Jon Tracey

Editorial Board Chairman

Jon Tracey is a public historian focused on soldier experience, medical care, memory, and veteran life in the Civil War era. He holds a BA in History from Gettysburg College with minors in Public History and Civil War Era Studies and an MA from West Virginia University in Public History with a Certificate in Cultural Resource Management. Jon has worked extensively preserving and interpreting historic sites, including with the National Park Service. Most of his recent research focuses on the complex topic of historical memory and the way Americans chose to remember and commemorate the war. He is currently a Historian/Cultural Resource Program Manager and manages the ECW Editorial Board that reviews guest post submissions.

A full listing of Jon’s Emerging Civil War articles can be found here.

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Jon is also a member of the Emerging Civil War Speakers Bureau. His available presentations are listed below:

Camp Letterman General Hospital and the Aftermath of Gettysburg
Camp Letterman was the largest Gettysburg hospital, opened weeks after the battle to the northeast of town. Thousands of soldiers, both Union and Confederate, passed through it as they recovered from horrible wounds. this topic may be approached in a variety of ways. It can be a general overview of the hospital and operations, it can explore how specimens and treatment records advanced American medicine, and it can follow wounded veterans to show the tangible benefits of their care.

Civil War Monuments and Memory
Americans, both north and south, remembered and commemorated the Civil War in different ways. Often, they marked their story in granite and bronze. This program focuses on some of the stories (both famous and lesser known) featured in the Civil War Monuments and Memory edited volume.

“A Travesty of truth”: The 72nd Pennsylvania Monument Controversy
As visitors travel the battlefield of Gettysburg, they see many monuments and markers. Often placed by regimental groups, each of these bronze statues or granite markers is trying to tell us a story. These stories, however, can be contested. The 72nd PA’s monument was perhaps one of the most controversial ones, leading to conflict between park managers and veterans as well as a dramatic court case.

“Awake, and to your country’s rescue fly:” The Nine-Month Men of the 130th Pennsylvania
Though their term of service was only nine months, the soldiers of the 130th Pennsylvania Infantry fought Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. Mustered in only a month before Antietam, they participated in the assaults against the Sunken Road and were assigned the grisly task of burying the dead there. Learn about this unit from a descendant of Company K’s Private Jacob Reever, see artifacts treasured by the veterans, and explore the service of a lesser known category of troops.

The World Wars in Gettysburg
The Civil War was not the only time that Gettysburg felt the presence of American soldiers. From an Army Tank Corps training camp led by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1918 to a psychological operations center as well as a German prisoner of war camp in WWII, the army had a lasting impact on the town and landscape.

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Selected Publications and Presentations:

  • “Benjamin Watkins Leigh, Johnson’s Division,” “James Bedell, 7th Michigan Cavalry,” and “Hannibal Howell, 76th New York,” Killed at Gettysburg
  • “The Utility of the Wounded: Circular No. 2, Camp Letterman, and Acceptance of Medical Dissection,” Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era Volume 9 (2019).
  • “Book Notes: James Hessler and Britt Isenberg, Gettysburg’s Peach Orchard,” in Gettysburg Magazine 63, July 2020.
  • “John Rankin, 27th Indiana: A Veteran’s Truth at Antietam and Gettysburg.” Recorded for CSPAN, March 27, 2021.
  • Contributor, The Summer of ’63 Gettysburg, Savas Beatie, 2021.
  • “A Man of Iron: Theodore Pease’s Medical Treatment and Resiliency.” Gettysburg Magazine 66, January 2022.
  • Co-Editor, Civil War Monuments and Memory, Savas Beatie, 2022.
  • “Antietam Artifacts: Reunion Ribbons of the 130th Pennsylvania Infantry.” Antietam Journal, 2023.
  • Serves on the Editorial Board for Gettysburg Magazine, an academic journal published by University of Nebraska Press.
  • Co-Editor, The Civil War and Pop Culture, Savas Beatie, 2023.
  • “Book Reviews: Kent Lincoln: The Fire of Genius (2022),” in The Civil War Monitor, 2023.
  • “’Keep up Good Courage’: The 123rd Ohio and One Family’s Shenandoah War Service,” Journal of the Shenandoah Valley During the Civil War Era, 2023.