histories, he has concentrated on completing map studies of the eastern theater of the Civil War. Among them is The Maps of Antietam: An Atlas of the Antietam Campaign. including the Battle of South Mountain, September 2- 20, 1862.
Michael C. Harris is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington and the American Military University. He has worked for the National Park Service in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Fort Mott State Park in New Jersey, and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission at Brandywine Battlefield. He has conducted tours and staff rides of many east coast battlefields. Michael is certified in secondary education and currently teaches in the Philadelphia region. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Michelle and son, Nathanael. Harris is the author of the award winning Brandywine: A Military History of the Battle that Lost Philadelphia but Saved America, September 11, 1777 and the forthcoming Germantown: A Military History of the Battle for Philadelphia, October 4, 1777.
Scott Hartwig is a park historian (retired) at Gettysburg National Military Park. He has been featured frequently on various television documentaries. Scott is the author of the book, To Antietam Creek: The Maryland Campaign of September 1862.
John Heckman is an independent historian and known to online audiences as "The Tattooed Historian." John earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from Shippensburg University and worked alongside the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a historian and archivist. He has over 25 years of interpretive experience and has performed programs for the National Park Service, the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, the Boy Scouts of America, and numerous school districts. As an independent historian, John has begun to introduce younger audiences to the historical narrative through the use of digital media, more specifically, social media platforms.
Jerry W. Holsworth is an author and historian who resides in Winchester, Va. He is the author of Civil War Winchester and Stonewall Jackson and Winchester. Jerry is the author of a special edition for Blue & Gray Magazine on the Texas Brigade at Antietam.
Robert Kalasky is a Civil War photo historian and author of the book Shadows of Antietam. His research has been published in the magazine Military Images and he has given presentations at various Civil War Roundtables. His lifetime passion is trying to locate the exact camera positions of Gardner and Gibson and the approximate times the images were recorded. For more information on his research, go to his Facebook page: Shadows of the Civil War.
Dr. Christian B. Keller is a history professor at the U.S. Army War College. He has taught at numerous civilian institutions including Gettysburg College, Dickinson College and others. Keller is the author of several books including “Chancellorsville and the Germans: Nativism, Ethnicity and Civil War Memory.” He is currently writing a book about Confederate strategy during the years of 1862-1863.
Debra Sandoe McCauslin is a historian and author who has made presentations to historical societies and Civil War roundtables throughout the region. Among her publications is Reconstructing the Past: Puzzle of a Lost Community (more below), which traces the history of the residents of Yellow Hill. Black Settlement on Yellow Hill, co-authored with Alisha Sanders, appeared in Pennsylvania Heritage magazine. Her work has also been published by the Adams County Historical Society, the Gettysburg Times, and Gettysburg Experience magazine. She produced the documentary Adams County USA, seen on local PBS stations. A descendant of George Washington Sandoe, the first soldier to fall at the Battle of Gettysburg, Debra provided research for the story of his life written by T. W. Burger.
John A. Miller currently serves as the Washington Township Historian and Museum Director of the Monterey Pass Battlefield Park. He has written numerous articles on the Civil War and his most recent publication is about Maryland’s Catoctin Mountain during the Civil War.
Scott Mingus is a career scientist and consultant in the global pulp & paper industry. The Ohio native graduated from the Paper Science & Engineering program at Miami University. He has written twenty Civil War and Underground Railroad books. His biography of General William “Extra Billy” Smith won multiple awards, including the Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. Literary Prize for Confederate History. He has also written several articles for Gettysburg Magazine, as well as for various historical journals.
Wayne Motts is the CEO of the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg. A licensed battlefield guide at Gettysburg National Military Park, he is the former director of the Adams County Historical Society and is the author of several works including a new study of Pickett’s Charge. several works including a biography of Confederate General Lewis A. Armistead.
Sharon Murray is a licensed battlefield guide at Antietam. She holds multiple degrees in mining engineering, history and political science from the University of Idaho. Sharon has received a number of awards for her photography of the Antietam battlefield. She also is a member of the Antietam National Battlefield volunteer cannon crew. Sharon is a leading authority on the Union cavalry escape from Harpers Ferry.
Kevin Pawlak is the director of education for the Mosby Heritage Area Association and serves as a licensed battlefield guide at Antietam National Battlefield. He is on the Board of Directors for the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association and the Save Historic Antietam Foundation. Pawlak is the author of Shepherdstown in the Civil War: One Vast Confederate Hospital.
Nick Picerno is chairman of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Lee-Jackson Education Foundation of Charlottesville. Picerno has been researching the 10th and 29th Maine Infantry regiments for the past 40 years. He retired as chief of police at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Virginia where he continues to direct the Bridgewater College Civil War Institute.
David Powell is a nationally-recognized tour guide of Chickamauga and has written five books on the topic including The Chickamauga Campaign: Barren Victory. He now studies the battles for Chattanooga and has written several books on the subject including Battle Above the Clouds and Decisions at Chickamauga.
John Priest is a retired high school history teacher and has written extensively about the Civil War. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed Antietam: The Soldier’s Battle. His latest work is Stand to It and Give Them Hell: Gettysburg as the Soldiers Experienced It from Cemetery Ridge to Little Round Top, July 2, 1863. Priest has appeared on the Discovery Channel and is one of the historical consultants for the forthcoming mini-series, To Appomattox.
Gary Rohrer is a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Antietam N.B. and was born and raised in Washington County, Maryland, where his family has lived for 225 years. Prior to his retirement he served as the Director of the Washington County Department of Public Works. In this capacity he supervised the maintenance and restoration of many of the old stone bridges of the area including the historic “Upper Bridge”. Gary is also a licensed guide at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park.
Jim Rosebrock is the recently retired director of the Antietam Guides. He served for 28 years in the U.S. Army , including combat operations with the 82nd Airborne in the Dominican Republic, attaining the rank of Lt. Colonel. He holds a master’s from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He manages two blogs, Antietam Voices and South from the North Woods. Jim is currently working on a book about the Union artillery at Antietam. Many thanks to him for assisting in the coordination of this seminar.
Alexander B. Rossino is the award-winning author of Hitler Strikes Poland: Blitzkrieg, Ideology, and Atrocity, an acclaimed history of the racial-political policies implemented by the Third Reich during its 1939 invasion of the Polish Republic. He is the author of nearly a dozen scholarly articles and published book reviews. His book Six Days in September: A novel of Lee's Army in Maryland, 1862 is a critically acclaimed best seller. Dr. Rossino is also the co-author with Gene Thorp of The Tale Untwisted: George B. McClellan and the Discovery of Lee's Lost Orders, September 13, 1862.
Robert A. Selig is a historical consultant who received his Ph.D. in history from the Universität Würzburg in Germany in 1988. He published a number of books on the American War of Independence such as Hussars in Lebanon! A Connecticut Town and Lauzun's Legion during the American Revolution, 1780-1781 (Lebanon, 2004). He is a specialist on the role of French forces under the comte de Rochambeau during the American Revolutionary War and serves as project historian to the National Park Service for the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail Project. He also served and serves as Project Historian for American Battlefield Protection Program projects such as the "Battle of Princeton", the “Paoli Massacre”, “Battle of the Clouds” and “Battle of Brandywine”. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the Distinguished Patriot Award.
John Schildt We are honored to have Pastor Schildt at our seminar. He has been involved in Antietam studies for more than 60 years. Schildt is a battlefield guide at Antietam National Battlefield and has been a lecturer and guide for the Gettysburg College Civil War Institute, Chicago CWRT, and other groups. He has written many books on Antietam including September Echoes and Drums Along the Antietam.
Alann Schmidt is the co –author of September Mourn: The Dunker Church at Antietam. This the first full length book on the subject. He spent 15 years as a ranger/curator at Antietam National Battlefield. Alann holds degrees in history from Shippensburg University and Shepherd University. He currently serves as Pastor of the Cherry Grove Church of God in Pennsylvania.
Jim Schmick is an area historian and author from Enola, Pa. He is the co-founder and president of the Camp Curtin Historical Society. Jim was recognized by the Pennsylvania State Senate and House of Representatives for promoting Pennsylvania history and restoration efforts. He was appointed to the Gettysburg, PA Monuments Project Committee by State Rep. Harry Readshaw and recognized by the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association (founded by President Eisenhower) for his preservation efforts. Jim was honored as the Historian of the Year for the Cumberland County Historical Society and led the effort for the restoration of the Governor Curtin Monument and Park in Harrisburg. He is also the owner of Civil War & More, which is our exclusive book vendor.
Tim Smith is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park since 1992. Tim is the Research Historian for the Adams County Historical Society, and has written numerous articles, booklets, and books about the Gettysburg area. He teaches classes on the battle and local history at the Gettysburg Campus of Harrisburg Area Community College and has appeared regularly on the popular Pennsylvania Cable Network Gettysburg Battle Walk series. He is the author of Devil’s Den, The Story of Lee’s Headquarters and The Farms of Gettysburg.
Joseph Stahl is a licensed guide at both Antietam and Harpers Ferry. He is a leading authority on Union ID badges and is co-author of the book Identification Discs of Union Soldiers in the Civil War. A Joe Stahl tour is something that should not be missed. He puts you right in the middle of the battle. Joe also serves as a volunteer at the Antietam National Battlefield Library where he is currently working to reorganize the unit files.
Steven R. Stotelmyer is a native of Hagerstown, Maryland. He served in the U.S. Navy and is a graduate of Frostburg State College and holds a master’s from Hood College. Stotelmyer helped form the Central Maryland Heritage League in 1989. The league was successful in preserving part of the South Mountain Battlefield. In 1992 he published The Bivouacs of the Dead: The Story of Those Who Died at Antietam and South Mountain, Stotelmyer volunteers at Antietam National Battlefield and is a NPS certified Antietam Battlefield Guide. His latest book is Too Useful To Sacrifice: Reconsidering George B. McClellan’s Generalship in the Maryland Campaign from South Mountain to Antietam.
Susan Trail is the Superintendent of Antietam National Battlefield. She holds a PHD in American Studies from the University of Maryland ( College Park). Susan has a long and varied career with the National Park Service. This includes as an archeologist at Harpers Ferry NHP, a historian at Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, NHP and as Superintendent at Monocacy National Battlefield, prior to coming to Antietam.
Dan Vermilya worked as a seasonal ranger at Antietam National Battlefield and now works as a ranger at Gettysburg. He was the first recipient of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation’s Dr. Joseph Harsh Memorial Scholarship Award, where he wrote a paper on the Army of the Potomac in the Maryland Campaign.
Chris Vincent is Director of the Antietam Guides. Chris is a 24 year veteran of the United States Army, where he took part in combat operations in Desert Storm and Kosovo. His ancestor fought with the 132nd Pennsylvania at Antietam. He holds a master’s in military history from American Military University. Chris owns and operates the historic Rohrbach Inn. Many thanks to him for his sponsorship of our seminar.
David Ward founded the Connecticut Civil War Round Table in 1989. He owned and operated Civil War Tours from 2000 to 2015 and has published several works including The 96th Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Civil War. Ward served as a historical consultant for the movie Lincoln directed by Steven Spielberg.
Jeffry Wert is the author of a number of books on the Civil War, including The Sword of Lincoln: The Army of the Potomac and Gettysburg: Day Three, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Wert is a frequent speaker at our seminars.
Cooper Wingert is the author of ten books, including The Confederate Approach on Harrisburg and Slavery and the Underground Railroad in South Central Pennsylvania. He is the recipient of the 2012 Dr. James I. Robertson Literary Award for Confederate History. He has been featured on C-SPAN Book TV and Pennsylvania Cable Network. Wingert currently resides in Enola, Pennsylvania. He regularly speaks to area Civil War Round Tables, historical societies, and other groups.
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.