Chambersburg Civil War Seminars was established in 1989 under the direction of Ted Alexander and facilitated by the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce. Since 2008, the Franklin County Visitors Bureau has served as the marketing sponsor of the Chambersburg Civil War Seminars in an effort to build the awareness of Civil War and military history in the greater Chambersburg, Franklin County, PA, and Great Valley areas. Annually, the Chambersburg Civil War Seminars offer four symposiums which included guided tours, recognized authorities on major Civil War themes, and leading authors in varied Civil War topics. The 2016 Civil War Seminars are scheduled for April 7-10, May 19-22, July 27-31, and September 22-25.

The April 7-10 seminar, Ed Bearss Symposium, is focused on more than the Civil War. It will cover the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, and World War II. Guided by Ed Bearss and Dave Friend, the tour includes Gettysburg and an opportunity to explore the role of Hispanics, Mexican Indians, Asians, and other ethnic groups that fought for the Confederacy. After exploring the Civil War, the seminar will offer “Give Them Cold Steel (or Not): A Military and Cultural History of the Bayonet” presented by Dana Shoaf and talks by Tom Clemens, John Fox III, Ed Bearss, Stuart Dempsey, Christopher Kolakowski, and Lt. Col. Ralph Peters. In addition, the symposium offers a guided tour of Kennett Square, Kennett Meeting House, Lafayette’s Headquarters, and Brandywine Visitor Center as well as talks with Dennis Frye, Steve Bockmiller and John Miller.

The May 19-22 Seminar is “Harpers Ferry to Falling Waters: Jackson in the Lower Valley, 1861” with prime presenter Steve French, a top authority of the Civil War in the Lower Shenandoah Valley. He has anchored a number of books on the subject, including an award-winning study of General John Imboden’s command in the Gettysburg Campaign. The symposium includes tours of Lexington, Va., Jackson Battle sites of 1862 in the Valley, Camp Allegheny, Cross Keys, Kernstown, First Winchester, and Front Royal. Speakers and guides include Dr. James ‘Bud’ Robertson, Jeff Wert, Ed Bearss, Keven Walker, and Jerry Holsworth.

The July 27-31 Seminar is “Gettysburg Day 3 & Beyond” and offers off-the-beaten-path tours of Gettysburg, East Cavalry Field, the Retreat, and the Confederate Wagon Train of Wounded. Speakers and guides include Carol Reardon, Jeff Wert, Ed Bearss, Eric Wittenberg, Wayne Motts, and Steve French.

The final seminar of 2016 is “Lincoln at Gettysburg” on September 22-25, and it features Joe Mieczkowski and John Schildt. This symposium promises a thought-provoking look at Lincoln and the pivotal directions that came out of Gettysburg.

With 25 years of educating the public, Chambersburg Civil War Seminars planned another excellent year of program to engage and elevate the understanding of history that happened in Franklin County and the Great Valley region.

The Franklin County Visitors Bureau invites all to explore Franklin County PA and enjoy the trails of history, arts and architecture, recreation, natural beauty, fresh foods and the warm hospitality of communities like Chambersburg, Greencastle, Mercersburg, Shippensburg, and Waynesboro. Franklin County PA is located just north of the Mason Dixon Line and is an easy drive to Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Discover more….plan a visit soon