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Archive for the ‘150th Anniversary’ Category

On a recent visit to the US Army War College , I joined David Birdwell, Instructional Systems Specialist for a tour of their vast collection of 21st century Civil War art.  This afforded a unique look at a dynamic collection as well as the US Government’s recognition of the importance of past battles.  Birdwell also pointed out the many similarities between Civil War soldiers, tactics, and logistical undertakings that are still used in training our elite troops.  

This video gives you some perspective of the US Army War College collection, the passion and learning that fills the hallways.

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One of the most distinguished names in Civil War history, Dr. Robertson was Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission and worked with Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson in marking the war’s 100th anniversary.  He has educated the young minds at Virginia Tech for years and has recently retired as Professor of History.  Dr. Robertson also serves as charter member appointed by Senate, for the Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.

Professor Robertson is the author or editor of more than twenty books that include such award-winning studies as Civil War! America Becomes One Nation, General A.P. Hill, and Soldiers Blue and Gray. His massive biography of Stonewall Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the basis for the movie “Gods and Generals.” Robertson was chief historical consultant for the film. Professor Robertson is the recipient of every major award in his field, and is a popular and renowned lecturer on the Civil War. He is retiring as Alumni Distinguished Professor, one of ten such honorees among 2,200 faculty members at Virginia Tech. He is also Executive Director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, created in 1999.

The video below contains excerpts from my interview with Dr. Robertson



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This thesis experience has given me  new perspective on how much hard work, detail and artistry goes into mapping history.

I’ve been following The Gettysburg Daily since starting on this endeavor and their work deserves recognition.

A recent series on the Devil’s Den, highlights the importance of art from the Civil War being used to increase the understanding of the battle and battlefield at Gettysburg.

The two licensed battlefield guides, Garry Adelman and Tim Smith, educate in 12 videos, using historical photography and their own analysis of the land, how the area was used during the Battle of Gettysburg, as well as later, after the Civil War.

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Gilbert Ouderkirk has made the annual eight-hour pilgrimage from Ontario, Canada to Gettysburg, Pa.  A welcomed face in the Dale Gallon Historical Art Gallery, Ouderkirk made his first trip to Gettysburg years ago with his wife after reading about the Civil War.  Being Canadian, Ouderkirk found the American Civil War fascinating and started ferociously reading accounts of battles, events, and turning-points of the Civil War.

“Mostly I collect the South, I’m not here to say who is right or who is wrong, I’m just here because it was an interesting and in many cases sad war, but very interesting to study.”

General James Longstreet Battle of Antietam, Maryland, 1862 General James Longstreet holding the horses for his staff while they worked Miller’s Battery of the Washington Artillery, September 17, 1862, Sharpsburg, MD. The Commanders Series

Ouderkirk has over a dozen Dale Gallon Commanders Series pieces that he proudly displays in his home.  Among his favorites are anything with Gen. Longstreet and Gen. Lee.  He does have a mixture of Confederate and Union pieces but admits his eye is mostly drawn to the South.

As he toured around the gallery he admitted, “I’m mostly just trying to find room to put these paintings in my house, you can’t just put them in a closet, eh?” he cheerfully said.

He points out the social relevance might be stronger with American’s but admits when he has guests over he always shows them his collection.  “It’s great that you can come here [Gettysburg] and something you tour every time you come well there’s a painting of it,” he said.

His extensive collection usually elicits a, ‘Wow, what’s that all about?’ and ‘What the heck ever got you interested in the Civil War?’  when he has visitors to his house and feels that a picture is worth a thousand words.  “They might not know a lot about the Civil War but when they see a painting, it sticks with them.”

Ouderkirk finds himself stopping at different paintings he has had for years and sees new elements in them each time.  “The paintings are a window to the past.  When you look at it [painting], well there it is and there you are,” he said.

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Wayne E. Motts

Wayne E. Motts

Wayne E. Motts

  • Adams County Gettysburg, PA
  • Executive Director Historical SocietyBorn and raised in central Ohio, Wayne graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in history in 1989. Moving to Gettysburg in 1990, Wayne earned a Master’s Degree in American History from the Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania in 1994. He was one of the youngest persons ever to complete the licensing process to be a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park. He has guided parties around the famous field for over 20 years. He has spoken to a wide range of historical bodies and groups on topics related to the American Civil War including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. In addition to his speaking engagements, Wayne has published several pieces related to the American Civil War in a variety of publications. He is considered the leading authority in the nation on Southern General Lewis Addison Armistead of Pickett’s Charge fame and has published the only biography of the general entitled, Trust in God and Fear Nothing: Lewis A. Armistead, CSA. For ten years he was the research historian for renowned Civil War Artist Dale Gallon of Gettysburg where he assisted in the historical research of 40 works of fine art. He was the Senior Research Historian for TravelBrains Corporation and in this capacity researched material to be included in a number of audio-visual products related to the American Civil War. The products produced by his research have been endorsed by the History Channel and have won numerous awards. In 2002, he accepted the position of curator at the Cumberland County Historical Society where he managed a collection of 8,000 artifacts. In 2004, he assumed duties as the collections manager of the Adams County Historical Society in Gettysburg. In 2005, Wayne was named executive director of the Society where he oversees a staff of five and 60 volunteers. In addition to his directorship, Wayne is the chairman of the Alliance of Pennsylvania County Historical Societies (APACHS), which promotes collaboration and best practices among the Commonwealth’s 67 county historical societies. As chairman of APACHS he sits on the board of the Pennsylvania Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations (PFMHO).

Biography Courtesy of Wayne E. Motts

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I took a trip to Gettysburg to interview Wayne Motts about Dale Gallon’s art work of Gettysburg during the Civil War.

I have the pleasure of showing you the videos from this trip where Mr. Motts explains the work of Dale Gallon in the present day settings.

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Wayne is a native of Groveport Ohio where his father is the director of the Motts Military Museum. Wayne graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelors degree in the field of Military History and earned his Masters degree in American History from the Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.

For the past 12 years Wayne has been a licensed battlefield guide at Gettysburg National Military Park and has given tours of the battle grounds to thousands of visitors from all over the world. Currently, Wayne is the full-time research historian for renowned military painter Dale Gallon of Gettysburg.

Wayne lectures extensively to a wide range of historical bodies, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Additionally, Wayne has authored several works relating to the American Civil War, including the book “Trust in God and Fear Nothing”. It is the only published biography of Confederate General Lewis A. Armistead, who was killed at Gettysburg. In addition to his own writing, Wayne is an Associate Editor of North and South Magazine, a nationally recognized periodical in the field of Civil War history.

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The Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia is celebrating the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War with the Civil War works of Mort Künstler.  Booth Western Art Museum focuses on Western American Art and boasts over 120,000 square feet of Civil War art, Presidential portraits and letters, Western movie posters, and Western illustration.

Künstler’s art was well received at the opening on April 2, 2011 with people inquiring on purchasing many of the works.  Künstler’s daughter Jane said she was taken aback by the interest in purchasing an original Künstler Civil War painting and hadn’t even come prepared with prices.  “It’s an exhibit in a museum, I never expected to sell three paints right away,” she said.

The interest in Künstler’s art spans all ages and genders.  Jane points out that 50 percent of Künstler’s audience and costumers are women.  While he believes in capturing the events of the Civil War this hasn’t limited Künstler to strictly battle scenes.  He has done many works that depict the love, emotion, and rejuvenation between the ‘characters’ of the Civil War showing a national audience that these were real people who had real emotional hardships.

For Us the Living: The Civil War in Paintings and Eyewitness Accounts

The Booth Western Art Museum is located in Georgia and as a Southern state, some areas of the country are uncertain about celebrating the anniversary of the Civil War.  Yet Künstler’s exhibit show’s both sides of the war and his paintings evoke such powerful feelings that it almost feels as though the Confederate and Union soldiers are used to being displayed together as more of a collective look and feel, versus a segregated distance.  Perhaps this exhibit will elicit the feeling of a United America, turning brother versus brother back to the commonality of fraternity.  For Us the Living, with a name that binds rather than divides, represents 150 years later, the rejoining and strength of our nation.

Mort Künstler’s Civil War Art: For Us the Living
April 2 – September 4, 2011 Special Exhibition Gallery

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