Historian to speak at Civil War event

You may know about important battles of the Civil War and the generals who led the armies but do you know enough about the common soldiers who did the actual fighting and dying?

That will be the theme of renowned Civil War historian, Dr. Peter Carmichael, at a gourmet dinner presentation sponsored by Friends of Wilderness Battlefield (FoWB) on Friday, October 18, at Generals’ Quarters Restaurant.

The constant marching and fighting during the Overland Campaign exposed soldiers to unrelenting physical and psychological pressures. To understand how these men coped with the stresses of war, Dr. Carmichael, who once served as a seasonal interpreter at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park (FSNMP), will focus on the experiences of three Union soldiers, relying heavily on their own written words to uncover their strategies for survival and their emotional responses to the killing fields of central Virginia.

As author of the recently released book, “The War for the Common Soldier,” Dr. Carmichael is eminently qualified to speak on this topic. We know that everyone who attends this event will be enthralled with how he leads us to conclusions about the life of soldiers and, specifically, soldiering right here in our backyards. You will find him both informative and entertaining. Dr. Carmichael’s keynote presentation will be the kickoff for the FSNMP and FoWB Living History weekend event, Life of a Soldier, at Ellwood Manor on Saturday, October 19.

Dr. Carmichael received his PhD from Penn State University and is currently Professor of Civil War Studies and Director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College.

His academic interests are not limited to the Civil War and Reconstruction but also include 19th Century US southern, public, and cultural history. His most recent book, noted above, is the culmination of nearly ten years work and explores how Civil War soldiers endured the brutal and unpredictable existence of army life.

Carmichael has published several other books and articles and speaks frequently to general and scholarly audiences. Additionally, he served as Gettysburg NMP’s first Scholar in Residence. Finally, he has a lasting relationship with National Military Park staffs, for which he has overseen multiple interpretive workshops.

This event will be held at the General’s Quarters Restaurant, 32345 Constitution Hwy (Route 20), in Locust Grove. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M. and guests may enjoy a relaxing social time before the meal and presentation. A cash bar will be available throughout the event. Dinner will be served at 7:00 P.M. with Dr. Carmichael’s presentation to follow. The price for this outstanding meal and presentation is $35.00, inclusive of all fees. Reservation, meal selection, and credit card payment are required in advance and can be made via the FoWB website, www.fowb.org. The Reservation deadline will be October 14. Seating will be limited so we encourage making your reservation early.

As an added benefit, Dr. Carmichael will bring copies of his recent book for purchase and autographing. Attendees may purchase the book for $25 (cash or check only); retail price is $35.

For more information on the Generals Quarters Restaurant, please see their website at https://www.generalsquartersrestaurant.com.