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Civil War Round Table of Kansas City

September 2022 Meeting Summary

At our dinner meeting on September 21, 2022, Mr. Dennis E. Frye gave a very interesting program about Harpers Ferry during the Civil War. Due to his other schedule commitments, Dennis' program was conducted via Zoom during the dinner meeting.

Dennis retired from the National Park Service (NPS) at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, where he served for more than three decades - 20 years as Chief Historian. Arnold Schofield was his first NPS supervisor. While with the NPS, Dennis earned the Department of the Interior's "Distinguished Service Award," the highest honor of the department.

During the September program, Arnold asked Dennis to address the following questions:

  1. What sparked Dennis' interest in Harpers Ferry? What makes Harpers Ferry unique?
  2. What was the Confederacy's first invasion of the North?
  3. What was General Stonewall Jackson's association with Harpers Ferry?
  4. How did Harpers Ferry affect Jackson's 1862 Valley Campaign?
  5. Why did General Robert E. Lee focus on Harpers Ferry in May of 1862?
  6. What was Lee's Special Order 191?
  7. Was Jackson's opponent at Harpers Ferry, Union Colonel Dixon Miles, an imbecile or a traitor?
  8. What did the Federals learn from Harpers Ferry?
  9. How did Lee deal with Harpers Ferry during the Gettysburg Campaign in 1863?
  10. What role did Harpers Ferry play in Union General Phil Sheridan's 1864 Valley Campaign?
  11. What happened to Harpers Ferry the town during the Civil War?

Dennis has written two books about Harpers Ferry:

  • Harpers Ferry Under Fire - A Border Town in the American Civil War (2012).
  • Confluence: Harpers Ferry as Destiny (2019). Co-authored with Catharine Magi Oliver.

He is planning to write a full-length book about the 1862 Battle of Harpers Ferry.

Civil War Round Table of Kansas City
4125 NW Willow DR
Kansas City, MO 64116

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