Hagerstown Community College professor and Civil War historian Thomas Clemens will give a Civil War lecture on Sun., Oct. 10, beginning at 2:30 p.m., at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown.
Clemens’ presentation will focus on the work of Ezra A. Carman, a Union colonel in the 13th New Jersey Infantry, who was later appointed as the historical expert to the Antietam Battlefield Board in 1894. After the war, Carman wrote a 1,800-page manuscript on the Maryland Campaign, using firsthand accounts from war veterans and his own personal experience. In addition to eyewitness accounts, the manuscript includes maps and photos.
According to Clemens, Carman’s manuscript sat untouched for decades in the Library of Congress, referenced by historians but never published in its entirety. Clemens, recognized internationally as one of the foremost historians of the Maryland Campaign, began studying the campaign as part of his doctoral dissertation, and has spent the last 11 years editing and annotating Carman’s manuscript. He recently published an annotated version of the first part of Carman’s manuscript, “The Maryland Campaign of September 1862, Volume I: South Mountain,” earlier this summer.
Clemens' presentation will be given in conjunction with the exhibition, “Circuit of the Summer Hills: Mourning the Losses of the Civil War,” which opened in Jan. 2010. Copies of his book will be available for purchase in the museum gift shop and Clemens will sign copies of his book after the lecture. For more information on museum programs and events, go to www.wcmfa.org .
A professor of history and political science, Clemens earned his doctoral degree from George Mason University, where he studied under Maryland Campaign historian Joseph L. Harsh. He is a licensed tour guide at Antietam National Battlefield and is one of the founders of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation, Inc., where he currently serves as foundation president. Clemens has been teaching at HCC since 1978.