The Art of Command in the Civil War

The Mosby Heritage Area's Annual Civil War Conference: Where the Historic Landscape, Preservation, Civil War Expertise, and Friendship Come Together for an Invaluable Weekend Escape

Middleburg Community Center

Middleburg Community Center

Since 1998, the Mosby Heritage Area Association has offered an annual three-day conference examining the Civil War in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania through the lens of leadership as well as historic preservation. MHAA brings vetted experts with links to both the leaders of the Civil War and the battlefields and landscapes on which their actions played out.

Meeting at the classically handsome Middleburg Community Center, right, where President John F. Kennedy once attended church, conference attendees are provided with eight provocative talks on the annual topic beginning the Friday night of the conference and ending with a panel discussion of these historians on Saturday, followed by an evening banquet. Sunday, the final day of the conference, several of the historians will take us by luxury bus into the field to walk the ground and note the preservation efforts involved as we go.

2019 Civil War Conference

Topic: To the Gates of Washington: Jubal Early’s Maryland Campaign

Dates: Friday, October 4—Sunday, October 6, 2019

Download the 2019 Conference Schedule by clicking here

Check out the 20th Annual Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War in Photos (images courtesy of Steve DeCata, Douglass Lees, and MHAA)

Civil War Conference on C-SPAN

2016 Civil War Conference, “Gettysburg: The Third Day, July 3, 1863”

John Archer, Culp’s Hill, July 3, 1863
Wayne Motts, The Union Defense of Cemetery Ridge
Eric Wittenberg, Cavalry at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863

2018 Civil War Conference, “The Maryland Campaign of 1862: The Battle of Antietam”

Keith Snyder, The Soldiers’ View of the Battle of Antietam
Dennis Frye, Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth, and Machination

Conference Features

Conference Director Childs Burden

Conference Director Childs Burden

  • Program: Childs Burden, conference director, has superb connections with fine speakers. Co-founder of the Mosby Heritage Area and a longtime board member of the Civil War Trust, he has run the program with great heart since its very beginning. He has his finger on the pulse of conference topic and ensures we get the best experts to speak on it.

  • Opportunities: The conference offers you a superb opportunity to socialize, question, dine, and interact with the conference historians. And with historians ribbing each other unmercifully as they grapple with a serious topic, you can expect a supremely comfortable atmosphere.

  • Location: Middleburg, Virginia, and environs—the heart of the Mosby Heritage Area—is lovely country with superb accommodations, dining, and an ideal location for day trips should you wish to bring a spouse, partner, or friend who may be less interested in the Civil War than you are. We are happy to help you find accommodations to suit your needs.

  • Food & Drink: Conference attendees are plied liberally with good food and libations—something is always available as part of the price you pay to attend the conference.

  • Books and Store: Through the services of Owens & Ramsey, Historical Booksellers of Richmond, Virginia, you'll find a superb collection of new and used Civil War books available for browsing. In addition, all of the speakers will sell and sign their own books. The Mosby Heritage Area Association also operates a conference store.

  • Participants: Attendees come from all over the country, and their interests and personal knowledge add to the conference. Serious Civil War buffs as well as first-time attendees and those just beginning their Civil War journey are all welcome.

Civil War Conference Gallery

Mouse over the images below for descriptions.

Previous Civil War Conference Topics

  • 2007—The Second Manassas Campaign

  • 2008—The Antietam Campaign

  • 2009—The Valley Campaign of 1864

  • 2010—The Fredericksburg Campaign

  • 2011—Cavalry to the Field!

  • 2012—The Chancellorsville Campaign

  • 2013—Prelude to Gettysburg: The Armies Move North

  • 2014—July 1, 1863: Gettysburg—The First Day

  • 2015—July 2, 1863: Gettysburg—The Second Day

  • 2016—July 3, 1863: Gettysburg—The Third Day

  • 2017—The Maryland Campaign: The Battles of South Mountain and Harpers Ferry

  • 2018—The Maryland Campaign: The Battle of Antietam

For more information or reservations, call the Mosby Heritage Area Association at 540-687-6681.

Note: The Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War is always the first full weekend in October.

Photo, top: Participants in the field on the 2015 Civil War Conference trip to Gettysburg; Middleburg Community Center photo by Legends Catering