Category:

Rants

11 Jan 2013, by

Bibliographies

Time for a good rant. I haven’t had one in a long while.

I was recently asked to write a review of this book for the next issue of Civil War Times magazine. I have lots of serious problems with this book–the author did virtually no research before writing it, and it is also horribly deficient in maps–but it also features my pet peeve about books.

When a new Civil War book is published, the first thing that I do is to look at the bibliography, as doing so tells me what sources were consulted by the author in writing the work. More importantly, a review of the bibliography shows me how deeply the author has delved into the primary sources, and in particular, into manuscript sources. If a review of the bibliography does not demonstrate a deep job of researching the primary sources by the author, I will not purchase the book, on the theory that it adds nothing. I simply cannot take a book that does include a bibliography seriously.

My pet peeve is when there is no bibliography at all. The book I just reviewed has no bibliography, and Carhart’s festering pile of turds does not have one either. The failure to include a bibliography permits a lazy, or worse, intellectually dishonest (see Carhart), author to hide his or her lack of research. The failure to include a bibliography permits the author to avoid being held accountable for his or her poor work and lack of substantive research. In the case of Carhart’s book, the failure to include a bibliography permits Carhart to hide the fact that he simply manufactured “facts” when there were none in the historical record to support his preposterous theory. With respect to the book that I just reviewed, the lack of a bibliography hides the incredibly shallow scope of the author’s research. The endnotes indicate that he used primarily secondary sources, a few commonly available published primary sources, and a handful of materials readily available on the World Wide Web. There is not a single reference to the Official Records, there is not a single reference to any manuscript sources not available on line, there is not a single reference to newspaper materials, and there are no references to any primary source research of any significance. That bibliography would, undoubtedly, have been embarrassingly short, which is probably the reason why it was not included.

I view the failure to include a bibliography in a book to be at best lazy and at worst the perpetration of intellectual fraud. And I categorically refuse to buy any book that does not include one because I don’t believe that any such book has anything whatsoever to add to the body of knowledge. If I buy the book, that sends a message that it’s okay to publish such works, and I never, ever want to do anything that could even remotely be construed as promoting the publication of such works.

Personally, I WANT the reader to see how much work went into researching and writing one of my books. I WANT the reader to see just how much effort goes into one of these projects before I ever set pen to paper. I am proud of it. Evidently, these other authors are not, which I cannot begin to comprehend.

I had included some discussion of this issue in my review, but there was not sufficient room for all of it, and most of my ranting about the lack of a bibliography had to be edited out. Instead, I figured I would share that rant with you here.

What do all of you think about books that lack bibliographies? Please share your thoughts with me here.

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I’m not quite ready to resume regular posting yet. I’m making progress–this almost month off has helped–but I need a bit more time. However, this article in today’s Washington Post REALLY pisses me off, and I really felt compelled to share this with you. That this unethical guy is skating with nothing but a slap on the wrist is really a farce. I’m not sure which pisses me off more–that it happened, or that it got covered up. Either way, this guy has lost ALL credibility.

Report ignored explicit images found on park official’s computer
Gettysburg superintendent had 3,400 photos

By Kimberly Kindy
Monday, October 19, 2009

The National Park Service says it is satisfied with the results of a year-long inspector general’s investigation that found no criminal violations by John A. Latschar, the superintendent of one of the agency’s most popular facilities, Gettysburg National Military Park.

It will not say, however, how it handled a violation of department policy that was documented in the course of the investigation — Latschar’s use of his office computer over a two-year period to search for and view more than 3,400 sexually explicit images.

An internal Aug. 7 memo from an investigator to Daniel N. Wenk, the acting director of the National Park Service, details the discovery of the images on the computer hard drive that was seized by investigators. But the office of Mary L. Kendall, acting inspector general for the Department of the Interior, omitted details of the computer probe or any mention of the violation from a 24-page report that was released Sept. 17.

“Latschar’s inappropriate use of his government computer violates DOI policy,” states the memo obtained by The Washington Post. The investigator forwarded the report to Wenk for “whatever actions you deem appropriate.”

Wenk, through a spokesman, called the matter a “personnel issue” and would not comment on whether disciplinary action was taken.

Latschar also declined interview requests. He remains in his $145,000-a-year job.

The memo said that Latschar signed a sworn statement acknowledging “that he had viewed inappropriate pictures on his government computer during work hours” and that “he was aware of his wrongdoing while he was doing it.”

The inappropriate use of office computers to view pornography has surfaced at other government agencies, including earlier this year at the National Science Foundation, where an inspector general’s report led to several reprimands and the suspension of six employees. In one case, a “senior official” spent up to 20 percent of his working hours over a two-year period viewing the images, the report said.

Franklin Silbey, a former congressional investigator and Civil War preservationist, said the findings on Latschar are almost certain to inflame criticism of the superintendent, who is a popular and polarizing figure in the park system.

“People are aghast at their public findings. To learn, in addition, that they found this kind of unethical conduct and did not disclose it is inexcusable,” he said.

The investigation was triggered by 17 allegations of ethical and criminal misconduct by Latschar — largely in relation to his dealings with the Gettysburg Foundation, which operates a new visitors center and park that opened in spring 2008.

Latschar helped to create the private foundation and became well known in the park system for designing and promoting a public-private model that promised to infuse the cash-starved park with money it needed to build the new center.

The inspector general’s investigation noted that Latschar said the construction project would be funded by the foundation and that no taxpayer money would be used. However, as the price tag jumped from $39.3 million to $135 million, $35 million in public financing was ultimately needed to finish construction, records show.

The report also said that Latschar planned late last year to leave his job as superintendent to take a $245,000-a-year job as the foundation’s president.

An internal Jan. 26, 2009, memo, obtained by The Post, shows that during the course of the inspector general’s investigation, department ethics officials stepped in, pointing out several legal obstacles Latschar would face. The memo says post-government employment laws would prohibit him from performing many job duties, including “any communication to or appearance before an employee of the United States.”

As a result, Latschar dropped his planned job move, records show.

Investigators made no determination in the public report about whether Latschar’s conduct was improper or unethical. Kris Kolesnik, an Inspector General’s Office spokesman, said investigators are prohibited from drawing conclusions and that they must lay out facts, point by point. Kolesnik added that it is up to the department to “draw the conclusions.” Kendall declined interview requests.

The Inspector General’s Office would not comment on why the findings of Latschar’s improper use of his office computer were omitted from the report.

Several critics of Latschar’s said they were upset about the inspector general’s omissions from the report but are more concerned that the Park Service has not explained whether it will take any disciplinary action against the superintendent for cost overruns, his relationship with the foundation and the latest revelations about his computer use.

“It’s disturbing, but the inspector general looks for criminal activity, not indecency,” said Eric Uberman, whose family has owned a Gettysburg wax museum of Civil War figures since 1962. “The Park Service will not hold him accountable.”

Unfortunately, I think Eric Uberman is correct. This guy should have been fired for his little conflict of interest, and now this. In the private sector, he would have been escorted out of the building by an armed guard with instructions to never set foot in the place again. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why that didn’t happen here.

Latschar needs to go, as he has absolutely no remaining credibility whatsoever.

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Time for a major rant, and one that is not only overdue but richly deserved….

My biography of Ulric Dahlgren has been available for sale for about six weeks now. In spite of that fact, none of the big box booksellers have it in inventory. Amazon says it hasn’t been released. So does
Barnes & Noble, and Borders says it won’t be available until December 30. December 30? Say what?

Donald Thompson at Touch the Elbow asked publicly where his book is today on the blog, which is what triggered this post.

This is my 15th book. I also have published about ten books as a publisher. At this point, I know a little bit about marketing and how distributors work. My publisher claims that he selected his current distributor because of its record of success selling books on Amazon. I can’t begin to imagine what that success might be, because it’s become painfully and abundantly clear to me that the distributor hasn’t done a damned thing to sell my book. It has not done anything at all to see that the book is available for sale to the general public, or I wouldn’t have gotten the same result from the three big-box book retailers.

I would call this distributor useless, but that would be an insult to all useless things in the world. Rather, I prefer to call them grossly, rankly incompetent, probably liars, and worse than useless, because they surely haven’t done a God damned thing to do that they were contracted to do. If I knew the name of this useless outfit, I would gladly tell all of you, in the sincere hope that you will all either bitch to them or avoid doing any business with them.

I deeply and sincerely apologize to each and every one of you who has tried but failed to buy this book as a result of the overwhelming misfeasance of this so-called distributor. I wish that there was something I could do about it, but there’s not. All I can do is to suggest that you either buy the book directly from me, or from Edinborough Press, because I don’t what else to suggest.

To say that I am frustrated doesn’t even begin to do it justice.

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I received the following from Jackie Barton, who was named the coordinator for Ohio’s Sesquicentennial Commission:

Dear Friends of the Ohio Civil War 150 Effort,

The Ohio Historical Society launched an initiative to commemorate the Civil War 150th anniversary in Ohio early in 2009. With an approach that emphasizes programs and activities that provide lasting value for Ohio ’s communities and history organizations, the effort has already generated an immense amount of interest and support, even garnering a Governor’s Directive in April. Today, the program is in danger of disappearing, as the Ohio Senate is considering cutting ALL FUNDING for the Society’s outreach activities from the state budget! The Civil War 150th, which would provide coordination, traveling exhibits, Civil War collections care, and technical assistance on various topics, would be shut down, and Ohio would be unrepresented in an important national effort to better delivery of community-based history programs. In addition, this funding cut would end important programs like Ohio History Day, the Local History Office, and others.

We need your help! Please contact your Ohio Senator immediately (Senators are finalizing the budget as I type) and tell them that this is unacceptable. The Society has seen ongoing, disproportionate cuts throughout past years, and these cuts will be the final blow to some of Ohio ’s most community-based and effective history programs. Please consider visiting the local senate office or placing a phone call, as these methods have the biggest impact. Send an email if you have limited time, and forward this message to others you feel would be interested, to help protect this and important programs. Here is a link to the OHS Legislative Update website that will provide you with all the information you need to communicate with your Senator (as well as the Governor and your state representative): http://capwiz.com/ohiohistory/home/ (after landing on this page, click on the Take Action button)

If you’d like more information on this, please feel free to contact me or our Government Relations Director, Todd Kleismit (tkleismit@ohiohistory.org, 614-297-2355).

In thanks,

Jackie Barton, Coordinator
Ohio Civil War 150 / Local History Office
Ohio Historical Society

I wish I could say that I’m surprised by this, but unfortunately, I can’t. The morons in Ohio’s legislature, who have no appreciation of history, always look to the OHS budget as the first place to cut. At this point, there’s really nothing left to cut, so the idiots have now slashed the funding for any attempt to recognize the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

This, of course, is the same legislature that refused to consider an eminent domain action to preserve Ohio’s only Civil War battlefield, and is also the same legislature that believes that the OHS should operate on a wing and a prayer. It’s also the same legislature that has been operating in contempt of the Ohio Supreme Court for years by refusing to legislate a new school funding system that is not unconstitutional, even though the Court has ordered it to do so more than once. I appreciate the critical budgetary situation in this state, and having lived here for 22 years, I likewise understand and appreciate the fact that the recession has hit Ohio harder than the vast majority of states. I get it that most states are having budget crises. So am I.

At the same time, this sort of thing will bring tourist dollars into Ohio, which, in turn, will generate tax revenue. It seems to me that some tax revenue being generated would be a good thing, and that Ohio should be proud of its contributions to the Union victory in the Civil War. Sadly, I am obviously wrong about this. Instead, the morons we elect–my particular idiot is named State Sen. David Goodman, who, unfortunately keeps getting himself re-elected by using sleazy, slimy campaign tactics–would rather fund their own pay raises.

Never mind that Ohio gave more men per capita than any other state in the Union. Never mind that three of the four Union generals considered the greatest of the war–Grant, Sherman and Sheridan–were all Ohioans. Never mind that Confederate prisoners of war died at Johnson’s Island and at Camp Chase here in Columbus. Never mind that Salmon P. Chase and Edwin M. Stanton were Ohioans. All of this is apparently irrelevant to our legislative geniuses.

For shame, Ohio State Senate. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. While the rest of the 35 states that made up the Union from 1861-1865 celebrate the sesquicentennial, we Ohioans will be on the sidelines, wondering why.

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2 May 2009, by

A Rant

Today, I made my annual trek to Mansfield, Ohio. Mansfield is about 50 miles north of Columbus, and is a pretty non-descript place. However, the second largest Civil War show in the country is held there the first weekend in May each year. Every year, I go and visit my network of friends and book vendors who gather there, drool over antique weapons that I can’t afford, and look for a CDV of Ulric Dahlgren, which are, evidently, few and far between. For the first time in years, I didn’t spend a dime today.

I actually had intended to. I got an order for a copy of my second book, “We Have It Damn Hard Out Here”: The Civil War Letters of Sergeant Thomas W. Smith, 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry, a couple of weeks ago, and I am out of copies of it. Traditionally, and for years now, the Kent State University Press, which published the book, has had a table there, and I figured I would buy a couple of copies directly from the Press at my author discount so I have one to fill the order and an extra in case I get another order. I made my way back to the building where the KSU Press has always had its table, and was stunned to find that the entire building was filled with World War II stuff for sale.

That wasn’t the only portion of the show dedicated to World War II stuff. Dealers selling World War II stuff were thoroughly interspersed among the Civil War dealers all throughout the show. There’s always been a certain amount of non-Civil War stuff at the Mansfield, show, but it’s always been 95% Civil War stuff and 5% other stuff. Today, it was about 67% Civil War stuff and 33% World War II stuff.

I have no issues with people buying and selling World War II memorabilia and books, to be sure. Let’s be quite clear about that. Likewise, I understand that the economy is largely in the toilet (given that Susan got laid off from her job in January, I am painfully and constantly aware of that unpleasant reality) and that desperate times bring about desperate actions. I’m all for people trying to make a living, and I similarly understand that the show promoters have an overhead nut to crack, and that if the participation of Civil War dealers is down due to the economy, they need to cover that nut somehow. I get all of that.

At the same time, there’s a time and a place. This show is called the Civil War and Artillery Show (artillery reenactors give demonstrations there every year), not the Civil War, World War II, and Artillery Show. I surely didn’t expect to find nearly 1/3 of the stuff for sale being completely off topic, but there it was. If they want to open up the show so that it covers more than the Civil War, then fine. However, if the plan is to do that, then for Pete’s sake, change the damn name of the show so that people aren’t deceived as to what to expect.

While on the way home, I told Susan that I am seriously considering not going next year because I was so disappointed by the offerings there–specifically with the many missing regular dealers and with the overabundance of material that was completely off-topic to the theme of the show. If I don’t go next year, it will be the first time in about 15 years that I will have missed the Mansfield show.

I think that the promoters need to decide what they want their show to be, to promote it that way, and to keep it on-topic. It surely wasn’t this year.

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There is a Barnes & Noble superstore six or seven miles from my house. It’s right next to the Cheesecake Factory, so we visit it often. We visited it tonight, and I was absolutely appalled to see that the Civil War section has now shrunk to two shelves, or about 35 titles. That’s it. What was there was an odd mix of new books, like Jeff Wert’s bio of Jeb Stuart and Benson Bobrick’s new bio of George H. Thomas, and older books, including some Bruce Catton stuff. With only about 35 titles to choose from, the selection was obviously extremely limited.

I understand that it’s a business, and I likewise understand that they’re going to carry what sells, but the Civil War section of this store gets smaller and smaller every time I go in there. With the sesquicentennial of the war coming up in 18 months, I’m just horrified that (a) Barnes & Noble devotes absolutely no shelf space to the Civil War and (b) that my fellow Ohioans are so apathetic about history that there’s not enough demand for Civil War books at that humungous store to warrant more than 35 titles in stock.

By comparison, there were about 35 poorly written idiotic vampire titles aimed at tween and teenage girls who think that sort of thing is neat and romantic. To me, that speaks volumes about where our priorities are as a society.

I’m appalled by this, and I have no idea what can be done to get Barnes & Noble to increase their selection of Civil War titles, but if there is anything that can be done, I will gladly do it. Rob Wick, if you read this and have any suggestions, please pass them along, because I’m absolutely horrified by what I saw tonight.

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Time for a major rant.

To avoid embarrassing the person, I will not identify him, and I will not identify the blog where it took place, but I just got done drafting a lengthy critique of an essay on the coming of age of the Union cavalry. There was so much that was factually incorrect about what he wrote that I could not resist the temptation to point out how much was wrong. I was not gentle about it, either.

I have devoted most of my adult life to the study of Union cavalry operations in the Civil War. I have published fourteen books and a couple of dozen articles on the subject. I’ve written more than a million words on the subject. Along the way, I have examined more than a thousand–probably closer to two thousand–separate sources on the subject. At this point, I think I know a little bit about the subject. And I’ve had a book published that addresses the coming of age of the Army of the Potomac’s Cavalry Corps.

One lesson I learned very early in my writing career is that it’s very embarrassing to put stuff out there that is factually incorrect, because you’re going to get ripped for it. Since the very beginning, I have had others review my work to make sure it’s factually correct and to make sure I haven’t made any stupid gaffes. I’ve had lots of things pointed out to me as wrong, and I’ve made lots of revisions/corrections because of it.

The author of this piece obviously did nothing of the sort. I would never discourage anyone from researching or writing, but there are few things that irritate me more than people simply propagating and perpetuating things that are just plain wrong because they haven’t bothered to have someone else check their work or do their own primary source research. This particular individual clearly did neither, and it shows.

Boy, does that irritate me….either get it right, or please, don’t do it at all.

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9 Feb 2009, by

A-Roid

This post has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the Civil War. I apologize to those of you who come here exclusively for the Civil War content since you will be disappointed by this post. However, I feel the need to rant about this.

Alex “A-Roid” Rodriguez at least fessed up and admitted that he had made abundant use of illegal anabolic steroids from 2001-2003, which included one of his MVP seasons and a year when he hit a career high 57 homers. All of this calls into question the validity of any of his statistics and taints his entire career. And this from the golden boy who was supposed to lead the Yankees back to the promised land. A-Fraud’s propensity for choking in the post season is already well known. I will be curious to see how he responds to hearing the chants of “A-Roid” from the faithful at Fenway Park. The worst part about it is that somewhere, Jose Canseco is snickering and saying “I told you so,” for he’s been saying for several years that A-Roid was a juicer.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t that now make four major juicers from the recent editions of the New York Yankees: Jason Giambi, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettite, and now A-Roid? As if the Steinbrenner family has not done the game irreparable harm already, isn’t their real legacy now paying ridiculous salaries to juicers? There is simply no excuse and no justification for it or for them.

Is there any better possible reason for the imposition of a salary cap in major league baseball than what has happened this off-season with the Yankees? First, in a year when the economy is in the toilet, they spend $400 million on three free agents. And now, their golden boy–the guy with the largest contract in the history of baseball–has proved himself to be just another useless juicer.

It’s time that the rest of baseball impose a salary cap and rein in the Steinbrenners. Perhaps that way, some of the tremendous damage that they have done to the game might be undone.

I also believe that if Commissioner Selig had any cojones, he would declare that any player found to have cheated by using steroids is forever ineligible for admission to the Hall of Fame. That’s the best way I can think of to send a message to a guy like A-Roid, who desperately yearns for love and recognition, that cheating and juicing carries a large penalty. But Selig doesn’t have the stones to do it, meaning that guys like Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmiero, and now A-Roid will get into the Hall of Fame even though they cheated to get there. That’s not a good message to send kids, is it?

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Please forgive this rant, which has absolutely nothing to do with the Civil War.

Today, I suffered through my third straight week of watching some of the most pathetic offensive football since the Roman Gabriel days of my childhood in the early 1970′s. The Eagles’ offense did not score a single point today against the Baltimore Ravens; their only score was a 100-yard kickoff return in a very ugly 36-7 loss. This after a 13-13 tie with the 1-8 Cincinnati Bengals, and a 36-31 loss to the Giants the week before in a game that the Birds should have won.

Donovan McNabb has thrown 6 interceptions in his last game and a half, and he got yanked at halftime today after throwing 2 and coughing up a fumble in the first half alone. However, I don’t think it’s all his fault.

It is time for the Andy Reid era to end in Philadelphia. He and his pathetic excuse for an “offensive coordinator”, Marty Morninhweg, both need to go. It’s painfully clear from the last two weeks that the opposing defenses are so familiar with their lame play calling that they’re predicting most calls and playing them as if they know what’s coming. Well, as one of the Cincinnati defensive backs said after last week’s game, they DO know what’s coming. They’re predicting the incredibly unimaginative play calls.

Given that, it shouldn’t come as any big surprise that McNabb has thrown six interceptions in the last game and a half, or that young Kevin Kolb threw two, including one that was returned for an NFL-record 108 yards and a touchdown.

I realize that Reid is the winningest coach in the history of the franchise, but it’s also clear that things are moving in the wrong direction, that this team is getting worse and worse with each passing week, and all of that falls squarely on the shoulders of the coaching staff, which cannot come up with a decent game plan anymore.

Reid and Morninhweg need to go. The only question is whether owner Jeffrey Lurie and team president Joe Banner have the stomach to do what needs to be done. I can only hope so.

I feel better now. I will get back to the normal business of this blog tomorrow. For now, I again apologize for this rant.

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Although Kevin Levin disagrees with me, I remain convinced that there is something inherently inappropriate and a conflict of interest in the hiring of John Latschar to become the new head of the Gettysburg Foundation.

From Saturday’s edition of The Gettysburg Times:

What will be Latschar’s legacy?

Published: Saturday, November 8, 2008 1:44 PM EST
BY SCOT ANDREW PITZER

Times Staff Writer

Love him or hate him, one thing about John Latschar’s tenure as superintendent at Gettysburg National Military Park is certain — he will be remembered.

“My legacy is up for other people to decide,” Latschar said Friday, the day he announced he was leaving his post after 14 years on the job.

Latschar came to town in the mid-1990s with a vision: to restore the 6,000 acre battlefield to the way it looked in 1863, when the Battle of Gettysburg was fought here.

Some of the ideas — like white tail deer management, one way roads, and tree removal — seemed bogus at the time.

Other proposals, such as the $103 million Battlefield Visitor Center along the Baltimore Pike, have just come to fruition.

“When he came, the fireworks started,” said Gettysburg Borough Council President Dick Peterson, who was a Steinwehr Avenue businessman at the time. “But in a peculiar way, it brought the community together.”

Latschar announced Friday that he’s resigning effective March 1, 2009, to take over as president of the Gettysburg Foundation, the park’s non-profit fundraising partner. Acting foundation President Robert C. Wilburn is resigning at the same time, and plans to pursue other career options.

“One word describes Dr. Latschar when I think of his attributes: brilliant,” said Main Street Board of Directors Chairman Bill Kough. “His priorities are family, country, history and community.”

The battlefield boss has developed a legion of critics over the years.

“It’s not unexpected that he’s going over to the foundation,” said Steinwehr Avenue entrepreneur Eric Uberman. “He’s never going to leave.”

Some long-time opponents of the Latschar regime are questioning the legalities of his career move.

“It’s a blatant conflict of interests. I’m just flabbergasted that he’s trying to do this,” said Franklin Silbey, an historic preservationist. “He presided over the creation of the General Management Plan, he presided over the supposed competitive bidding process for the visitor center, he presided over the creation of the Gettysburg Foundation, and he presided over the project. Now he’s going to work for the company that he created, for triple the amount of money that he’s making now.”

Under Latschar’s watch, the park adopted a General Management Plan in 1999, which laid out a long-term vision for the battlefield. The plan’s primary project, a new battlefield visitor center, generated immediate controversy.

“We started at arms length, the first time we had any interaction with him,” said Gettysburg Borough Councilman Ted Streeter, a veteran board member. “But honestly, we gained a lot of respect for each other over the years.”

Borough Council Vice President Holliday Giles spoke highly of the man who she feels was instrumental in several downtown restoration projects, including the Gettysburg Railroad Station and David Wills House.

“Whatever project John Latschar takes on, especially with the Borough of Gettysburg, it is very apparent that he uses all of his expertise and knowledge for all to benefit,” Giles said Friday.

Peterson was one of Latschar’s most vocal adversaries in the 1990s, when the park first announced plans to relocate the visitor center from the Steinwehr Avenue business corridor to the Baltimore Pike. Now, he considers Latschar a friend.

“He’s taken a lot of criticism over the years and he’s survived,” said Peterson. “He’s changed and we’ve changed. Twenty years from now, we won’t even remember all of the controversy. We’ll remember John for his vision and what was accomplished here.”

Latschar may have been an intimidating figure over the years, but local leaders maintain that he’s generally been very approachable.

“We were always able to sit down and come to a mutual understanding that was beneficial and positive to our township,” said Cumberland Township Board of Supervisors Chairman John P. Gregor.

Latschar has been superintendent of the park since 1994, and is a 31-year veteran of the National Park Service. He previously served as the first Superintendent of Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pa., and in various capacities at the park’s Denver Service Center. Latschar was named Superintendent of the Year for the Northeast Region in 1991 and in 2001.

In my mind, the quote from Franklin Silbey says all that needs to be said.

Personally, I’m glad I was never fleeced into donating a dime for Latschar’s Folly, aka the new Visitor’s Center. Now, I’m REALLY glad I didn’t do so.

Sorry, Kevin, but I vigorously disagree with you on this one.

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