#CWI2017: Tours and the End

By Kevin Lavery ’16

Assistant Director’s Log, Star Date 006:  

Wow. Just wow. What a week it has been. It’s all over now. The last conference attendee boarded his shuttle a few hours ago and almost all of the missing keys have been located. I’m about to head home for the evening, but first I wanted to share some details about the last few days of the conference.

My energy held up fairly well all weekend, but I’ll be the first to admit that Monday did a number on me. But the heat wave was no match for our guests’ enthusiasm during their tours through Mosby’s Confederacy with Dennis Frye and Richard Gillespie, at Cedar Mountain with Greg Mertz, Antietam with Carol Reardon and Tom Vossler, Gettysburg with Brooks Simpson, and Mine Run with Eric Mink. I myself was on the Chancellorsville Staff Ride with Christian Keller from the Army War College. Although it was hot, most folks knew their limits and enjoyed the tour without pushing themselves beyond their limits. Monday was certainly a very full, very interesting day.

NPS Ranger Chris Gwinn concludes his battlefield tour on the campus of Gettysburg College. Photo by the author.

On Tuesday morning, we departed the college once again for half-day Gettysburg battlefield tours focusing on brigade-level combat. Jennifer Murray had her crew trace part of the route of the Iron Brigade, while Tim Orr took his group through the Wheatfield and interpreted the movements and significance of Zook’s Brigade. If you were with Wayne Motts and Jim Hessler, you would have followed in the footsteps of Armistead’s Brigade. As Chris Gwinn (Gettysburg National Military Park) told the story of Schimmelfennig’s Brigade, I scurried around keeping our group hydrated on another 90+ degree day.

We resumed in the afternoon with breakout sessions featuring Stephen Engle and Matthew Mason. During the free period, friend of the CWI Ron Perisho was kind enough to make a small portion of his extensive photography collection for viewing in Special Collection at Musselman Library. John Coski gave the final talk of the conference, addressing the history and significance of the Confederate Battle Flag. After dinner, Dr. Carmichael concluded the program with an open-topic round table featuring six or seven of the historians remaining at the conference.

As some of you know, this was my first and final CWI Summer Conference. I know, however, that Pete, Jill, Heather, and Ashley all hope to welcome you back to Gettysburg College next June.

Lavery, Signing Off

2 thoughts on “#CWI2017: Tours and the End”

  1. Kevin, Huge kudos to you and all of the CWI staff for a great conference. This was my 6th go around and I am continually impressed by the near perfect logistics. Uncle Billy Sherman would be proud.

  2. Kevin .. thanks to you all for another great conference and I’ll be back for a fifth go around next year … also thanks for guiding us all down in Chancellorsville.

    Best of luck to you at Columbia .. I’m sure you’ll be just fine.

    Be well,
    Jim Dunlap

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