April 25 History Talks

The 2024 Annual Conference

Schedule and speaker lineup are subject to change.
American Battlefield Trust Event
April 25, 2024 @ 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM EDT

Our history talks will take place on April 25, 2024, at the Adams County Historical Society

  • 10:00 AM“Out flew the sabers!” The opening of the Gettysburg Campaign at Brandy Station with Chris Army, Licensed Battlefield Guide

    On June 9, 1863 Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia prepared to start the trip north in what became the Gettysburg Campaign. Unbeknownst to the Confederates, Union Cavalry was preparing to cross the river and head to Culpeper with orders to “disperse and destroy” Confederate Cavalry commander JEB Stuarts forces thought to be in and around the town. The quick result was a clash of these two forces resulting in the largest cavalry battle in the American Civil War. We will examine the actions and results of the June 9 fight.

  • 11:00 AM Debris of Battle with Tim Smith, Adams County Historical Society

    From bullets and artillery shells to rifles, canteens, and belt buckles, the debris of battle littered the field of Gettysburg following the battle. After caring for the wounded and burying the dead, residents faced the dangers of rampant disease and fields strewn with unexploded ordnance. Many families gathered these crude artifacts and sold them to early visitors as mementos of the battle, while others provided services including food, lodging, transportation, and tours. Eventually, a whole tourist industry evolved from the selling of relics and the manufacturing of souvenirs, transforming and revitalizing the Gettysburg economy.

  • 12:00 PM – United States vs. Brig. Gen. Rowley: A Reassessment of the First Day’s Most Infamous Commander with Peter Miele, Seminary Ridge Museum and Education Center

    Many students of the Battle of Gettysburg know of Thomas Rowley’s questionable conduct on McPherson Ridge on July 1, 1863. In 1864, he was court-martialed for these actions, including charges of drunkenness. But who was this man, and was he drunk on the first day of the battle? Pete Miele will unpack his story and provide evidence to suggest that maybe everything was not what it seems when it comes to this infamous commander.
  • 1:00 PM“All This is Monument Enough” - Sickles and the New York Monument Commission (NYMC) with Matt Atkinson, National Park Service

    Daniel E. Sickles - General, Politician, Defendant, Ambassador, War Hero, and Commissioner of the NYMC. This program will explore the life of Dan Sickles in the post-war years, his struggle to maintain his reputation as the hero of Gettysburg, and his efforts to create and memorialize a battlefield.
  • 2:00 PMReconsidering Richard Ewell, July 1, 1863, with Dr. Chris Mackowski, Emerging Civil War

    It might be the most-second-guessed decision of the war: On July 1, 1863, Confederate Lt. Gen. Richard Ewell decided it was not “practicable” to storm the Union position at Gettysburg after a hard day of fighting. As a result, history has scapegoated Ewell for the Confederate loss there, and critics have loudly wondered, “If Stonewall Jackson had been there.” But Ewell made a militarily sound decision – as a look at the facts will show.