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Booksigning, benefit slated

By Staff | Jun 4, 2010

King & German streets in Shepherdstown

In a collaborative effort, the presidents of the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association Inc. (SBPA), the Shepherdstown Men’s Club Inc. (SMC), and the Historic Shepherdstown Commission Inc. (HSC) announce a book signing dinner and Civil War Memorabilia and Art Auction to be held at the SMC’s War Memorial Building on Friday, June 11.

The dinner will celebrate the publication of “The Maryland Campaign of September 1862, Volume 1,” edited by Dr. Thomas Clemens. The Maryland Campaign entailed 3 battles: South Mountain, Antietam and Shepherdstown; and the siege and surrender of Harper’s Ferry.

The book is from a manuscript by Civil War Colonel Ezra Carmen, who participated in the Maryland Campaign and almost immediately began an effort to complete a narrative of the Campaign. In 1894, he was appointed by Congress as “historical expert” of the Antietam Board with the mission of gathering information from the survivors of the Campaign. Eventually, his 1800 page manuscript was filed in the Library of Congress while much of his correspondence was scattered among several research libraries.

Dr. Clemens, a history professor at Hagerstown Community College, is a noted expert on the Maryland Campaign and is also President of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation Inc. and a Board member of SBPA. Dr. Clemens has edited and annotated the manuscript. In his research, Dr. Clemens discovered boxes of correspondence between Carmen and participants in the Campaign that were heretofore unknown to the historic community.

Following the dinner, Dr. Clemens will discuss his research and the Maryland Campaign.

After Dr. Clemens’s discussion, an auction of Civil War Memorabilia and Art will be held. Copies of 1862 newspapers highlighting the Maryland Campaign and the Battle of Shepherdstown will be sold. The art auction will feature a 44x 24 inch oil painting depicting a scene from the Battle of Shepherdstown. The scene shows “Berdan’s” Sharpshooters covering the retreat of the 118th PA Volunteers as they crossed the Potomac River on the Cement Mill dam. The work is by Tim Kurtz, a Michigan-based artist who graciously donated the work to SBPA to help raise funds in the effort to save the site of the Battle of Shepherdstown. The painting can be viewed on SBPA’s website at: www.battleofshepherdstown.org/Dinner2010.html

The War Memorial Building is located at 102 East German St. in Shepherdstown. The book signing and cocktail hour will begin at 6:30PM and dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m. The dinner menu will include filet de boeuf or vegetarian lasagna. Two bottles of wine, one red wine and one white wine will be provided for each table of 8. Other refreshments will be available. Tickets are $35 per person. Books are $34. Reservations for this limited seating event may be made through SBPA’s website: www.battleofshepherdstown.org or by calling (304) 876-7029 to make arrangements to pay by check.