2013 Sesquicentennial Conference: "Avenue of Invasion"

Lee, Gettysburg, and the Shenandoah Valley in 1863

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, Virginia
Saturday, March 9, 2013
9:00 am - 4:45 pm
Cost: $20 per person

There was no “peace in the valley” in 1863.  While less remembered today than the famous campaigns of 1862 and 1864, the Shenandoah Valley and its residents saw no rest during that pivotal middle year of the conflict. During Robert E. Lee’s Gettysburg Campaign that summer, the Valley played a central role, first as an “avenue of invasion” as Lee moved north – and then, after his defeat in Pennsylvania, as a vital route of retreat and a haven for the massive numbers of wounded. The Valley also witnessed other critical developments that year, including the formation of the new state of West Virginia, the aftereffects of the Emancipation Proclamation, and over 50 smaller military actions. In 1863, the Valley and its residents were once engulfed by the conflict that raged across the country.

On March 9, 2013, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of that year with "Avenue of Invastion": Lee, Gettysburg, and the Shenandoah Valley in 1863, a Sesquicentennial conference featuring renowned Civil War historians and authors Brandon H. Beck, Eric Campbell, Steve French, Jonathan A. Noyalas, Joseph Whitehorne, and George Wunderlich.

The conference will be held at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester.  The cost to attend is $20 per person.  Space will be limited, so early registrations are encouraged.  You can sign up today by downloading and submitting the registration form here, or by registering online here.

Lunch Options
Attendees can choose to lunch on their own or preorder a box lunch from the MSV cafe. The cost for the lunch is $14, and comes with a choice of sandwich, choice of salad, chips, cookie, and drink. The deadline to order the lunch is Monday, March 4. To pre-order the lunch, simply choose the lunch option when you register.

Schedule for the Day

  • 9:00-9:30: Welcome and Introductions
  • 9:30-10:15: Joseph Whitehorne – Born in Battle: Military and Political Events in a New State, 1863
  • 10:15-10:30:  Break
  • 10:30-11:15:  Jonathan A. Noyalas – “The Most Important Event… Since Christ was Born”: Gen. Robert H. Milroy’s Enforcement of Emancipation in the Lower Valley
  • 11:15-11:30:  Break
  • 11:30-12:15:  Eric Campbell – “We are in the Valley…again…": The Shenandoah Valley in the Gettysburg Campaign
  • 12:15-1:30:  Lunch
  • 1:30-2:15:  Brandon H. Beck – The Second Battle of Winchester
  • 2:15-2:30:  Break
  • 2:30-3:15:  Steve French – Imboden's Wagon Train of the Wounded: the Battle of Williamsport and Aftermath
  • 3:15-3:30:  Break
  • 3:30-4:15:  George Wunderlich – The Medical Evacuation of Gettysburg: "...the Vast Procession of Misery..."
  • 4:15-4:45:  Book Signing

About the Speakers

Brandon H. Beck was the Hugh D. and Virginia McCormick Professor of Civil War History at Shenandoah University for more than twenty years and is currently director emeritus of the University’s McCormick Civil War Institute.  He has authored or edited ten books including The Second Battle of Winchester and The Three Battles of Winchester: A History and Guided Tour.  He currently resides in Columbus, Mississippi.

Eric Campbell is the Chief of Interpretation at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. He has worked as a Park Ranger for the National Park Service for twenty-seven years, over twenty of those at Gettysburg National Military Park (along with previous assignments at Independence National Historical Park and the Eisenhower National Historic Site). He has also authored over two dozen articles and essays for scholarly publications and his book, "`A Grand Terrible Dramma': From Gettysburg to Petersburg, The Civil War Letters of Charles Wellington Reed," was published by Fordham University Press in 2000.  Eric's responsibilities at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP include overseeing the planning for future interpretation at the park, including the development of ranger-lead programs, opening a Visitor Contact Station, developing interpretive trails, brochures, exhibits, the park website, podcasts and other interpretive media and infrastructure.

Steve French is a history teacher at Martinsburg South Middle School and is a member of a number of historical organizations including the Harpers Ferry Civil War Round Table and the Stuart-Mosby Historical Society. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Imboden’s Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign, which received both the 2008 Bachelder-Coddington Award and the 2009 Round Table of Gettysburg Book Award. He is also the author of the recently published Rebel Chronicles: Raiders, Scouts, and Train Robbers of the Upper-Potomac, the Blue&Gray Education Society monograph The Jones-Imboden Raid on the B&O Railroad at Rowlesburg, Virginia, and edited Four Years Along the Tilhance, the Civil War Dairy of Elisha Manor. French has written more than seventy Civil War articles and numerous book reviews that have appeared in such publications as The Washington Times, Gettysburg Magazine, North& South Magazine, Crossfire: The Magazine of the American Civil War Round Table U.K., Maryland Cracker Barrel Magazine, and The Southern Cavalry Review. French’s other Civil War related activities include speaking at various round tables and seminars and serving as guide for tours of the lower-Shenandoah Valley, Potomac Highlands, and the Retreat From Gettysburg.

Jonathan A. Noyalas is assistant professor of history and director of the Center for Civil War History at Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown, Virginia.  He is the author or editor of eight books including “My Will is Absolute Law”: A Biography of Union General Robert H. Milroy and the award-winning The Battle of Cedar Creek: Victory from the Jaws of Defeat, now in its fourth printing.  Additionally, Prof. Noyalas has authored scores of book chapters, articles, reviews, and essays which have appeared in publications such as Civil War Times, America’s Civil War, Blue & Gray, and Hallowed Ground.  In addition to writing Prof. Noyalas has also served as a consultant for a variety of historical projects related to the Shenandoah Valley’s history including serving as the Civil War historian for the National Park Service’s historic resource study at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park and as the content expert/author for the Civil War Trust’s Battle App for Cedar Creek.  In the autumn of 2010 Prof. Noyalas served as a consultant for National Geographic’s three part documentary “Civil Warriors” which debuted in the United States in April 2011.  In addition to teaching, writing, and consulting Prof. Noyalas is extremely active in battlefield preservation in the Shenandoah Valley and serves on the board of directors of the Kernstown Battlefield Association and is the chair of the committee on interpretation and education of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.  Prof. Noyalas is currently under contract to write a book on the Battle of Fisher’s Hill.  It is slated to be released in 2014.

Joseph W.A. Whitehorne is a retired United States Army officer who serve as a staff historian in the United States and Europe.  His last assignment was on the staff of the Secretary of the Army.  His duties included primary research, battlefield interpretation, archives development and support to archaeological and casualty recovery operations.  One of his last military projects was historian to the Snake Hill excavation at Fort Erie, Ontario—a War of 1812 site.  After retiring from the army in 1989, he was a professor of history at Lord Fairfax Community College until retiring again in 2012.  He continues to be a historical consultant to the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at James Madison University.  He is the author or co-author of numerous military history articles and nineteen books.  A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he holds a doctorate from George Mason University and an honorary doctorate from Shenandoah University.  His honors also include the Andrew Watts Prize from the University of Pennsylvania and the Moncado Prize from the American Military History Institute. His military awards include the Combat Infantryman Badge, Purple Heart, and two Legions of Merit.  Whitehorne is past president of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation and Past President of the Warren County (VA) Historical Society.

George Wunderlich is currently the Executive Director of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine where he formerly held the position of Director of Education.  George came to Museum in 2000 after moving from Missouri where he was Founder and Director of the Historical Education Center of St. Louis.  In 1995 Mr. Wunderlich was awarded the Daughters of the American Revolution National Medal of Honor for his work in public history. Since then he has developed historically-based medical leadership training programs for the Joint Medical Executive Skills Institute, The United State Army Medical Department (AMEDD) the  Interagency Institute for Federal Health Care Executives, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences  and various other civilian and governmental organizations.  In 2011 he was awarded the Order of Military Medical Merit by Army Surgeon General Lieutenant General Eric B. Schoomaker for his support of military medicine. He is a nationally known speaker on various Civil War topics and can be regularly seen on the History Channel, PBS, National Geographic and the British Broadcasting Corporation. 

Book Sales, Battlefield Coffees, and Other Information
Book Sales - Throughout the conference, books by the featured speakers and other Civil War authors will be available for sale in the MSV book store. You'll be able to purchase books during the day, then see about having any book signed by our featured authors at the end of the conference.
Battlefield Coffees - The SVBF's private label battlefield coffees, Stonewall's Sunrise, Jubal's Jolt, and Daughter of the Stars, will be served throughout the day. For more on the coffees, see here.
Other Information - Maps, directions, and other information will be emailed or mailed to you before the event.

Visitor Information
For information about historic sites, attractions, lodging, and dining opportunities in the area, see the Winchester-Frederick County Convention & Visitors Bureau website here.

If you have questions about the conference, registration, or other details, email theder@svbf.net or call 540-740-4545.