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After-Action Report on Antietam – Plans for More Mini-Reunions

Thursday, November 05, 2009

We Fought the Rain at Antietam, But WE WON!!! Ninety classmates and spouses (with the odd offspring and fiancé thrown in for variety) gathered the weekend of October 16-18 with Professor James McPherson at the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown, WV for a unique perspective on the pivotal Civil War encounter between federal and confederate forces at Antietam. Following Jim's deployment maps on the ground, his exploration of the psychologies of McClelland and Lee, and taking a look at the birth of modern battlefield medicine in the aftermath of the single bloodiest day in American history all combined to make for a very special experience.



This was the third mini-reunion Jim has led for '69 and, as we have come to anticipate, placed the horrific battle of September 17, 1862 in the broader context of its significance in what he argued was the turning point of the war.


One thing that did not contribute to the general well-being was the weather Saturday which can only be described as rotten, but it did bring out a good selection of ’69 umbrellas. It also demonstrated that while the event may be the occasion that brings us together, it is the fellowship of the Class that keeps us warm. 

The list of participants included:

Bob Andre
John & Carolyn Assini
Jack & Ann Breihan
Andy & Jerry Brown
Jim Brown
Thacher & Lloyd Brown
Granville & Reba Burgess
Bill & Anne Charrier
Tom & Mary Cooper
Don & Jane Cowles
Rod & Martha Ferguson
Tom & Cathy Fleming
Chuck & Judy Freyer
Buck & Joan Foot
Steve Frankel & son Adam
Claus & Annette Frank
Jim & Kathy Gaffney
Ralph Glader & Arda Hovnanian
Haynes & Ginger Griffin
Cary & Alice Haywood
Dan & Fo Fo Herrick
Steve Houck & Toni Lichstein
Dave & Roberta Johnson
Eric & Lindsay Johnson

Curt Kehr
Rick & Chris Kitto
Jim & Judy Kuzmick
Blair & Barbara Labatt
Steve & Sigi Lindo
Jeff & Maureen Marston
Clay & Pinky McEldowney
Ted & Ellen McLean
Chris & Liza Meyer
Jack & Pam Meyerson
Al Piranian & daughter Lori ’06 & fiancé Bobby Mulcare ‘04
Chuck Ragan & Julie Hoff
Bob & Ronnie Raymar
Chip Roh & Maureen Gevlin
Derek & Mary Catherine Savage
X & Lou Shannon
Bob & Michelle Sheipe
John & Linda Tatum
John & Emily Tepe
Tom Weidner
Mark Whitenton
Jim & Mary Lou Wright
Once again we owe Pam and Jack Meyerson big-time for organizing such a spectacular weekend!  To see more photos from our trip, click here.



And Next?

The enthusiasm for these mini-reunions among those who have attended one or more is pretty much universal. There was a fair amount of discussion at dinner Saturday and on the bus back to Princeton about what to do next. Some themes emerged. First, the special access (both physically and intellectually) that Prof. McPherson has contributed (combined, of course, with the fellowship of the participants) is what has made these events unique, even more than the place itself. We should have an intellectual leader wherever we choose to go, ideally one with a special relationship to the place. Second, the first three minis have all been based around Civil War battles. We should try to broaden our subject matter, even though it is highly likely that we will attempt to prevail on Jim again in the future (a river boat cruise down the Ohio/Mississippi has been suggested). Third, we should make a concerted effort to extend this concept beyond the Northeast and stage an event closer to home for our western classmates. And finally, we want to involve more classmates in planning and executing our major initiatives. These will be agenda items for the Class Steering Committee meeting November 14. If you have ideas about a place, a theme and/or a leader, or if you would like to help in organizing one of these extremely rewarding events, please drop me an e-mail before the meeting (bcharrier@comcast.net), and show up for the meeting if you can.
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