What was it like to be a cadet at West Point for five years immediately prior to the Civil War? How did one of the last cadets to resign and head south justify his actions in his own mind? Did his West Point training influence his role as commander of the Stuart Horse Artillery from 1861 to 1863, including his artillery duels at Antietam? This program uses primary sources to examine the difficult decisions facing a young Alabamian in the years before and during America’s costliest and bitterest conflict. Whether we agree or not with Pelham’s conclusions, understanding the context of his decisions and the formation of his leadership is key to exploring his battlefield tactics, motivations, and military innovations. On August 16th, Sarah Kay Bierle will present: “John Pelham: Trained at West Point but Aiming Artillery for the Confederacy“.

Sarah Kay Bierle graduated from Thomas Edison State University with a BA in History, serves as managing editor at Emerging Civil War, and works in the Education Department at American Battlefield Trust. She has spent years exploring ways to share quality historical research in ways that will inform and inspire modern audiences, including school presentations, writing, and speaking engagements. Sarah has published three historical fiction books and her first nonfiction book, Call Out The Cadets: The Battle of New Market, is part of the Emerging Civil War series. She is currently working on a short biography of John Pelham for the Emerging Civil War series.

Come join leading historians and Antietam Battlefield Guides as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.

These outdoors programs will be held at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m.  These outdoor programs are free and open to the public. To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed UCC Church at 117 Main Street.  For updates and changes to the schedule check our Facebook page.