Chambersburg Civil War Seminars – Battlefield Preservation
Chamber’s Civil War seminars raise funds for battlefield preservation
Chambersburg Civil War Seminars and Tours donated $6,500 for battlefield preservation on Oct. 2, 2012 presenting $5,000 to Antietam National Battlefield and $1,500 to the Save Historic Antietam Foundation.
The Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce offers the seminars along with co-founder Ted Alexander. The money was raised through the auction of Civil War books and other memorabilia at a July seminar about the Battle of Antietam, as well as other fund-raising efforts.
Brian Baracz, park ranger at Antietam National Battlefield, accepted the check on behalf of Susan Trail, superintendent of the park. Baracz said the money will be put to good use – on projects such as the restoration of the Miller House and wood lots in the East Woods, as well as re-establishing historic fence lines.
Tom Clemens, co-founder and president of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation, said it is important to preserve “gems of history.”
The seminars have raised more than $150,000 for battlefield preservation since their inception in 1989, and attracted thousands of tourists from throughout the United States, Canada and other nations. In 2012 alone, the seminars attracted more than 200 history enthusiasts to the region from more than half of the U.S., from as far away as California and Hawaii.
“History enthusiasts come back year after year to our seminars, which feature some of the top Civil War experts in the nation,” said David G. Sciamanna, president of the Chambersburg Chamber. “Our presenters are able to make history come alive as they tell the story of our rich heritage from both the Northern and the Southern perspectives,” Sciamanna said. In addition to supporting the seminars through their tuition fees, participants donate generously during the fund-raising efforts, according to Sciamanna and Alexander.
In addition, two scholarships are offered each year in July so that a teacher and student can attend the largest Civil War seminar of the year tuition-free.
Co-sponsoring the tours are the Franklin County Visitors Bureau and the Hagerstown and Washington County (Md.) Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Chambersburg Chamber supports Monterey Pass Battlefield preservation
WAYNESBORO – The Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce donated $1,000 to the Friends of the Monterey Pass Battlefield Inc. on Wednesday
to help the organization with its plans to purchase battlefield property. The Chamber presents three Civil War seminars each year and donates some of the proceeds for battlefield preservation. Since the seminars began in 1989, the Chamber has donated nearly $150,000 to numerous preservation organizations.
“As chairperson of the Friends of the Monterey Pass Battlefield, I could not be more pleased with this donation.I am very happy to see our battlefield gain recognition and support from these organizations,” said Alicia Miller.“Several opportunities have arisen which could result in preserving strategic lands where the Battle of Monterey Pass occurred. We are currently within striking distance of purchasing one of these properties thanks to donations from organizations like the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce.To all those who have donated thus far, I would like to say thank you for assisting us in preserving this significant Civil War battlefield for future generations to enjoy,”Miller said.
“Our Civil War seminars bring history buffs and leading historians from throughout the United States to Chambersburg, so the opportunity to preserve a battlefield in Franklin County is important to us,” said Cindy Baker, representing the Chamber. “The Monterey Pass battlefield – the site of the second largest Civil War battle in Pennsylvania after Gettysburg – is part of the rich history of Franklin County.”
On July 4-5, 1863, about 10,000 soldiers fought in a midnight battle as Confederate soldiers departed Gettysburg after the historic battle there. At Monterey Pass, Union soldiers took more than 1,500 prisoners and destroyed 9 miles of Confederate supply wagons.
The preservation group wants to establish an interpretive center about the Battle of Monterey Pass, Lee’s invasion of Pennsylvania and his withdrawal from Pennsylvania after the Battle of Gettysburg. The check presentation occurred at Blue Ridge Lions Club Park near Blue Ridge Summit, where a Civil War Trails marker includes information about the battle.
Thursday, 12 July 2012 00:06