September Meeting – John Hoptak

For our September Meeting our guest is John David Hoptak:

Meeting time:  7:30 PM, September 11, 2012.

Location:   Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia.

Topic:  The Battle of South Mountain

The Battle of South Mountain has long remained in the shadows cast by the larger and far bloodier battle fought three days later along the banks of the Antietam Creek in western Maryland. Yet South Mountain was in itself a significant battle, for it was here that Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of the North was met and initially repulsed. It was also the first major battle fought north of the Potomac River, and the Union victory there did much to restore confidence in the ranks, which aided them three days later at Antietam. Hoptak, who recently published a history of South Mountain as part of the History Press’ Civil War Sesquicentennial Series, will speak of the importance of the battle of South Mountain by placing it within the larger context of the Maryland Campaign. He will describe the actions at Fox’s, Turner’s, Frostown, and Crampton’s Gap and the reasons why South Mountain was a significant battle.

About our speaker:

John is a lifelong student of the American Civil War and currently works as an Interpretative Park Ranger at both the Antietam National Battlefield and the Gettysburg National Military Park. He also teaches courses in American History and Civil War History as an Adjunct Professor at American Military University. Hoptak is the author of several books, including First in Defense of the Union: The Civil War History of the First Defenders (2004), Our Boys Did Nobly: Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, Soldiers at the Battles of South Mountain and Antietam (2009), The Battle of South Mountain (2011), and Antietam: September 17, 1862 (2011). His History of the Battle of Gettysburg, published as part of the History Press’ Sesquicentennial Series, is scheduled for a November 2012 release. Hoptak is active in the preservation and promotion of local history and recently completed a nationwide effort to restore the 48th Pennsylvania Monument at Antietam Battlefield. Hoptak also blogs on the Civil War at

About Craig Swain

"Historical marker hunter" and Civil War enthusiast.
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