Wed, September 17, 2014

To Antietam Creek: The Maryland Campaign of September 1862

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All lectures are held in the multipurpose rooms of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The building opens at 6:30 p.m., the talk begins at 7:15 p.m., and the question period concludes around 8:30 p.m. All are welcome, and the event is free! For further information, please call 717-245-3972 September 17, 2014 (Wednesday)
Perspectives in Military History Lecture Series with Mr. D. Scott Hartwig
D. Scott Hartwig
Lecture Date: September 17, 2014

September 1862 may have been the greatest crisis the Lincoln administration faced in the American Civil War. Following the stunning Confederate victory in the Seven Days Battles in June and early July, two Union armies were defeated at the Battle of 2nd Manassas in late August by the seemingly invincible Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee. On the heels of this victory, Lee led his army into Maryland. Lincoln turned to General George B. McClellan to lead a reorganized Army of the Potomac into the field to defeat Lee, a decision so controversial that it nearly dissolved the president's cabinet. The next two weeks proved highly eventful. In a daring operation, Lee's forces captured Harpers Ferry and its 12,000 man garrison - the largest capitulation of U.S. forces until World War II. The Army of the Potomac surprised Lee and defeated his forces in the battles of South Mountain, then Lee chose to make a bold stand behind Antietam Creek, setting the stage for bloody Battle of Antietam on September 17. D. Scott Hartwig, author of To Antietam Creek: The Maryland Campaign of 1862, will focus this lecture on the decision to restore McClellan to field command, the strengths and weaknesses of the reorganized Army of the Potomac that McClellan led into Maryland, and Lee's controversial decision to offer battle behind Antietam Creek.

D. Scott Hartwig is a thirty-four year veteran of the National Park Service and served as Gettysburg's supervisory historian for twenty years. He won the NPS regional Freeman Tilden Award for Excellence in Interpretation in 1993, and was fundamental in the growth of Gettysburg's on-site interpretation and living history programming, distance and satellite education efforts, and a key player for the design of all aspects of the new Gettysburg museum/visitor center. He retired from the NPS in January 2014. Hartwig has authored numerous articles, essays, and books on Civil War subjects, and has appeared on the History Channel, Discovery Channel, and Pennsylvania Cable Network. His most recent publication is To Antietam Creek: The Maryland Campaign from September 3 to September 16, an 800 page in-depth study of the campaign up to the eve of the Battle of Antietam, published in September 2012 by Johns Hopkins University Press. Hartwig is currently working on the sequel which will cover the Battle of Antietam, its aftermath, and the end of the campaign.