News Archives


FAMILY HISTORIAN, cable TV's genealogy show, can now be viewed online.  Just follow the instructions below. 
This segment of Family Historian focuses on Billy Griffith, a history major at Shepherd University, West Virginia, who lives in New Jersey.  Billy details his investigation into a World War I soldier buried in France. 
Click on: 
Once you have hit the site, click VIDEO ON DEMAND 
Under categories tab, click on HTTV Regular Programs 
Scroll down and click on FAMILY HISTORIAN.  World War I.



Written by Mark Snell, here's the link to a modified version of the first
chapter of West Virginia and the Civil War that appears in the Fall issue of
Hallowed Ground:

Mark Snell's interview with West Virginia Public Radio link is


Dr. Snell and Sandhurst cadets during a class on the history of expeditionary operations


<<<< A reunion of sorts was occasioned at the Shepherd University Dining Hall recently.  Old soldiers gathered in their Civil War regalia to reminisce over stews, biscuits, and memories of their past glory.  These old geezers are (from left to right) Confederate infantry Dan Casella, early war Confederate (and Shepherd University Civil Warrior) Clayton Barker, Shepherd University student and Union infantryman Drew Rowand, and finally their fearless leader Mark Snell, here in Zouave attire, overlooking their period proficiency.

Here the fellows relax after a good meal in the Shepherd University Dining Hall, catered especially for Civil War aficionados by Chef Scott Anderson. >>>>






<<<< The boys engage in a little horseplay on the porch of the GTM Center for the Study of the Civil War.

Ever the suave sophisticated soldiers, the guys capture the hearts of two Shepherd University coeds.  Krystal Hambright of Frederick, Maryland, and Kari Still of Alderson, West Virginia, suffer the attentions of these lonely fellows. >>>>



Dr. Snell and Sandhurst cadets during a class on the history of expeditionary operations


Top-left: Carpenters at work replacing the entire second-story porch of the George Tyler Moore Center.





Bottom-left: A safe, sturdy veranda at last!  Professional carpenters completed work on our Center’s veranda recently, and the staff enjoys their new outdoor space.  We thank Shepherd University for their significant contribution to our work area.




Dr. Snell and Sandhurst cadets during a class on the history of expeditionary operations  

Dr. Mark Snell returned from England in December after having taught for one term at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Dr. Paul Harris, who has taught at Sandhurst for more than twenty years, exchanged with Dr. Snell and taught at Shepherd University. Dr. Harris returned to the UK in December. At left, Dr. Snell is giving a presentation to Sandhurst cadets on the 1983 U.S. invasion of Grenada for a class focusing on the history of expeditionary operations.



On February 12, 2009, Professor Snell spoke at the West Virginia Cultural Center to commemorate the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. That same day, Governor Joe Manchin presented Dr.Snell with the "Honorary West Virginian" award, the highest accolade that he can bestow on someone who is not a West Virginia resident. (Although Dr. Snell has worked at Shepherd for more than fifteen years, he resides in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.) At right, Delegate John Doyle, Senator Herb Snyder, Mark Snell, and Governor Joe Manchin talk after the award ceremony.



On February 13, 2009, several of Dr. Snell's students gave a presentation in the backyard of the Conrad Shindler House to their colleagues in the Civil War course. This lesson was titled "Civil War Infantry." Kyle Pfalzer and Issac Forman (back row) were dressed as Union soldiers, while in the front row, Brett Asselin, Ian Brodhead, and Tim Ware were costumed as Confederate infantrymen. Here they are about to fire a volley (with blank cartridges, of couse!). In addition to discussing infantry tactics and weapons, the students also talked about their uniforms, equipment, and rations. As you can see, there are no farbs allowed in this course!



On February 25, 2009, Dr. Snell's Civil War class took a field trip to Baltimore to get a feel for shipboard life on the U.S.S. Constellation. The students also toured Ft. McHenry, best known for its role in the defense of Baltimore in 1814, but it also served as a Civil War prison. At left, Stan Berry, director of operations for the Constellation and other historic vessels in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, explains the role of Civil War-era marines.

On March 5, 2009, Mark Snell and Denise Messinger, program assistant of the Moore Center, took the Center's travelling display to the rotunda of the West Virginia State Capitol for "History Day." Mark and Denise also demonstrated the "Mountaineers of the Blue and Gray" CD-ROM, which was a big hit with legislators and other History Day participants.



On March 6, 2009, Dr. Jo-Ann Morgan, an associate professor at Western Illinois University, received a $5,000 check and a commemorative plaque for winning the 2008 Peter Seaborg Prize for Civil War Scholarship for her book 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' as Visual Culture. Dr. Morgan also gave a presentation that summarized her research on the topic. At left, students, staff, and friends of the Center present Dr. Morgan with her award at the Conrad Shindler House.

Posing on the front porch of the Shindler House on Graduation Day, Saturday, May 16, 2009, are our most recent History graduates within the 19th Century and Civil War America track.  From left to right are Mr. Kyle Pfalzer, Ms. Ahna Wilson, their advisor Dr. Snell, Mr. John Stecklein, and Mr. Richard Hulver.  The graduates, with their families and friends, gathered at the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War following graduation for congratulatory remarks, presents, and refreshments.  These "Civil Warriors" are among the more than one dozen students graduated from this specialized program over the past five years.



Members of Shepherd University’s HIST 304 - Civil War America 1850-1865 course gather after the final day of classes to celebrate their excellent accomplishments.  Brats and burgers were consumed in the back yard of the George Tyler Moore Center during the week of final examinations.

Mr. A. Wilson Green is Executive Director of the Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier, where the GTM Center held its most recent Civil War seminar.  A fine group joined him on a tour of the Petersburg campaign, including the field fortifications surrounding the park.  








<<< Three good friends – Billy Griffith, Jimmy Horn, and Kevin Pawlak – give an overview of the lead-up to the Battle of Gettysburg by the grave of the first soldier killed during that altercation.


All the rosy cheeks attest to the temperature on the day of this tour.  Mark Snell and his Civil War class students ventured out on November 7, not a balmy day but an invigorating one.  All students claim that the tour was a highlight of their Civil War class. >>>>





<<<<A beautiful expanse of autumn weather greeted the tour goers that day. 










<<< During a recent Civil War infantry class, a poor soldier, far from home, (Michael Perrin, one of Mark Snell’s students), reads news from family and friends.



Mark Snell uses Michael Rippeon as a balance during a simulated fire arms drill. >>>>





<<<< Leading his recently enlisted “troops,” Mark Snell leads them on a backyard battlefield march.



On a recent vacation to Budapest, Denise Messinger had the opportunity to hold a hunting eagle.  She was mighty pleased!!!






Our summer intern for 1999, Cadet Benjamin Tiffner, then a history major at the U.S. Military Academy, died of wounds received in Iraq in November 2007, the victim of an improvised explosive device. Ben was a native of Pigeon, West Virginia, and received his appointment to the academy from Senator Robert Byrd. Ben graduated from West Point in 2000. At the time of his death, Ben was serving as a detachment commander with the 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (The "Green Berets") with the rank of captain. He was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. We will miss you, Ben. "Duty, Honor, Country."