About Me

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I am a lifelong student of military history with particular interest in the Battle of Antietam. I work for the federal government in Washington DC and have two young adult children who I love very much. I currently volunteer at Antietam and devote much time to the study of this battle and the Maryland Campaign. I enjoy collecting notable contemporary quotations by and about the men of Antietam. Since 2013 I have been conducting in depth research on the regular artillery companies of the Union Army and their leaders. I hope to turn this into a book on this subject in the future. My perspective comes from a 28-year career in the U.S. Army. Travels took me to World War II battlefields in Europe and the Pacific where American valor ended the tyranny of Nazism and Empire. But our country faced its own greatest challenge 80 years earlier during the Civil War. And it was the critical late summer of 1862, when Robert E. Lee launched the Maryland Campaign. It is an incredible story of drama, carnage, bravery, and missed opportunities that culminated around the fields and woodlots of peaceful Sharpsburg MD. So join me as I make this journey South from the North Woods.

Friday, November 4, 2011

An Honor

From left to right Mannie Gentile, Alan Schmidt, daughter Rachel, me, Dan Vermilya, Bob Casey, Christie Stanczak and Joe Nicodemus.  (Photo courtesy of Mannie Gentile)
Today, I was honored by my colleagues at Antietam National Battlefield as the park's first ever Master Ranger Volunteer.  The award recognizes 500 hours of volunteer service in one year.  The cool thing is a distinctive patch that I get to sport around on my guide shirt.  Mannie also has a very nice post at his blog here

It was great to be joined by fellow volunteer and lovely daughter Rachel. (Photo courtesy of Mannie Gentile)

It is great to be recognized for something you like to do but even greater to work with and be a part of the finest interpretive staff of rangers, volunteers, and guides in the Service.  While I say thanks to all of them for a job well done, I want to say a special thanks to Ranger Christie Stanczak, volunteer coordinator and very dear friend for making this possible. 


  1. Outstanding job, Jim. Very impressive.

  2. Jim,
    Congratulations. Truly a recognition well deserved by your dedication to ANB. Hope to see you there soon.
    Ron Dickey