March 2017
 Volume No. 1, Issue No. 1

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A Note from Our Director

Greetings from the McCormick Civil War Institute and welcome to the inaugural quarterly issue of CWI’s newsletter—“The Picket Post.” One of my many goals as director of CWI is to keep you—CWI’s biggest supporters—regularly updated on all of the exciting things happening at the Civil War Institute, keep you informed of various events sponsored by CWI, and let you know about various ways you can support the Civil War Institute. In addition to sharing news the quarterly newsletter will also contain two regular historical features—“Publication of Note” and “Artifact of the Quarter.”  I hope you enjoy this inaugural issue of “The Picket Post” and as always if you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email at

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

Headlines from the Quarter

Annual Spring Conference Sold Out!

At the end of January all available slots for CWI’s annual spring conference at Shenandoah University River Campus at Cool Spring Battlefield, “A Dangerous Game”: Irregular Operations & Espionage during the Civil War Era, were filled. With a growing waiting list and increased interest in this annual spring conference CWI is considering moving this conference to a larger venue in 2018.

CWI to Publish "The Journal of the Shenandoah Valley During the Civil War Era"

Shenandoah University has given approval to CWI to publish an annual journal: The Journal of the Shenandoah Valley During the Civil War Era. The Journal will consist of feature essays – shorter contributions related to people, places and artifacts.
» Read more 

CWI to Commemorate 153rd Anniversary of the Battle of Cool Spring

On Saturday, July 15, CWI will offer a series of programs at Shenandoah University’s River Campus at Cool Spring Battlefield, commemorating the largest and costliest engagement fought in Clarke County. Battlefield trails and living history camps will be open throughout the day (9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
» Read more

WHAG visits CWI twice in January

On January 13 WHAG’s Sarah Gisriel visited CWI and interviewed CWI Director Noyalas about the origins of Lee-Jackson Day in Virginia and on January 26 the station’s Rachael Espaillat was on campus interviewing Noyalas about all of the exciting initiatives being undertaken by CWI. 
» Read more

CWI Holds First Advisory Board Meeting

The CWI advisory board, created to aid the institute in its educational and public outreach missions, held its inaugural meeting on Feb. 28. The advisory board consists of nineteen members from a variety of backgrounds—some are Shenandoah University alumni, professional historians, leaders of historical preservation organizations, or community leaders. The following individuals have agreed to share their time and talents as members of the advisory board—Blane Clark, Brian Daly, Wayne Eldred, Patrick Farris, Terry Heder, Warren Hofstra, Dennis Kellison, Justin Kerns, Allison Kleffman, Kristen Laise, Shannon Moeck, Maria Montgomery, Kevin Pawlak, Fred Rickard, Shelby Shrader, Cissy Shull, Nathan Stalvey, Zachary Thompson and Casey Turben. The advisory board will meet several times throughout the year.

The McCormick Civil War Institute Needs Your Help!

CWI has an ambitious agenda, but we need your help to realize our goals and make CWI one of the premier institutions for studying and learning about the Civil War era. While some of the events sponsored by CWI generate a bit of revenue, it is not nearly enough for CWI to realize its goals and potential.
» Read more

Quarterly Features

Publication of Note

Brandon H. Beck, "Winchester’s Three Battles: A Civil War Driving Tour Through Virginia’s Most War-Torn Town", Winchester, VA: Angle Valley Press, 2016.  ISBN: 978-0-9711950-6-6. $21.95
The site of three major battles, numerous raids, skirmishes, and occupations, Winchester experienced the Civil War incessantly.
» Read more 

Artifact of the Quarter

Can it Stop a Bullet?: Body Armor in the Civil War

While the notion of our armed forces wearing some form of body armor to protect them from bullets is a common thought today, it was a revolutionary one during the Civil War.
» Read more 

Coming Events

Annual Spring CWI Conference at Cool Spring: “A Dangerous Game”: Espionage and Irregular Operations during the Civil War (SOLD OUT!)

CWI Commemoration of the Battle of Cool Spring

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