Daily Archives: February 3, 2014

Preparing for Gettysburg after the Snow and Amid the Flood


Well, today has been spent catching up at work after several days off due to the snowstorm which paralyzed the Hampton Roads area last week. Unfortunately for us the storm was the least of the issues as our hot water heater blew out Friday night while we were asleep, leaving our downstairs area flooded. Thankfully tomorrow the people from SERVEPRO will begin to dewater the house and clean up the ungodly mess and stench. The construction company will come in tomorrow too to assess the damage and plan for what will have to be repaired or rebuilt, but I think that I’ve already told you this.

So back to what is going on. Today was a busy day catching up, getting ready for the Staff Ride to Gettysburg that I will be leading in early March, coordinating the assistance of our students and staff who will be volunteering to help at the Norfolk Emergency Shelter on Friday Night and Saturday morning. I have also been talking with my teaching team for our Ethics course.

So today has been busy and tomorrow will be all about trying to begin our damage recovery at our house.

In the mean time I will still be getting ready for the Gettysburg trip. It is an honer to be taking this duty from a man who has been doing it for 20 years, Dr Vardell Nesmith. Thankfully he will still be in the area and come the Spring or Summer may be able to lend his most considerable expertise to the trip as a Professor Emeritus.

Today was our first meeting for the trip which was more administrative in nature. We will have two more meetings before the actual trip, those will be to introduce the participating students to the Gettysburg Campaign and the opening events which began the campaign.

I am going to be spending a lot of time preparing for this and it is quite likely that some of my work will show up here. The obvious intent is to tie in lessons from this campaign to our curriculum of Joint Planning and Campaigning for our students who either serve in or are going to serve in Joint Staff or Command positions.  So my intent will to be to tie the lessons of the Gettysburg campaign to national military strategy, operational level planning and leadership at the operational level.

Of course that will entail things that I like and understand well. The issue in planning this event are more to the emphasis of what I will teach, what I will emphasize and the detail in which I will go in each class, and for the actual Staff Ride at Gettysburg. I will need to talk about weapons and tactics, that is for sure and actually the easiest part.

Of course I need to explain well how each side understood this campaign in relation to its own war aims, and how their respective planning and preparation, as well as the politics, the economic, diplomatic and informational factors that influenced the decisions of the leaders of both the Union and Confederacy during the summer campaign of 1863. The real focus I think needs to be on leadership, relationships and the decision making process, because I believe in all my heart that those are the things that win battles and wars.

Tonight I am musing of what emphasis to give each subject and in the background I have the movie Gods and Generals on.

Well I shall sign off for now. I do have a number of articles bouncing around my head and I must continue to muse… I must, I must.


Padre Steve+

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Filed under civil war, Loose thoughts and musings