8th Annual Jefferson County Civil War Seminar

The 8th Annual Jefferson County Civil War Seminar will be held on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 in the auditorium of the Robert Byrd Center on the campus of Shepherd University. This popular event is sponsored jointly by the Charles Town Library Civil War Round Table and the Jefferson County Historical Society. As in previous years, all presenters are either members of the round table or local historians with an interest in the Civil War.

      This year’s seminar presenters and their topics include:

John Bagladi. “WHAT’S IN A NAME? ‘The Battle of …’” On August 21, 1864, thousands of soldiers wearing blue and gray met in combat across western Jefferson County. What was this engagement called? Do you know? Are you sure?

Bill Berry.“Harpers Ferry Civilians during the Civil War.” Water and whiskey, two key ingredients in the tragic tale of civilians of Harpers Ferry during the Civil War. The story of the people harassed by both sides with no solution in sight.

Steve French. “McNeill’s Rangers in the Gettysburg Campaign.” During the Gettysburg Campaign, Rebel guerrillas and partisans roamed far and wide attacking military targets and gathering plunder. One of these bands, McNeill’s Rangers, fought at the 2nd Battle of Winchester, occupied Hancock, Md. destroyed Baltimore & Ohio property, raided the farms and stores of southern Pa., fought at the July 6 Battle of Williamsport and later skirmished with Federal cavalry around Clear Spring, Md. The talk will give an overview of the role of these so-called “land pirates” in the campaign.

Jim Glymph. “The Whitworth Rifle.” The Whitworth rifle was developed in England to be the standard rifle for their infantry. It had many shortcomings, but it was extremely accurate. England did not adopt it but a few of them became the deadly tool of the Confederate sharpshooters.

Russ Harbaugh. “Will the real Scarlett O’Hara please stand up?” Have you ever wondered if Scarlett O’Hara’s character was based on a real-life person? Russ does, and he thinks she lived in Jefferson County.

John Kavaliunas. “Watch on the Potomac: Foreign Observers of the U.S. Civil War.” We think of the American Civil War as a purely domestic event. However, the War was of concern to many in Europe. Regular news reports from the battlefield caught the attention of the public and, in several instances, inspired others, including European princes, aristocrats, and adventurers, to view the conflict first hand or to personally join in the battle. This presentation will describe some of these foreign observers and their impressions of the War itself.


The seminar begins at 8:45 AM and will conclude at 4:30 PM. Parking is available in the A Lot at Shepherd University. There is no charge for the seminar, and the public is invited to attend.