June 2019
 Volume No. 3, Issue No. 2
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A Note from Our Director

First, I’d like to begin by extending my deepest gratitude to all those who attended MCWI’s spring 2019 conference—“A House Divided…” I’ve been overwhelmed with the positive feedback I’ve received about the conference since April 6. Not only was our spring conference the largest to date, it marked the first time C-SPAN was on hand to record an MCWI event. As you can see, this newsletter is filled with information about various firsts in MCWI’s 27 years including the establishment of an undergraduate certificate in Civil War Era studies and the development of an audio tour at the Shenandoah River Campus at Cool Spring Battlefield. Each time I prepare MCWI’s quarterly newsletter I am always excited to share good news and future plans, but am always reminded that none of these events, programs, efforts, and opportunities we provide for our students would happen without our many wonderful supporters. Your attendance at events, purchase of the Journal of the Shenandoah Valley During the Civil War Era, and financial contributions make all of what we are able to do possible, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Jonathan Noyalas '01, M.A. 
Director, McCormick Civil War Institute 

Headlines from the Quarter

Spring 2019 Conference, "A House Divided…" Largest in MCWI’s 27 Years
On Saturday, April 6, MCWI held its annual spring conference. With 110 registrants from 11 states, this was the largest conference in MCWI’s 27 years. In addition to presentations by Dennis Frye; MCWI’s director Jonathan Noyalas ’01, M.A.; Paul Quigley; and Jennifer Weber, the day included a special student session featuring Prof. Noyalas’ students who have been working on researching the backgrounds of Union and Confederate soldiers who fought at the Battle of Cool Spring. Student presenters included Antoni Blanco, Kelly Evans, Jessica Kronenwetter and Shelby Sprague. Recent alumni Jake Gabriele ’18 and Shelby Shrader ’17 also presented during the student session. C-SPAN’s “American History TV” was also on hand, recording the afternoon portion of the conference. The entire conference was recorded in 360-degree video by Shenandoah University.

155th Anniversary Commemoration of the Battle of Cool Spring

MCWI commemorates the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Cool Spring on Saturday, July 20, at the university’s River Campus at Cool Spring Battlefield, located at 1400 Parker Lane, Bluemont, Virginia. The day includes a walking tour led by MCWI’s director, and special presentations by Jennifer Murray (Oklahoma State University) and Jonathan White (Christopher Newport University). All events are free and open to the public, with no registration requirements. The schedule for the day is as follows: 9 a.m. site opens; 10:15 a.m.-Noon, walking tour with MCWI’s director; Noon-1 p.m., lunch on your own (please note that there are no food vendors on site so please feel free to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy it in the air-conditioned lodge or shade of our pavilion); 1 p.m.-1:45 p.m., “Dreams of War & Peace”: The Remarkable Night Life of Civil War America (Jonathan White); 2 p.m.-2:45 p.m., “Follow Him to the Death”: Sheridan, Early, and the Shenandoah Valley in the Summer of 1864 (Jennifer Murray); 3 p.m.-4 p.m., unveiling of “Through Their Eyes: An Augmented Reality Experience at Cool Spring.”

Registration Open for Fall 2019 Semester Seminar and Tour

On Saturday, Oct. 26, MCWI holds its annual fall semester seminar and tour, “Defeat… Could be Ill-Afforded”: Clashes of Arms Around Berryville, Virginia, August-September 1864. As of the publication of this newsletter, about 65% of the spots have been filled. Space is limited for this session, so please register early if you are interested. The registration fee of $25 covers the morning lecture, lunch in Allen Dining Hall, and an afternoon caravan tour of sites. The schedule of the day is as follows: 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m., check-in at Shenandoah University; 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., welcome and lecture by Noyalas, “A Lucky Inspiration”: Sheridan Takes Command; 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m..; lunch in Allen Dining Hall; 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m., caravan tour of sites associated with the Battle of Berryville, sites related to John Singleton Mosby’s activities in August and September, and the grave of Thomas Laws.

Dr. David and Mrs. Melanie Miles Summer MCWI Student Fellows Named

Due to the continued generosity and unflinching support of Dr. David and Mrs. Melanie Miles, MCWI is able to continue its summer student fellows program in 2019. After a competitive application process, students Kelly Evans and Jessica Kronenwetter were selected as the 2019 Miles Fellows. Evans and Kronenwetter will work with MCWI’s director this summer, researching the antebellum history of the Cool Spring battlefield, as well as its important connections to Judge Richard Parker, and its wartime history prior to the Battle of Cool Spring.

Undergraduate Certificate in Civil-War Era Studies to be Offered Beginning Fall 2019

Pending some final signatures, beginning in the fall 2019 semester, MCWI, in conjunction with the university’s History Department, will offer an undergraduate certificate in Civil War-era Studies. The certificate, which consists of a total of 12 credit hours, include courses in Civil War-era and Reconstruction, Civil War memory, and interpreting Civil War battlefields and historic sites.

Dr. Caroline Janney Set to Speak at MCWI in November

MCWI continues its traditional annual Fall Perspectives in the Civil War Era lecture on Thursday, Nov. 14. This year’s speaker is Dr. Caroline Janney, director of the Nau Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia. The lecture, “Lee’s Army After Appomattox,” being held at 7 p.m. in Henkel Hall, Hester Auditorium, is free and open to the public.

Augmented Reality and Audio Tour Coming to Cool Spring

MCWI is teaming up with Shenandoah University’s Center for Immersive Learning (SCiL) to create an augmented reality experience for visitors to the university’s River Campus at Cool Spring Battlefield. The experience will allow visitors to follow thirty soldiers (fifteen Union and fifteen Confederate) who fought at the Battle of Cool Spring. Through the augmented experience, visitors will have a chance to hear the words of soldiers and learn more about the fate of these men. MCWI is investing $10,000 in this interpretive effort. Additionally, MCWI is teaming up with SCiL to develop an audio tour of the site. The tour will be GPS-enabled and available through an app. It is anticipated that portions of the augmented reality experience and audio tour will be available at our 155th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Cool Spring slated for Saturday, July 20.

Many Thanks to Generous Donors

MCWI wishes to thank all of those who have made contributions to support the McCormick Civil War Institute. Since the publication of our last newsletter, the following individuals have made generous contributions which will support MCWI’s myriad efforts: Dr. Winston Cameron, Duncan Campbell, Mr. and Mrs. Jon-Erik Gilot, Mr. John Grady, Warren R. Hofstra, Ph.D., Mr. Bruce Kramer, Mr. Alexander MacLeod, Patrick McCarthy,  Dr. David and Mrs. Melanie Miles, the Noyalas family, Dr. Ken Rutherford, Mr. Phil Spaugy, Allison Stowers and Dr. Ed & Mrs. Prue Yelinek.

The McCormick Civil War Institute Always Needs Your Help!

None of what we are able to do, particularly our myriad efforts at Cool Spring, would be possible without outside financial support. The reason MCWI has continued to grow in recent years is because of the support of attendees at our various conferences and events, sales of Journal of the Shenandoah Valley During the Civil War Era, and the generosity of our donors. Simply put, none of what MCWI is able to do would be possible without your financial support. The only way we can continue to build our various programs (both those intended for the public and our undergraduate students) is with your continued help. If you would like to make a contribution (tax-deductible) to the McCormick Civil War Institute to support its various efforts, we would be most appreciative. Any amount, however small or large, goes a long way to support the McCormick Civil War Institute’s vision.

Quarterly Features

Publication of Note

Aldace F. Walker, “The Vermont Brigade in the Shenandoah Valley, 1864” (Burlington, VT: The Free Press Association, 1869).

*Note in our March newsletter we promised that 2019 would be devoted to highlighting important works related to the Shenandoah Valley’s Civil War- era story published in the conflict’s immediate aftermath.

Aldace Walker and the veterans of the 11th Vermont Infantry first glimpsed the Shenandoah Valley on July 18, 1864, from atop Snickers Gap. 

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Artifact of the Quarter

William W. Layton Collection, receipt from 1863.

Throughout the course of MCWI’s 27 years, various items, including letters and other ephemera, have been donated to MCWI and housed in Shenandoah University’s archives where they are made available for researchers to utilize. One of the items in MCWI’s William W. Layton Collection is a receipt for 969 pounds of bread payable to the 87th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.

» Continue Reading 

Coming Events

Saturdays at Cool Spring: On the following Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the free exhibition about the Battle of Cool Spring located in the Lodge will be open courtesy of MCWI’s volunteer staff, on June 29, July 6, July 13, July 20, July 27, and Aug. 3.  

Saturday, July 20: 155th Anniversary Commemoration of the Battle of Cool Spring, 1400 Parker Lane, Bluemont, Virginia. See main body of newsletter or for additional details about the day’s schedule. Free.

Saturday, Aug. 17: "Quite a Panic": Winchester's Civilians During the Civil War's Bloodiest Year. Walking tour with MCWI Director Noyalas as part of Winchester’s Civil War weekend, conducted in partnership with the Winchester-Frederick County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. At 9:30 a.m., meet in front of the Old Frederick County Courthouse on the downtown walking mall. Tour will last approximately one hour. Free.

Saturday, Oct. 26: MCWI’s Fall Semester Seminar and Tour, “Defeat… Could be Ill Afforded” Clashes of Arms Around Berryville, August-September 1864.

Thursday, Nov. 14: "Perspectives in the Civil War Era" lecture featuring Dr. Caroline Janney (University of Virginia), “Lee’s Army After Appomattox,” 7 p.m. Henkel Hall, Hester Auditorium. Free.

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