Local author to host “The Chronicles of the American Civil War” podcast

Local author Bob O’Connor of Charles Town will be hosting a national weekly podcast starting Thursday, September 14, called “The Chronicles of the American Civil War”.

The podcast will be recorded at Chatter Restaurant and Podcast Studio, 5247 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Bethesda, Maryland.

O’Connor, who has some past radio experience, said the idea of a Civil War podcast had been foremost in his mind for some time. While putting together his game plan for possible programs, he inquired about the possibility of having the podcast produced by the technical crew at the Chatter studio. His timing was good, because the Chatter staff was looking for opportunities to produce other podcasts in addition to their original lineup. The Chatter Studio already is producing “The Tony Kornheiser Show” and “At the Movies with Arch Campbell and Ann Hornaday”.

The author of twelve books on the American Civil War, O’Connor plans to bring the most knowledgeable people on a particular subject to the weekly podcast to provide information about a plethora of topics about the conflict. Those experts will include authors, historians, staff members from several national battlefields, firearms experts, and the like.

Each podcast is absolutely free to anyone who wants to listen to it. The programs will be available on Itunes, Tune In, Stitcher, and Google Play. The podcast will post around 1 p.m. eastern time on Thursday each week. The programs will be available at any time of day or night after the posting for anyone interested in listening on their computer, cell phone or other device. Each program will be archived too so that someone who misses a couple of programs can go back and retrieve them at their leisure.

The first two programs on September 14 and September 21 will both feature Kevin Frye, a historian from Georgia who maintains a database of the records of over 42,000 Union prisoners who were held at Andersonville Prison. Mr. Frye will be discussing the history of the prison, known mostly as a place where nearly 13,000 Union prisoners died in just over a year. The commandant at Andersonville Prison, Henry Wirz, was the only Confederate official who was tried and hanged for war crimes directly following the American Civil War. The prison is now the Andersonville Prison Historic site and is operated by the National Park Service.

Some of the other early programs will include topics such as The Battle of Sharpsburg/Antietam, the Union artillery escape from Harper Ferry, Picket’s Charge at Gettysburg, Mary Lincoln, Belle Boyd, McNeill’s Rangers, The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Confederate General D. H. Hill, Civil War religion, Civil War Christmas traditions, John Singleton Mosby’s Raiders, and others.

There will be several special guests who will appear live at the Chatter studio in costume and will do living history impersonations on the programs. One of those scheduled to appear live at the Bethesda studio location on a future show in April, 2018 is Al Stone, who does a historical impersonation of General Robert E. Lee. Other experts from around the country will appear on the program live on location or via telephone.

The program will include special segments in addition to the main interview such as a listing of Civil War events that are upcoming on the calendar, little-known but interesting facts about the conflict, famous quotations, and a look back at what happened on the day of the podcast in American Civil War history.

O’Connor will also read comments from listeners each week from their e-mails. E-mails may be sent to the program at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). O’Connor said he will encourage comments about the program and suggestions of topics of future podcasts.
Updated information including the schedule for the entire year will be available on a daily basis at the Facebook page – The Chronicles of the American Civil War Podcast. The schedule for the year will also be maintained on the author’s website – http://www.boboconnorbooks.com.

The Chatter studio is set up so that live audiences may visit and watch as the podcast is being recorded. Persons interested in watching the recording of a particular program should send an e-mail prior to visiting to make sure of the timing of a particular show. 

O’Connor has been very encouraged by those who have learned about the podcast. “I have been pleasantly surprised with the number of experts who have already agreed to participate on ‘The Chronicles of the American Civil War’ podcast. I have fifty-two weeks of programs tentatively scheduled with some very well-known celebrities, including Pulitzer Prize winning author, Tony Horwitz, who wrote “Confederates in the Attic” (tentatively scheduled for January 25, 2018). Quite a few Civil War buffs have also indicated to me that they were interested in listening to the program on a weekly basis. A recent posting on the new Facebook page had over 800 views in less than two days.”

According to the author, the number of listeners can be determined for each program. As those number of listeners rise, the podcast will be able to attract the needed advertising to keep the program going.