Last fall, I was asked to be a talking head in a documentary film on the July 6, 1863 Battle of Hagerstown, a critical moment during the retreat from Gettysburg. Whomever controlled Hagerstown controlled the direct route to Williamsport, Maryland and the Potomac River crossings needed by Robert E. Lee. In a nasty fight, the Confederates defeated Judson Kilpatrick, and Ulric Dahlgren suffered the wound that cost him a leg in the process.

Here’s the trailer for the film:

Valor in the Streets: The Battle of Hagerstown from City of Hagerstown, MD on Vimeo.

The film is about to premiere on the anniversary of the battle. Here’s the press release:

July 6: New Documentary to Premiere About Battle of Hagerstown

(Hagerstown, MD) — On July 6, the City of Hagerstown and the Hagerstown-Washington County CVB will host a premiere showing of the newly completed documentary about the July 6, 1863 cavalry battle that took place on the streets of downtown Hagerstown.

Entitled “Valor in the Streets: The Battle of Hagerstown”, the premiere will take place at 7:00 pm at the Bridge of Life Center, 14 South Potomac Street.

Hosted by national television news personality Kelly Wright, the 30-minute documentary uses staged footage, historic photos and art, computer mapping and interviews with noted historians to relate the human interest stories that occurred during one of the largest urban cavalry battles of the Civil War, emphasizing the interaction between the soldiers of both sides and the local residents.

Tickets are $5 each and can be reserved by contacting the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 301-791-3246 extension 10, in person at the Visitor Center (located just off Public Square), or by email at

If not sold out in advance, tickets will be available at the door. The premiere showing is expected to sell out.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is sponsoring the premiere venue and the reception afterwards at the Bridge of Life Center.

This project was made possible through grants from the Hagerstown Trust Division of The Columbia Bank, the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the W.A. Hazel Construction Company.

The documentary was produced by Steven R. Bockmiller.

Washington County is home to five National Parks, eight State Parks, more than thirty museums, a minor league baseball team, a world-class professional symphony orchestra, more than twenty-one historic stone arch bridges, and is ranked first in Maryland for retail opportunities. For more information, see:

The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization whose mission is to help attract visitors to Hagerstown and Washington County. The CVB helps to create vibrant growth for the local economy by promoting, developing, and expanding the local visitor industry. Washington County is part of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area (, and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area ( Washington County is also part of the Quad-State Tourism Coalition, a four-state tourism group along I-81. For more information, see: The Hagerstown-Washington County CVB was recently awarded the Maryland Cultural Heritage Tourism Award by Governor Martin O’Malley.

Susan and I will be attending the premiere, and I will be selling books afterward. Tickets are available by e-mailing, or by telephone, 301-791-3246, x 10. I hope to see some of you there!

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