Exploring Gettysburg with Sue Boardman (part one)

part one of a series

To commemorate Women’s History Month, I asked historian Sue Boardman if she’s be willing to spend some time showing me around her favorite places on the Gettysburg battlefield. It was my great good fortune to have her say “Yes!” (and enthusiastically so, too).

Sue is a licensed battlefield guide who, before retirement, worked for the Gettysburg Foundation. She’s also the co-author, with Chris Brenneman, of The Gettysburg Cyclorama: The Turning Point of the Civil War on Canvas (Savas Beatie, 2015). It was through that book that I came to first know Sue’s work. I’ve been fortunate since then to get to know her.

This week on the ECW YouTube page, I’ll be sharing a number of videos Sue and I shot during our day together.

I had only one request: Show me the places on the battlefield that are most important to you.

During our series, Sue will share her favorite places with us. She’ll also share stories from her time working as a Gettysburg LBG. Most importantly, she’ll share some of her own personal story. In a field dominated by men, Sue’s voice serves as an important example for young women, in particular, who are thinking about careers in Civil War public history. Beyond that, she’s a warm, gracious person whose joy at being on the battlefield is evident in every conversation she has.

Sue is someone I admire greatly, and it was a real privilege to spend the day with her on the field. (I have to warn you, it was a breezy day, so at times, you’ll have to bear with us as we fight the wind.)

In this first segment, Sue talks about her own Civil War “origin” story, which ties in with the 147th Pennsylvania Infantry.

6 Responses to Exploring Gettysburg with Sue Boardman (part one)

  1. This is wonderful. She is a great interpreter! I have been watching with avid interest the videos posted by Gettysburg National Military Park about the progress of the Culp’s Hill restoration. I always take my AP US History class to the 65th NY monument to honor my great-great grandfather 2nd Lt. Timothy Carroll, and to tell the story of the regiment there. With COVID we couldn’t go for the first time in 20 years last year, and won’t go this year. My book No Flinching From Fire, about the 65th NY, is inspired partly by the trips to places like Culp’s Hill. I can’t wait to get back there and see it with this project well under way. Thanks as always Chris for a great video. I look forward to the other stops on the battlefield with Ms. Boardman.

    –Chris Barry

  2. Charlie Fennel got my son and me early on our first visit to Gettysburg, so I have always been very conscious of the importance of Culp’s Hill. What a great presentation from Sue. And, Chris, you asked great questions. I look forward to more.

  3. Thank you Chris and Sue. Have enjoyed Sue’s friendship and knowledge for a few years now and have had a great tour of Stevenson’s Ridge with Chrris, really looking forward to more.

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