Greencastle site of final Civil War 150th event of year

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Civil War soldiers were not an uncommon sight during the year 1863, in Greencastle-Antrim and Franklin County. The photograph is from the collections of The Library of Congress. There are no known restrictions on publication. On Nov. 1 and 2, Allison-Antrim Museum, with co-sponsor Franklin County Visitors Bureau, will hold the final Greencastle-Antrim Civil War 150th event of 2013, entitled: 1863 — The Decisive Year of the Civil War. It will be held at Green Grove Gardens.

Allison-Antrim Museum, with co-sponsor Franklin County Visitors Bureau, will hold the final Greencastle-Antrim Civil War 150th event of 2013, entitled: 1863 – The Decisive Year of the Civil War. A slate of nationally-known Civil War historians will speak Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1 and 2, at Green Grove Gardens.

Among the 12 speakers are: Ed Bearss, Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service; Lee White from Chickamauga National Battlefield; Pat Falci, who portrayed A. P. Hill in the movie Gettysburg; Bob O’Connor, noted author, on the U. S. Colored Troops; and John Miller, National Park Service ranger, historian and preservationist of the Monterey Pass Battlefield, about the Battle of Monterey Pass. The battle was fought at night in a torrential thunderstorm, and spanned two states.  

There will also be living historians including the 149th PA Bucktails and the 33rd NY, cavalry and “War Horses,” suttlers, cannon loading and firing, Civil War music, activities for children, and Civil War author book signings.

Scholars and historians have long debated, “When was the turning point of the Civil War?” The facts are: in 1863 the Union won the Battle of Vicksburg in the Western Theater, and the Battle of Gettysburg in the Eastern Theater. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, which freed those slaves being held in the states that seceded from the Union. Lincoln sent U.S. ambassadors to England and France to persuade those two countries not to get involved in the Civil War by recognizing the Confederate States of America. The diplomacy worked, with the aid of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Patrick Falci, well-known “performing historian”, will be the keynote speaker after dinner on Friday, Nov. 1. Falci’s presentation will be about the life of Hill, “The Man in the Red Battle Shirt.” He will share stories about Hill, his time at West Point, his friends, childhood, marriage and conflicts with Stonewall Jackson and James Longstreet. Falci will both entertain and educate dinner guests.

Falci was also historical advisor, coordinator, and researcher in the movies Gettysburg, Gods and Generals, Rough Riders, and four documentaries. He served as historical advisor and researcher for several Civil War books and lectures frequently. This is a unique opportunity to meet and talk to a well-known living historian.

Bearss is an internationally-acclaimed military historian. He is the author of more than 20 books and is well-known as a “talking head” on the History Channel. Bearss has written and speaks extensively on various aspects of American military history, including the American Revolution, Civil War, Indian Wars, and WWII. He served as a U.S. Marine during WWII in the Pacific Theatre, where he was wounded in action while charging a Japanese machine gun nest. Bearss has also led tours of the D-Day battlefields in France. He has been a guest speaker on six prior occasions for Allison-Antrim Museum, last speaking in the Greencastle-Antrim area in April 2012.

There will be free events, open to the public, on the grounds of Green Grove Gardens. There is a fee for the speakers on Friday and Saturday, which include a lunch and a dinner. The prices are: both days, meals and speakers, $99;  all Friday speakers and dinner, $50; dinner and speaker only, $35; Saturday speakers and lunch, $75; individual speaker sessions, $10 each.

For more details visit the following Web sites: greencastlemuseum.org, Facebook, on Twitter @greencastlemuzm, explorefranklincountypa.com/calendar-of-events, greengrovegardens.com, call 717-597-9325, or the Franklin County Visitors Bureau, 866-646-8060 or 717-709-7204.