- September 26, 2017: John Michael Priest spoke about the Battle of South Mountain, which was the prelude to Antietam. Mr. Priest is a Civil War historian/author and a tour guide at Antietam National Battlefield.
A retired high school history teacher, John Michael Priest has been interested in Civil War history since an early age. He is a graduate of Loyola College in Baltimore and Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, and has written extensively about the Civil War.
His many books include Antietam: The Soldiers’ Battle (1989); Before Antietam: The Battle for South Mountain (1992); Nowhere to Run: The Wilderness, May 4th & 5th, 1864 (1995); Victory Without Triumph: The Wilderness, May 6th & 7th, 1864 (1996); and Into the Fight: Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg (1998). Praised by legendary historian Edwin C. Bearss as the “Ernie Pyle” of the Civil War soldier, Priest appeared on the Discovery Channel’s Unsolved History: Pickett’s Charge (2002), and is one of the historical consultants for the forthcoming miniseries To Appomattox.
His newest work, Stand to It and Give Them Hell! chronicles the fighting on July 2, 1863 from Cemetery Ridge to Little Round Top from the perspectives of the soldiers who fought the battle.
August Speaker Richard T. Gillespie spoke about Colonel John Singleton Mosby C.S.A. and the Mosby Heritage Foundation. Colonel Mosby was known as the “Grey Ghost” and commanded the 43rd Battalion, 1st Virginia Cavalry. This unit became known as “Mosby’s Rangers” or “Mosby’s Raiders.” Mr. Gillespie is a New England native and graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg VA. He serves as Historian Emeritus for the Mosby Heritage Area Association.