Seminar Schedule


The Brandy Station Foundation 2017 Sunday lecture series begins in April and is held on the last Sunday of each month from April through September and begin at 2:00 PM. Everyone is welcome, the lectures are free (although donations are welcome), and free refreshments are provided by BSF board members and friends. 


Sunday, June 25, 2017 "Raised from Obscurity": The Cavalry Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville on the Road to Gettysburg" by Kevin Pawlak..  The Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville, fought in Loudoun and Fauquier counties from June 17-21, 1863, were sandwiched between the larger and better known Battle of Brandy Station and Battle of Gettysburg.  Despite their obscurity, they played a critical role in shaping the Gettysburg Campaign.  This talk will look at the bigger picture of the AMU cavalry battles, and will also put the human face on these incredibly well-preserved battlefields.


Kevin Pawlak is the Director of Education at the Mosby Heritage Area Association and is a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Antietam National Battlefield.  He serves on the Board of Directors of the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association and the Save Historic Antietam Foundation.  Pawlak is the author of Shepherdstown in the Civil War: One Vast Confederate Hospital, published by The History Press in 2015.


Sunday, July 30, 2017 "The life of Jacob Dolson Cox, Ohio Citizen-General" by Eugene D (Gene) Schmiel.  The wrenching events of the Civil War transformed not only the United States, but also the men unexpectedly called to lead fellow citizens in this first modern example of “total war.”  Jacob Dolson Cox of Ohio was among those who rose to the challenge and he is recognized as one of the Union's best “citizen generals.”  He did so well that General Sherman offered him a brigadier generalship in the regular army at war's end.


Mr. Schmiel is a retired U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Officer, who now works part-time at the Department of State.  A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he was an Assistant Professor of History at St. Francis University (PA) before joining the Foreign Service. Schmiel has a Ph.D. degree in History from The Ohio State University, and he coauthored with his wife Kathryn a book about life in the foreign service. Mr. Schmiel’s book, "Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era," was published in 2014 by Ohio University Press.  It is the first biography of this highly-respected Union general whose accomplishments


Sunday, August 27, 2017  "I Am A Good Old Rebel" by  Robert Houghtalen. Warrenton's W.H.F. Payne will be the subject of his talk.


Mr. Houghtalen is a graduate of Hanover College (Indiana) with a B.A. in History/Education. He also has a Graduate Certification in U.S. Civil War History from American Military University. He has worked as a secondary school History teacher in the past. He currently works at Conner Prairie Living History Museum in Noblesville, Indiana. He does a 1st person interpretation of a Civil War doctor for middle school history classes. Mr. Houghtalen has published two Civil War biographies: A HOOSIER IN ANDERSONVILLE and I AM A GOOD OL' REBEL. He is in the research stage of his third Civil era book.


Sunday, September 24, 2017 Harry Smeltzer, who writes the blog "Bull Runnings" will present the genealogy of Judson Kilpatrick.  While the talk begins and ends with the Civil War, the speaker does want to stress that it's widespread - including descendants Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper.