Military Staff Ride of the Battle of Antietam


Thursday,  May 13th, 2004

3 PM-4 PM:  Check In and Welcome, Sheraton Four Points Hotel, Dual Highway, Hagerstown, MD by Corky Lowe

4-6 PM:  The Military Staff Ride, Orientation and Discussion on the Art of War and related items.  Instructor TBA 

6:15 PM  Icebreaker Dinner at the Sheraton.  Casual Dress.  Meet the faculty

7 PM: Introduction and review of the course of study, methods to be used and rules of engagement by Dr. Tom Clemens, President of Save Historic Antietam Foundation.

Friday, May 14th and Saturday May 15th, 2004

8 AM  Depart the hotel en route to the Antietam battlefield.  We will stop first at the Pry House—headquarters of General George McClellan.  This program is about battlefield decisions both strategic and tactical.  We will work to get in the heads of the people we are studying--paying particular attention to the formulation of orders, how they read and when they are dispatched or arrive.   We will then play those orders out on the field.  Unlike most tours this program is designed to cover the battlefield by walking the same paths as the soldiers.   We will leave the park tour and go to spots that are in private ownership.  We will also climb the hills south of Sharpsburg.  As you know the battle was fought in segments.  Thus we will be able to follow the battle from north to south.  Good for us, but not necessarily good for the soldiers.  Thus you will be walking across and along the same attack routes as the soldiers did.  There will be some criss crossing across the same sites.  There will be a limited amount of battle narrative.  You already know what happened—we will merely orient you on the site before analysis begins.  We will go across routes as opposed to staying on paved routes.  We will return to the hotel each night  by 6 PM.   Dinner will be on your own on Friday.  Saturday we will have a banquet and then the integration/closing phase of the program.

About the Program:  BGES takes pride in bringing to you some of the finest military historians available.  This program goes far beyond what anyone else will offer you.  In order to qualify for registration you must pass a 30 question written examination with a minimum score of 75%.  A single retake is permitted.  If you fail to qualify for the program your deposit of $100 will be refunded less the cost of postage ($40).  Once you pass the test you will be provided with the course text books.  You will need access to them as your preparations will require you to read in advance assigned passages.  The books will also be referred to and additional homework assigned.  This is an immersion course for serious students only.

*Entrance Examination:  The 30 question entrance examination will be given on January 28, 2004 and as required after that date or until the program is filled at the maximum capacity of 30 registrants.  The exam is open book with Sears’ book as the authority for the questions.  The exam will be sent to applicants upon receipt of a $100 application fee ($60 is refundable if the applicant is not admitted to the program) via 2nd Day UPS.  It must be returned in the enclosed UPS envelope by February 6, 2004 or as advised

Physical Fitness:  Participation is at your own risk.  This program requires participants to be in average to good physical health as it will be conducted in the field. There will be extensive periods away from the bus.  Registrants will be expected to stand for long periods of time.  Lengthy, sometimes physically demanding, walks across fields and up hills will be undertaken.  For those unable to make the longer or more physically demanding walks a faculty member will return to the bus and recreate what you are missing in the field.  We encourage you to prepare.  A personal statement of fitness must be executed with your registration.  You will also be required to provide us with a medical profile if you have any condition that may require medical intervention and will hold us harmless in the event that you develop a medical emergency as a result of your participation in any and all portions of this program..

Graduation:  There will be two levels of distinction for this program.  Each person who completes it will receive a diploma that is suitable for framing signed by the faculty and Executive Director of the BGES.  For those who aspire to higher recognition an optional written examination may be taken on Saturday after the close of the program.  A grade of 90% will earn the “Distinguished Graduate” notation on your certificate.

Top Graduate Award.  The faculty will caucus after the event and determine who was the best overall student in the program.  That individual will be recognized after the banquet in a memorable and appropriate fashion.

The Faculty

Tom Clemens:  Is the Head of the Faculty.  Dr. Clemens will develop the syllabus and direct the program before and during the event.  He is an instructor at Hagerstown Community College is adjunct professor at George Mason University.  He is the President of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation.

Colonel William Lowe:  Is the President of the BGES Board of Directors.  A retired Colonel from the New Jersey National Guard, Colonel Lowe has conducted many staff rides for buisness and military leaders.

Two additional faculty members will be announced before the end of December.  Both will be uniquely qualified for the roles they will play in this program.

Meeting Site and Hotel:    This program will be held at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel, 1910 Dual Highway, Hagerstown, Maryland, 21740(1-301-790-3010).  Ask for the Blue and Gray Education Society rate of $64 plus 11% tax.  The Four Points Hotel is conveniently a mile or so down the road from exit 32B for Hagerstown.  We have reserved a block of 20 rooms in the Blue and Gray Education Society’s name.  The block expires on April 13th and the hotel goes to open reservations.   

Airport and Transportation Information:  Hagerstown is serviced by USAirways Express.  There is complimentary transportation available to and from the hotel using the hotel courtesy phone.  The best major airports are Washington Dulles (IAD) and Baltimore Washington (BWI).  Both would require you to get a rental car for the duration of the program.

Key Publications and Recommended Readings:  A reading book will be provided at the event.

We recommend that you read Stephen Sears book “Landscape Turned Red” before taking the entrance exam.  It is in paperback.  Your registration fee includes the wholesale cost of Joseph Harsh’s books Taken at the Flood (Kent State University Press) and his peerless reference work Sounding the Shallows (KSU Press).  You must have both books available to you at the program.  They will be sent to you upon acceptance of your registration.  If you have those books then you may reduce your registration fee by $40.  Spouses may share a set and reduce their registration fee by $40.


BGES’ MSR of the Battles of Antietam Registration Form:


Name (s): _______________________________               _________________________________


Address/City/State Zip:____________________________________________________________


Phone: ______________________  E-mail: ____________________________________________


____  UNIVERSAL APPLICATION FEE:  $100 per person.  Must be sent with the application.  Includes exam cost, required text books, shipping and handling.  If accepted you will be invoiced as follows:                                 

______   Regular Registration:  $330    _____  Current member of BGES or partner organization* $297

                                                                                      *                Save Historic Antietam Foundation,  Cedar Creek Battlefield                                                                                                                    Foundation, Friends of the Wilderness,

                                                                                                Tredegar National Civil War Center Foundation

_______  Teacher/Student:  $275      

Payment Instructions:  My check for $__________  is enclosed.    Or  charge my AmExp     VISA    MCard


# _______________________________________________________________    Exp: ____________


Please Check and sign:  I understand that this program will be physically challenging and that I am the sole determinant of my ability to participate.  I and my family agree BGES will not be held responsible if I exceed my physical limitations. I will hold BGES  harmless if I develop a medical emergency as a result of my participation in any and all portions of this program I will discuss any physical or medical challenges that I currently face with the Executive Director, Len Riedel at 1-888-741-2437 prior to my registration becoming binding on either party.

____  I have no physical or mental challenges.                   _____  I need to speak with you about my health.


Signature: _______________________________________________________________