The Mosby Heritage Area Association has scheduled its widely acclaimed Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War at The Middleburg Community Center on October 7 – 9th, 2016.

john-rudyThis event will be the nineteenth year that the Association has organized this informative conference and will be the final year of a three-year in-depth study of the strategic and tactical aspects of what many believe to be the American Civil War’s greatest battle – Gettysburg.

This year the focus of the conference will be on the third day of the battle when 12,000 men under the command of Pickett, Pettigrew and Trimble heroically marched in attack formation across nearly a mile of open ground to assault the center of the Union’s strong position on Cemetery Ridge.

Eight talented and published historians will deliver informative talks on that famous charge as well as on the cavalry actions that took place on the flanks of the Union position and on the fierce struggle on Culp’s Hill which anchored the Union Line’s right flank.

dsc_0702Each talk will provide fascinating insights on the tactical and the strategic actions of the day as well as offer provocative opinions regarding the decisions made by the Federal and Confederate officers who commanded the combatants.

The line-up of presenters includes Robert K. Krick, a retired Chief Historian at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Military Park and Eric Wittenberg who is the nation’s leading authority on cavalry actions of the Civil War. Both have become regulars at this conference.

James Hessler, John Archer and Wayne Motts are three leading experts on Gettysburg and have published books and articles on the battle’s fascinating history. All three gentlemen have passed the rigorous standards of becoming a Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide, a coveted and demanding achievement that requires extensive study and testing. Today there are only about 100 licensed guides who have passed the four tiers of testing.  They will speak on the various aspects of the third day’s battle and will conduct the Sunday tour on the battlefield.

Other speakers include Ted Alexander, a retired Chief Historian at the Antietam Battlefield as well as Chris Stowe who teaches tactics at the Command and Staff College at Quantico, Virginia. Finally, Robert O’Neill, the recognized leading authority on the Battles of Aldie, Middleburg and Upperville and on the Federal Cavalry Corps will discuss the tragic and ill-fated Union Cavalry charge below Big Round Top that is so often over looked.

Altogether, attendees will listen to eight hours of discussions on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday capped with a panel discussion when all eight historians weigh in on questions from the audience. A banquet dinner is offered that Saturday evening and those who have signed up for the battlefield tour will assemble behind the Community Center to board the bus for a very special tour of the third day’s battlefield.

Most of those attending this conference come back each year and the Mosby Heritage Area Association regularly receives excellent reviews on the quality of the program. Many of the attendees come to this conference from all over the country. Of course, many from Virginia but others from Maryland, the Carolinas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and even California, Colorado and Nevada have signed up for this year’s event.

This conference is highly recommended for anyone with an interest in the American Civil War. The Sunday bus tour is filling up rapidly so move without delay should you wish to attend the full program. There is plenty of room for those who wish to come to the Friday and Saturday presentations and there will be a bookstore set up at the Community Center where one can purchase a wide ranging selection of Civil War publications – including those published by the historians making the presentations.

For more information please go to the Association’s web site at: www.mosbyheritagearea.org or give Jennifer a call at 540-687-6681.