McMurran Hall

Shepherd Students Tour Civil War Battlegrounds

History students in Dr. Matthew Foulds’s classes got to see the grim reality of the Civil War at Antietam National Battlefield.

In a class trip arranged once a semester, Foulds, an assistant professor of history at Shepherd University, and his students tour the battlefield from Burnside Bridge to the Bloody Lane. Students from the historical honors fraternity, Phi Alpha Theta, spent the day recently wandering the historical battlefield.

Foulds’s favorite part of the tour was the inside of the Dunker Church in the middle of the battlefield. Used as a hospital for soldiers during the battle, the floor was so stained with blood it could no longer be used.

The tour was led by several guides, including Shepherd University graduate Kevin Pawlak and current Shepherd University student and Antietam intern, Mark Chaney.

Foulds said he wanted this trip for the students so they could see what they were studying and learn what it was like for the soldiers on the ground. He also said that this was an opportunity for history students to interact with the people at Antietam.

It could set them up with interactions that could lead to internships and maybe future jobs for the history majors on the tour, he said.

To plan the trip, Dr. Foulds contacted Jim Rosebrock one of the many guides who work at the park. Rosebrock is a U.S. veteran and, according to Dr. Foulds, an expert on Antietam and the Maryland campaign. He also is a supporter of Phi Alpha Theta. During the fraternity’s symposium last year, he gave one of the keynote speeches. He refused to be paid for the speech, choosing instead to do it for free.

Dr. Foulds said that the trip was very successful for him and for the students that came along. Another trip is in the works slated for the spring semester and will be open to any students in Phi Alpha Theta and his civil war and reconstruction class.

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