All posts by Lark Plessinger

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2017 Tours: Covering New Ground

Hi Folks,

Welcome to our 2017 seminar year! This promises to be an exciting season with new and different events that we are trying for the first time. We start with the April 6-9 seminar featuring talks on all aspects of U.S. military history presented by many of the top military historians in the country.

The centerpiece of this is a tour we call George Washington on the Frontier. It will be led by battlefield guide extraordinaire Ed Bearss. Many tours cover George Washington as a Revolutionary War commander. But rarely is there a chance for you to follow Washington’s exploits on the frontier with a man who is arguably the leading battlefield guide in the country, Mr. Ed Bearss. Along the way we will see sites associated with the ill-fated Braddock Campaign of 1755. This includes the site of Fort Cumberland, a major staging point for the campaign. Step back in time as we visit Jumonville Glen. This pristine site has changed little from the time Washington ambushed a French detachment more than 260 years ago. Historians argue that the French and Indian War began at Jumonville Glenn.

The tour will include historic Fort Necessity National Battlefield. Here Washington and his men battled the French and Indians. Participants will tour the reconstructed fort and state of the art visitor center and museum. We will also visit General Braddock’s grave and other sites associated with this decisive campaign.

We look forward to seeing many of you in April. Please click here for the schedule. Thank you and we appreciate your support of our seminars and battlefield preservation.

- Ted Alexander, co-founder & facilitator

- Lark Plessinger, program coordinator

Ted Alexander’s Retirement & Roast

Hi folks,

In appreciation of Ted’s more than 40 years of work in the history field and preservation efforts, a retirement fundraiser dinner will be held on Thursday, Oct. 6 in Greencastle, Pa from 6 to 9 p.m.

ted alexanderThe Retirement & Roast will be held at the Blue Heron Events Center at 407 S. Washington St. in Greencastle, just minutes from the historic Mason Dixon Line. The event will include a delicious country buffet with fried chicken, stuffed pork chops, lasagna, salad, green beans, mixed vegetables, drinks and dessert.

Cost per person is $25 with a portion of the proceeds going toward the Preservation and Education Fund of Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours as well as the Ed Bearss Award. A silent auction will also be held with books, prints and other items to raise funds for these initiatives.

Donations will be awarded that evening to various groups such as the Save Historic Antietam Foundation.

Reservations are due by Tuesday, Oct. 4. Please pay and confirm via Paypal.com at sharpsburg@frontiernet.net or send confirmation with check to: Scott C. Anderson at 397 Morgan Grove Rd, Shepherdstown, WV 25443.

Please join us in celebrating the career of Ted Alexander and raising money for historic preservation.

Thank you,
Scott Anderson & Lark Plessinger

Student Scholarship July 2016

The Scott Hosier Scholarship is offered during our July 27-31, 2016 seminar, “Gettysburg Day 3 & Beyond” and is a full scholarship covering the non-membeReed scholarshipr complete weekend package ($675 value). A $100 stipend for expenses is also offered if the awardee lives outside of a 50 mile radius from Chambersburg, Pa. The scholarship will be awarded to one student this year. The student must be at least 16 years old and must provide proof of student status whether at a high school, university or graduate level.

To apply, please send a letter stating why you would like to attend Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours’ “Gettysburg Day 3 & Beyond” weekend, why you should receive the scholarship, and what your interest is in Civil War history. Applicants must provide proof of student status such as a copy of a student identification card. Application deadline is July 15, 2016. Send applications to lplessinger@chambersburg.org or mail to Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours; 100 Lincoln Way E. Suite A; Chambersburg, Pa 17201.

Recipient of Ed Bearss Award

We are pleased to announce Dennis Frye as the 2016 recipient of the Ed Bearss Award! Given annually, the award encourages the study of the American Civil War era by reimbursing the awardee with up to $1,000 for scholarly research.

Named in honor of the esteemed, nationally-known historian, Edwin “Ed” C. Bearss, the award was presented to Frye at the Stonewall Jackson in the Valley Civil War conference last month. Frye is the Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry National Park and is the author of more than 77 articles and seven books.

“We are pleased to announce Dennis as the recipient of this prestigious award,” said Ted Alexander, facilitator and co-founder of Chambersburg Civil War Seminars. “His project, Searching for Stories: New Discoveries of the First Invasion of the North from Newspapers and the National Archives will gather primary source material for two of his upcoming books. We are honored that such a distinguished scholar will inaugurate this program to promote the study and understanding of the Civil War.”

The award is given to a deserving author working on a non-fiction book about the Civil War in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia or the Shenandoah Valley. Applications are being accepted now through March 1, 2017. The awardee will receive up to $1,000 to cover expenses related to researching their book.

Submissions for the award are reviewed by the Ed Bearss Award Committee with Dr. Richard Sommers of the U.S. Army War College as chair. Dr. Sommers and his committee of distinguished scholars will review applications in 2017.

Funds raised for the award originate from donations, silent auction proceeds and raffles. The award is supported by both Chambersburg Civil War Seminars and attendees at tours held throughout the year.

Interested individuals should contact Lark Plessinger at lplessinger@chambersburg.org or call 717-264-7101 ext. 206 for more information or to receive an application.

Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours is a division of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce and held in partnership with historian Ted Alexander. Tours planned for 2016 include Gettysburg Day 3 & Beyond in July as well as Lincoln at Gettysburg in September. Ed Bearss, Jeffry Wert, Joe Mieczkowski, John Schildt and more than 20 other speakers/guides will lead the Civil War tours.

 

Col. Keith Gibson gives our group a tour of VMI

Stonewall Jackson in the Valley

This May we traveled to Harrisonburg, Va in pursuit of the 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign. The tour was excellent! Here’s our recap via pictures:

Group photo at Washington & Lee on our way to the Lee Chapel

Group photo at Washington & Lee on our way to the Lee Chapel

Thursday, May 19 we followed the footsteps of Lee and Jackson on a tour of Historic Lexington led by Keven Walker and Edwin Bearss. Visits included the Stonewall Jackson House, Lee Chapel, Traveler’s grave, VMI Museum and Jackson’s Grave.

Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington

Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington

 

Friday featured all day sessions at Massanetta Springs Conference Center with talks by Jerry Holsworth, Steve French, Gary Ecelbarger, John Schildt, Daniel Toomey and Jeff Wert.

Traveler grave


Saturday, May 21 we ventured on Jackson’s Valley Campaign to Camp Alleghany, Port Republic, Cross Keys, the Widow Pence Farm and Kernstown Battlefield led by Jeffry Wert and Edwin Bearss.

Port Republic

Sunday we continued our trek of Jackson’s Campaign to Front Royal, Kernstown Battlefield and Stonewall Jackson Headquarters with Jeff Wert and Ed Bearss.

Widow Pence Farm presentation.

Widow Pence Farm presentation.

Thank you to all of our participants – we had a fantastic trip! Hope to see many of you at our July “Gettysburg Day 3 & Beyond” seminar or September’s “Lincoln at Gettysburg.”

 

Best wishes,

Lark Plessinger, program coordinator

Ted Alexander, co-founder & facilitator

Gettysburg Day 3 & Beyond

Front Cover2Welcome to our 2016 Chambersburg Civil War Tour with “Gettysburg Day 3 &  Beyond” – we are excited to host you! Please click here to view the brochure.

We’ll kick off the seminar with talks by Jennifer   Murray, Joe Mieczkowski and Jeff Wert on     Wednesday evening. Following that we’ll host traditional bus tours on Thursday and Saturday with leading historians.

Friday will feature all day sessions given by nine speakers and also our Annual Luhn Memorial Silent Auction will raise funds for Battlefield Preservation. Please feel free to bring donations—all proceeds go toward preservation. We’ve raised $185,000 to date.

We’ll end this fantastic conference with rarely seen sites led by Steve French as we follow the retreat of the Confederate wagon train of wounded on Sunday.

We look forward to seeing you for four to five days of education, great fellowship, delicious food, and fun. Please click here for the complete itinerary and pricing.

- Ted Alexander, Co-founder & Facilitator

- Lark Plessinger, Program Coordinator

 

ted alexander

Ted Alexander – Champion of Franklin County History

Below is an excerpt from the 2015 Franklin County Visitor’s Guide published by the Franklin County Visitors Bureau.

Year after year, Ted Alexander spoke, wrote, and presented about the history of Franklin County. He worked for more than thirty years to educate the local community and the general public about Franklin County. Using everything in his power, he planted seeds of recognition and worked to make the public understand the importance of this place in American history.

Ted authored, edited, and contributed 10 books on the Civil War and other aspects of American history. He also authored more than 200 book reviews and articles for publications like “Civil War Times,” “Blue & Gray Magazine,” and “The Washington Times.” He is the co-founder of the Chambersburg Civil War Seminars with the Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce and contributed as the lead historian on the development of the Chambersburg Heritage Center.

Thank you, Ted Alexander, for you passionate drive, long hours of diligent work, and helping to educate so many about Franklin County’s history. Because of your years of contribution, Franklin County has an event  yearly commemorating the 1864 burning of Chambersburg.

Stonewall Jackson

April and May 2016 Civil War Tours

Hi Folks,

We are excited to host you all at our 2016 Civil War Seminars! We have a great and exciting year planned, and registration is now open for our April and May tours!

The Ed Bearss Symposium, based in Chambersburg, will kick-off the year focused on Military Leadership & Combat - and will include more than just Civil War tours! The event will be from April 7 to 10 and will start with a bus tour of Gettysburg Day 2: The Wheat Field and Peach Orchard led by Ed Bearss. Friday will feature all day sessions at the Hampton Inn including talks by Tom Clemens, John Fox III, Dana Shoaf, Ed Bearss, Stuart Dempsey, Christopher Kolakowski and Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters. Please click here to view the talk titles and descriptions by each speaker.

On Saturday, Ed Bearss will lead our first-ever tour to Brandywine Battlefield! This was one of the largest and bloodiest battles of the American Revolution and it is there General Washington’s Continental Army faced British Redcoats of General Sir William Howe in all-day combat along Brandywine Creek. We’ll visit Kennett Square, Kennett Meeting House, Brandywine Visitor Center, Lafayette’s Headquarters and more! Sunday will then feature half-day sessions with John Miller, Steve Bockmiller, and Dennis Frye. Click here to see the complete itinerary and pricing.

The May 19-22 Seminar will be Stonewall Jackson in the Valley based in Harrisonburg, VA and hosted in partnership with Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. Thursday we’ll kick things off with a tour of Lexington – In the Footsteps of Lee & Jackson – led by Keven Walker. We’ll visit VMI Museum, Lee Chapel, Jackson’s Grave and more! Learn more about this tour here.

Friday sessions will feature talks by Jeff Wert, Scott Patchan, John Schildt, Steve French, Jerry Holsworth, Daniel Carroll Toomey, and others. Then on Saturday will be a bus tour – Jackson Valley Campaign Part 1 – bus tour led by Ed Bearss and Jeffry Wert. We’ll visit McDowell Battlefield, Camp Allegheny, Cross Keys and more! Sunday will be Part 2 visiting Front Royal, Kernstown Battlefield and more. View the complete brochure with pricing here!

That’s the run-down, and we can’t wait for April and May to get here! Please check back soon for more information on the July and September Civil War tours both based in Chambersburg, Pa.

-Ted Alexander, Lark Plessinger

Civil War Tour

2015: A Year in Review

We had one of our best years yet hosting Civil War Tours following the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Civil War!

We kicked off 2015 with our Ed Bearss Symposium in April with a bus and walking tour of Little Round Top and Devil’s Den with Ed Bearss. We heard from fantastic speakers about leadership and combat in the Civil War including Dennis Frye, Wayne Motts, Perry Jamieson, George Franks III, Dr. Richard Sommers, and others. We had a great time and a full house at the Hampton Inn in Chambersburg. To read the reviews from some of our attendees, click here.

Civil War Tours

Stop at the Antietam National Battlefield Visitors Center.

May was dedicated to following the footsteps of those Damn Blackhats with the Iron Brigade led by Lance Herdegen. We toured Gettysburg, South Mountain and Antietam with Lance. Sessions also included talks about the Iron Brigade by Tom Clemens, Dan Welch, Joe Mieczkowski, and others. Our participants had a great time on this Civil War tour – we were glad to see so many new faces at this event!

Civil War Conference

Visiting with General Grant at Appomattox.

One of our absolute favorite seminars (it may have been logistically challenging for Lark) was our trip to Richmond to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the End of the War: Richmond, Petersburg and Appomattox. We had a completely full house and heard from amazing speakers, had excellent guides and could not have asked for a better Civil War tour. Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and Dr. Bud Robertson spoke, Dr. Richard Sommers and Ed Bearss led bus tours, and we had a fantastic week in Richmond. Thank you to everyone for coming – we couldn’t ask for better guests!

Ed Bearss, Bob Allen and the group at what's left of the Garrett Farm.

Ed Bearss, Bob Allen and the group at what’s left of the Garrett Farm.

Our final 2015 Civil War seminar was focused on Lincoln. Specifically, we focused on Mr. Lincoln’s army at Gettysburg and the John Wilkes Booth Escape Tour. Guides and speakers included Ed Bearss, Bob Allen, Dan Vermilya, Ed Steers, Wayne Motts, and others. We had the opportunity to tour Gettysburg as well as Ford’s Theatre, Surratt Tavern, view Dr. Mudd House and stand on the ground of the Garrett Farm.

Now as our 27th year of tours approaches, we are working hard to finalize the 2016 itinerary and update our branding. Specifically, we have redesigned our website to make it easier for our guests to navigate and learn more about our tours. If you’re interested in the Civil War and would like to be updated about our events, please sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. If you have specific questions, please contact Lark directly at lplessinger@chambersburg.org or call 717-264-7101.

We can’t wait for our 2016 Civil War Tours! Click here for the latest updates.

Best,

Ted Alexander, Lark Plessinger

End of the War Report

Hi all,

We had a fantastic trip to Richmond for the Civil War Tour: “End of the War: Richmond, Petersburg and Appomattox” July 22-26, 2015 with Dr. Richard Sommers, Dr. James “Bud” Robertson, Ed Bearss, Robert E. L. Krick, Jim Godburn, Ted Alexander and others.  We had more than 100 people attend including participants, speakers and guides! Thank you for coming. 

We also asked Hal Jespersen, one of our participants, if we could post a snippet of his review of the tour in Richmond for an After Action Report. Below is the beginning of his 2015 Civil War Travelogues – Chambersburg “End of the War” Seminar.

“Welcome to my 2015 travelogue pages, commemorating the fifth year of the Civil War Sesquicentennial! This report covers my trip to attend the Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce seminar, “The End of the War: Richmond, Petersburg, and Appomattox.” (This is my fourth excursion with Ted Alexander and the Chambersburg gang.) To see the entire list of my 2015 trips, go here…”

For the rest of Hal Jespersen’s day by day travelogue of the seminar, please click here.

Below are photos from our seminar. See you in September! -Ted Alexander, Lark Plessinger