Wed, June 17, 2015

The Confederate Approach on Harrisburg: The Gettysburg Campaign's Northernmost Reaches

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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

June 17, 2015 (Wednesday)
Perspectives in Military History Lecture Series with Mr. Cooper H. Wingert

Mr. Cooper H. Wingert
Lecture Date: June 17, 2015
Title: "The Confederate Approach on Harrisburg: The Gettysburg Campaign's Northernmost Reaches"

The Gettysburg Campaign and the resulting battle is among the most studied topics in military history. As General Robert E. Lee's army coalesced around the tiny crossroads town, a significant yet lesser-known skirmish, 38 miles to northeast, had a distinct impact on the larger battle: the June 1863 Battle of Sporting Hill, Harrisburg. The fight resulted from Lee's larger goal for an invasion of Pennsylvania, a takeover of the capital, and a forcing of the state, and possibly the Union, to capitulate. Lee sent Brigadier General Albert Jenkins to Harrisburg to confirm the city's vulnerability and to increase the number of rebel troops in the area. A Harrisburg militia out on a reconnaissance mission met and forced Jenkins' cavalry back at Sporting Hill into Carlisle. This lead to a fight, which left the area ablaze as another of Lee's cavalry brigades shelled Carlisle and the Union general defending the city refused repeated demands for surrender. The Confederates set the entirety of the U.S. Army's Carlisle Barracks aflame before moving, resigned, towards Gettysburg, leaving Harrisburg and the surrounding country under Union control. An overview of this interval, as well as its role in the Gettysburg Campaign, is presented in detail in Mr. Cooper H. Winger's 2012 book, The Confederate Approach on Harrisburg: The Gettysburg Campaign's Northernmost Reaches. Wingert will give a lecture about his book and the extensive research that informed it, some of which he conducted at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center.

Mr. Wingert is a well-known author and historian, especially in Pennsylvania and the Harrisburg region. He is the author of three published books about Harrisburg and the Gettysburg Campaign in the Civil War including, The Confederate Approach on Harrisburg. In 2013, at the age of 15, Wingert released, Emergency Men!: The 26th Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia and Harrisburg and the Civil War: Defending the Keystone of the Union. Prior to 2013, he published his first piece, A Virginian in the Vanguard: The Diary of Lt. Hermann Schuricht, 14th Virginia Cavalry Regiment, at the age of 12. He draws inspiration from historical societies, archives, and Civil War collections across Pennsylvania and the northeast. Wingert's future ambitions include studying history in college and completing a book on the pre-Civil War period.