History Talks

History Talks

Chambersburg Civil War Seminars is offering subscriptions to History Talks. Subscribers are pre-registered for EVERY bi-monthly talk in 2023 on the 15th at 7 p.m. EST.
Cost of the subscription is only $60–a $12 savings. Cost includes 12 HISTORY  Talks in 2023. Non-subscribers pay $6/session. Hsitory Talks is an excellent way to engage with expert historians and is streamed LIVE via Zoom..

Civil War Seminars Present Cavalry on the Road to Gettysburg as the September HISTORYTalk

Civil War Seminars Present Cavalry on the Road to Gettysburg as the September HISTORYTalk

The next HISTORYtalk will be with Bob O’Neill on September 15 at 7 p.m. EST via Zoom. His talk will be: Cavalry on the Road to Gettysburg: Aldie, Middleburg, and Uppervill Re-examined. Following the talk will be a Q&A period led by Eric Wittenberg.

Talk Synopsis

Contrary to popular belief, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, commanding the Army of the Potomac, neither ordered nor desired his cavalry to search for Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in mid-June 1863. Bob O’Neill will explain what Hooker asked his cavalry to do and how, by disobeying his orders, cavalry commander Alfred Pleasonton precipitated a series of clashes with Jeb Stuart in Northern Virginia’s Loudoun Valley.


Bob O’Neill is the author of two books and numerous magazine articles. A retired police officer, his newest book, Small but Important Riots, Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville will be published in 2022. Learn more about the Union cavalry and the clashes in the Loudoun Valley on Bob’s website at www.smallbutimportantriots.com.

Cost is $5/person, and registrants will receive a login link upon registering. 

To learn more about HISTORYTalks and sign up for the next HISTORYtalk, click here. 

History Talks Presented by Chambersburg Civil War Seminars

History Talks Presented by Chambersburg Civil War Seminars

Chambersburg Civil War Seminars are excited to announce a lecture featuring Stephen “Sam” Hood on November 15 at 7 p.m. Sam’s talk is called “Patriots Twice: Former Confederates and the Building of America after the Civil War.” Cost is $5 per session. After registering, Zoom login information will be provided..

The talk will delve into former Confederates” integration in the reunified USA. Many attained positions of prominence in the federal government, the U.S. military, higher education, medicine, law, science, industry and commerce, the arts, and philanthropy. Ten postwar U.S. presidents beginning with Ulysses S. Grant appointed former Confederates to positions including supreme court justices, U.S. attorney generals, U.S. Navy secretaries, diplomats, and U.S. Army generals during the Spanish-American War. Former Confederates were elected mayors of such unlikely cities as Los Angeles and Minneapolis. Confederates became presidents of the American Medical Association, American Medical Association, the American Chemical Society, the American Surgical Association, the Sierra Club, and others. Former Confederates founded many colleges and universities–some for African-Americans and women–and served as presidents of universities such as Cal-Berkeley.

Presenter Stephen M. “Sam” Hood is a collateral descendent of Confederate General John Bell Hood. Sam is a retired industrial construction company owner, and lives in Myrtle Beach SC with his wife of 43 years, the former Martha Ann Hager. He is a 1970 graduate of Kentucky Military Institute, and earned a BBA in Marketing from Marshall University in 1976. Sam served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and has had a lifelong interest in Civil War history and the sport of soccer, of which he is a member of the West Virginia Soccer Association Hall of Fame. His book John Bell Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General won the 2013 Albert Castel Civil War History Book of the Year Award and the 2014 Walt Whitman Civil War History Book of the Year Award. Sam’s 2015 books The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood was awarded the Bonnie Blue Book Award by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. His latest book is Patriots Twice: Former Confederates and the Building of America after the Civil War.

Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours has been hosting Civil War Tours for more than 30 years. History Talks sessions are held monthly and virtually on the 15th and 30th of the month. For upcoming sessions, check here.

Ted Alexander Champion of Franklin County History

Ted Alexander Champion of Franklin County History

Franklin County historian Ted Alexander passed away on July 8, 2020.

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 to 10 books on the Civil War and other aspects of American history. He offered more than 200 book reviews and articles for publications like Civil War Times, Blue & Gray Magazine, and The Washington Times. He was the co-founder of the Chambersburg Civil War Seminars and contributed as the lead historian on the development of the Chambersburg Heritage Center. Finally, he served as Chief Historian at Antietam National Battlefield for more than 30 years.

Thank you, Ted Alexander, for your passionate drive, working long and diligently, and helping to educate so many about Franklin County history. You will be missed because there is only one Ted Alexander.

Franklin County Visitors Bureau Announces 2016 Civil War Seminars

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