By Dennis E. Frye, Chief Historian, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
On Sunday, August 12, the Lovettsville Historical Society’s 2012 Lecture Series will feature prominent Civil War historian Dennis Frye speaking on the grave crisis that confronted the nation in Summer and Fall of 1862, which is the subject of his latest book, September Suspense: Lincoln’s Union in Peril.
In September of 1862, Confederate General Robert E. Lee invaded Union soil, capturing Harpers Ferry and panicking entire cities, especially in western Maryland. The Confederate advance caused the North to rethink the fight, questioning whether it were better to redouble the war effort, or give up and let the South pursue its own course. As Mr. Frye puts it: “For three weeks in September, the air was electric, nerves were at the breaking point, and the whole of the North held its breath.”
Mr. Frye has especially drawn on newspapers of the period, to show just how fragile the national bond had become by the September 1862.
Mr. Frye, the chief historian at Harpers Ferry National Park, is also a prominent lecturer, guide and preservationist, and was an associate producer for the movie Gods and Generals. September Suspense, released in June, is his eighth book, and will be available for sale and signing at the August 12 lecture.
Mr. Frye has a long-standing interest in this area, being a descendant of the Frye family who were early settlers in the Lovettsville area.
The lecture will be held on Sunday, August 12, at St. James United Church of Christ in Lovettsville, at 2:00.