This last weekend I had the honor of speaking at events commemorating the 150th anniversaries of the Civil War battles that took place at Harpers Ferry WV and Sharpsburg MD. Those places and their history are near and dear to me, and my books about them launched my career as an author.
On Saturday, September 15th, I was a panelist at the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, speaking about what happened to the civilians who were living in and near the scene of the fighting.
The Night Riders of Harper's Ferry is my children's historical fiction novel about events leading up to the Union surrender of Harpers Ferry to Confederate forces led by General Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson.
On Sunday I was a featured speaker at the Antietam National Battlefield Park at Sharpsburg.
The 1862 fighting there turned out to be the single bloodiest day in American history, with 23,000+ soldiers killed, wounded, or missing.
My Antietam presentation was based on Too Afraid to Cry: Maryland Civilians in the Antietam Campaign
, the non-fiction history book that took me twelve years to research and write. (I used some of that research to write another historical novel for young readers, The Bravest Girl in Sharpsburg
|Click on the image above to view Kathleen's presentation.|
Shortly before I was to begin, I learned the speaker's tent was too bright to show my Powerpoint deck of period illustrations. I also discovered that the C-SPAN3 cable channel would be broadcasting my talk -- live. No pressure! Fortunately, a warm welcome from the audience helped everything go well.
It was incredibly moving to be at Antietam on such an important anniversary, and to see so many people honoring both the soldiers on the field and the local civilians who confronted unimaginable hardships.
My sincere appreciation to all who came to these events, and to everyone who has been kind enough to purchased one or more of my Civil War books. Your commitment helps make it possible to earn a living as a full-time writer, and I thank you very much for that.