My perspectives on history proceed from my career in the U.S. Army. Travels took me to World War II battlefields in Europe and the Pacific where American valor ended the tyranny of Nazism and Empire. But our country faced its own greatest challenge 80 years earlier during the Civil War. And it was the critical late summer of 1862, when Robert E. Lee launched the Maryland Campaign, that fortune could have gone either way. It is an incredible story of drama, carnage, bravery, and missed opportunities that culminated around the fields and woodlots of peaceful Sharpsburg Maryland.
I am fascinated by the military aspects of the terrain on the battlefield of Antietam. Subtle and apparently innocuous, the lay of the land had a tremendous impact on the course of the battle. The high ground south of the North Woods, the rock ledges parallel to the Hagerstown Pike, the intermittent streams that cut across the field, and the frowning heights of Cemetery Hill may not be as well-known as the Cornfield, Bloody Lane, and Burnside Bridge, but they nevertheless shape the field and the outcome of the battle. The terrain greatly impacted the use of artillery at Antietam. In 2023, I completed my first book The Artillery of Antietam, which is an examination of every Federal and Confederate artillery battery (135 in all), their commanders, and the cannoneers that participated in the Maryland Campaign of 1862. I was also a contributing author to The Brigades of Antietam, published in 2021.
Born and raised in the Buffalo New York area, I currently live with my family in Jefferson, Maryland. I earned a bachelor’s degree in Russian history from Niagara University in 1976 whereupon I was commissioned in the United States Army and served for 28 years retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 2004. My military career included assignments in Germany during the Cold War, deployment to Grenada with the 82nd Airborne Division in 1983, and duty as an instructor at the Combined Arms and Services Staff School (CAS3). I graduated from the US Army Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces where I was awarded a master’s degree in National Resource Strategy. I subsequently worked for the federal government where I retired from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in 2021 as an operations officer and liaison to FEMA helping to coordinate Federal law enforcement response to natural disasters. I volunteer at Antietam National Battlefield and currently work with Antietam’s artillery detachment, Battery B, 4th United States Artillery. I have been an NPS certified battlefield guide at Antietam since 2009, and led the guide service from 2012 to 2018. I am a founding member of the Antietam Institute.
I look forward to showing you around Antietam National Battlefield. I particularly enjoy taking families with children, school groups, and scouting organizations around the field. It is important to excite the next generation of young Americans on the history of their great nation.
I will see you on the field.
Jim, we deeply enjoyed the tour you gave my wife and me a year ago–your knowledge and professionalism. Perhaps you remember us? We live in Baltimore and my wife is in a wheelchair. I served in the Army for 3 years 1969-1972. My wife’s twin sister is coming to visit June 15th -27th. We’d like to take her on an Antietam tour with you. Which days during June 15-27 might you be available?
I understand you are going to give Battlefield Ambassador training this fall and winter. I would like to participate. Please send me information you may have available. Thanks.
Would like to get in touch with Mr. James Rosebrock, and share a sketch book of Mr J E B Stuart at West Point. It contains a detailed elevation pen and ink given to mr. Jeb Stuart
by a fellow classmate Alexander Stuart Webb.
I have been dealing in the trade of antiques since 1956 and have many areas of interest..
Also served USMC 1961-1967 missiles and artillery the map is I believe of West Point signed A S Webb and beautifully executed..other drawings relating to General Stuart are included in the sketch book.
My contact number is 1-917-6483282
Alexander Acevedo… thank you and looking forward to talking with you.
Good Evening Jim. My name is Don Gallagher, we met today at the Visitor Center. I brought my grandsons to show them where their ancestor Alfred Meck fought in the 7th Pennsylvania Reserves. You mentioned that you were working on a book about the Artillery at Antietam. It didn’t occur to me until we got to the Dunkard Church and I showed them the picture of John Marshall’s grave under the tree. He is listed as a casualty of the 28th PVI but I believe he was actually serving with Knap’s Battery and was killed behind the Church. Possibly on the crew of the gun that was lost. I was wondering if you came across that in your research?